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Desert & Mountain Adventure

Troop 77 - 2002 Spring Break: Desert & Mountain Adventure

When: Saturday, March 9 through Saturday, March 16, 2002
Where: The Sand Dunes and Mountains of West Texas
(plus one little corner of New Mexico)
The Plan: Saturday, March 9:
7:00 a.m. - TOBC Men's Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - Assemble in church parking lot
9:30 a.m. - Depart in Class A or B uniform
Noon - Lunch at roadside park near Junction.
- Arrive before 5:00 p.m. at Monahans Sandhills State Park.  We have two water and electricity sites reserved in the Willow Draw Camp Area (reservation #'s 2067746 and 2067748).

Sunday, March 10:
Tour sand hills, visit Odessa Meteor Crater (now you will not need to visit the small one in Arizona), visit American Airpower Heritage Museum, and visit Million Barrel Museum.

Monday, March 11:
8:30 a.m. - Depart
Noon - Arrive at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday:
Hike/backpack in park and visit nearby Carlsbad Caverns

Friday, March 15:
- Depart Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Arrive before 5:00 p.m. at Balmorhea State Park.  We have two water-only campsites (reservation #'s 2067735 and 2067738).  Time for an evening swim...at least for the polar bears among us, depending on the weather!  To be allowed to swim at Balmorhea, for anyone under 18 whose parent or legal guardian will not be physically present, the state park requires written permission on their Swimming Release Agreement form.  It may be printed from the internet at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/balmorhe/release.htm or you may also obtain a copy from the Scoutmaster.

Route: To Monahans Sandhills State Park:
From Lago Vista, west on FM 1431 to Marble Falls, south on US 281 to Johnson City, west on US 290 to I-10, west on I-10 to Fort Stockton, north on TX 18 to Monahans, east on I-20 to Monahans Sandhills State Park (exit on Park Road 41 at mile marker #86).

While staying at Monahans:
Travel east and west on I-20 to visit Odessa, Midland and vicinity.

To Guadalupe Mountains National Park:
West on I-20 to I-10, west on I-10 to Van Horn, north on TX 54 to US 62/US 180, north to Guadalupe Mountains NP.

To Carlsbad Caverns State Park:
US 62/US 180 to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and return.

To Balmorhea State Park:
South on TX 54 to Van Horn, east on I-10 to Balmorhea exit (exit #206), south on FM 2903 to Balmorhea, east on TX 17 for 4 miles to Balmorhea State Park.

Return to Lago Vista:
East on I-10 to US 290 (east of Junction), east on US 290 to Johnson City, north on US 281 to Marble Falls, east on FM 1431 to Lago Vista.

Costs: $5 per person per day, $35 for week.  You will need money for tickets to visit Airpower Museum ($9 adult, $8 ages 13-18 or over 65, $6 ages 6-12), Carlsbad Caverns (tickets are $6 or $3 for ages 6-15), and optional plastic disc ("sand sled") rental at Monahans Sandhills (approximately $1 per hour).  Payment for trip due no later than Monday, March 4.

Bring all your own food and snacks for seven days.  We will be in remote areas with little or no chance of resupply.  No ice chests.  No cooking for lunch.

Uniform: Class A or B uniforms at all times.  Uniforms are optional when backpacking.
Other: Electronics are okay only when in vehicles while traveling.  Earphones are required for sound.

Use Buddy System for travel, camping, cooking, touring, hiking, and backpacking.

BE PREPARED: All of the group campsites at Guadalupe Mountains NP are already reserved.  The regular campsites are only available on a "first come - first served" basis.  Therefore we will most likely end up on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land located on US 62/US 180 at the 5-mile marker in New Mexico, at which point the instructions would be to  "Go west and find a site."  This will be primitive--no water, no showers, no picnic tables...not even a McDonald's.  So you will need containers to haul in water, toilet paper, and a trowel.