Slip Slidin’ Away

A baker’s dozen scouts with four adults along for the ride spent last weekend with 3000 of our closest friends in the ‘wilds’ of Sedona’s Oak Creek canyon, maneuvering the ‘Arjun course’ which included riding the creek rapids, traversing the venerable slide rock, launching off the jumping rock, and finishing in the wading pools, then trooping back up creek to do it over and over again.  The water was cold, the sun hot, and multiple scouts avowed that this was the best outing they had ever attended.  Hard to believe it almost wasn’t to be!  When we arrived at the park entrance in the tight canyon after 9:30AM, the ranger at the road was waving all traffic away shouting that the lot was full, and the wait for a space would be 3-4 hours.  Deflated, but not defeated, we reconnoitered at a spot down canyon, and executed a plan which had the scouts entering the slide rock area from above, and two of the adults waiting the 3+ hours in line to get in to the lot.  With that challenge overcome, other small challenges (one participant’s overnight bag was left in Phoenix, a battery in one vehicle gave up the ghost) were also easily dealt with, since Flagstaff WalMart was a mere 10 miles from our chilly 47 degree campsite.  Nothing dampened the spirits for this bunch of adventurers!  Well, maybe the salsa discotheque still in full swing at midnight at the next campsite down the county dirt road from our camp was a bit much.  But certainly not the huge crowds in Slide Rock Park.  Amazingly enough, with a sea of easy-ups as far as the eye could see, young and old and all ethnicities represented, everyone contributed to making the best of the crowded conditions, and it was almost as pleasant as if we’d had the creek to ourselves (which we usually do in our normal outings).  After 5 hours in the creek, some great requirement sign-offs and even better cooking back in camp, the boys were ready to head down the hill for home early Sunday morning.  After some urging of the adults to finish up our final tasty breakfast, the boys’ site policing and Thorns & Roses were efficiently done, and we hit the road for home by 8:30AM, gaining 50 degrees in the 2 ½ hours it took to get back to the baking church parking lot.   

Troop Super Sliders
Waiting Our Turn
Heading down to the pools
Debriefing after lunch for yet another T648 assault on the creek
And down the Slide Rock once again