September 25th, the Geology Crew (our crew), rolled back into Bozeman after spending another eight days in Yellowstone National Park working on Mystic Falls Trail. This hitch varied from our first hitch in a number of ways.
- Much colder temperatures (even snow on our seventh day)
- Learned new trail work skills (including constructing rock steps, retaining walls, and crib walls)
- Used a grip hoist capable of moving 4,000lbs to move boulders from a talus field to our workzone
- The crew was split into two, working on two projects in different locations
- We were tired of each other by the end of this hitch and did not suggest a backpacking trip on our days off
John and Cager (our National Park Service Crew Leader) watch as Maggie pulls a boulder uphill on the griphoist to her staircase work zone.
Maggie's Staircase at completion - eight steps that took seven days to build.My first attempt at dry stone masonry (no mortar used). This step took Maggie and I four hours to complete from start to finish. Derrick is trying to claim some of the glory as well, probably because his step wasn't finished yet. Dry stone masonry is very frustrating because it takes so long to get perfectly matching rocks, to chink off any outcroppings to ensure the rule of "high and outside" contact points, and to get the correct angles. It is a dying artform but one that is quite historic. Many of the Roman Aquaducts and ancient buildings were done using dry stone masonry skills.