Thursday, July 23, 2015

yes, 11 year olds like to hike

Two cabins of 11-year-old campers (in Lakota) - cabins 43 and 41 - said they were interested in going on a two-hour hike with me, exploring the trails above the villages: the Perimeter Trail that runs just above cabins 41-50 ("the Hill"), the Sunrise trail (which rises above the observatory and connects with the Line Shack trail), the Line Shack trail, which of course led us to the Line Shack itself, then down further along the Line Shack trail, which connects us with the Spring Ridge trail, which takes us back to the Perimeter trail. A loop that covered 4.2 miles in all. Because I gave them all maps, and they were able to help decide the trail route we'd take, and because there was the treat of stopping at the Line Shack and having a snack (while hearing the story of the Line Shack's purpose in the days of Forstmann's deer fence), and because today the weather is absolutely gorgeous...there were no complaints and everyone happily walked further than they would have otherwise chosen on the last day of the session. Such fun!

And benefits: the counselors saw how beautiful the Line Shack campsite is, and saw how well the campers did the walk, and got some ideas for next session and beyond. Secondly, the campers, who had heard me tell "The Doubletop Plane Crash Mystery," now have a feeling for the kinds of trails that lead 30% of the way up Doubletop Mountain, they could imagine doing the whole hike up the mountain some day.

Here's the group posing in front of the Line Shack.

Here are the hikers in the center of the village before we left at 9:30. We returned at 11:30. Two hours, 4 miles.

The red circle I've drawn indicates "the Hill," cabins 41-50. We bushwhacked for no more than 150 feet until we hit the Perimeter Trail. We went northeast toward the Sunrise trail, which passes by the Observatory. Sunrise connects with the Line Shack Trail. To the west Line Shack connects with Spring Ridge, which took us back to Perimeter and the cabins.