University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Summer Backcountry Trail Crew Experience
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
It was pouring rain as night crept in. Hauling heavy packs and tools, we trekked down the 19-kilometer unmaintained Galene Lakes Route, on our way back from constructing a campsite for BC Parks. Upon reaching a ravine, we ground to a halt - the rushing water and slippery rocks made crossing formidable. It was the most harrowing moment yet on this five-week Student Conservation Association crew in the Pacific Northwest backcountry.
But crossing was the easy part. Past the water, a steep, rocky ridge - too precarious to scale with our gear - loomed above us. Stumped, we debated several alternatives before arriving at a solution: an impromptu pulley system. The next hour flew by in an intense state of "flow" as we worked together like a well-oiled machine, hauling dozens of loads up the ridge. That night, cramped three-across in two-person tents, I reflected on the immense gratification of the day and overall crew experience, as well as several personal revelations.
I was the only crew member without prior backcountry experience. The contrast with my comfortable life at home was stark: weeks without my phone, rationing food, being itchy and caked in dirt from not showering, sleeping on the hard ground, and changing underwear just...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 2099 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10958 literature essays, 2741 sample college application essays, 820 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in