Wednesday, June 6, 2012

80 Days of Summer - Day 5

Monday night, I took one of the varsity scouts from my church and went up to a Boy Scout Mountain Man Rendezvous on Elk Ridge - about 45 minutes west of Blanding, Utah on the way to Lake Powell. I was up there Monday night through Wednesday morning. The camp went on another day and night, but I had to get back. It was a camp for 13-14 year old scouts. Unlike most Boy Scout camps, it wasn't about merit badges. They had mountain-man type classes throughout each day with a lot of free time in the evenings. It was up on a vast pine covered ridge in red rock country (this is actually one of the coveted elk draws in the whole state - somewhere I might use my 9 year's worth of points to try and draw out in the future). It's very remote and very pretty up there. 
 Each group makes their own meals. We were teamed up with some other boys from our stake (local congregations from Church). The first morning, we made eggs and bacon for breakfast and bartered for some pancakes - traded 9 pieces of bacon for about 9 pancakes.
 Beautiful high mesas with rolling forests of pine trees interspersed with lush grass meadows, sage flats, creeks, and ponds. 
 It was open camping in the National Forest, so we pulled into a grove of trees and set up camp.
 I jumped in with the boys and made this glass bead necklace at one of the mountain man classes. He gave a history of the glass beads and how they were made. I didn't know that most originated in Europe.
 I made this knife at another class - this year they gave us pre-crafted blades to save some time. We glued them into wood pieces, inserted shanks, and sanded them down.
 Me and Andrew.
 The high elevation ridge and it's famous "Bears Ears" formation.

 My tent and set-up. I love this Big Agnes tent - cozy and well-ventilated. Several scouts just slept out on the ground or on cots. It was a bit chilly for that. The second night, a mouse kept crawling under my tent and scratching around. Drove me nuts. The day I left for this camp, my new backpacking cot came in the mail. You can see it in this picture and the one below.
The cot is a LuxuryLite Ultralite cot that weights only 2 lbs 12 ounces. My brother-in-law, Boone, has one and loves it. I can never sleep on ground pads because I'm a side sleeper. Problem solved with this! It's like sleeping on a bed. It's made of tent poles and tarp fabric, sets up and comes down fast, and is light to carry. It bundles up into a really small package no bigger than a ground pad roll. I used a pad with it just for extra comfort. The only problem: it cost $200. Worth it! I bought it for backpacking but gave it a test run on this trip.
 Our supply wagon and "cook tent."
 My tent.
About to drop off of Elk Ridge down into the desert again.