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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.]

Partnering with One Track Mind

The crew stands smiling, wearing black t-shirts with the "OTM" logo in white.

After several hitches of working in wilderness areas, partnering with the One Track Mind Foundation found our crew on well-loved mountain bike trails near McCall, Idaho. Being on popular trails immediately felt different. “Bikers!!” became a common thing to hear our crew yelling out, and what followed was usually a frenzy to grab tools and (hopefully) jump off the trail in time.

From mountain bikers cruising down steep switchbacks, to hikers foraging for mushrooms, to pack goat strings hunting elk... we saw just about every type of recreator on these trails. Each time we were met with something different: stories of their own trail work, surprise at our all-women crew, a showcasing of elk bugling skills, amazement at the amount of rock we had crushed (which was actually initially confusion as to how we had packed so much in!), questions about MCC…the list goes on. The usually short interactions always ended with the same immense gratitude for our work. As people moved past our worksite, it was something that could only bolster our morale during a long day’s work.

Not only did we meet trail users every day, but our crew was tasked with projects that would need to stand up to the trail’s high usage. It challenged the crew’s trail skills, and not just in how big of rocks we could manage to move! As we armored creeks and switchbacks, we carefully watched how bikes approached the feature. It became an exercise in thought to hypothesize how tires would go over rocks and around each corner.

After four weeks and working two different trails with OTM, we ended our last hitch there with three rock structures that the crew was proud of. Our time in Idaho certainly involved lots of arduous rock wrestling, crushing, and wet gloves, but also gave us the chance to work with an awesome project partner and interact with a kind, appreciative trail community.