Category Archives: hiking with scouts


This is a winter hike to the Len Foote Hike Inn that we did with a group of dads and sons from St. Jude Catholic Church. Kudos to the staff at the Inn – who provided outstanding customer service during our visit. What a great place….

Working Off Thanksgiving Dinner – An Overnight In Panthertown Valley

After fattening up on Thanksgiving dinner, The Camel meets us in North Carolina for a hike in to Panthertown Valley.  No one is more excited than the Boone Dawg who is craving some time in the backcountry.  And we are blessed with sunshine as you can see from the the shadows in this photo.

The weather has been cool this week with snow showers and ice that is still lingering in the valley.  Here is a giant piece floating near Schoohouse Falls.

Our preferred campsite is taken.  So we shift to this area under a bunch of pine trees which is close to Panthertown Creek and has some nice fishing holes for the kids.  Wonder if the fish will bite with the temps in the 40’s?

The kids also try their luck at Schoolhouse Falls, but the verdict is that it’s too cold for the fish to bite – or quite possibly their fishing skills.

So we head back to the campsite and make the boys some hot chocolate.  It’s a winner – as you can see here.

The next morning, we hike out under sunny skies and work to dodge the snowmelt that has collected on the valley floor.  All three kids end up with soaked feet in the process!

And all goes well on the hike out, until we are about 15 minutes from the trailhead.  The leaves are wet, the hill is steep, and Will goes down with a knee injury.  Someone call the medic …

Or step-up and carry his pack out!  Dang, I feel like I am carrying a baby.  Fortunately we are not far from the trailhead and I still have some Thanksgiving Day calories to burn off.

What a beautiful day for the drive back home.  Here’s Lake Toxaway in the distance at about 4000 feet.  And the kids are already “angling” for a return trip!

Roswell Mill Has It All: Hiking, Geocaching, Burgers, And Brews

It was a beautiful day for a hike last weekend, and we mixed in some geocaching with the boys as we hit the trail.  Here's the view from the Roswell Mill parking area looking down at the bridge over Vickery Creek (which is also called Big Creek on some maps).

Pack 623 quickly found the first geocache which was just south of the bridge and hidden in a small crevice on the side of the hill near Vickery Creek.

But this was a family event – and even the girls were in on the action.  Here the kids are excited to find a few prizes in the camouflaged tupperware container.

Then on to the next geocache!  After a wrong turn (and hike down Vickery Creek), we got the group back on track and headed across the bridge to explore the dam and historic mill ruins along the trail.  They date to the 1850's when the mill serviced the town.

And the kids enjoyed hiking to the base of the dam as well.  It was all we could do to keep them from getting in the water.

Two more geocaches are located up river from the dam.  So off we went to find them – with the boys running ahead seeking the hidden treasure.  We finally caught them as they searched the woods for the second geocache.

The second and third geocaches were deeper in the woods and harder to find – but the kids prevailed.  Here they are doing their “Vickery” dance.

And of course they had to throw in a pipe crossing just to rattle the parents.  Fortunately no one fell in the water – it was cold today.

Then off to the recently opened Moxie Burger which looks down on the Roswell Mill from the ridge above the river.  Burgers and brews – what a great way to finish up the day.  And the sunset and moonrise from the patio was beautiful this evening.