Our troop left for Fall Creek Falls on Friday at five o’clock. Our patrols were smaller than usual. The Bucks had seven people including adults, and the otters had five people including adults. We also had two dogs with us. We arrived at our campsite in the dark, set up camp, and went to sleep.
The next morning we woke up to a bitterly cold morning. We could slide our bag of breakfast on the frosty picnic table. It even hurt to get fire wood. We tried to get a fire going, but all we managed to do was melt the frost on the kindling and make it wet. So, we ate our cold breakfast, took down our tents, packed up our stuff, and put it in the cars to go to the trail.
We arrived at a saw mill and got out of the cars. We decided which trail to take and headed off. It was a comfortable fifty-three degrees when we started hiking. We planned to hike nine miles that day and three miles the next. The terrain was pretty much a gradual downhill at first with a few water crossings.
By about the third mile we got to a steep downhill into a valley. We could see what we were about to hike up- the next mountain. When we got to the bottom, we took a rest, filled our water bottles, and started up the mountain.
It was very rocky and steep. We were already very tired from the five miles we hiked down the mountain. The two things that motivated us were food and sleep. After we were through the rocks, we took a one minute rest and kept going. We turned the corner and there was a seventy degree uphill. We were so close! We kept trudging on and finally we saw a sign that said the next campsite was in 400 yards.
We walked for what felt like an eternity, and then finally we reached the top of the mountain. It was one of my favorite campsites as soon as I saw it. It was a clearing surrounded by trees and brush. It had a water pump, which was broken, but it was a beautiful campsite with a fire pit and fire wood already there for us.
We rested a bit then set up our tents and started collecting fire wood. The water men were sent back to fill up our water bottles since the pump was broken. We gathered wood for about forty-five minutes then started dinner. We were making backpacking pizza, so we needed to get the fire going early to make a bed of coals to cook it on.
After we ate dinner, we had our campfire ceremony. We pretty much only told stories because we were so tired. We all sat by the campfire for another hour or two and then we went to bed.
The next morning we woke up at six thirty so we could get breakfast going and pack up our tents. The bucks had oatmeal deluxe with beef jerky and the otters had poptarts and oatmeal. We were already running a bit behind schedule, but all we had to do now was a sweep of the campsite.
We made up for being behind on the trail. We were moving very swiftly since it was downhill most of the way. We only stopped a few times for water, but other than that it was pretty much non-stop. We were about five miles from our cars and we stopped some places like overlooks and waterfalls.
When we reached the Fall Creek Falls, we stopped to rest and ate most of the remaining food while we figured out how much further we had to go. It turned out the Otters had to do an extra three miles to get credit for their merit badge. The bucks wanted to go to the cars while the Otters would go on the three-mile loop that started at the beginning of the trail. The adults decided that the Bucks would go too.
As we were on our journey from the falls to the cars we were pointing out various landmarks that we remembered from the second day. Each time we saw one we would think “just one more mile!” Our guesses were usually wrong. Then we came across a road. This was the one we crossed about half a mile in. We were almost there!
We were hiking and looking around remembering the things around us that we had passed earlier. The two things that motivated us were being able to sit down in comfy seats and fast food. We were walking, quite fast, and we looked up to our right. There were our cars! We practically ran up the hill to them. We got there, set our packs down, drank the rest of the water, and headed home.