We've returned from the mountains!
Our 1716 mile round trip to Wyoming was a great success, even though we did not reach the summit of Cloud Peak. The day we hiked up it, thunder rolled over the top so we stopped at about 12,200 feet - 1,000 feet from the summit.
The scouts were successful in lowering the flag at Mt. Rushmore with the ampitheater completely packed with visitors - what a super experience! As you can see below, they were a good looking group and they did a very crisp job.
Kemp's Kamp in Keystone, SD is where we stayed our first and last night. They have a nice pool, showers, and the folks running the campground are good people. See Kemp's Kamp
web site for details. It's close to Mt. Rushmore too.
From Buffalo, Wyoming, we drove to the Hunter Trailhead, registered our group and then backpacked in to Soldier Park area. Since this is still outside the wilderness area, it is routinely abused by inconsiderate users. Hacked trees, fire pits all over, 4x4 damage, ... everywhere you look, its a mess.
One of the goals of this trip was to emphasize Leave No Trace ethics so this was a great way to see the difference that LNT makes. The scouts were so appalled that they decided to clean the place up. They spent over 2 hours hauling trash, erasing fire pits, and reconstructing a single fire ring. They actually discovered 3 fires that were still burning. With the 90 degree heat and strong wind, it was very fortunate that our crew came along to take care of them.
Once inside the wilderness area, the LNT practices were evident. There was much less impact along the trails and very little trash for us to pick up as we hiked along.
Our trek was about 35 miles and we carried all our food and gear for the 5 days of backpacking. We experienced some great sites, including 5 moose and 2 mule deer our last morning.
If you would like details about our trek, please just ask. The scouts are already planning next year's return trek - they are interested to see how badly their cleaned-up site will look and they want to reach the summit.
Posted: 11:29 08-01-2006 77 Previous Post Next Post
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