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Field Program

[Image Description: Two MCC members taking a brief break; one is sitting on a rock, the other is standing nearby. They are both in their uniforms, looking out at the expansive, mountain view surrounding them.]

Beaver Dams and Horses

A crew sits in a creek eating their lunch.

This hitch our crew swapped the chainsaws and chaps for waders and a post-pounder. This week we were tackling Beaver Dam Analogs, bank attachments, and clusters along a remote part of Tincup Creek. Nestled in the bottom of a valley, our worksite was a gem to our eyes. This paired with a two-horse team and a couple of extra pack horses, our crew was in for a treat.

Working with the horses was a very cool experience. We watched the two-horse team led by Darrell and Creed pull tree after tree into the creek, working flawlessly as a duo. We would watch as their muscle rippled through their skin like waves in a little ocean, effortlessly stepping down the steep creek banks and dragging the logs into place for our crew to pin into place. Seeing our labor make a difference in real time was very cool to see. Where we had put clusters of logs, you would see a happy school of minnows darting through the branches in the water that provided them shelter from the swooping bird. A couple of crew members even got the chance to watch a beaver swim to the first dam that we had put in place.

Despite facing a countless number of late evening and nighttime lightning storms that kept us hunkered in the truck for longer than any of us wished for, we all enjoyed the electric show as we hoped our tents wouldn’t get struck. We were all very stoked that we would get to spend the following day working in the water. Our crew learned nothing felt better this hitch than sitting in the creek eating lunch to cool down while your legs are held up by the water, but enjoying a tortilla wrap with some mayochup was pretty comparable too. Actually, nothing can compare except your dog greeting you at home.

A big lesson learned from the last couple of weeks in Tincup Creek: no matter how many times you try, you can’t post anything in straight bedrock, especially not a wood post. This tested our patience with the creek bottom but would always be quickly reminded of true patience by the fish in the creek, the birds in the sky, and mountains that stood above us. We will always enjoy eating in a creek and watching what true work horses are capable of.