2011.01.17 Have You Seen My Mountain Dew?


The troop continued its practice of making good time.  The bus pulled out of the hotel parking lot at 8:50 this morning.  John and I did not get out of bed until 7:30.  Still, that was more than enough time to throw our gear in our bags, grab some breakfast in the lobby, and get loaded on the bus.


The view of Ames from my hotel room. I am ready to leave the snow.


Our last departure from a hotel. Yea!


Miles had some drama this morning.  Yesterday, he had purchased two bottles of Mountain Dew.  He drank one yesterday, and saved one for today.  This morning, he could not find his remaining bottle.  He “looked everywhere” and still it could not be located.  How can you manage to lose a bottle of Mountain Dew in a hotel room?

Shortly after getting our bus ride underway, the boy that Miles has been sitting next to on the bus, told him that he had hidden his Mountain Dew in the drawer of the nightstand.  So much for Miles “looking everywhere” for his pop.  I don’t remember exactly why he had placed it there, but by this time, we’re all getting a little stir crazy.  No harm done.

Several days earlier, at the Mall of America, some of the scouts had purchased items like pens & lighters that would shock the person using them.  Well, wouldn’t you know, on today’s bus ride these items were being used on unsuspecting passengers.  This prompted a new bus rule: Do not shock anyone without their knowledge.  Oh to be 13 again.

On the morning’s bus ride, I read quite a bit.  There were movies on, but I only watched occasionally.  Miles paid more attention to the movies than I did, and there was a “little bit” of homework being completed.


Redefining "Chillaxin".


The morning passed pretty quickly.  Due to popular demand, our bus stopped for lunch at Culver’s in Liberty, Missouri, which is where we ate on the way to Minnesota.  This was fine by me as I really enjoyed our first meal there.

Over lunch, I had a chance to visit with Miles about our campout.  Specifically, I wanted to know what he liked & didn’t like, and did he enjoy the experience.  Yes, he had a good time.  Whew!  I would hate to think we slept in sub-zero temperatures for naught.

Miles told me his favorite activity was the cross country skiing.  And I would have guessed that, given his participation and level of success for all the activities we tried.  I told him we needed to go snow skiing sometime – something he has never done.  He thought that was a great idea.

His least favorite experience?  He thought there should have been more activities.  “MILES, WE DID EVERY ACTIVITY THAT THE CAMP OFFERED!”  But that was not his point.  He was referring to the evening when there was a lot of standing around involved.

Once the sun went down, and the temperature felt like it was dropping fast, our main activity was watching the crew leader cook.  Miles had a good point, and it was something that our crew leader had commented on also.  Our crew leader wished he had set up a game of broomball last night, or some other type of game, pitting our crew against another crew staying at the camp.  Maybe next time.

While we were having our conversation at lunch, Miles’ friend who had hidden his Mountain Dew showed up at our table with a replacement bottle of Mountain Dew for him.  A very nice gesture on his part.  And now Miles can get his sugar fix on for the remainder of the bus ride today.  Yippee!

After lunch, Miles and I each got some of the frozen custard.  This is one of Culver’s specialties and it was delicious.  I highly recommend it.

We spent exactly 45 minutes at Culver’s.  That is a testament not only to the efficiency of the Culver’s staff, but also to the desire of our troop to get back on the bus and hit the road.  Next stop: Broken Arrow.


Our trip leader, Brian, is a native of Iowa. Can you tell?


The final leg home felt like the longest drive of the trip.  After 4 hours of nonstop driving, some of it in the rain, we arrived back at the church where we started four days ago.  Stephanie and Marissa served as our welcoming committee.




I had been sporting a beard on this campout.  It was an extreme measure on my part to try and milk every advantage I could to stay warm on this trip.  I would say that it had a marginal effect, at best.  Part of the problem was that my beard was only two weeks old.  It was just too immature to help.

Lesson learned.  Within hours of returning home, I shaved the beard off.  But on the next Minnesota camping trip, there will be some changes in the air.  (1) My beard will be at least six weeks old before we leave, and (2) I will be sure and duct tape Miles’ Mountain Dew bottle to his hand for safekeeping.


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