Hike On {Part 3}

We thought we published this but…oops!  Enjoy round three of our adventures. 

After two wonderful days in Ewells Park and enjoying the meadow’s beauty it was time to head over to Upper Greenwood in the Valle Vidal.  Going into the Valle Vidal was unchartered waters for our merry little band.  We decided to break camp early so we could take part in the programs at French Henry.  It was an extremely good thing the first 1 hour of hike was relatively easy after the long haul to the peak of Baldy.


It is not very often a group of people become excited to see porta potties.  When we walked down the hill into French Henry the questions were flying, “Can we use those?  Are those for us?  Are those only for staff?”  It doesn’t take a lot when you’re on day six without plumbing.  Does a porta potty even count as plumbing?

Panning for Gold

Panning for Gold

We were greeted by a very enthusiastic Paul the geologist and a hearty welcome to hot water to make oatmeal a cup of joe or hot chocolate.  The mountain stream offered refreshing and first the first time in days COLD water for drinking.  We all attempted a little gold panning.  No success stories, we will not be retiring anytime soon.  The question was asked and yes, every day someone finds gold in the streams at French Henry.  It was not our lucky gold panning day but luckily for Ashley her camera was restored by the talents of Jerry!  She lives for pictures.


While at French Henry Ross and Tanner became smithy apprentices and showed their talents and trained their muscles.  Unfortunately, their tool did not live to leave the forge.  Oh well, the rest of us had a good time watching their efforts.  We loaded up and began the arduous climb out of French Henry to stop at the Aztec Ponil 2 mine up on the bluff.  The climb was exhausting but the mine was fascinating and the stories told were equally spooky for some.  Randy led us out of the mine without use of flash flights.  Who knew 300 feet could take so long when avoiding rock and low ceilings.

working the biceps

working the biceps

After roughly 28 switchbacks we made it out of Copper Canyon to only be met by the rain on the north side of Baldy on our way to Upper Greenwood. Upper Greenwood is really quite decieving when coming from Ewells Park.  You go up 28 switchbacks which takes an eternity and then spend three hours going DOWN!  We got caught in quite the rain storm and were hit by our second round of hail.  The hail was intense.  We had to take shelter in the Ponderosa Pines and even then the sting of the hail was enough to leave red welts on bare legs.   Shoes were soaked, rain jackets did not do the trick and we still had hours of hiking remaining.  By the time we made it to Upper Greenwood everyone was ready to call it a night.


#17 and Still Going

#17 and Still Going

But when living in the back country there is no rest until camp is set up, bear bags are hung, dining fly is strung, water is purified, sleeping bags are hung out to dry and food is prepared.  We were all moving a little slow but some how we managed.  We had quite the water purification system.  Ashley opened the empties, tossed to Ross across the stream, Ross tossed back to Ashley and Ashley handed off to Randy who tossed to Jared and Trevor for the Micropur.  Randy challenged Ashley and Ross to timed throwing of water bottles.  They rocked it; impeccable timing!  Trevor traded out spots with Trevor and the line of purified water continued to grow.  Everyone slept well and woke to semi-dry apparel.  The bushes were lined with drying socks, boots, rain jackets, sleeping bags and tent flies.

Fresh Mountain Water

Fresh Mountain Water

Dusting our feet of Upper Greenwood we started the never ending march to Iris Park.  Despite our gear being soaked through and through the sun was shining and the meadows were drying.  We enjoyed a lazy stroll through Greenwood Canyon.   We buckled and unbuckled our packs as we crisscrossed the stream running through the meadow.  If it were not for the sun it would have made for one soggy 10 mile day.  Just when Ashley thought her feet would be dry for the rest of the day, she slipped off a rock.  Oh well, there was still 6 miles to go and plenty of drying opportunity.


Water Everywhere

Water Everywhere

We played an age old hiking game, “My Father Owns a Grocery Store.”  If you’ve never played, the whole point is for your group to guess an item in a grocery store by just knowing the first letter of the item and then playing twenty questions.  Try it sometime and when you correctly guess Wrigley or barcode or tomatillo you know you’re a professional.

What's a Tomatillo?

What’s a Tomatillo?


It’s Been a While

Well, it’s been ages since we’ve posted about anything happening in the land of Venture Crew 91.  So we decided we’ll do one massive post with loads of pictures to get caught up on our happenings.

We participated in Relay for Life and had quite the blast.  There was a crazy marshmallow war that took place at the Bannister’s.  There were not any winners but the game was sure fun.  Try using the massive marshmallows, ripping them apart and then throwing them…they stick to your targets!  🙂

Relay for Life 2013

Four of our members traveled to West Virginia to participate in the National Scout Jamboree as members of Jamboree Crew F404!  What an awesome experience!  We’ll dedicate a whole post to the Jamboree.  There were just too many amazing things that took place for a synopsis.

Jamboree Crew F404

Jamboree Crew F404

Every year the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce holds the CornFest.  This year 125 dozen ears of corn were shucked, cleaned and steamed.  Members of Crew 91 served hundreds of Chillicotheans close 1500 ears of corn!  It was a great way to spend an evening giving back to our community.

Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce CornFest 2013

We’re headed to Philmont next summer and we’ve been getting ready.  Summer 2014 seems ages away but it’s never too early to start hiking.  We spent a Sunday morning right after Jamboree hiking the trails at Camp Wokanda.  It was perfect hiking weather and we’ll be hitting the trails for many months to come.

Philmont Prep Hike

We attempted to use our speed boat last Sunday and that turned into an adventure all by its self.  Attempt would be the operative word.  Our speed boat is super fabulous…when it runs!  We backed into the river and the boat was running.  The boat ran for maybe two minutes tops…while still on the trailer!  But never fear, Craig came to the rescue with his fancy fishing boat and saved the day.  The weather was perfect, the water was fine and who knew a fishing boat could haul a tube at speeds fast enough to almost barrel roll.

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

The summer has almost drawn to a close.  School resumes in our little town next week.  Just because the summer is about to end does not mean the adventures will cease.  We’re looking forward to an outstanding school year!

What you can live without

Our little rendezvous at Ingersoll Scout Reservation this past weekend was full of fishing, hiking and freezing.  However, we had a fabulous time and despite our years of camping there were some lessons learned.

IMG_5231 Camp Ingersoll

Now, we did not forget anything pertinent to our survival but there were some things that would have been helpful.  🙂

Lesson #1:  Fire before fishing!  Yes, fishing is important especially if you want to eat dinner.  Nevertheless, locating firewood (dry firewood to be exact) is vital to warmth on a cold May evening.

Fishing at Camp Ingersoll

Lesson #2:  The age of a match!  Busting out an age-old patrol box and replacing ancient matches with new ones is very beneficial!  Thank goodness there were two boxes and two persistent ladies present.

Camp Ingersoll

Lesson #3: Know your friends!  When the ladies who actually get the wet firewood burning are in need of warmer sleeping bags the gentleman should be willing to relinquish their own.  Just when you thought you could count on your fellow man.

Lesson #4: Frying fish requires batter!  The fish have been gutted and cleaned.  Dinner is about to be fixed…no batter to fry the fish.  No worries Venturers can make batter out of anything: Corn Chex and Graham Crackers to the rescue.

Our Batter and Seasonings

Lesson #5: Check for seasonings!  Homemade sweet potato chips are the best!  Seasonings for said chips make them even better!  Never fear, the dregs from the pretzel bag will work in a pinch.


All in all a superb weekend!  The hiking was amazing, the fish delicious, the potato chips seasoned perfectly, the nights still freezing and a patrol box soon to be updated!

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It’s Coming

The biggest scouting event of the year is only a few months away.  Come July 14 a whole passel of Scouts, Venturers and leaders will make their way to West Virginia to attend the 2013 National Jamboree.


summit5093224_nWe are most excited about meeting all the Venturers who will be in attendance at this year’s Jambo.  For the first time ever Venturers will be able to act as participants.  We have three youth and one adult attending the Jamboree this summer.

Crew 91 Venture Scouts will be a part of a combined contingent from the W.D. Boyce Council and the Lewis and Clark Council.  When we arrive at The Summit we will be camping alongside not only Venturers from around the country but with international scouts in Foxtrot Camp.

We are incredibly excited, to say the least, to be a part of a historical Jamboree.  We’ll keep you posted of our activities leading up to and during this year’s 2013 National Jamboree at The Summit!


Man is It Beyond Frigid!

The weather has turned slightly cold here in Illinois.  Who would have thought a few days ago we were in the 40s and today we’re barely in the positive digits!  Even though the weather turns your breath to ice there are still a bazillion things to do out doors…if you’re daring enough.

Now, we’re not saying we have braved the cold the past few days…crazy has to have its limits, we just thought we’d comment on the cold. 🙂

In a couple of days the gang will be getting together to plan the upcoming year.  A lot of crews plan for the year in the fall but we have always done our planning in the spring.  On the docket is our 2013 Relay for Life team, maybe a trip out West, Philmont in 2014, crazy summer river activities, camping at Ingersoll and whatever else our little imaginations conjure.

We’ll have a good time on Sunday and hopefully we’ll actually get things accomplished but what I love about our group are our not-planned hangout days.  A group of 12 of us decided to catch a movie this past Sunday, Lincoln.  The movie was excellent but being together for a few hours was even better.  We passed popcorn up and down the isles, crawled over each other to get refills and only attempted to trip each other once or twice.  If one movie wasn’t enough four of us went to another movie right after.  That’s what makes our crew special, we’re not just crew members, we’re friends.  No I take that back, we’re a family.

Life Crew 91

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On the Pontoon

If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a million times.  We love the water!  There is no better way than spending a morning on the river.  Maybe the reason we finished shucking all that corn so quickly was the motivation to tube the morning away.  So there’s this new song we think we should adopt as our own, Pontoon  by Little Big Town.

It’s the perfect description of our crew!  We could spend all day out in the sun with no regrets.  Everything about the water is fabulous.  So last Saturday we spent a few hours on the good ol’ Illinois.  There were 10 of us on our zippy little boat, okay maybe it wasn’t so zippy!!  There was an AWESOME launch by the fantastic Amariah and Holden duo.  If only we could have captured the barrel-roll of the tube and the bodies flying through the air we could have won an award!

Let’s just say we’re ready for the next Kodak moment!