Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Service Project - 4 days in Mt. Rainier

One thing that's great about REI is their stewardship. They are passionate about the environment.
Early September, I gathered a bunch of co-workers (and my husband!) to dive deep (read 3 miles) into the woods of Mt. Rainier National Park for 4 days. REI coupled up with SCA to repair trails and to connect the missing link of the Wonderland Trail, which circumnavigates The Mountain. Volunteer groups like us have been working nonstop to repair the damage that hit the area during the massive flooding of 2006. You might remember a backpacking trip we took last fall showing some of the devastation.

Day One
Geared up and ready to go! Our group listens intently to the rules. Basically...don't swing your tools around, you might knock somebody out.

We start the trek down into Stevens Canyon.

Brooke, Chad, and Sarah.

Jenn knocked her waterbottle off her pack and nearly into the rushing waters of Stevens Creek (right)

We made the 3 mile 'walk' to the area we would be working in and set up camp. Others hiked back out to take another trip with all the food.....

Yes. ALL the food. Looks like there might be 20-30 of us on the trip?...there were only 9.
At least we won't be going hungry!

Day Two
Us girls begin our work at the most important location. Before our arrival, this section of the trail was to basically follow up the small creek/spring. We dove in and cleared out brush/trees and moved rocks to make a solid trail through this area. We could design the trail in whatever form we liked! We chose a beautiful 'W' for Wonderland.

Meanwhile, Mark and Mark were working on a French Drain. This consisted of collecting big heavy rocks and moving them into place.

Brooke and Chad head to another area to cut down fallen trees to create 'check steps.'

Brooke, coming back from collecting softball-sized rocks for the French Drain.

Brendon, shaving the bark off the trees.

Brooke demonstrates how to lift with your legs, not with your back.

Ok, found a big one! Uh...can I get some help?

Sarah, Amanda, and Jenn, supervising the guys.

Day Three
Our focus today (since we knocked out the missing link section in one day!) was to collect tons of smaller rocks for the French Drain. We realized that the better rocks were in the sun;)

Stevens Canyon.

Jenn and I...working hard...looking pretty!

Chad works on filtering water from the creek for us all to enjoy.

Our group: Chad, Mark, Sarah, Beth, Jenn, Andrea. (Brooke had to take off on Sunday to get back to the 'real world.' I thought we were in the real world.)

Jenn, getting ready to smash in Mark's skull. Oh dear.

A moss wall skirts the side of this trail.

Sarah and Beth working on a sturdy stone wall that will not wash out!

Mark moving rock after rock.

After moving a lot of big, heavy rocks today, we all sit down in the evening to enjoy some mac-n-cheese.

Sarah and I enjoying a quiet area.

setting sun.

Day Four
Finished Projects:
The French Drain.

The 'missing link' is now complete! The Wonderland is one continuous circle:)

Myself, Jenn and Sarah on one of 3 trips we took to shuttle out food, injured person's stuff, and our own.

Thanks to everyone for their hard work! I look forward to completing the 93 mile trail one day, and stopping to admire our handy work.