Despite my attempt to find a semi-level location, I slept on a boulder, waking every time I slid off. My son, however, had no trouble sleeping and awoke sideways against the downhill side of the tent I had borrowed from his mother. Breakfast of pancakes & bacon was served before we all gathered for the morning flag-raising ceremony.
It was fortunate that the hike I planned didn’t use the full 2 hours allotted, as we hit the trail 30 minutes late. For those who follow my blog, you already know the details, as I had made the hike the weekend before. Comments abounded on the way up the hill as to the difficulty, steepness, and duration of the hike. Once we reached the Chief Joseph Trail, things went a lot easier, and everyone enjoyed the view point above the lake. That vantage point also allows spectators view of the gondolas going up the Wallowa Lake Tram, which look like mere specs climbing the mountain.
Just around the corner, we arrived at our destination: Bear Creek Falls. Everyone enjoyed the respite and cool spray as we paused for the photogenic opportunity. The return was great, with everyone remarking on the splendid hike. The praises were so intense, we adults wondered if the scouts remember the complaints issued on the way up…
Following the hike, we had a few minutes to start packing our camp, as lunch was set out. The menu was the same, and I contributed Cheetos as a side dish. It was easy and, since it was day 2, didn’t need refrigeration.
After lunch it was time to FIND the geocaches hidden the day before. Each group chose a designated compass bearer and were given a bearing for the caches they didn’t create. Little did they know that I had secretly stolen all their caches and replaced them with a “Red Herring.” The herring was a picture of a fish, with a message and bearing which indicated the direction of the relocated cache. In addition to adding a level of fun and difficulty (so I thought) this also ensured that no scouts could divulge the location of their cache to another group.
Unfortunately, the groups weren’t having much success, with only a single group able to locate a herring. In the interest of saving time, I called all the groups back together. They then worked as a whole to find the herrings and their caches. It took a while to find them, though, as many scouts hadn’t yet developed their searching skills. The fact that the caches were camouflaged with all manner of sticks, grass, & such didn’t help them much.
We departed camp early, and missed out on the much-anticipated water rockets. We had to re-stock and travel 5-6 hours to camp in John day that evening. Check out my vacation posts for details….