Troop 772, Marietta, GA

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Campout: Beech Creek Loop Trail Tate City, SC (Cohutta)

November 17, 18 & 19, 2006

Scouts: Jaime McKenzie & Peter McKenna
Scouters: Rick Farber, David McKenna, John Hall, and Pete Corbett

We dubbed this trip the Beech Creek BUSHWACKER 2006!

All but myself went up Friday night and I joined the crew early Saturday morning. Unfortunately Fridays drive was a bear just getting out of town; by the time the crew found their way into the Cohutta and put their heads to the pillow it was well past midnight. I caught up with them at 8:30 Sat morning and they were well into preparing breakfast. After warm waffles and sausage we worked our way from the cook site near the cars back up to the campsite about one half mile up the trail. It took the scouts a little bit of time to get ready for the trail. We decided based on the time to instead of the 12 mile loop to do the shorter 5-6 mile loop and at the end of the day that was a good choice.

We started up the trail around 10:30 and it was a strong UP. We found Chimney Rock at around 1PM and stopped for lunch. Pete and Jamie found a rope to pull themselves up to the top for a great view. Based on the time we broke out the map and talked over with the scouts about setting compass heading and BUSHWACKING down the mountain to intersect the trail and then find a campsite to put us into camp by 3-4 PM before dark. The concern was the trail if we took it looked considerably longer than the bushwhack trail and plus the idea of following a compass heading to find our way sounded fun.

The downhill trek was a challenge, and all along the way the scouts felt we were off course but when they looked at the compass it proved them wrong and set them on the right course. After 2 hours of working slowly down the hillside to where the trail was shown on the map we reached the trail and it followed the stream just like the map showed on the correct compass bearing. The scouts were proud of their work.

We worked our way down the trail to look for a nice flat campsite but being in a river bottom we could not find a good spot. After about a mile of easier walking we came to a stream crossing to high to just walk across, plus the water was chilly at best. Mr. Hall was the first there and started to make a rock bridge to cross. When we all caught up to him we pitched in to compete an adequate crossing. With caution we all made it across and not too far down the trail we found a great spot by the river to camp.

The Scouts set up camp and the bear bag, ate a quick dinner and went to sleep exhausted from the days events. We Scouters built a small fire and enjoyed its warmth before calling it a day.

In the morning we set out early only to find two more stream crossings as challenging as the first. The last one we decided to take off our boots raise up our pants and wade across the water in Crocs….man was that cold water!!!

We came off the trail about one mile south of where we thought we were. It seems we missed a turn somewhere…but all in all our compass and map did not let us down!

Great weather, Great fellowship, Great scouting.

Scoutmaster Corbett