After work on Friday I drove straight to Dripping Springs Campground to meet some of the trail maintenance crew before heading up the Dripping Springs trail which quickly ascends to 3200 feet. It is 5.7 miles to our campsite in the Agua Tibia wilderness.
There is always time for a wildflower break.
These are the largest ants I have seen in my life. The bigger one was at least 2.5 cm.
Most of the hike was completed in the day light but it wasn't too long until headlamps were necessary.
After setting up our tents and getting situated we made dinner (and I drank some wine).
Bobby was so proud of his rice cooked in sheep stomach.
My favorite quote of the night was when Bobby said he ate bat in Cambodia. When I asked him if it was good he said "yes it was good! Everything is good when you are hungry".
There is nothing better than waking up immersed in wilderness.
This was Fred's biggest crew yet, there were eight volunteers plus himself.
There were trees and bushes to be cut, lopped, sawed and swamped.
The part of the trail that we were focused on was saturated in poison oak. Somehow I got assigned to cut it and remove it from the trail. I was so nervous about developing a reaction (and somehow I have not had one so far). Behind the poison oak is an equally threatening plant called poodle dog bush.
Inch worms are at least a little distracting from the poison oak removal/ poodle dog avoiding task at hand.
Fred is checking out future projects.
I love that Mike and Clint took the time to communicate with us on their whereabouts.
A job well done, the trail is looking pretty dang amazing.
Blue dicks (I don't mean to offend...).
After a full days work on Saturday we continued battling the growth on the trail for just a half day on Sunday.
After lunch I booked it down the hill to the parking lot. We hiked about 25 miles this weekend (just 11 of those miles was with all of our gear). It was a lot of work but completely rewarding. It is fun to spend time with a variety of people from all sorts of backgrounds that love the great outdoors as much as I do.
Doing work like this makes me appreciate the trails I use on a weekly basis. They require some TLC and the people who provide it are often unnoticed.