Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Philmont Shakedown Hike #2

This weekend our Philmont crews hiked the Shores Lake loop in Arkansas for the second a four part series of backpacking hikes in preparation for our July trek. We had a bit of a light turnout from the Scouts due to several conflicts with school activities.

It was a five hour trip from OKC to the campsite and we got an early start to beat the traffic. Thanks the small turnout I was lucky enough to not have to drive.

Saturday morning was a 5:45 wake up and we were packed and geared up in a respectable 45 minutes.

The guys kept up a brutal pace and at times I felt like I was trail running vs hiking. Oh to be 15 and physically fearless like these guys. Really I was amazed at how well all of them did with the challenging steep and rocky trails. I remember all of these guys when they joined the Troop as first year Scouts. Now just a few short years later they are maturing young men that were able to blaze through the woods cheerfully with heavy packs. They did so well in fact that we skipped the first campsite to hike an additional 4 miles. This worked out great since it made our final day shorter for an early return to home.

The guys ended up deciding they liked the challenge of this trail so much that we will return again in just a few weeks. The scratching on my legs this evening will serve as a good reminder to be prepared next time for the chiggers and mosquitos that seemed to be everywhere.

On a sad not, I have learned that one of our Scouts has decided to drop out of the trek due to some physical challenges he has been experiencing. I hate to see anyone not to make it all the way to Philmont but respect the decision to make the right choice about preparedness.

Less than 90 days left to go. I am looking forward to our final two training hikes as we set to complete our training.

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