Tourism

Local Boy Scouts Run Rapids, Hike Canyons, See Shooting Stars and Burning Rockets in the Grand Canyon

fab79d78d9122a54ee5f_GOPR0203-PR.jpg
About half the High Adventure crew from Boy Scout Troop 368 Credits: H. Lee
58c93cb1990a41807cae_lava_splash_1_PR_.jpg
Scouts get a facefull of icy water as they run a rapid on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon Credits: H. Lee
f27182e9890faa178b95_IMG_2016_07_27_2415-PR.jpg
Around AD 800 the Puebloan people settled the canyon. Around AD 1150 a long period of drought began, and by about 1225 all the Puebloan settlements were abandoned. Credits: H. Lee
b232bd5ede95deb2ed6b_IMG_2016_07_26_2315-PR.jpg
Ground testing tunnels were blasted in the 1960s in preparation for a dam in the middle of the National Park. The dam was canceled after protests let by the Sierra Club. Credits: H. Lee
41b39d02b1ff9b0d4804_IMG_20160730_170459.jpg
...because the Scouts voted to go there... Credits: H. Lee
b930d3bb29d8bdea20e0_IMG_2016_07_28_2674.JPG
Overlooking the Colorado during a steep hike at Deer Creek Canyon Credits: H. Lee
fab79d78d9122a54ee5f_GOPR0203-PR.jpg

GRAND CANYON, AZ - Boy Scouts from Berkeley Heights have just returned from the trip of a lifetime -- running rapids on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Along the way a series of fortunate coincidences made the trip even more memorable.

The group of 16 Scouts aged 14 to 17 from Troop 368 of Berkeley Heights, along with five adult leaders, had been preparing for this High Adventure expedition for over a year. From fund-raising to preparatory hiking to weather-hazard training to whitewater training, these Scouts lived up to their motto: “Be Prepared.”

The first fortunate coincidence was a heatwave. With temperatures over 110 degrees in the Phoenix and Las Vegas areas, air conditioners were cranked to the max, demanding massive power from the hydro-electric generators in Glen Canyon Dam. This generated massive daily water releases from the dam, creating surges of water which the Scout’s rode through the rapids.

Sign Up for E-News

Guides from outfitters Tour West expertly navigated the expedition’s two large “J-rig” pontoon rafts through 68 separate rapids that ranked up to class 10 in intensity (most rivers go only to class 5).  Some rapids dropped over 30 feet, sending waves breaking clear over the boats, dousing Scouts with icy water at 50 degrees – a bracing contrast to the oven-like air temperatures.

The second coincidence was that the trip coincided with a late-rising moon and the combination of the Delta Aquarid and the beginning of the Perseid meteor showers. Scouts spent nights sleeping under stars so clear it felt as if they boys were floating in space, as they watched shooting stars cross the Milky Way. Bizarrely the trip also coincided with the fiery breakup of a Chinese Long March 7 rocket which some Scouts spotted and thought was another shooting star breaking up in the atmosphere. Only later did they discover it was a disintegrating rocket.

The expedition was far more than a cruise down the river, as the group hiked several slot-canyons to green oases hidden between walls of red rock, explored a tunnel excavated in the 1960s for a 3rd Dam on the Colorado, and even hiked at night to see centuries-old petroglyphs. The Boy Scouts also encountered ancient Puebloan Indian settlements, complete with house foundations and pottery shards. In a week packed full of adventure the Scouts floated down a stretch of the Little Colorado River, bathed in the turquoise waters of Havasu Creek, played football in Redwall Cavern, and cooled-off in several waterfalls. At one point several Scouts even became stuck in quicksand, so other Scouts and leaders had to dig them out. It took over half an hour to free one Scout!

The adventure began before they even set foot on the water, as Scouts visited an asteroid impact crater (Meteor Crater), got up close and personal with some “jumping cacti” and explored dinosaur footprints preserved in rock near Tuba City. Before leaving the area, they boys enjoyed a competition-quality BBQ lunch, toured the inside of Hoover Dam, and visited Las Vegas where they stopped at the famous pawn shop featured in the Pawn Stars hit TV show.

Along the way the young men of Boy Scout Troop 368 made memories to last a lifetime.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mountainside

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 25, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_180fb624cb767a3bedaf_best_crop_7313656ce0929485c104_bh_ribbon_cutting_8_2x

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Memorial Park, Berkeley Heights

2018 Berkeley Heights Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, July 28, 8:00 PM

St. John's Lutheran Church, Summit

St. John's Summit Concert Series Presents ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, August 1, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Before & After: The Contrasting Color Kitchen Remodel

July 5, 2018

Before and After

Over the years we have designed and remodeled hundreds (if not, thousands) of kitchens.  Every client and kitchen are different, which makes for a very interesting job working as a kitchen designer! But every once in a while, a kitchen comes along that really makes you stop, think, and appreciate the beauty of transformation.  One of the most rewarding experiences is ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...