I first attended Mountain Magic, our council’s leader weekend, back in October of 2011. Since then, there’s only been one other Mountain Magic. It’s either been skipped or canceled or flooded out. Contrary to my cynical guess, MM 2015 has been rescheduled in the spring. And wouldn’t you know it – I already have a previous commitment. But I digress into a very sore topic for me. Let me start over.
I first attended Mountain Magic, our council’s leader weekend, back in October of 2011. I had heard a lot about the Big Boy hike and how difficult it was. Well, I don’t back down from a challenge, so of course I signed up for the hike. At the time, I thought that was my first visit to Camp WaBak, but it turns out that was not the case. I don’t remember hiking up Big Boy, and I’m thinking that I probably would have remembered it if I had.
When I got to the top, I thought to myself, “I would love to see this view when the leaves are changing.” So I put it on my very long bucket list that includes learning to play the classical guitar, hiking PART of the Appalachian Trail, going backpacking again, going up to Table Rock, visiting Wyoming again, and many, many other things. I believe I’ll need to live another 80 years to get them all in.
So last fall, I asked my leader friend and fellow double-reed player Becky if she wanted to hike Big Boy. She agreed as she had never been to Camp WaBak before. I didn’t tell her anything about the hike other than it’s one mile and a little bit steep at the top. Muwhahaha… We didn’t hit the very height of the fall color change and probably missed it by about a week. But, that was the best day for both of us, and we didn’t want to risk it raining.
BTW, if you’re wondering what a double-reed player is, it’s someone who plays either the oboe or the bassoon. Becky plays the oboe, and I play the bassoon. Here’s what they look like:
Amy, what does this have to do with Big Boy?? Nothing!
Anyway, we called the council ahead of time to ask for permission to hike Big Boy one Monday in November. Kirby at WaBak said we had to wear safety vests since it was deer season (greeeeeat), so that’s why you’ll see us wearing those. And off we went!
The Big Boy hike is not marked very well, so you have to be vigilant about looking for the blazes which basically consist of plastic safety tape tied around a tree. Some of them have fallen off. Thank goodness Becky was there because I would be talking her ear off and just forget that we needed to look for them. Many times we had to stop and look around to find the next one. Part of the issue was that the trail itself was hard to see because of the fallen leaves.
We had a pretty uneventful climb and then took a left (I missed the left until Becky pointed it out) to start climbing the last quarter of a mile (?). This part became a little more difficult than usual because of the leaves and having to really dig around to find a foothold. Yes, you are going up on your hands and feet. Surprise, Becky! But it was no big deal for her.
You have to make sure you get a good foothold, because if you slip, it’s possible for you to slide down quite a ways before stopping (assuming you can). At one point, I tried to move over to the side of where I was climbing, and my feet slipped out from under me due to the leaves covering up a slab of rock. I was hanging onto the top of the rock with my hands and became stuck.