Expedition 609-L met at WCA at 6am Saturday morning to brisk temperatures for a short trip to Stone Mountain Park. Once at the Park, already busy with people exercising, we filled our water bladders, donned our packs and headed up the Mountain on the walk-up trail. Summiting the mountain after a 1 mile climb gave us early morning views of Atlanta and north Georgia. We headed back down to find the Cherokee Trail and the 5 mile around-the-mountain trail. The scouts made good time, just not as good as the trail runners who past us multiple times. I added an extra loop to give us some more mileage before getting back to the walk-up trail. One last climb up the mountain and then back down and we were done. A trip of about 9 miles in 4.5 hours. A good 2 miles per hour pace, even with the mountain climb.
We found a good people watching spot and ate our Philmont lunches. A variety of meats in packets, protein bars, and nut based snacks were mostly enjoyed by all. The weather was good as it was warm enough not to need coats or jackets but cool enough to keep from getting hot while hiking. On top of the mountain, the wind cooled s pretty good. While the sun never really came out, the trails, the lakes, the covered bridge and the grist mill were still great sites to see. We did have to pass up the “Snow Mountain” tube rides but got to see a movie set and then the park train pass-by. We returned to WCA at 2pm.
These trips are meant to practice not just hiking but also team work, group dynamics and trail food. This time, we could have used a little better teamwork as we tended to spread out along the trail. But kudos to Thomas, Sean, and Jake for stepping up and helping out a crew mate by taking some extra gear, and weight, for part of the trip. All-in-all, the Scouts are doing great on the trail and should look forward to being experienced hikers once in Philmont.
Scouts attending: Jake A, Tristan M, Drew C, Thomas D, Sean M, Stephen P, Tanner W, and Pierce S
Adults attending: Robert P, Tom W, Jamie S, and Dave M