Troop 868 in Action


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On Tuesday morning, we had breakfast, broke camp, and hustled back to the same docking spot along the River Styx to hurry up the hill just in time to catch the shuttle bus for our scheduled 2-hour cave tour.  After our tour we put back into the river and continued downriver in search of a camping spot for the last night of our trip.  The water level had continued to drop and the riverbanks were extremely soft and muddy.  We tried several places and everyone enjoyed seeing Mr. Meek sink to his knees in mud at one potential landing spot.  We even considered one of the islands before finding a spot we all liked.

We had established camp by mid-afternoon, so scouts had an opportunity to check out 3 small caves they found nearby and climb up some of the steep rock cliffs (safely, from the backside).  We found an established fire ring at this particular site (obviously, we weren't the first people to camp here) so we built a nice campfire on Tuesday night.

Rain began falling just after sunrise on Wednesday morning, alternating between moderate showers and a light drizzle.  Everyone slept dry, but a number of folks' gear got wet as they rolled sleeping bags and packed up in the rain.  Fortunately, we had planned a "no cook" breakfast of doughnuts and other pastries for our last morning, so the rain really was more an inconvenience than an obstacle.

Then we discovered that two of our six canoes were no longer beached where we had left them the night before.  Expecting the water level to continue to drop overnight as it had the two previous evenings, we had not pulled them far out of the water.  Overnight, the Corps of Engineers had evidently opened the upriver dam and the water level had risen by more than 2 feet.  Two of our canoes, tied together, had floated away.

Fortunately, we were able to fit all our gear into the four remaining canoes and seated our 4 lightest scouts in the middle of each boat.  About 3 miles downstream, we found our missing canoes lodged against a partially submerged stump where the rope that tied them together had snagged; and we successfully recovered them.

We arrived at our take-out point at Houchens Ferry exactly at the planned time and before our pick-up crew arrived.  We got the canoes out of the water, emptied them of all the gear, then carried both the gear and the boats up the short ferry ramp to the parking area.  There was a covered picnic pavilion at the site, so we built a fire in one of the grills and fixed canned pasta for lunch.  We had just finished eating when the troop truck and the troop bus came rolling down the road.  Two hours later we were safely back home in Shepherdsville.  It rained the whole day then turned cold the rest of the week, so we definitely had picked the best part of the week for our trip.

Jon P. and Tim. Jon P., Adam, and Dylan.
Gabe, Dalton, and Cody. Nick.
Mr. Harmon, Dalton, Chris (barely visible making sandwich) and Gabe having a late lunch at our chosen campsite. Gabe (in lead) and Cody (following) prepare to explore one of the caves near our campsite.
Jon P. and Cody inside the cave.  Gabe is barely visible in the sunlight at the entrance. Four of the older scouts climbed several hundred feet up the back of the hillside to reach the top of the rock bluffs.
Since there was already an established fire ring, we decided to have a campfire and do some skits our last night out. Everyone enjoyed the fire but was more than ready to hit the ol' sleeping bag shortly after dark.
A constant drizzle and overcast skies were the order of the day for Wednesday.  Here we see Cody, Jon P. and Dylan. Everyone was wet, tired, and ready to go home as we ate lunch at our take-out point and awaited our transportation.

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