Blue Hills Backpacking Trip
Saturday, December 10 -
This month, we backpacked through the Blue Hills Reservation into the adjacent New England Base Camp (prevously called Camp Sayre). Usually, we try to backpack no later than November, but the Scouts wanted to attend the Woodsman Weekend last month, so we pushed our backpacking trip to December.
The first day, we followed Coon Hollow Path, Skyline Trail (east), Tucker Hill Path (north), Valley Path and Border Path. The reservation trail map had the handy feature of providing intersection numbers that corresponded at least in some places to markers on the trails. The hike in was about 5.5 miles, and the hike out was about 2.5 miles. See our actual trail as recorded by Joshua Froimson:
During the hike in, the temperature was in the 20s and quite windy. Overnight, the temperature dropped to 17 degrees, and during the hike out, there was little wind at all, which felt much more pleasant.
We set up our tent camp in the Casey's Hollow site, which we also used on our two previous trips to this camp. We had three Boy Scouts and two leaders participating.
The closest water source was a frost-free valve about a five minute hike from the camp site. The water we collected worked fine the first evening (although the smaller water bottles started to get slushy). By morning, the water containers that had not been emptied were frozen. Participants were able to make enough hot water in pots to melt out some of the containers.
The Scouts cooked ramen noodles with canned chicken for dinner. Keith MacNeal made a Shepherd's Pie using a kit from Packit Gourmet, and Joshua Froimson re-hydrated porcini mushrooms with Parma Rosa sauce to put over pasta and canned chicken. Almost everyone had oatmeal for breakfast.
We managed to hike through a fair amount of the camp on the way in and out, so the only exploring we did while there was to visit the Egan Center. This impressive building serves as the council headquarters. In addition to a nice Scout Shop, the building includes a large indoor swimming pool.
This was the troop's ninety-sixth consecutive month with at least one overnight camping trip - eight full years!
Page updated 3/14/17.