Hiking with Scouts, running with joy

Flash and his Scout friends are ready for a hike.

Boy Flash (in yellow shirt) and his Scout friends hit the trails.

 The mission: A fun weekend in the wilderness.

 The occasion: a campout with Cub Scouts, including Son No. 2 (also known as “Boy Flash,” or “The Kid Who Never, Ever Stops Moving”).
The place:  Turkey Run State Park in western Indiana, about 90 minutes from our house.

The goal:  To let Flash earn a few skill badges (fire-tending, cooking, hiking ,etc.) and to let Trail Boy spend a few hours happily hiking, running and sightseeing on trails.  

Watch your step. This section of trail has a few hazards. That's what makes trails so fun.

 Flash and I left our house Saturday morning, got to the campground around 11 a.m., pitched our tent, played around a bit, ate hotdogs and then, happily, hit the trails. 

With a handful of other boys and parents, we hiked for about 90 minutes along a spectacular array of ledges, ravines, creek beds and various hills and hollows. The weather was clear and sunny. The scenery was stunning. I used the phrase “Oh my God” so many times that I’m sure the other parents thought I was seeing nature for the first time in my life.  

But it was just that beautiful. And I am just that appreciative of the outdoors.  

In addition to drooling over the mind-blowing scenery, I used the hike as a scouting mission to see where I might want to take a run on Sunday morning.  

After our energetic hike, we came back to the campsite. The parents rested. Flash and his friends did the usual Scout stuff: play football, make mud pies, build campfires, cook dinner, chase raccoons away, etc.   

Trail Boy spent the night in the yellow tent, close to trails and woods.


We finally crawled in our tents around 10 p.m. and slept like logs.  

On Sunday, I got up at 7 a.m., and set out for a run while the boys sat aroundthe fire, eating muffins and bananas.  

Using the intel gathered Saturday, I ran about eight miles along a beautiful variety of trails through the woods, along the riverfront, up and down steep rocky hills.  

During the run, I kicked myself a dozen times for leaving my camera in my tent. The scenery was spectacular: yellow and purple wildflowers in a one area, followed by a green carpet of moss alongside the trail in another, followed by 150-200 foot ravines with killer views of the river below.  

I made it back to the campsite in an hour and 12 minutes, just in time to grab some juice and a banana. We took down the tent, packed the car and drove home with smiles. Trail Boy just knows that all road runners would leave pavement in a heartbeat if they only knew what they were missing.  

Ravines, ledges and other cool scenery made this a hike to remember.



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