Category Archives: Backpacking

Venture Patrol Conquers Linville Gorge ITAYG Trek!

Written By: Austin

The Venture Patrol’s latest embarkment was at Linville Gorge in our good ole state of NC…. Hmm? What’s that? Whats the Venture Patrol? Well then, let’s back up a little bit and break this down just a tad: The word “venture” according to is as follows: “An undertaking involving uncertainty as to the outcome, especially a risky or dangerous one.” In other words: a crazy amount of fun! 😀 Now that we have that established, let me tell you what a venture patrol venture looks like. Picture this.

Imagine walking up the side of mountain… through dense bush and brush, pushing and shoving through leaves and branches. Meanwhile trying to maintain your balance as your feet wobble on top of loose rocks under the weight of your backpack. The 45 degree incline of the mountain-side is putting a burning sensation in your legs but you ignore it and keep going and pushing it to the back of your mind because you know what’s waiting for you at the top; what’s been calling your name every since you were a Tenderfoot scout. You replace the discomfort with all the stories that the older scouts loved to talk about so much, summiting and scaling mountains and seeing spectacular sights. You wonder why they always struggled to find words to describe what they saw. Now your in their shoes, “Whats this all about?” You ask yourself. “Man, this better be good.” You say, half complaining. Suddenly you emerge from the claustrophobic wood, with a few scrapes from the briers that wanted to say high on the way up; and a bruise or two from a tumble off that unstable rock. You stumble out onto a massive rock that stretches for a good few hundred yards. When you catch your breath and look up from your muddy boots, your eyes fall upon something you’ve never seen before. The grandeur of what you are seeing inclines you to ask yourself if your dreaming, but the wonderful breeze that quickly cools, and almost chills, the sweat on your face gives you more than enough proof that this is real.

Mountains…. as far as your eyes dare straining to see and capture in one moment. Blue mountains. Huge mountains. Something is so very mystifying about them, maybe its the colosality of the rocks; or maybe its the fact that you are only six feet away from a cliff that drops a thousand feet; or maybe its the feeling of inexplicable accomplishment; or perhaps its being eye level with a big white cloud but something about this really puts life into prospective for a time and provokes deep thoughts.

This trip was very difficult, including a massive climb up along the trail at a inclination of 75 degrees. Many times the certainty of the direction of the trail was sketchy due to it’s being blocked by fallen trees and being over grown by bushes and briers. The humidity and heat were inevitable and very uncomfortable. However, the pros out weigh the cons by a landslide. The views of the mountains were the best that I have ever seen in my entire life, which made the rough terrain worth it. To combat the heat we pulled off the trail a couple of times to swim in the river.  We crossed over a bridge made of a tree split in half with a hand rail attached. We also waded across that same river our last day on the way out, with our gear on, making for a very interesting exodus.

After all the grandeur sights and trials of this past weekend, I realized what this trip is: humility. Realizing that we are so very small in this giant world.  Come explore it with us, the Venture Patrol, and realize your full potential in God’s creation.

-Austin Garmer-

Here are many more pictures.

Grandfather Mountain Backpacking Trip

The Troop met at IHM church around 6:45am. We left the church at 7:30 after packing up and headed off toward Boone. My father, Mr. Secor drove as did Mr. Garmer and Mr. Vroom.  As we rode up next to Mr. Vroom, Alex, Sebastian and I were singing Freak on a Leash by Korn and we were head banging which caused a good laugh between us and Mr. Vroom, Shaun, and Paul. The ride up was great. Landon gave me a sausage and egg biscuit from McDonalds when we stopped on the way. The weather on Saturday was AMAZING! It was sunny with clear skies and around 60 degrees! We hiked around 7 miles and could see the Blue Ridge Parkway and the awesome mountains. There were some great views and we met some friendly people. As night fell the weather changed drastically. It dropped to around freezing, clouds blew in, and the wind picked up. I greatly appreciated my 0 degree sleeping bag with a silk liner. We awoke to sleet, which turned into rain, and finally snow. The 7-1/2 miles hiked to the end of the trail took about 5 hours. The precipitation slowed our pace down and the adults were a little behind the older scouts due to miscommunication. When we finally got to the end, it was very cold and snowing like crazy. The Parkway was closed due to bad weather causing the adults to take a winding road around the barricades to get to the cars. When we got back to Boone, we all enjoyed warm meals and drinks at McDonalds and a warm ride home.
By: Noah Secor

More Pictures Here!

Grayson Highlands Backpacking

Written By: Anthony

Mount rogers a very beautiful and exciting place. That was where me and nine other scouts went for our two night stay in the snowy, icy, and cold mountains. When we got out of the cars at the bottom of the mountain I could already tell that this was going to be one heck of a weekend.

We left the parking lot at about six o clock from the church and it took us a little bit more than two hours to get there so we started the trail at about eight thirty. We had to then walk one mile to our campsite. By the time we got there it was ten forty five. Then we had to set up our backpacking tents and get everything we need out of our backpacks. Everyone was in their tents by eleven thirty, and my bed was not as warm as I thought because it was in the teens at night. The troop and I also didn’t expect snow to be on the ground when we got there.

In the morning we had breakfast which was the usual oatmeal granola bars or freeze dried breakfast . After breakfast when everybody’s fingers weren’t frozen anymore we packed for our hike to the top of mount rogers. We got to Thomas’s nob at about two o clock then we ate lunch and filtered some more water. Next we started on our way back at about three. Our troop S. P. L.said that we needed to pick up the pace so we could get back by sunset. So we got back to camp at around five o clock. We all made our freeze dried food which was not my favorite. All of us were done with dinner at about six thirty and then all of us went to bed.

After the long night we all got up in the morning and started packing. It took me a while to pack up because I learned a valuble lesson that trip. The lesson was that you NEED to watch what you pack and don’t pack too much. So after I packed everything Mr. Bob helped me tighten the straps on my pack and then we were on our way to the parking lot. When we finally got to the parking lot I was excited to be on our way home after the cold weekend. I definetly wanted to be on a cruise with Mr. Dan. 🙂  Overall the backpacking trip was eventful and I definetly learned valuable lessons.  I will remember this trip for a long time.

More photos our our trip!


Uwharrie National Forrest Backpacking

Written By: Paul

We had fun going on a 10 mile backpacking trip to Uwharrie National forest. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend.  The weather was warm and dry for a change. Friday night we hiked 2 miles to our camp site for the night.  Saturday morning we had breakfast and then we started our journey for 8 miles to Yates Place.

As we continued we reach a clear area and played Frisbee for a little while. Then after Frisbee we went on for a few minutes and ate lunch and played Frisbee again!  After that we reached a stream and pumped water and then continued until we reached a camp site 1 1/2 miles away from Yates Place.

That night we had a fire and told scary stories.(But it was  Austin A. and Paul  telling the stories.)  Sunday morning we packed up had a prayer service and then hiked 1 1/2 miles to Yates Place. The adults had to get a car so the kids stayed at Yates Place making jokes for when Scout Master Dan returned.  One of the jokes said “Are you aware that your troop stared a forest fire?”  But other than that we played Frisbee for the third time. When the adults got back we packed up the truck went to Bojangles and came home.  That was the 10 mile backpacking trip in Uwharrie National Forest!
Click here for more Pictures.