Driving through the heat of Boston traffic, I turn off the interstate into Milton, Ma. After passing a Dunkin' Donuts or two, I pull into a trailhead nestled in this suburban and urban landscape. I get out of the car and stretch after the sweaty, three hour long drive out of the Whites and into the Blue Hills Reservation. The relative coolness of the tree's shade and the visual coolness of the green are a relief after my adventures learning how to "merge" in Boston driving.
I walk up the trail behind the museum, as the deer peer out from behind their containment and the owls wearily nod in the heat. Just up a few hundred yards I see the friendly sight of brightly colored hardhats bobbing, attached to hard working trail crew bodies. Signs of their passing are underfoot. Freshly packed, light colored mineral soil framing rocks, set in rows to lessen the erosion of water- and the wear of thousands of flip-flops, sneakers, boots and paws.
The crew leader, Mike, awaits news from the "North Country"…that and a little gas money to navigate the Ranger through Milton, Ma. The 98 degree heat has me beat, but the crew seems to be doing well and is in good spirits. Kate and Becca are navigating a rock of their own, working on building a check damn step half-way up a newly reconstructed slope. I see a bush wiggle off to the right, and Evan's orange hard hat appears as he moves the next step rock to the trail. A little further up Tim is off in his own world of rock work magic as his rocks go into the ground one after the other. All in all, life and work seem good and sweaty for the Blue Hills Crew.
This crew is working in partnership with the Blue Hills Reservation. Though there is a history of over 15 years of partnership between AMC trails and the Reservation, this is the first 100% Blue Hills Crew. Nice work Blue Hills Crew #1!