Who Heard a Horton!

This past weekend 7 young and 6 old backpackers attacked the Horton Springs trail with gusto.  Many thanks to those sporting parents who traveled up and back and up and back to the trailhead to give their offspring a glorious two days in the pines.  While we knew from the packed parking lot that the odds were low of our obtaining the prime teepee and stone furniture site along the creek, an eminently suitable replacement was quickly found far from the trail, right next to the creek.  Setting up in sleet turning to a sprinkle was followed by a hearty lunch, and a day hike to the dual springs in the cool of the afternoon.  Drinking cold water pouring from a rock wall was a new experience for some, as was falling asleep listening simultaneously to wind whistling through the pines as the creek babbled next to us – dueling white noise that sleep-deprived city dwellers pay good money to have on their cellphones.  Our traditional circle Sunday morning disclosed few thorns mostly temp related amidst a field of roses, as the boys again concluded a most spectacular outing on a real-life rocky mountain high.  I finish with four thoughts from the trip with a Scout Law theme.  A scout is:

Helpful â€“ A soccer team set up camp downstream from us, and the scouts made note that they had a roaring fire most of the night and Sunday morning.  After the team left, our scouts checked out their ashes which were doused above ground, but still white-hot underground.  20 minutes were spent carrying water from the creek to make sure it all was ‘dead out.’

Friendly â€“ A scout joined the troop this week, and bravely decided to go on the outing.  Not yet knowing the other boys, and with a backpack almost as big as he was, temps in the 30’s, an 8-mile hike at 6300 feet – it could have been a long weekend for an 11-year-old.  After numerous encouragements, assistance, inclusion in everything by the scouts, including letting him build and start the fire, he’s rarin’ to go on his next outing. 

Kind â€“ Another scout didn’t pack layers, and was a bit frosty Saturday night in his t-shirt.  One of our younger, but always prepared scouts saw this.  He gave the cold boy his favorite down vest, instead using his backup jacket that he brought in case it rained.  That’s incredible to me – I don’t think I’ve ever lent anyone my favorite down sweater!

Cheerful – There is more goofy laughter on one of these trips than in anything else in my life.  Laughter is indeed the ‘Best Medicine’ for me, and I think this alone would bring me back monthly for more.  I’ve been on outings where they make snow angels in a blizzard, laugh uproariously about pushing the trailer up a slick muddy road, play frisbee with frozen wash cloths left out overnight. This outing was no different with sword-fighting with hiking poles and baseball with sticks and pine cones.   It is a pleasure to watch young men get along so well.  At the end of the day, you just know they have the right attitude towards life. 

Fresh and ready to go!
Batter up!
Filling purification bottles at the main spring
Spring #2 dries up by early summer
Arrrgghhh – Talk like a pirate, and walk the plank
The luxury of living creekside!
Fires feel great in April at altitudes of 6300 with the sun setting
One last good sword fight before heading back down the hill!