Troop 868 in Action

Mischa Mokwa Trail  (April, 2001)

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The group pushed on nearly 13 miles, finally deciding to make camp along the Ridge Trail a short distance past the spur leading to Martin's Fork.  Alex cleared an area and got a cooking fire started while most of the other guys fashioned shelters for the night from lightweight plastic tarps and nylon rope.  Paul went for an open-air design.
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Mr. Guzman (pictured) and Mr. Meek opted for a basic "A" frame shelter.  In the photo at right, the city of Ewing, VA as viewed from the ledge about 50 feet from our campsite.
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Shane, Sam, and Florencio check out a rock ledge on the way to Sand Cave.  And, finally, there it is ... the entrance to Sand Cave.  Located 3,500 feet (about 2/3 of a mile) above sea level near the top of a mountain, Sand Cave features a natural sand floor (just like a beach).
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From the size of the boys, one can get some idea of the size of this amazing cavern which could easily contain a football field.  A shot from inside the cave looking out shows the size of the entrance.  If one looks very closely, a 150-foot waterfall just outside the cave on the right is barely visible.  As the scouts played in the sand, the leaders took the opportunity to draw and treat water from the pool created by the waterfall.
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The view looking back from part way down the Ewing Trail shows the rock bluffs and the steepness of the terrain.  The group reached the Ewing Trailhead only 15 minutes behind schedule --- not bad for a 2-day, 22 mile hike!  But, alas, we still had almost another mile to go to reach the parking lot and the Troop bus.
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Even bus seats felt great after that walk!  Once on board it was time to break out some snacks and cold sodas.  As we drove west along US 58 from Ewing, Virginia back toward the Cumberland Gap, we got a look up at the ridge where we had camped and looked down on the city the night before.  It was a feeling of great accomplishment to know we had climbed the mountain and hiked all along that ridge.

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