“Spend as much time as possible on mountains, in small boats, or otherwise out in the weather; if you never get wet, cold, exhausted or scared, you won’t properly appreciate being dry, warm, rested and safe.” ~ Peter Jay

"I’m an adventuring river rat at heart. Put me on a floating piece of driftwood and I’m happy." ~ Christina Glauner

"There’s folly and foolhardiness on one side and daring and calculation on the other." ~ C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Off Topic - Backpacking to Deer Haven

I spent this past weekend backpacking with boy scouts in the Badlands. As many of you already know, I volunteer with my old boy scout troop. Another adult and I took three scouts backpacking in the Badlands. We found a route on the Backpacker magazine website. It began from the Conata picnic area and went up to spot called Deer Haven. Pretty much a group of trees and grass accessible only by scrambling up one of the crumbling dirt formations common to the Badlands. The route is actually a 22 mile loop that I would like to complete next summer either with the scouts or on my own. Having limited time, we just went up to Deer Haven over the weekend.
We arrived Friday evening, packed about 3/4 of a mile in and setup camp. On Saturday morning, we packed up again and headed to Deer Haven. We did have a few miscues on the way. The first was when I was paying more attention to the location of Deer Haven than the route (on my gps). We ended up adding about a mile paralleling the route but on the wrong side of a formation. The second miscue was my gps refusing to give a direction; this was resolved when my gps lost signal and immediately gt it back. Once we made it to the top, we took some to rest. The original plan was to camp at Deer Haven, but we wanted a shorter hike in the morning so we could get back to Pierre sooner so we planned to hike back down. Once we were off deer haven and a half mile away, I noticed that the tent on my pack was missing! So, one of the scouts and I hiked back (without packs) to retrieve the tent. Luckily, we did find it.

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