Related to this, typically, is a challenge of getting the boys up in the morning and on the trail in a reasonable time. At least for this morning that particular challenge was not a problem. We were all up before 7:00 and on the trail by 8:30.
The biggest challenge of backpacking with boys is camp organization. Soon after arriving in camp it often looks as if several packs have exploded, and the camp remains that way until they get it in a Leave No Trace condition just before we depart.
|Weather||Pleasant, with temperatures in the low 70s to mid 80s|
|Trail Conditions||Dry and dusty|
|Today's Miles||8.9 miles|
|Trip Miles||16.2 miles|
From Springer we hiked down the trail toward Stover Creek Shelter. We didn't get far, though, before I noticed a commotion ahead of me.
The boys who had hiked a bit ahead of the rest quickly scrambled back to where we were.
They said they had just come upon a bear climbing a tree. After freezing for just a second the boys did an about face as the bear began to climb down. Though the bear took off in the opposite direction, they weren't about to take any chances.
They came running back with their eyes and mouths wide open.
When we arrived in the vicinity of the campsite there was some initial confusion about its location. Guthook's app indicated we had already passed the junction with the trail leading to the campsite. We soon discovered,though, that the junction was actually just another 50 yards ahead of us.
The campsite opened earlier this year and is very nice, using the latest techniques for wilderness camp construction. A long trail follows the side of a ridge, with several tent pads cut into the side of the ridge.
After checking it out, the boys decided they wanted to move on. I suspect they were turned off by the campsite layout, which didn't allow them to camp, cook and hang out near each other.
The next camping option was Hawk Mountain Shelter, just .7 miles away. When we arrived at the junction of the access trail to the shelter the boys plopped their gear down and decided to camp there. I was not thrilled by the idea of camping alongside the trail, but we try to maintain a boy-led unit, so it seemed right to pitch our tents there, and it was an established campsite so we were still practicing Leave No Trace principles.
We didn't realize until later that there were plenty of nice camping spaces nearer the shelter and water source. Oh well.
After the usual camp chores I relaxed in my tent and got caught up on the blog post I failed to finish yesterday, as well as work on today's post.
For dinner I prepared garlic mashed potatoes with a package of Chicken of the Sea tilapia in marinara sauce. The amount of tilapia was minuscule and the marinara was bland. About the only good thing it added was a few extra calories.
For tonight's dinner entertainment the other leaders and I watched a boy try to adjust his burning stove, first with his fingers and then with his lighter.
As leaders we try so hard to teach fire safety.
We hear you're leaving, that's okay
I thought our little wild time had just begun
I guess you kind of scared yourself, you turn and run
But if you have a change of heart