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Monte Bello Backpacking 2011

Posted by on October 6, 2011

This trip was led by ASM Calvin Woon, with coordination by Liliya Shilov; scout Dan Frei was the Sr Patrol leader. Here is what ASM Calvin had to say about this trip:

The trip went well as expected. Arrival at 1pm seemed a little late or an intentional test of the troop’s ability to battle the heat. In spite of the relentless summer heat and blindingly bright blue sky, typical of our east of the santa cruz weather, T5 trekked on.

We were accompanied by our honorable Enderby and his son. Believe it or not, Chuck beat the young hares to the final destination. How that happened, you have to look to Chuck and the leading scout ie PL for the answer.

The younger and newer scouts, Brian, joseph, joshua and gary kept good pace despite their payload, bigger in proportion to their physique frame, and were in great spirit through out.

We were surprised by Wim’s presence, who trekked in from San Antonio Reserve, a longer route and no less easier climb. But he did looked a bit flushed from the heat. He claimed it was his recent saloon tan.

For those who have been year here last year, the camp ground felt familiar and homey, and remarkably, the same adult leaders led the trip again (ie gary, ignat and myself minus dennis), while Fred B, Trevor and Aaron joined us 1-2 hrs later.

Of course, Bjorn and Oystein, our Norwegian compatriots-in-scouts, provide interesting topics of conversation of comparative boys’ life through out the trip.

Shortly after settling in, We hiked out to the peak of Monte-bello, to get a breather and a refreshed view of the Santa Cruz’s golden valleys and lush hills, and the panoramic south bay view. As usual, the T5 tested the acoustics of the valleys.

Thanks to Gary, those that needed their identification of native florals requirement got their dose. And also thanks to PL Dan Frei and his assist, the troop management went smoothly.

All that needed the 5 mile requirement made it one way or the other.

After a brisk dinner, we had our entertainment of impromptu skits without much arm twisting; and all was in great spirt, while we relished the mild cool breeze as dusk approached.

Almost without any prompting, the boys started drifting towards the western hills, lead by Mihir to watch the melding of the hues of the red, purple and blue in the distant horizon, a spectacle afforded only to those willing to stay or venture. Again, the call of the wild was inevitable. The boys roamed like packs amongst the golden field while the stars gained contrast in the darkened skies. Ignat spoke of the big dipper, the polaris, and the milky way.

In the darkness of what was the former residence of the Morell ranch, the boys go about their Zork game, where only younger and keener eyes prevailed.

Next morning, as surely as the sun would rise, the cooking teams went about their business in great camaraderie and noisy bantering.

We packed out early enough to hit the longer ( ~3 miles) and scenic route back, along canyon trail to steven creek trail back to the parking lot with a final assault on the grueling switch backs in the last quarter mile. We were met by Michel and Thorbjorn.

Without a doubt, another great T5 trip for the first timer and the older boys. With a special thanks to Liliya Shilova and Claire Lin for all the background effort and tireless email updates; and last but not least, to Dan Frei for leading the Troop.

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