Malcolm Tyree

A collection of thoughts on things that matter

Archive for the tag “youth trips”

144 Hours • 1,500 Miles • An IYC2012 Adventure (Day 2)

Our team consisted of 6 females and 2 males, only the girls slept in the weather-dome tent at Noah’s Ark.  The guys slept outside, under the stars, like real men!  When you sleep under the stars, there is one star that gets your attention, the Sun!  It was about 5:30am when the Sun began to rise.

Waking up by the river

Early Morning Start for Malcolm

Kim, our female counselor, was up and taking in the view of the sunrise and the serenity of the Arkansas river.  I began to slowly make my way out of my bed and I was looking forward to a shower.  The facilities at Noah’s are adequate, but it is more of a campground than a resort area.  My shower required that I pay for the water in advance, so I put in my $1 for 10 minutes.

I had an expectation of a shorter than usual, but typical morning shower.  Brrr, was I wrong.  The water was cold and never warmed up.  I’m certain I didn’t use my entire 10 minutes, but I was clean.  The discouraging part was the water in the sink where I brushed my teeth seemed warmer than the water for the shower.

After a breakfast of french toast, we made our way to Bob.  That was the name of the rock we would climb and rappel.  For some of our

Climbing Bob's Rock

Climbing Bob’s Rock

crew, the idea of climbing up a rock 30 feet or rappelling down 70 feet was very intimidating.  Kim wasn’t sure she could make the climb due to her arthritis and Abi was scared to try because it involved heights.

Abi had already demonstrated her fear of heights on day one, as the walk around the rim proved to be more than she was really comfortable with.  After watching nearly everyone else on our team climb the rock, we talked Abi into taking the climb.  I encouraged her to take the rock in stages, identifying various points that would count as successful markers along the climb.  Abi made it all the way to the top!

Kim also made a successful climb to the top.  As a matter of fact each of us made it to the top in our own time.  The Noah’s Ark guides were great in helping us reach our goals successfully.

After grabbing a bite for lunch, our team prepared for the whitewater rafting adventure.  Unfortunately, we would need to break up into two groups for this stage.  The rafts are limited to six people plus the guide.  Three of our teens had been rafting before.  The Greggs, Elizabeth, Timothy, and Sarah, had each gone rafting with their family and the Boy Scouts in years past.  Like the rock climb and rappelling, I was experienced in these things, but it had been more than 15 years since I had done either.  For Kim, Abi, the other Elizabeth, and the other

Whitewater Rafting on the Arkansas River

Hitting the rapids with Sara, Sarah, Kim, and Dave (our guide)!

Sara, it was their first time to try any of these activities.

Each group had a great time on the water, even if one of them took a few unplanned stops on the rocks.  Our guides, Liz and David, made sure our team had an exciting adventure.

On our way back to the basecamp, we were introduced to the ghost-town of St. Elmo.  It is an old mining town near Mount Princeton.  It would be part of our adventure on Day 3.

After the full day of adventure, it didn’t take long to get to sleep.  In the middle of the night, Timothy and I were recipients of answered prayers.  As we slept out under the stars, we awoke to find our sleeping bags wet.  It hadn’t rained, but there was a strong dew settling in on us.  This was an answer to prayer because Colorado was in desperate need of moisture.  The wildfires were a major threat to the area.  Though the moisture was a bit inconvenient, it was welcomed!  Plus, living in the desert as we do, it was an extra bonus to our adventure.

144 Hours • 1,500 miles • An IYC2012 Adventure (Day 1)

On July 2, at 3:15am, my alarm sounded and the adventure began.  We were on the road by 4am, though our group of eight (6 teens and 2 adults) might have been short two pillows and a sleeping bag.  Our destination was Noah’s Ark Rafting in Buena Vista, Colorado.

As we made the predawn journey through the rural panhandle of Texas, we noticed the smell of money was quite different for our fellow Texans the closer we got to Interstate 40.  In the Permian Basin, the smell of money is a pungent sulfur or rotten egg smell.  It can be especially strong on cold mornings.  It’s the smell of the oil patch.  In the panhandle, money smells like urine mixed with poo.  They have cattle in the panhandle, lots of cattle.

Picture of the GPTeens entering New Mexico

Entering New Mexico

Exiting the nation-state of Texas through it’s northwest corner, we entered New Mexico.  It was there that we began to notice a change in elevation.  The ground seemed to have pimples.  There were large mounds rising up from the surface.  West Texas is known for its flat landscape.  We joke that it’s so flat, you can watch your dog run away for five days.  These pimples turned out to be volcanic mountains.  That’s right, there are volcanos in North Eastern New Mexico.  We took a short, unplanned expedition up the Capulin Volcano National Monument.  After walking the rim of this once active volcano that reached nearly 9700 feet above sea level it began to feel like we were really on an adventure.

The walk around the rim turned out to be more challenging than expected.  One of our teens became overwhelmed by her fear of heights.  Others expressed the challenge of walking the near one-mile circle of varying elevation points.  Outside of the little gnats that followed you from the top into the van, it was a remarkable view and a neat find on our journey.

Our trip still had several hours of driving before we reached our resting stop.  As we made our way into Colorado on Interstate 25, we knew we were in a foreign territory.  The road was surrounded by mountains and along the way there were warning signs. I am familiar with the deer warning signs.  I was not surprised by the elk sign.  But when we saw the yellow diamond with a black bear in the middle of it, I knew this was a different territory! I wish I had been able to get a picture of the sign, but there was no shoulder and the cars were whizzing by us.

After 13 hours of traveling (including our stops at Capulin, Wendy’s, and the restrooms) we arrived at Noah’s Ark Rafting.  This simple camp was right on the bank of the Arkansas River.  We unloaded our bedding, enjoyed the meal of chili, played some “ninja” and volleyball, and then went to sleep not long after sunset.  Our physical challenges of the adventure awaited us in the morning.

Day 2 will post tomorrow.

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