Troop 868 in Action

MOGAN RIDGE WEST TRAIL (Dec, 2005)

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A chilly Saturday in early December provided Troop 868 scouts with their first experience hiking the 11.2 mile Mogan Ridge West Trail in the Hoosier National Forest.  Knowing that daylight hours are short in December and not wanting to risk finishing the trail by flashlight, the troop departed Shepherdsville at 6:30 AM.

Though armed with accurate directions and a map to the chosen trailhead, the lack of any posted signage caused us to mistake another forest access road as the trailhead.  After walking nearly a mile along an obvious trail without encountering any blazes or other clear indicators, we decided we were in the wrong place, backtracked back to the bus, and drove to one of the other trailheads!  (For the benefit of other hikers, the Mogan Ridge West Trail is very well-marked with bright blue diamond blazes placed every few hundred feet along the entire trail.) 

After the false start (which we regarded as a "warm up" hike) we finally got started on the real Mogan Ridge West Trail just before 11 AM.  Most of the trail turned out to be a wide, dirt path that followed natural ridge lines across the hilltops with a few short sections following gravel access roads that were closed to traffic.  The paths leading up the few uphill climbs were long and gradual; so the trail was really easy by Boy Scout standards.  It was a good hike for younger scouts or other inexperienced hikers.  Our group traveled at a comfortable pace, took a nice break for lunch, and still finished the hike about 3:30 PM --- which means we averaged better than 2.5 MPH.

Afterward, we drove back toward home and stopped at a buffet restaurant in Clarksville, Indiana for a leisure dinner that most of the boys capped off with at least 4 deserts.  We rolled back into the parking lot at Bullitt Lick Middle School around 8 PM.

Hikers Nick, Mr. Davis, Chris, Patrick, Philip, Trey, Tim, Stephen, and Tyler are ready to hit the trail. The trail was in good condition, but hikers like Nick and Chris still encountered a few downed trees.
The trail also crossed a few small creeks -- none of which were major obstacles. Scouts found a downed tree to be a convenient perch for eating lunch.
Everyone wanted to share Philip's soft drink until they learned the bottle was filled with water. After the lunch break, it was back on the trail for "jackrabbit" hikers Tim, Chris, and Stephen.
Philip and Trey weren't far behind. And "turtles" Nick, Tyler, Patrick, and Mr. Davis brought up the rear.
Even in the last 1/4 mile, Stephen and Tyler still had energy for horseplay. And "spiderman" Patrick couldn't resist the urge to swing from a steel cable.
Chris, Trey, and Tyler all seem to have found plenty to eat at dinner. We appear to have captured Patrick, Stephen, Tim, and Philip all with their mouths full.