The strongest crew ever

The strongest crew ever

The strongest crew ever gets so much work done


for the Siskiyou Hiker
by Yutaro Sakairi, 2018 Wilderness Conservation Corps intern

Overall, it was intense, hot, (some days measured 105+F°, or 40+C°) sweaty, dirty, sore, and smoky due to forest fires. Hiking for miles and miles with 60lbs backpack was brutal. But more than that, it was extremely fulfilling, and just fun.

05 SEPTEMBER 2018 | TOKYO — I’ve never really realized that trails are made and maintained by people. Well, obviously they are, but I don’t think a lot of people really think about it either.

I’ve had an amazing summer, interning with for Siskiyou Mountain Club’s Wilderness Conservation Corps. I spent 50+ days total backpacking and staying in one of the most remote places I’ve ever been. It was something I craved for after spending most of my life in the civilized, artificial environment.

Consisting of six other interns and staff members, we had missions to accomplish. The eight days of “Orientation” in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness was a test to see if interns can survive the summer. Then we went on to completed four 10-day hitches to tackle our projects.

For the first two hitches, five of us were sent into the Siskiyou Wilderness to clear up a 21-mile long trail known as Clear Creek National Recreation Trail.

Crosscut saws played an important role on these hitches to clear up numerous fallen logs that blocked the trail here and there. The biggest log measured as wide as four feet in diameter and took five of us a total of 13 hours to make three cuts and push it out of the way. It was surely intense with days of overtime working, but it was so much fun pushing ourselves hard and getting a lot of work done as a team.

For the last two hitches, we headed to a different area in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness with a bigger crew, and worked on trails that were absolutely devastated. I’ve seen the worst trails in my life and many parts were literally impassable before we clipped and sawed through the brush and downed logs.

The last hitch was particularly memorable. We had the strongest crew ever and got so much work done. The difference we made was significant and it made us happy. We took a day-off in the middle and went on a creek hike, hopping on rocks and swimming if necessary, to explore the gorgeous Chetco river. It was epic.

Overall, it was intense, hot, (some days measured 105+F°, or 40+C°) sweaty, dirty, sore, and smoky due to forest fires. Hiking for miles and miles with 60lbs backpack was brutal. But more than that, it was extremely fulfilling, and just fun.

I loved the nature, the isolation from everything else, and the people I worked with. Everyone I interacted with was very nice, joyful and hardworking, which made this experience 100 times better. Thanks everyone and hope to see you guys again!!

Now that I have gears and experiences backpacking, I’m looking forward to going as many backpacking/hiking as possible!

Yutaro Sakairi was a 2018 Wilderness Conservation Corps interns. He grew up in Tokyo, Japan and is now a student at University of Washington.


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