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Published: August 27th 2008
Dirty and sunburnt
Hiking on the clock. We probed, we dug holes, we played with soil plugs, we took pH and temperature readings, we filled out reports, we crawled around on our hands and knees looking for botrychiums, and we cooked our nightly gruel by a small campfire. Eight days working in the Emigrant Wilderness went by quickly and smoothly. It was a beautiful hike in from Leavitt Lake. We started at at 9000 ft and climbed up to the Pacific Crest Trail at 11,000 ft, then made our way off trail down to Kennedy Lake at about 7,500 ft.
Mike and I worked hard all week and were exhausted by the end of everyday. 3/4 of the time was spent surveying a giant 50 acre meadow, where we found lots of fens, but no sensitive plants. Like all wet areas in the Sierras, the meadow was being heavily grazed by cows owned by permit holders, ranchers who are grandfathered in to their right to destroy habitat, even within wilderness areas. The rest of the time we climbed up steep slopes looking for fens and sensitive plants in strange high elevation spots which our boss had asked us to visit. This was the
most dangerous and tiring part of the job, and though we found no fens on any of these crazy expeditions, we got to see some pretty nice places.
I am now wondering what to do with my week off. So far I have been applying for jobs, but I think I need to stop and get to the beach before the Labor Day hordes invade everything tranquil.
Here are more pretty pictures. This is getting absurd, I know, but I hope someone is enjoying them.
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