“May this fast vibrating frequency stay on its tune or higher” wrote Yuliya Semenova in our hitch journal on February 2, the halfway point. Reading back through the journal to catch up on what others had felt, especially Yuliya’s quote, signaled to me that we are composing a symphony here. The pluck of crew leader Amber’s ukulele and the twang of member Cassidy’s banjo, the squish and slice of hazel hoes and McCleods in the mud, sawtooth to wood, pick-mattock on rock, cutter to stump, laughter by way of silly jokes and fun pranks, sizzle of fried potatoes in the cast iron, the whine of the spigot as we fill our bottles, a sigh at the end of the day, each tired “good morning” at the beginning.
We cheered and hooted in the van on our way to the trail when we saw the wild pigs running so fast in the pasture, we awed and cooed at the cows and bulls almost every trip, we shouted and booed the raccoon when he so brazenly stole the chips off our picnic table. Our song is metered in feet and drainage dips, hummed in the key of our sweat, and counted off by our tool inventory each morning and afternoon.
This composition is imperfect as of yet, but we are taking the time to write it. Every foot of trail cut and every camp chore done reminds us of our commitment to the song. We stretch in the morning like we’re dancing to our own tune, and we debrief each afternoon like we’re listening to what we’ve written. It’s a peculiar thing to realize, seeing as how we never agreed to write a song at all. But here we are, a team of trail builders and maestros, creating our opus. Wish us luck!
– Samuel Walters – Trails Across Texas Crew Leader