Thursday, April 02, 2009

Dark Canyon 2 of 2: The photos

From Dark Canyon
Day 03 was our first morning in canyon. Spring in the desert is an unpredictable thing. Temperatures reached 75 degrees but the nights hovered around 30. Walker had the foresight to pack in Lapsang Suchong, a smokey tea perfect for brisk spring mornings.


From Dark Canyon
Our itinerary called for day hikes through Lean-to and Lost Canyons. The older adult gamely tried to keep up for an hour but then headed back to camp. This crew was one of the fastest I've been a part of, which suited Walker and me. With no "adults" to hold us back, the nine of us fairly flew up spillways and between boulders. I channeled a little Big Daddy and let the scouts climb virtually anything they wanted.


From Dark Canyon
It was in this first canyon (Lean-To) that Walker began the first of many economics related lectures. Over the next four days, he covered health insurance, sugar quotas, bailouts, gasoline subsidies, stimulus packages and other intricacies with U.S. democracy.


From Dark Canyon
Believe it or not, I'm actually the quiet one when Walker and I both lead trips. I often feel that he has a better rapport with the scouts, something I usually don't earn until a few days have elapsed. This is me crossing a creek in Young's Canyon, which was choked with elephant grass. The weather was cold enough that I didn't think snakes would be out yet but the grass made me nervous because it was dry and crackly, meaning I'd never hear a rattle.


From Dark Canyon
Some parents of new scouts often are concerned that their children will starve. They say things like, "My son is a picky eater." I try to assure them that I will force march their little darling so far that at the end of the day he'd eat his boot leather if that's what was for dinner.


From Spring Break 2009 - High Adventure (Walker B.)
On the third day, we all loaded packs and headed up Dark Canyon toward the mouth of Young's Canyon, a hike that turned out to be over 7 miles long. Walker and I had encouraged the other adult to take some food and chill out at our original base camp while we took the scouts up canyon. He insisted he'd be fine. He made it 20 minutes before deciding he could go no further. At this point however, the forward-most boys and I were at least 45 minutes ahead of him. At this point only Walker and the adult's son ____ remained. Walker left the adult with four cheese sticks, five fruit by the foots, four packs of oatmeal, and a cup and a half of granola. Guess he did lose some weight. :)

From Dark Canyon

From Dark Canyon
The next two days were great. The boys were ready to hike and hike fast. Walker taught them how to navigate using topos, how to sauté vegetables and how to master use of the spice wheel. I taught them how to play Chinese Poker. We arrived back at base camp the following afternoon.

From Dark Canyon
This might be the archetypical scout crew photo. Here you have the crew chief and veteran, the computer programmer, the slightly chubby kid, and the jock. In high school, most of these guys would never hang out in the same clique. Yet on Scout trips, they work together, laugh together, and struggle together, and learn that we aren't as different as we all might seem.


From Dark Canyon
After 5 days in canyon, we climbed back out the way we'd entered: via the towering screefield. On a climb like this, everyone faces their own demons.


From Dark Canyon
Demons demolished.

4 comments:

Kezza said...

Yay! Thanks for posting. Makes me super excited to hike again this summer :-) First up, learning how to walk again!

Anonymous said...

This might be the archetypical scout crew photo. Here you have the crew chief and veteran, the computer programmer, the slightly chubby kid, and the jock. In high school, most of these guys would never hang out in the same clique. Yet on Scout trips, they work together, laugh together, and struggle together, and learn that we aren't as different as we all might seem. Truman- Very insightful and very accurate of the Boy Scouts as a whole. This looks like an awesome trip, I'm glad you got a chance to go and have a great time.

Phil

Io said...

Beautiful pix and evocative writing. Canyons are amazing places to explore; they are so very alive, sometimes stark and usually beautiful. Yeah, and one meets one's demons and strengths.

willowjp4 said...

This makes me want to explore my own backyard. I forget to be tourist in my own state, which is sad because there are so many places here I'd like to visit. I need to look into some pansy rated hiking/camping trips this summer.