Monthly Archives: June 2015

A Palindrome of Scouts

Palidrome header

A few weeks ago a small group of scouts (only 5!) from our troop, along with 4 adults, headed out for an overnight backpacking trip to Agua Caliente Creek.   We noticed that we could make a palindrome of the boys’ names, with Evan in the middle (a word palindrome for the grammarians out there, I realize Evan would have to be Eve for it to be a true palindrome).  So that meant we had a palindrome of scouts.  I know that scouts usually come in troops, along with apes, baboons, buffalo, gorillas, kangaroos, and monkeys, but for this post a palindrome of scouts they shall be.  I’m not sure the official namers of groups of things, the same squad that came up with a murder of crows, a flamboyance of flamingos, a congregation of alligators, a flutter of butterflies, a wake of buzzards, a pounce of cats, a romp of otters, a zeal of zebras, a wisdom of wombats, a hover of trout, a scurry of squirrels, a parliament of rooks, a prickle of porcupines, a pandemonium of parrots, an implausibility of gnus, and a bellowing of bullfinches would agree with my categorizing them as such, but it’s my blog, so it’s my rules.  (For a more complete listing of animal group names (yes, there are more!), ask The Almighty Guru.)

So off we set.  Mo, Rob, Zek, Michelle, and our palindrome of scouts shouldered our packs and hit the Pacific Crest Trail, just past the small town of Warner Springs, California.  We hiked north 3.6 miles to a charming little grove of trees nestled alongside a creek.  We had great weather for our hike (overcast and cool).  There isn’t much shade along the trail until you hit the creek, so this was perfect weather as far as we were concerned.

We arrived mid-morning, and didn’t have much of an agenda for the rest of the day.  The boys climbed, prowled, dug, played, splashed, caught, released, and sang the afternoon away.  The adults waved to hikers heading to Canada on the PCT, read our books, chatted, and every now and then did a head count.  Usually we knew where everyone was.  It was a great trip.  Check out my photos (double click on them to get a close up view), and videos.  Here are a few final thoughts to send you on your way…

Now ere we nine were held idle here, we nine were won.

A man, a plan, a canal — Panama

 May a moody baby doom a yam?


Hiking in on a cool Saturday morning.  The first mile or so runs through golden meadows dotted by oak trees.  The boys are pointing out the Pacific Crest Trail marker.

Hiking in.2

Zek and  Michelle, the happy backpacking couple.  Sam and Matthew, the dramatic backpacking pair.  As the trail climbed, we moved into bushy, rocky terrain.  I love manzanita trees with their rich, red bark.  We also saw lots of moss and lichen, and came up with a mnemonic device to remember what a lichen is made up of.  “Hi, I’m algae, and I lichen fungi”, since a lichen is a composite organism made up of symbiotic algae and fungi.  In case you were wondering.

Aqua Caliente Creek

Two views of the tranquil Agua Caliente creek.  It burbled and babbled, just like a good creek should.  It was full of frogs and bugs and plants, and eventually Boy Scouts.


The view we saw on our way out.  Lovely flowers by the creek.  A gurgling mini waterfall.  Boys in a tree.


What do free range boys do when they are released into the wild?  Play cards and slam pixie sticks.  Create a city in the sand.  Catch frogs.  Release frogs.  Finally, make a super delicious dinner with Jet Boils and Mountain House.


Remember earlier how I said the creek was eventually full of Boy Scouts?  First they fell in and got their feet wet.  Then Evan fell all the way in.  We built a small fire and dried pants, boots, and socks on a rotisserie made from Rob’s hiking poles and a stick.  The fire was nice to hang out by after dark.


We were up in the morning and on the trail early, heading back to San Diego.  Overall I think the trip was – wait for it – FUN E NUF!  Oh yeah, got in one last palindrome!

Check out these videos below from our trip.

The Great Frog Release

Agua Caliente Creek


Filed under Boy Scout Troop 985 Adventures