Wet, Wild & Wonderful!

Friday evening 18 brave souls headed north on I-17 into a weekend of backpacking, even while knowing there would be an excellent chance of encountering monsoon weather.  In retrospect, it is most beneficial that a scout’s motto is to ‘Be Prepared.’  While the rest of America decided not to spend time in the spectacular wilderness area we explored, the T648 crew had a splendiferous 48 hours of challenge and accomplishment, vistas and water-cooler discussion material.  An hour south of Flagstaff over dirt roads, the Dorsey and Geronimo Springs portions of Sycamore Canyon are visited by traversing miles of somewhat maintained trails, and an overall altitude gain (and loss, and gain again, and loss again) of 1600 feet.  Changing from pine forest to alligator juniper and Manzanita, then back to pines as we descended, the canyon wilderness was often as confused as confusing.  While the weekend was spent primarily in the rain, the scouts did an excellent job of staying on the bright side, finding a cliff-side cave area for the entire troop to gather for meals and a crackling campfire, and discovering that the rain kept the mosquitos somewhat at bay.  Friday night was largely dry, but included the fireworks of a late night of lightning and rolling thunder.  Saturday after an excellent hike in a misty drizzle through the Coconino ‘rainforest’ (sure beats hiking in direct blazing sunlight), the boys debated the benefits and downsides of setting up camp in Skeeterville (the best campsite, which also seemed to have the most of the pesky critters).  Geronimo Springs water was clear and cold, and the air temperature all weekend was perfect for being constantly dampish – not too cold, not too warm.  Climbing out of the canyon was exhausting, but the scouts plugged away, and exited the canyon right on schedule, to a surprise treat of a cooler full of A&W root beers.  While the majority of our trips in Arizona keep our equipment dry, it was terrific to experience something new, and the relatively young group of scouts did a fantastic job of controlling their gear, and remaining safe, in spite of the small rivers of brown water often trickling down the trail ahead of us.  Hopefully all equipment and bodies are now completely hosed and dried off, and ready for the week ahead of us.  Many thanks for attending a memorable trip – I still can say that I’ve never been on a bad outing with T648!

Tomorrow night at 7PM is the troop meeting with the monthly theme still on aquatics.  Keep in mind that our new leadership will have their first formal Patrol Leaders’ Council meeting on September 3rd at 6PM.  We will also be having a Parent and Committee meeting at 7PM during the troop meeting that night, as well.    Our next adult leader meeting will be September 9th, and looking ahead – keep getting your advancement completed, as the next Court of Honor is fast approaching on October 8th.  After spending a weekend in the cool pines, I also would highly recommend that our entire troop family consider attending the Family Camp on September 20th – 22nd.  It will be held next to the County Fairgrounds south of Flagstaff at the Ft. Tuthill campground, and parents, grandparents, siblings, or any other family members looking for a fun weekend out of the Valley are welcome to attend.

See you tomorrow at the troop meeting!

Mr. Cole