On July 7, five adult leaders and 12 Boy Scouts, from Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church's Troop 316, left the comfort of their homes for an eight-day, 50-mile hike adventure in the Sierra high country.
Under the leadership of Scoutmaster Jack Bayt, the troop left Sonora Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail and entered the Emigrant Wilderness area. Their first day was to hike from an elevation of 9,500 feet to 11,000 feet, then back down to the 10,500 foot level.
Day two took the Scouts to Kennedy Creek. Leaving the Pacific Crest Trail on day three, they climbed to an elevation of 10,550 feet, dropping down over Emigrant Pass and camping at Grizzly Meadow Lake.
On day four, they hiked to Emigrant Lake, at an elevation of 8,800 feet.
Scouts caught caught rainbow and golden trout at the lake and troop member Aaron Mulkey, 14, said he learned how to clean a fish the proper way. He cleaned a fish his 13-year-old brother Jonathan caught.
"We didn't have frying pans with us, so we boiled the fish in a pot over the campfire," Aaron said. "I've never had a fish that was boiled before and I was surprised how good it tasted."
At camp that night, the group celebrated Dr. Daniel O'Meara's 50th birthday, as he was presented a protein bar with a single match serving as a candle sticking out it.
On day five and six, the group hiked to Spring Meadow, then to Chewing Gum Lake at elevation 8,800 feet.
On day seven, everyone hiked to Aspen Meadow and camped under the stars at 7,000 feet.
On day eight, they headed to Pinecrest Lake where they enjoyed hamburgers and ice cream before making the trip home.
Aaron Mulkey said he had a great time on the trip and saw a lot of beautiful scenery.
"We were all sort of loose friends before the trip, but after eight days and a 50-mile hike, troop members became a lot closer friends having shared all the aches and pains of the hike and all the fun moments we had together on the trip."
The Scouts earned their 50 Miler Award; Historic Trails Award; performed 10 hours of service improving campfire rings and cleaning up trails; and worked on their Backpacking Merit Badge.
The younger Scouts learned a number of knots and how to string a bear bag - putting food in a bag and getting it 15-20 feet in the air so bears could not get to it.
Adult leaders on the adventure were Scoutmaster Jack Bayt, Dr. Daniel O'Meara, David Mulkey, John Rumohr and Joe Howard.
Scouts who made the trip included Daniel Roberts, Jason Howard, David O'Brien, Ryan O'Meara, Aaron Mulkey, Jonathan Mulkey, Nickolas Bayt, Garrett Hilliard, Christopher Wilson, Isaac Rumohr, Adam Scott and Nicolas Block.