I have new respect for the members of the Mammoth Comp and Devo teams after working on a trail project with them all day yesterday. When I suggested that we do a day of volunteer service with Friends of the Inyo, I wasn’t even sure anyone would even sign up. Then, I expected some grumbling and complaining, but alas, I was surprised! Everyone who was in town joined in for trail work on the Duck Pass trail and not only did we get a lot done, but we had a good time doing it.
The morning started with a speed hike up to Duck Pass. Then we retreated to an overused meadow beside scenic Barney Lake, where we proceeded to dig, haul rocks, crush rocks, haul dirt, and then haul logs to reclaim the alpine meadow to a more pristine state. The process of reclamation will take years, but it was hugely rewarding to fill in the rutted meadow, thus steering hikers to a single track.
When the Friends of the Inyo staff gave orders, we jumped. I was very impressed with the all out effort all the kids gave yesterday. Teamwork was key in hauling and planning. Despite blisters, sore backs, and the overall fatigue that comes with hard work at above 10,000 feet, the team shone. One girl even spent her birthday with us, which of course was a good excuse for a sugary treat.
Mammoth Pack Outfit hauled tools and lunch up to Barney Lake for us, but we hauled trash and tools back to the trailhead. It was a good day and the energy stayed high all the way back to the cars. One parent waiting at the trailhead said she could hear us laughing and carrying on from a half a mile away.