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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.]

Take Me Home (to Krassel Hole)

A crew stands in front of a mural

There are 2 groups of Wildland Restoration Teams (WRT), 7 of us (now 8). We're going to be based out of Krassel.
For the past 3 nights, we stayed at Last Chance Campground. The morning of May 23rd was cold and wet, but it was time to leave and make the 3-hour drive to a place none of us had been and what looked like on a map to be the middle of nowhere. 

McCall is the largest small town on the way and in the area to shop for necessities like gear, groceries, and gas. We traveled south on 55 and turned left on Warm Lake Rd. After a few miles, the cell service disappeared and so did we from the outside world. After going up and over a snowy mountain pass, we turned left onto FSR 474 (South Fork Rd) and continued another 27 mi down a (thankfully paved) one-lane road with two-way traffic and a speed limit of 25 mph.

Krassel is a USFS Administrative Base built on land that was the homestead of George Krassel (d. 1918). Before that, it was the land inhabited by the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) and Shoshone tribes. We were given a little brown house to live in, surrounded by tall trees and a view of the river. But nobody had lived here for months and the house needed some TLC. "Joseph the Eroder", a previous resident, left us notes on the fridge about the kitchen, fires, adventures, food and grocery, the river, plants, wildlife, and traveling to Boise or Missoula.

For the next 2 days, we washed every plate, wiped every surface, scrubbed every wall, swept every floor, and beat all the dust out of the couch cushions with the "Kritter Gitter 8000". The next day after dinner, we gathered around the iron fireplace in the living room to not only reflect on the work day, but also our anticipation for the upcoming herbicide work we were to begin on the next hitch, and our respective journeys up until this moment. 

We were proud of the work we had done to make the house habitable and our stomachs were full of good food cooked in an actual kitchen. We laughed, sang, and danced around the room until the sky became fully dark (and the electricity turned off at 10 pm). This was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Joseph the Eroder said at the end of his note, "(this) will be your whole world for the next 6 months". We were given a house at Krassel to share, and we made it our home.