Archive for August, 2012

Mountain High; BADminton; Zipless

Big Horns 2012

Dark & early tomorrow morning my sons & I leave for a week of backpacking in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming.

We will begin our journey with a ten hour drive to Hill City, South Dakota. We will camp there for the night following a trip to Mount Rushmore. The plan calls for our troop to attend the evening lighting ceremony at the monument. In years past, our boys have taken part in the ceremony and served as it’s Color Guard, unfortunately, the park service has discontinued using Boy Scouts for that purpose.

Sunday will probably prove to be our most challenging day. Following a three and half hour drive from Hill City to Buffalo, Wyoming, where we will purchase fishing licenses, tackle and grab some lunch, we have another one and half hour drive to our trailhead. There, we will register our trek, fill our water bottles and make one final check of our packs before hitting the trail. The trail happens to “up” and we will be on it for slightly over four miles that first day. Following those long car rides and being at altitude will probably mean a pace of about a mile per hour.

If all goes as planned, we should be setting up camp by 5:00 PM.

We will face a 10 mile hike on Day Two, but will have the benefit of knowing we will be in the same campsite for two nights. By this time we should be near 10,400 feet, well above the tree line.

Day Three calls for fishing and a day hike (without a full pack).

We will begin working our way back on Day Four, while camping near another lake for a couple of nights.

We will hopefully make it back to our cars sometime Friday morning. After showers and food in Buffalo, we plan to drive to Devils Tower for…wait for it…ANOTHER HIKE! Following that short hike, we will continue on to the Badlands, where we will spend our final night.

While I’m away hiking you will still be able to view new ‘toons on the site!


So it has come to this!

Maybe the Mayans are right since this has to be sign of the apocalypse!

There’s cheating in Olympic BADMINTON!


Four women’s doubles teams from China and South Korea were kicked out of the Olympics for attempting to LOSE on purpose!


So they could get done early and go watch a real sport?


They did it so they could get better seeding in the medal round and thus improve their chances for getting the gold!

Only one problem…

They didn’t know how to lose on purpose and not make it look obvious to the ENTIRE WORLD!

I saw better badminton in my sixth grade P.E. class!

And so did the crowd in the stands that witnessed the matches and loudly booed!

Good for the World Badminton Federation for taking decisive action against these corrupt teams!

And yes, I know what you’re thinking…

“There’s actually a World Badminton Federation?”

Yes, I am going to go call my “bookie” right and demand a full refund!

Left Hanging

In case you missed it and you are in need of a laugh, check out this video of poor London Mayor Boris Johnson’s attempt of riding a zip line…

Happy Trails!

Mountain View

As Clark W. Griswold said upon entering “Walley World” in National Lampoon’s Vacation…

“We made it dammit, we made it!”

Yes, I’m back!

I survived a week of camping and backpacking in the Big Horn Mountains near Buffalo, Wyoming.

Some of the highlights…

*We visited Mount Rushmore, fun as always, but it was a bit of a disappointment for our troop not to be able to take part in the flag lowering ceremony at the park (Park policy has changed not to have Boy Scout Troops participate). However, it was cool to see a dad from our troop recognized for his military service in Iraq (things you learn).

*With the exception of one night, we had beautiful weather!

*Including a couple of day hikes, I hiked nearly forty miles during the trek with only one tiny blister!

*We got the chance to see some beautiful scenery…the highlight came after a climb to Crater Lake!

*At our highest point (Crater Lake), we were at nearly 10,300 feet above sea level!

*Our troop had a great time fishing the lakes we visited.

Of course, every trip presents a few challenges…

*On Day 2, during which we were hiking approximately ten miles, one of our adults was experiencing knee pain. We changed our camp location a bit, he rested on our layover day and we “lightened” his load for the hike back, which all proved to be helpful.

*Our water pumps which we used to filter our drinking and cooking water gave us problems throughout the trip.

*Near the end of the trek we had an outbreak of diarrhea with about half of our boys.

*We had a shortage of toilet paper. (See above!)

*At a couple of camping & fishing locations the flys were in attack mode!!

*On our final night in Wyoming we had a very strong thunderstorm with wind, rain and lightning. Not a lot of fun when you’re attempting to keep your tent from winding up in Kansas!

*The second vehicle in our crew experienced a blown gasket on the drive home. It was an expensive repair and it required the adult leader to rent a car for the rest of trip home and then return to Sioux Falls a few days later to pick up his van. The good news was it happened near Sioux Falls and not out in the middle of nowhere and also, a couple of other troop vehicles were able to provide assistance!

All in all, it was a great trip and more than likely, my final “High Adventure” trip with the troop. It was also probably the last trip I’ll be able to take with both of my boys, so it was a special one for me!

Enjoy the pics!

At Mount Rushmore

My boys & I...ready to hit the trail!

My load to carry!

On the trail.

Morning reflections on Grace Lake.

A rushing stream.

Sunrise over Cliff Lake

Our campsite at Cliff Lake

Me at Crater Lake

Crater Lake...elevation-10,300 feet.

Crater Lake-Big Horn Mountains

The view of another campsite on the climb down!

Resting a tired foot!

Me at Lake Solitude

My view for the entire son's backside!

We made it!

My son & I at Devils Tower in Wyoming

At Badlands National Park in South Dakota.