Monday, July 15, 2013

Getting Weird in Pigeon Cove

 Crew 7
Lake Mead Invasive Species Removal

It all started on a warm morning preparing for an eight day adventure at the Great Basin Las Vegas headquarters.  We were all bright eyed and ready to go by seven in the morning for our long driving excursion to meet our project partner D-Wayne.  Our bodies and minds were prepared for the long journey ahead.   With heavy metal blaring, crew seven finally reached our destination.  We arrived to a valley of desolation, one which had not seen a human touch in many months.  Camp was erected in a short time and soon resembled a small shanty town.  Soon we would embark on a mission of pure destruction; the eradication of tamarisk.

Our expectations had been high from the start.  This was going to be the first time many of us would be felling the dreaded tamarisk.  We soon learned how slow and aggravating this process could be.  Working in small groups, we were able to successfully finish a single canyon as night fell.  Our march back brought us great pleasure as the day had come to an end but also gave light to a beautiful sight.  While the sun slowly sank behind the mountain range, a fire seemed to ignite the ridge behind us.  Shades of red, grey and finally purple soon dominated the landscape.  This sight soon became a highlight of the hitch.    

As the days wore on, so did our bodies.  The frigid cold soon gave birth to blistering heat as the day wore on.  The nauseating smell of the herbicides we used to finish off tamarisk stumps filled the air.  These chemicals were sprayed on and had a dark red coloring; almost the color of blood.  Had it not been for the vigilances and strength, many may have succumbed to the smell of these chemicals mixed with our unwashed bodies.  

Soon the days blended with each other as dreams meld together upon waking.  After breaking our fast on the last day our small congregation of tents and gear were soon gone from the landscape.  As we drove away from our temporary home we reflected on what we had accomplished during our eight days in pigeon cove.  What we remember most was the cacophony of timber created by downed tamarisk and the enjoyable camp side conversations.  We now find ourselves driving into the GBI office.  Exhausted and tired, we begin the slow process of cleaning the trucks and gathering equipment for the next outing.  We end just as we began, ready for another adventure back into the wilderness.

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