Lava Beds – Venture Patrol
April 9, 2007

We left the school and took a quick break about twenty seconds later. We had to get gas before our long trek. After many hours of driving we took a gas break in Weed. Yes, there is a town called Weed. After gas, snacks, and Weed Sign Pictures, we left to continue our adventure. After a few more hours of driving, Monty Python, and Freedinad (or however it’s spelled), we arrived. There was some interesting things to look at in the visitor’s center. Once the adults had settled the campsite issue, we drove there. After unloading we began dinner. We also built a fire to bake the bread. After eating, the fire was dead except for a few embers. Andrew revived it. Then we decided to go to a cave. Indian Well Cave, it was called, and the opening looked like the rabbit’s cave from Monty Python and The Holy Grail! It was a simple climbing cave with a little hole at the end. When we finished there we headed back to the campsite, where with what looked like nothing but ash, Andrew revived the campfire, again. We also learned a card game called Mao (sorry if I misspelled it!) thanks to David and Jonathan. The first night.

Next morning we awoke to the cold! After a breakfast of pancakes and sausage, we got on our gear to go to our first REAL cave. All day we climbed around through the caves and got dirty. After lunch we checked out a castle rock formation, where we found a cave visited by Jonathan and Robert before. We also took some pictures of Jonathan kicking down the castle fort. Then we went to town. We got ice and some snacks. Then finding out that the gas was 4.50 a gallon, with 2 something eight miles up the road, we decided to go to Oregon!!! We got gas there and visited a store that sold a three-piece ninja/samurai sword set for $100, and a corn meal mix called Ass-Kickin’. We left and returned to lava Beds where we checked out Petroglyph Cliff, a cliff with Indian drawings on it. According to Jonathan, aliens visited twice, they’re going to come again and they like pizza! He derived this from alien like drawings holding pizza like objects, and the number three scratched like wolverine claws everywhere. After discovering Robert’s camera on top of the car, we returned to the campsite to eat dinner. It was Mexican Night, we ate quesadillas with chips, salsa, and milk! After we ate we went out in search of a soccer ball lost three years ago. We didn’t find it. We came back to the campsite bringing gifts of wood for the fire. After a rousing game of Mao (sorry again), we went to sleep. The second day.

The next morning wasn’t as cold as the day before, but we didn’t know what was coming. While eating, light snow started to fall. We drove to the caves, and by the time we reached it, it had stopped snowing. We traveled through caves all day, going in one coming out another. After coming out of one cave, way on the other side of the cave loop, we had to “cross country” back to the cars. The scouts reached the car first and had to wait for the adults. When they arrived we got in to go to the next cave. As we drove off, CRASH! Robert had (again) left something on top of the car. This time it was his helmet and light. Finally, when we were ready we entered the catacombs. This was a cave that was huge. It went 2000 feet deep, but with all the side tunnels and switch backs, it was over 7000 feet long! That’s almost a mile! After about two hours of getting lost and turning around, we were over halfway there. Two scouts were “dehydrated” and wanted to go back. Since we only had one map, we had to turn back, some of us were pretty disappointed that we couldn’t go to the end. When we got outside, it was snowing hard and the wind was blowing even harder! We found the cars, but the adults were no where to be seen. After trying the radio for about ten or so minutes, we finally received a call that they were coming back. After a few minutes of huddling behind the tires on the opposite side of the cars than the wind, we finally saw the adults coming. We got in the cars and drove off. Then the snow stopped! So we decided to go in one more cave. After trekking around in there for a while, we popped up, and it was snowing harder than it ever had. But this time it was sticking! It didn’t melt when it hit the ground. The adults suddenly appeared out of nowhere right next to the opening, they said they would run up and get the cars, we just had to wait in the cave. That was fine with us. Finally they came and we got in and drove to the visitor’s center to turn in the flashlights. There we took a vote and decided to leave then or to stay. After much debating and voting (4 to 1, with one undecided) we left. We packed up our gear in the heavy wind and managed to get out before it got too bad. It was about five when we left. On the way home, we decided to stop in Weed for dinner. While waiting for the food, the adults inquired about the card game. So we taught them Mao (sorry) and had a rousing game while waiting for our food to arrive. Then we drove off home. The third day.

We got home at about two in the morning. Later that day, in the afternoon, our gear was dropped off at our houses. Finally everything was taken care of and we were safe at home. The fourth day.

James H., Troop Historian