“When you’re up, your up. When you’re down your, down. And when your only half way up, your neither up nor down.”
The Old Grand Duke of York…
Aha, the Pinnacles. A National Monument preserves for us all a place where the great forces of nature were once dramatized. Millions of years ago a tremendous volcano was literally ripped in half by the San Andreas Fault. One half of the behemoth mass was moved southward hundreds of miles leaving what remains as the Pinnacles today. Jagged rocks looming into the blue sky with some trails literally cut into the stone at almost 90-degree angles. And so it was that the Scouts of Troop 103 braved the heat of the day to climb up and down the steep Pinnacles Rim of the Bay hike.
It all began on a Friday night in early May. The weather promised to be awesome but our late arrival didn’t leave us any daylight to pitch tents by. The boys worked to prepare the camp by organizing into specific teams. One team unloaded the trailer, one group started the lanterns, and another started unloading personal gear. Once the lanterns were up and the tents distributed, the camp was set for the night.
In the morning we found ourselves in an open sandy area about 100 yards from a creek. Two tables and a fire ring were close by with another table and fire ring near the creek. After breakfast we drove up to the visitors center to start the treck. Due to the popularity of the trails at this time of year, we were forced to drop off the Scouts and play “car shuffle” with an overflow camp area about a mile away. With this delay and a late clean up from breakfast, we didn’t start hiking until about 11:00am. This put us in the hottest part of the day for the hike. Most boys brought plenty of water and most adults carried extra but even so all but about two scouts were out of water by about 4.5 miles. It was unquestionably very HOT! We took refuge in the shadow of a large rock outcropping for lunch. Then it was upward and onward. Andrew M. (or as I like to call him “Andrew Medic”) was always there with his first aid kit helping out fellow scouts who had blisters starting or who needed a band aid or two. It was really nice to see the boys sharing water, food, and first aid supplies.
Near the top of the mountain TJ took a spill and cut his knee pretty badly. Down for only about 10 minutes, he was up and hiking again with out a whimper. What a trooper! But despite blister, cut knees, tired feet, and just plain too hot, the boys braved it to the end and did a great job.
As soon as we returned to camp, the boys started dinner, ate, and played at the creek (not sure what order all of that came in….) Cameron was asked by the neighboring Cub Scout group to take part in a prank to be played on the Cub Master. Evidently it went well and the Cub Master was very amused. Erik and Andrew M. found a lost little girl. Using a map of the campground they were able help the girl find her campsite.
Then came the evening entertainment. We all moved to the fire ring near the creek. With the help of some charcoal and a fire log, TJ and David C. opened the campfire. The skits, Jokes, and stories were fun. Drew pulled off a hilarious joke that had all of us in stitches. Mrs. Brown told a suspenseful pun story, and everyone had a good time.
Taps by Danny and accompanied by Erik and his shell horn ended the day. The full moon and the warm night made it difficult for some of the boys to fall asleep, but finally everyone was fast asleep to the soft corking of frogs.
Morning came too soon. A quick breakfast and a thoughtful Scouts Own lead by Cameron closed our adventure at the Pinnacles. By the way boys, I think that insect we found was what is called a “wind scorpion” and is actually a spider!
By: Lynda Brown