WELCOME ALL TO THE 2017 HITCH REPORT. AFTER EACH HITCH, THE WCC STAFF WILL POST EACH CREW’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH PICTURES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EACH HITCH OR VOLUNTEERING PLEASE CONTACT US.
Crew 1 and Crew 4 – Pole Mountain in Medicine Bow National Forest, May 29-June 7 – These crews started building trails for the highly anticipated trail maintenance and reroutes of trails to International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) standards in the Pole Mountain Happy Jack area located in the Medicine Bow National Forest – Laramie District. The crews accomplished several miles of tread and water drainage issues. The overall goal with the project is to begin the process of creating more sustainable trails in the highly used area in Happy Jack – a mountain bike nexus of Fort Collins, Cheyenne, and Laramie. Our hopes: this is just the beginning of a multi-season project to improve the entire trail infrastructure to Pole Mountain.
The crews also helped pilot the work for a big volunteer day where we had 50 volunteers working along side our crews all to improve the trails we are working on at Pole Mountain. Learn more here
Partnerships are everything and we would not be part of this project with the hard work from:
- Wyoming Pathways
- Laramie BikeNet
- United State Forest Service (Medicine Bow National Forest – Laramie District)
- Kay-Linn Enterprises
Education Day – The crews worked on a citizen science project with grad student Zoe Nelson who is working in close partnership with the Rocky Mountain Amphibian Project. The crews waded through wetlands looking for macroinvertebrates and amphibians, logging their findings, then reporting to the project staff as to give a better picture of wetlands life in Wyoming. Other crews will be participating in this study as well.
Day Off – The crews went mountain biking on the very trails they were working on not only to check their work but to have fun!!
All Said and Done:
- 8.75 miles of trail improved with IMBA standards
- 50 feet of rock armory
Crew 2 – Casper Rotary Park located on the northern side of Casper Mountain, May 29-June 7 – We are helping build a legacy at Casper Rotary Park alongside the hard work of the Casper Rotarians and community support. The WCC began building this steep and difficult trail which highlights vistas all along the route. Particular to this crew’s task, they needed to build a retaining wall above and below the slope while expanding the trail. The task, among rock work and tread, was to carry timbers, rebar, generators, concrete, and tools up the mountain everyday. Their work crescendoed into the major retaining wall while working on various other projects. For this hitch, everyone became honorary engineers and weight lifters (or so the joke goes). We couldn’t be more proud of them.
Education Day – As tradition, our crews had dinner with the Casper Rotary Club meeting members of the club learning about the trail project as well as learning about what non-profit initiatives are going on in Casper. The crew ended up giving a presentation about their work, the WCC, and who they are individually to 200 members.
Day off – After days in the hot sun hauling lumber, concrete, stone, and cables up Casper Mountain, the crew visited the Historic Trail Museum, ate some pizza, and watched the movie Wonder Woman. A well deserved leisure day.
All Said and Done:
- 3 sign posts installed
- 16 6x6x8′ timbers carried up the mountain
- 7 metal and composite posts installed with concrete
- One 25ft French drain built (part of major retaining wall)
- 9 smaller French drains built
- 4 stone staircases repaired and improved
- 78 holes drilled into composite and metal for cables
- 2 smaller retaining walls built
- 1 major retaining wall platform (pictured below)
Crew 3 – Base of Laramie Peak (eastern side), May 29-June 7th – Continuing a project from last year, this crew set off to work with Nature LTD to plant ponderosa pines on the burned sloped of the eastern side of Laramie Peak. The hope for the project is to bring back enough its intended ecosystems with the ponderosa pines that a forest floor brings back the insects, birds, mammals, etc… In other words, the tree planting acts as a booster to get the intended ecosystem back up. This season, our crew planted 10,000+ ponderosa pines!!
Education Day – the crew jumped in ATVs and followed a professional hunter-naturalist throughout the Laramie Peak District learning about ecosystems, multiple user-groups, and land management decisions that go into semi-private and public lands. And, sometimes at night, the hunter would show the crew his best spots to see elk.
Day off – The crew played around the camp, explored the mountains, and generally relaxed.
All Said and Done:
- 10,000+ ponderosa pines planted
- 2 campgrounds improved
[pictures – the crew was so hard at work planting that they neglected to take photos of the work – next time 🙂 ]
Wy Veterans Trail Crew (WyVTC) – Glendo State Park, May 30-June 8 – The first hitch of the WCC’s first all-military veteran trail crew kicked off at Glendo State Park working on getting 31 miles of trail ready for the Glendo Trails Fest bike race. A year in the making, this crew was everything Wyoming State Parks and the WCC were hoping for, AND MORE! Accustom to hard labor in difficult conditions, our veterans crew worked in the hot heat and wind of Glendo while maintaining and improving trail tread, berms, rock work, corridors, retaining walls, and armored turns. These gentlemen learned quickly, worked hard, and we can tell why the military liked them all so much. Without a doubt, this is our elite trail building crew and we are proud not only of their previous service but their service now.
As a program, this crew functions a little differently than our other WCC crews. They work 12 days on with only 2 days off, they work on only trails, and they only get one day off in the 12 days on. Our “Education Days” will function differently as they will learn on the job while busting through difficult trail work. This hitch, the crew was so focused on getting the race ready that we will have double down on our education initiatives next hitch.
Day off – a relaxing day in Douglas walking around and eating anything but camp food.
All Said and Done:
- 31.1 miles of trail maintained and/or improved
- 6 rock ramps built
- 30 feet of rock armory on a climbing turn
- 150 feet of retaining wall built on Twenty 15 (trail at Glendo pictured below)