‘Twas very Pleasant, At the Lake, that is…

An eager-beaver gang of 5 boy scouts and a cub scout sallied forth this time, and eating before departure resulted in an arrival before the sun set, allowing us to clearly see the three wild burros giving us the once over as we drove by on the way to our campsites.  Hmmm, foreshadowing of craziness to come?  We quickly established that we actually CAN set up tents while it is still light out, and in this case, it was especially useful in constructing the newfangled double-bunker cot in one of the boy’s 4-man tent.  Once fully assembled, we enjoyed a leisurely evening chatting as the sun set and lights twinkled on the lake.  A key topic was favorite campfire skits of old – two of interest had to do with ‘Great Big Hairy Men’ pounding their chests and saying UHHH, and ‘Short-necked Buzzards’ sitting in a dead tree.  Upon retiring around midnight, the calm of a beautiful night was periodically shattered thereafter by coyotes and burros having multiple differences of opinion – loudly.

The next morning, after assembling and consuming amazing breakfasts, the scouts were at the water’s edge with the canoes shortly after 9AM for safety training. Adventures on the water at times resembled Captains Courageous, and between canoe races, pretend games of ‘canoe chicken’ and other derring-do, the boys wore themselves out to the point it was a relief to halt for lunch.  Except, at that point it was discovered that squirrel thievery of their hamburger buns had occurred, and the adults were dismayed to discover a raven had creatively absconded with the extra bacon left over from breakfast that was to grace our steaks later that evening.   The boys found it was a chore to psych themselves up to go back down to the water after lunch, but enthusiasm again soon reigned.  Between rock skipping (‘I gotta find the pot-of-gold skipping rock’, singing loudly back to the girls who sang sweetly in the water not too far away ‘When you hear this song, your ears will explode!’ and playing fetch ‘Throw a rock, and I’ll swim to it,’ the afternoon flew by.  There were birds everywhere – buzzards circled, waiting for the bacon-eating ravens to keel over, ducks came up into the EZ-Ups we had in the water, a large egret kept checking us out, and there were even seagulls dive-bombing the rock-skippers.  Mr. P observed there were no turkeys on this outing, not a single gobbler – but plenty of cobbler!  After even more remote-control car running, football throwing, rock-skipping, and boomer-shoe, it was finally time to haul the canoes back up the cliff to the parking lot for the day.  After the most amazing dinners ever, we set up a lantern campfire in the stiff breeze, and did an evening around the light (can you say ‘lampfire!?’).  The highlights were the goofy scout skits, the adults doing ‘If I weren’t a Scoutmaster’ song, a scout telling a long, spooky purple hairy gorilla story, and topping it all off with a lovely rendition of Scout Vespers.

Then to bed, to be burroed again all night. This time they didn’t have anything to say to the coyotes, they were too busy rustling our camps.  The pesky critters spent the night trying to open an ice cooler (video evidence in the middle of the night obtained, and not from a doorcam, but an indignant scout’s cellphone!) and later, even a remote controlled startup of the pickup truck was only mildly interesting but no interruption of a burro’s consuming the content of the trash can accidentally left outside of the troop trailer.  Peering out of his tent, an assistant scoutmaster got a closeup of the hind end of a burro, with its entire head and neck buried in the bottom of the can eating remnants of the garlic butter and assorted other delicacies from dinner!

No palms to speak of on the way home, but plenty of saguaros to lead the way, and the troop hit the church early, well before Palm Sunday services started, closing out another successful chapter in the book of T648 history.

It’s a looong way to lakes in a desert
Bon Voyage – We have canoe lift-off!
C’mon adult leaders, the H2O is not THAT cold!
Well, maybe it is a wee bit chilly….
The great T648 2022 boat races
The ingenious double decker cot contraption
A bit too windy, but can you say Lamp-fire?
Yet another rousing rendition of the Invisible Bench skit