June 27th, Day Seven – Through Coldness, We Prevail
Camping thermometer showing a temperature of 40 degrees,
taken in mid-morning.
I awoke at first light before anyone else. One would think that after completing
my first year of college I would be anything but an early riser, though perhaps
my body was still two hours behind somehow with the time zone change. I got
out of the tent and changed into my work clothes. Today, the thermometer read
28 degrees. I was cold. You don't understand, I was FREEZING! I caught up to
writing in this journal while everyone woke up. The sun was not out and made
for a depressing start for the day. If there was one day that coffee would make
this morning better, today was it.
We ate breakfast and went to our work site. I spent the day with three other
Arrowman de-rooting a pine tree about thirty feet in height and 3 feet in diameter.
This was indeed a project. We took to our cutter-matics and pick-matics. We
dug, we dug and we dug. Every time we dug around a major root and cut it, we
found another one just beside it. A typical root would take about 15 minutes
to a half hour to get through. That entails someone constantly swinging a cutter-matic
or axe over and over again. Tedious work is an understatement.
Removing excess dirt from the trail.
We took a break for lunch around mid-day. Afterwards, Chris jokingly kicked
the monster of a tree that we were trying to de-root and fall. Little did anyone
know that when he kicked it, it would actually move. Immediately, a pregnant
pause overcame the crew. We shook off our awe and united to push the tree down.
As a team and brothers, we pushed down the tree with cheer and fulfillment.
We have accomplished our goal! I tell you, this scene could have been in a sitcom.
Though, this was simply the beginning of our work with the tree. Our next step
was to remove the branches, cut it up and finally move it to act as support
for the trail.
A tree-filled view of where trail is being developed
by OA Trail Crew.
In the afternoon, Philmont Program Director Mark Anderson came to pay us a
visit and say hello. It was great to see his enthusiasm with the OA Trail Crew
Program. After he left, hail and thunderstorms seemed to be on time and overtook
the rest of the day.
When the worked day ended, we got some more water from our water source like
was always did. This time, however, the spigot seemed to have lost its pressure.
We followed the water line (which was conveniently above the ground) all the
way up to its source. By all means, this was not a simple task. This evolved
to be a rigorous hike up a mountain that took us through twists and turns. At
the source, we found a leak in the line and used duct tape to temporarily patch
it up. Our hike to find the leak lead us up to an old miner's cabin. It
was a great view! We had a chance to overlook the trail we were building and
to see where it would eventually end.
Old Miner's Cabin.
We got back to our campsite and built our last fire at campsite. For dinner,
we had seasoned pork chops with mushrooms and rice. We somehow managed to have
too many pork chops! No one went hungry after this meal. We finished cleaning
up and sat around the campfire. It was a cold and extremely foggy night. The
visibility was only 20 feet, if that!
We had our nightly dose of thorns and roses by the campfire and went to sleep
after a long day.
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