Who Heard a Horton?

This weekend we set all kinds of records on the Horton Springs outing – for at least my tenure as a member of  T648.  A whopping 19 backpackers set out under sprinkles in the church parking lot, braving the rain that was sure to come in the mountains (but then never came – if you don’t count a few snow flurries).  We also had a first with an amazing twin set of twins participating in one outing!  It was a bit nip and tuck to pull off that accomplishment, however, as one of the four twins received 10 stitches in the top of his head from Dr. Scoutmaster earlier in the day after suffering a playground wound on the battlefield of Pinnacle High School.  Swinging into the trailhead parking lot where we had planned to camp, it was clear that with a lot full of vehicles, and the challenging logistics of bedding down 19 of us, alternate plans were required.  Mere minutes later, as four vehicles roared up the steep narrow drive of Upper Tonto Campground, the overwhelmed camp host came sputtering up – ‘Just how many of you are there up here?’ Calming him down with camp fees and boy scout uniforms, we had an excellent frosty night.  Awakened by lowing, the boys got early morning exercise mooing back, and performing a short cattle drive back down the hill to the trailhead before breakfast. And oh what a breakfast – I saw chili with beans, teriyaki chicken, beef stew and Pringles – I was expecting to see more breakfast skillet, or eggs and hash for dinner, but no!  It all must have been part of the plan.  Despite all the vehicles in the Horton Trail parking lot, we later still found our traditional amazing secluded campsite available on the other side of the creek, complete with full-sized teepee and rock lawn furniture.  An afternoon of playing Mafia Murder and a four mile excursion to the gushing springs were both spectacular, followed by a roaring fire and less than spooky scary campfire stories.  It would be difficult to have improved much on this perfect outing, except for a few mutterings during ‘Thorns and Roses’ directed toward the 33 degree overnight temps.  Remember that wonderful chilly feeling next week gang, when the temps will surely be triple digits!