Tales and Storys
Enchanted Rock Trip
3/16/96 5:30 AM
Everyone has shown up on time, gotten their packs stowed away, and are allready asleep in the van. It's only then that the advisors of the group saw they did not have the correct medical forms for the trip.
The forms are found, the post is now hyper, and we get underway.
On my pick-up I have dual tanks with an automatic switch, so when one runs out it switches over to the other tank. Well about 20 miles outside of Austin the switch fails to work and my truck ran out of gas. It took about 15 minutes to find out what was wrong. Since the eingine had sucked the fuel lines completely dry the truck refused to start. We had no gas and the neerest station was a good distance away. So, we primed the lines with white gas (aka. Coleman Lantern fluid). After a few sputters it finally started, I switched tanks and were were on our way again.
We stopped for lunch at a roadside park.
The van (which we borrowed from our charter organization) started making the most horrid sounds, backfiring, sputtering, and coughing. At first we thought it was just overheating so the caravan stopped and let the engine cool off for a while.
After 2 miles the van starts coughing again so we pulled into a Circle K to take a look at the engine. Turns out to be the fuel filter so a couple of us head down to a nearby parts house to get another.
The parts party has returned and tries to put the new filter onto the van.
The van still isn't fixed, for some mysterious reason the fuel lines just do not want to come off the old filter. Of course in true horror story fashion it starts to rain, not a small shower but a full blown Texas style thunderstorm...Joy. So in a desperate search for a place to stay the advisors start calling churches in Austin.
A local Episcolpal church came to our aid providing us with a ride to the church, a chapel to sleep in, and a stove to cook our food on.
After having dinner and cleaning up, most of the post crashes for the night.
I was woken up by the words "Stacey, wake up. You 're in the breakfast cooking crew. I wish they would warn me about these things.
We attended the early morning service at the church and loaded the back of my pick-up with all the gear that wouldn't fit in the minivan.
After dropping off one of the post advisors and a mechanic from the church off at the stranded van we continued on our way to Enchanted Rock.
We finally arrived at Enchanted Rock .
After setting up camp among the many cacti we hiked around the park, learned exactly why you should look before you leap (cacti), and watched the sunset from the top of the Enchanted Rock (a stone hill hundreds of feet high, and "really fun" to climb up the side of).
About 6:00 PM
After dinner was cooked and eaten we realised we had not packed enough water in with us so two scouts hiked back to the station to fetch some more water, they returned about an hour later.
Everyone crashed into their tents for the night.
The pitter patter of raindrops started pelting the side of my tent so I woke up my tent mate so we could pull everything away from the walls.
The rain had finally stopped and the wind was now statring to kick up. Since the post is on the buddy system at night I asked my tent partner if she wanted to go to the outhouse with me. As soon we opened up the front door to climb out, the blast of cold wind changed our minds VERY quickly.
The Mr. Unger started knocking on my tent telling us to get up, we had a new tent mate. Our neighbor's tent had broken one of it's poles because of the wind. So for the rest of the night I had 3 people in my 2 person tent. That night in the wind J.T.'s tent had moved about 3 1/2 feet on its own.
The whole post woke up at relatively the same time, half of us didn't even have coats. The wind was blowing so hard that we had to cook behind a tarp windscreen because the stoves kept going out.
Since the weather was so nasty the post voted not to go rapelling that morning, rather hike till the weather cleared up some.
Well after packing out all our gear and getting it loaded into the now fixed big red van.
At our weekly meeting I learned of the fate of the rest of the trip back to Huntsville from the rest of the post. About 12:00 PM monday night, 30 miles outside of Huntsville, the van had a major tire blowout. Unfortunately whoever used the van last failed to put the spare tire back into it. It was untill 3:00AM before a State Tooper called a wrecker to pick them up. Most of the scouts had play pracitce Tuesday morning, the caravan finally got to Huntsville at 6:00 in the morning.
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