We camped for the week at Battlefield Campground which is just across the highway from the Park. Our plans for the week revolved around hiking 4 different trails inside the park that totaled 50 miles.The four trails:
- Historical Trail #1; 14 miles, Saturday, May 23rd
- Compass Trail #4; 10 miles, Sunday, May 24th
- Artillery Trail #2; 14 miles, Monday, May 25th, Memorial Day
- Environmental Trail #7; 12 miles, Tuesday, May 26th
Mr. Sumner and Dr. Hung did all of our meal planning, with Mr. Sumner handling most of the breakfast duties and Dr. Hung, dinner. The scouts were treated to meals with a "Civil War era" flavor during many of the breakfast meals.
The 7 scouts and 3 adults that were in the Saturday group departed later than planned but still made pretty good time. Along the trail, after stopping at the Alabama monument, we got to observe the eagle's nest across the street. Seeing eagles in their natural habitat is pretty stunning. The trail continued throughout the park with stops along all the major landmarks of the battlefield.
Sunday's compass trail hike started well, but during the afternoon, showers greeted the hikers, but they were able to return to camp not long after the brief but heavy shower.
A steady rain began during the overnight hours and lasted until about lunch on Monday. This made cooking breakfast a bit of a challenge but with the dining fly already up, we were able to stay dry for the most part. The heavy rain during the morning hours really complicated our efforts on the trail itself, which was the Artillery Trail, given the need to write answers on our cards, as we were working the Shiloh awards in addition to the 50-Miler Award.
After failing to get all the answers for the Artillery Trail due to the heavy rains on Monday morning, the decision was made to forgo the answers for the final hike, the Environmental Trail, and just knock out the mileage so that the scouts could complete the 50-Miler Award. Knowing the long 4 hiking days that the scouts experienced, the adults put together a special "final" meal for the week. Freshly fried chicken tenders, dressed with green beans and homemade macaroni and cheese. Needless to say, this was favorite meal of the week.
On Wednesday morning, we broke camp and headed home. Many slept during the drive home.