Chubb Trail yesterday

Rated as “difficult” by St Louis County Parks and, I managed to get lost on the 12 miles of trails yesterday.  Was a brief problem when I accidentally walked what I thought was the trail and it wasn’t.  Ended up on private property but quickly back to the official trail.

As I noted before, this park connects to the back side of  Castlewood State Park that is cut off by the Meramec River from the main portion of Castlewood.  It then connects to the trail behind Lone Elk Park of St Louis County Parks.

Perhaps St. Louis County and the State could coordinate some trail ‘blazes’ to better mark the official trail? Would be helpful.  Perhaps it is a future project for a Rover Scout.

At any rate, the only thing I had trouble persevering with was that it was too warm for Oct 1st.  I had started early enough at 8:30 am so I managed not to get drenched with perspiration.  All together I did about 6 miles.

I will return in a week when it is cooler and go a little further.


Rover Scout: “Service”


The problem with being an old scout

So, yeah, getting old. As the official summer wraps up I am concluding a couple of things.

One is the importance of keep moving about.  If you stop moving, you don’t want to start up again.  Newton was right, particularly as it applies to aging bodies in motion.

So despite my interest in carrying a larger pack and hiking a long distance it probably isn’t going to happen without a beast of burden.  Or an ATV.  I think I’m limited to about a 25 pound load.

Lastly, heat.  Really do not do well in it anymore, especially if somewhat laborious.  So temperatures above 90′ F are managed unlike when I was in my 20’s.  At 52 you can do things in the heat, just not for a very long time.  I discovered this in my early 40’s pouring cement in the back yard when I couldn’t take long breaks.  It hasn’t improved with age.

So being older and a scout has its challenges.  Go for the shaded trails!


Me in the cold where it had a different set of challenges than the summer heat.


Don Robinson State Park

Hike today at Don Robinson State Park. Second time on this trail, my first being right after the park first opened last year. But I’m out of shape from less hiking this past year so I had to take the cut out and do about 2 miles. Lots of scenic hills and Karst.

tropical service

It was slow.

It was hot.

Occasionally disorganized.

Homes were rebuilt.

New building skills were acquired (I learned some masonry and rebar fabrication).

A modest hike occurred.

Insect bites were suffered (and continue to be).

Having mechanical and carpentry skills is good!  The ability to serve the people of Puerto Rico was a blessing and honor.

Vaya con Dios


#hurricanemaria #puertorico



follow-up on Memphis

The MLK50 Conference was great! Hiking Memphis was not the hike I planned. I ended up doing an unprepared hike (no pack or bag) across the city. My intended address was the north end of a road and I was on the south end of the identical address. Once I paid for expensive downtown parking (at least it wasn’t NYC or Chicago!) my mistake of being on the wrong end of town became glaring.

So I hoofed it a couple miles. When done I acknowledge that the hike wasn’t so bad. Urban terrain is tougher than trails sometimes. The persistence paid off. I got there in time but out of breath. Along the way I saw Beal Street. Was wonderful.

Baden-Powell himself

Recently read a few unflattering pieces about Lord Baden-Powell. The least flattering and most critical was on a ‘free thinker’ site.

I understand the criticism. The problem with any hero is that it is far too easy in hindsight to see their foibles. Given enough time their alleged plagiarism and theft of ideas might outweigh apparent success.

Scouting pioneers

Three Scouting pioneers: Robert Baden-Powell (seated), Ernest T. Seton (left), and Dan Beard (right). Image and caption courtesy of Wikipedia.

Some of the criticism about B-P is deserved. Certainly the BPSA-US is aware of the ‘colonial’ charges, perhaps his “authoritarianism”. Certainly Seton’s view of scouting was to see indigenous cultures as ‘noble savages’, really not much of an improvement over Lord Baden-Powell’s Edwardian attitude.

The overly harsh criticism of B-P strikes me mostly as a case of plank-eye.

BPSA-US doesn’t try to drag down the good of what scouting accomplished. ‘Traditional scouting’ is their theme. Inclusive and democratic.  Religious, or not at all.


Lord Baden-Powell, Chief Scout

For instance, BPSA-US realizes problems persist with aspects of the Boy Scouts of America scouting model. They hope to improve it. BPSA-US did improve it.  BPSA-US recognizes the good about BSA (and Girl Scouts) and sees them as fellow scouts.

What attracted me to BPSA-US was their success at improved scouting. Instead of whining about it something was done to fix it.  It is back to basics.  And everyone can participate!  Really, everyone.

I gather that some would hope the scouts wouldn’t persist, run contrary to their values. True, B-P was no saint, however, he did provide a movement with fantastic leadership. It was his true calling. Despite his foibles, B-P is justly still the chief scout.

‘Service’ and comfort

You may have discovered that scouting isn’t all about comfort. Some are not partial to camping, for instance, too many bugs, etc., but such activities get us out of doors.

Discomfort can extend to the idea of Service. I am uncomfortable with some opportunities as of late. Relating to outdoors and Service would be best in my view.

Seeking a spot to serve in water ecology beyond a typical river clean-up does not fit into the schedule. A river clean up doesn’t either.

Where to plug in?