Troop 868 in Action

Nathan McClure Trail (December, 2003)

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With overnight temperature in the low 30's, a small (but hardy) group of Troop 868 scouts braved the cold to go winter tent camping in the Daniel Boone National Forest.  The unit camped at the Little Lick Campground, a primitive camping area designed for campers with horses.  The camp is seldom used during the winter months and Troop 848 had the entire area to ourselves. 

On Saturday morning, the group set off hiking the Nathan McClure Trail, a 14 mile multi-use trail that has a trailhead at the Little Lick Campground.  The trail is easy to moderate in difficulty and the rock formations and streams are strikingly beautiful.  The trail is well-maintained and marked with blazes, but many of the white diamond blazes are some distance apart.  All proceeded smoothly until the group missed a place where the trail abruptly changed direction.  We walked several miles along an obvious (but incorrect) path.  Some field orienteering followed by a couple miles of backtracking got the group back on the proper course, but the detour consumed valuable daylight during one of the shortest days of the year.  As a result, the troop had to complete the last few miles of the hike by flashlight!  Fortunately, everyone was prepared with proper clothing, equipment, and plenty of water.  A bright, full moon shining down through a winter forest populated by trees that had mostly dropped their leaves also helped illuminate the way.

We emerged from the woods after 12 hours of hiking; tired but in good spirits from the adventure.  It was after midnight by the time we got back to our campsite.  We fixed a quick dinner of canned beef stew then everyone crawled into their sleeping bags.  No one had any trouble getting to sleep!

Trey and Philip supervise Mr. Davis' firebuilding effort and offer advice.  (L to R) Trey, Tim, and Philip standing under a huge rock ledge near a waterfall (off to the left, out of the photo).
Mr. Meek runs through a final checklist and gives instructions before departing base camp.  (L to R): Trey, Tim, Philip. Lunch break near the top of the ridge.  (L to R): Tim, Philip, Mr. Davis, and Trey.
Tim is dwarfed by one of many impressive rock formations the group encountered along the trail. On Sunday morning, Tim doesn't want to leave his nice, warm sleeping bag.