Day 9 of our "Epic Western Expedition" and we're facing another long drive across Texas back to Texarkana, but like I said way back at the beginning of this adventure, "Epic," was the word that describes it best. Here are some wrap-up thoughts and stats.

Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 13 - JimWeaver
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 1 - KevinDuPree
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 8 - JimWeaver

Interesting Stats:

  • 6 Adults, 11 Young Men
  • 2 pickup trucks and one Church Van
  • 3700 miles / 9 days = 411 miles per day average
  • Total trip expenses $5950 or $350 each
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 9 - JimWeaver
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 3 - KevinDuPree
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 2 - KevinDuPree
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 12 - JimWeaver

Personal Bucket List check-offs:

  • Grand Canyon
  • Wolf Creek Pass
  • Colorado Rocky Mountains up close
  • Rafting in Cat 4 Rapids (without dying)
  • Mesa Verde
  • Route 66 travel
  • Seeing the great American West up close and personal
  • Hoover Dam
  • Seeing Philmont Scout Ranch (would still like to do a trek someday)
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 4 - KevinDuPree
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 11 - JimWeaver
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 5 - KevinDuPree

A Scout is Thrifty:

You might be wondering how we pulled this trip off at such a low price per person, we're kind of amazed too but the plan worked. Using connections through the church we were able to find places to stay at little or no cost. We set up our cots in a church gym in Amarillo,  campground one night in New Mexico, stayed at an old nunnery for three nights in Flagstaff, then another church gym in Durango, a church's dining hall in Trinidad, back to the first church gym again in Amarillo and then back home. Not every place we stayed had a shower but we had tons of baby wipes. We had simple breakfasts, sandwiches for lunch, and easy to make dinners. We ate out very little, so most of our money was spent on gas, food and attractions. We purchased three National Park Passes that are good for a year that got us all into the National parks. We planned, we researched, we did our best to keep costs down and by golly, it worked.

Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 7 - JimWeaver
Crew 3 Day 9 - Group 10 - JimWeaver

Things I learned along the way:

It's a dry heat... The dryer the air, the harder it is to blow your nose! There's no snot, just dried up boogers. Didn't know that before. Hydration may be more necessary out west, but it's dang near impossible! It took me 3 days of drowning in water before I could consider myself not thirsty anymore, and blow my nose.

This country is an amazing one-of-a-kind place, we have everything here you could ever want and we need to raise kids that understand that and are willing to sacrifice their time and talents to keep her safe and beautiful.

Scouting is one of the best ways I can think of to raise those kinds of kids into adults that are good leaders, can problem solve, take care of themselves and appreciate the beauty and spirit of this great country we live in.

I want to thank the young men of Troop 3 / Crew 3, our leaders, the parents and everyone involved in Scouting. Thanks for reading about "what I did on my summer vacation," who knew I would be writing reports about that this many years out of school!

Here's hoping we all get to check more off our bucket lists!

God Bless,

Jim

Photogra