June 1st is the start of the Scout year, and with my recent promotion to Cubmaster and my sons promotion to the Wolf Den, we had some new items we could work on towards his badge. After finishing up with his sister’s driveway-camping expedition, Ray wanted some Dad-time. We settled on taking a hike together at nearby Medoc Mountain State Park.
To satisfy some of Ray’s requirements for an Adventure, I made Ray gather up the Six Cubscout Essentials: Water Bottle, Sun block, Flashlight, First Aid, a Whistle, and trail food. We placed all of this in my Camelbak Hydration backpack (along with 3L of water for myself) and jumped in the Dadmobile to head on our way. It was only a 30 minute drive, but the temperature was steadily climbing and by the time we reached the trail head, it was already 90 degrees outside.
We chose to take Stream Loop first. I set the hiking mode on my Apple Watch on, and we started walking. As we walked, Ray read some of the signs like the one for Ticks and Poison Ivy. I quizzed Ray on what to do if we had an emergency and repeatedly asked him what trail we were on and what would he do “if.” I was very proud of his mature and sensible answers.
We took a detour on to Discovery Loop and extended our hike to over 2.5 miles and an hour and 10 minutes. The gnats and bugs were annoying on Discovery Loop, but we saw some amazing things on our hike. Ray found some “rapids” on Fishing Creek, caused by some rock formations in the water.
After the Rapids, we saw a Bullfrog jump in front of us. Being a good Scout, Ray watched it but didn’t mess with it. We let the little frog continue on it’s path into the brush. A short while later, we saw wood that had been chewed by Beavers, and once I finally got Ray to quit talking about Frog Legs from some show he watches (gross), we saw not one, not two, but three deer running through the woods. A Doe with her baby, and another young deer a few seconds later on our other side. It was interesting at least.
We checked out a small bridge, looking for fish but none were found before we started the remainder of our trip back to the truck (and the AIR CONDITIONING). The gnats were ridiculous today, as they generally always are in North Carolina. But we made it back to the truck and started our slow trip back home. As we drove out of the park, Ray followed where we were on the map, using landmarks like the bridge over the river and the curves in the road to point out where we were. After our drive home, we stopped at a local gas station that has great ice cream to cool off, before heading home to change for the pool. All in all, it was an amazing trip and I’m so glad this little guy wanted to go for a hike!