The season was ending. One more weekend, crushing rock on The Mound one last time on Monday, and then hiking out for the last time on Tuesday. It was a bittersweet weekend. A real shower was going to feel great, but these were the last sunsets we would see against Choo Choo Ridge.
Moose had had an especially tough season as a C1. If you factor in all four alternates who were no longer with us, we had lost over half of the crew. We had been redirected from our regular work projects several times to go fight fires or search for lost people. She’d had to deal with injuries requiring air evac and had spent more time at the Yosemite Valley medical clinic than anybody would want to. Instead of relaxing and heading up a mountain somewhere on the weekends, she had usually had to spend weekends hiking out to deal with injuries or administrative snake nests. Moose needed to blow off a little steam. She hiked out on Friday afternoon – on a personal mission for a change! – and drove down to Kings Canyon National Park for the annual Trails End Party.
Trails End was a long time tradition of the Kings Canyon trail crews. It was held every year in Cedar Grove at the trail crew bunkhouse known as ‘Hole in the Wall’. It involved a pig roasted underground and assorted fixings, a cleared out barn with a live band and plenty of dancing room, and an open invitation to any NPS employees wanting to celebrate the end of another great season. Moose had run a CCC crew in Kings Canyon a couple of years before and knew a lot of people who would be there.
She said she had a great time!
(I believe her!)