Let me be honest with you, deep down, I’m lazy. If I can take the escalator instead of the stairs, I will. My natural disposition for sloth, however, makes me a great trail worker. It means I’m willing to push through that extra bit of pain for all the more candy later.

Layla 4Salami never tasted so good!

Nothing makes loafing around quite as awesome as hard work. Every hiker has pushed him or herself to the edge physically and mentally before, but not every hiker has had a brain fried by rock work. Rockwork is the original Tetris, the messiest of puzzles. There are no pieces laid out for you, no matching sides. You have to wander up the side of a mountain, find a rock that is at least the size of your torso, get it out of the ground, and down the side of the mountain to your project site. Then the real fun starts. You dig the perfect size hole for it – not too big, not too small, get it sitting back just right, and then jump on it a whole lot to make sure that it won’t come loose.

Layla 3Setting a rock for a wall

Now, you smash bigger rocks behind it with a hammer, and start the whole process over. Now do this for days. When you finally set that last stone, and cover everything with dirt and replant a few grasses on top of it, the satisfaction sets in. Yes. I built this. And it will be here for a long time. That’s the moment when all the hard work is worth it. And then you remember all the candy that you have squirreled away in your pack and back at camp in the bear hangs. So take the risk. Do something new. Come volunteer with us, I promise you’ll do something you never thought you could do.


Layla 2
The Final Product!













Layla F.

I have been covered in dirt since childhood. Originally from Massachusetts, I have been living in Texas for the last 6 years, splitting my time between working in Big Bend National Park, and living in Austin with my dog and my sweetheart. This is my first time in Colorado, and I hope to perfect my pika call by the end of the summer.