-by Eli Hacker
The hike up Buford Mountain was brutal.
Every morning we would unload our gear and stare at it reluctantly before finally loading blowers onto our backs and propping saws on our shoulders to begin the hike. The first morning our reluctant stares hardly lasted 20 seconds before we loaded up all of our gear and started hiking. The temperature outside on this morning was 5 degrees, and if our constant shivering didn't give that away our frozen beards would have.
Our team hiked up Buford six or seven times and it never seemed to get easier, if anything it got harder as the 9 day project progressed and our muscles fatigued. When we got to the flagged area every morning we bushwacked our way through the forest and blazed and brand new fireline that had never existed before.
Hiking down Buford on that final afternoon felt nice; we had created something that had not been there before.