Concho Valley Council
Charles L. Sommers Wilderness
Friday, July 13,
1984 and returned on Sunday, July 29, 1984
Bottom Row L to R:
Patrick Shannon, San Angelo; Frank T. Hilton, San Angelo; Aaron J. Miles,
Barksdale; Trey Walker, Eldorado; Marcus A. Ryan, Brady; Derek Roberts,
Ft. Stockton; and Mark D. Miles, Barksdale
Picture of Crew 717-B
Standing, Top Row L to
R: Our Guide; John Herrera, San Angelo; and McNeil W. Allison,
Trey Walker, Eldorado; Marcus A. Ryan, Brady
Picture of all three
crews together before we left for Bissett.
Top Row L to R:
Duane Avery, Brady; Joe Huro, III, Brady; John Fisher, San Angelo; Mark
Miles, Barksdale; Jimmy Keese, Sonora; Jason Beebe, San Angelo; Aaron
Miles, Barksdale; Derek Roberts, Ft. Stockton; Trey Walker, Eldorado
Middle Row L to R: Marcus
A. Ryan, Brady; Patrick L. Shannon, San Angelo; McNeil Allison, San Angelo;
Joe Will Ross, Sonora; John Hinnard, Robert Lee; Pat Smith, San Angelo;
John Herrera, Jr. (white T-shirt), San Angelo; Clay Allison, San Angelo;
Loren White (white hat), Uvalde; Ysabel Ledezma, Jr., Brady
Kneeling Front Row L
to R: Robert Allison, San Angelo; Lace E. (Gene) Hinnard, Robert
Lee; Frank T. Hilton, San Angelo; Jose G. DeAnda, Big Lake; Ysabel Ledezma,
Names not identified:
Fred Sanders, Del Rio
We are ready to go!
Frank Hilton talking
to group as they prepare to leave.
We left the Concho Valley
Council's Service Center at 8:00 am on the morning of July 13, 1984 and
traveled some 1,635 miles. Overnight stops on the trip were at Vance AFB
in Enid, Oklahoma, Waubonisie State Park in Hamburg, Iowa, and Fargo, North
Dakota, where we stayed in the St. John Lutheran Church. Then on
the 4th day we made it to Winnipeg, Canada. Dave Drummond, Canadian
Scout Commissioner, had made arrangements for each Scout to stay in a home
of a Canadian Scout and each adult to stay with an adult Scouter.
This is were we earned the World Friendship patch.
The next morning we drove
over paved and gravel road the 172 miles to Bissett, Canada and the Northern
Tier Canoe Base, arriving there about 1:00 p.m. We had divided
ourselves into three crews - 717-A, 717-B and 717-C. This story is
mostly about crew 717-B. Each crew took a different route into Atikaki
Park, which is primarily a wilderness area characterized by glacial lakes
and what is called "Canadian Shield." We did not see the other crews
again until ten days later. In fact, after the third day, we did not see
anyone else! But we did see eagles, moose, bear and other native
animals. Included in this set of photos are many photos of Crew 717-A
led by Gene Hinnard. Sorry, but we do not have any photos of Crew
717-C. If some come our way, we will certainly include them.
Four miles of portages
our first day out!
David Drummond, Scout Commissioner,
Manitoba, Canada, and his
family, were our hosts for our stay in Winnipeg.
Base Camp - Here we were checked out on our gear,
canoes and other equipment in preparation to depart
the next morning on our 110 mile canoe adventure.
Our Guide - He forgot the
mike to go with
his radio so we had no communications
the whole trip. Patrick
Shannon still had
to carry the 20 lb. useless
radio in his pack.
Proper way to carry a canoe. First day we canoed 14
miles of which 4 miles were portages. Needless to
say we were not in very good shape! It took us three
hours that first day to make the four portages (see
map below). On the return trip, it only took us one hour!
We were in much better shape for sure!
This is what we slept in.
They were waterproof
provided you did not try
and put one up in the rain!
Mosquitoes were very bad
at dusk and sunrise so
you learned to be in your
tent during those times.
Getting loaded up to make
a portage. Note the 80 lb. packs that those who did not
carry a canoe had to take over the portage. Of the 110 miles, 10 of those
miles were portages.
Patrick Shannon said "I'll
never forget that I got to ride with the guide and basically never carried
a canoe on any of the portages. The guide didn't want me touching
his canoe." He did have to carry an 80 lb pack of which 20 lbs. was the
radio that we could not use. Except for the ranger's pack, each gear
pack held the personal equipment for three people. Another two food packs
held the food for ten days and cooking gear.
Proper way to "rest"
a canoe, including one's self.
May the wind always be at your
back. Sometimes the wind would blow to your front and you wondered
at times if you made any progress at all in the water.
Who said this country is
not beautiful? Just look at this scene. Crew 717-A
Mark Miles, Lone Scout, Barksdale
John Herrera asks if this
is enough fish for supper! Sure beats trail food! The Bissett
program specialized in fresh water fishing, particularly for walleye.
There were plenty of opportunities to fish and when they were caught, they
were always served for supper along with our regular meal. A few times,
enough fish were caught to make it the main meal.
We carried a gallon of cooking
oil and a 10 lb bag of corn meal just for this purpose. Not much
of it was left by the end of the trip.
Lots of good fishing! Lone
Scout Aaron Mles
doing his share to provide
food on the table.
Joe Will Ross, Clay
Allison and Pat Smith - Crew 171-A
Got to show off supper!
Now who is going to cook? One day we stopped for lunch and got busy
fishing and caught enough fish for our crew. So, instead of the usual
dry lunch, we broke out the cooking gear and fixed supper instead.
That night we ate the lunch menu.
Our guide was human after
all. He managed to drop his eye glasses in the water at that time
and was unable to find them.
I guess they are still in
Gene Hinnard cooking pancakes.
He was with Crew 717-A.
L to R: John
Hinnard, Robert Lee; Clay Allison, San Angelo; Joe Will Ross, Sonora; Pat
Smith (pot in hand), San Angelo; Jason Beebe, Gene Hinnard, Robert Lee;
and their Guide Doug. Crew 717-A
Supper cooking after
we got back to base camp - barbecued chicken. Fresh food!
Now this is canoeing!
By the time we were half way through the 110 miles, all three crews had
gotten the hang of canoeing and as your can tell by this picture were really
enjoying the trip, the experience and sailing right along. Crew 717-A
Just one of several beautiful
We managed to miss our portage
only one time, but boy was it a nightmare. We had to carry our canoes
cross county in an area with lots of down trees. Once we got to the
next lake we were able to hike along the bank until we found the actual
trail and guide the others behind us over to the trail. We were only
a quarter of a mile off the trail. Was not one of our best days.
Another day it started to
thundering and lightening. One did not want to get caught on the
water in that situation so we dashed to a large rock self, climbed
the rock, which was about 16 feet high above the water, and got our wet
gear up there. The canoes stayed below. About that time it started
to rain really hard. Our tent group decided to go ahead and get our
tent up so we would not get wet. Bad mistake! The other half of our
group just stood out in the rain and did not even try to put their tent
up. By the time we got our tent up it was floating in 1/2 foot of
water - inside. Yep, the tents were waterproof all right. We
had to bail the water out of the tent before we could get in it.
Being as we were camped on solid rock we had to use other rocks to hold
the ropes of the tent. Sleeping on a rock shelf does not make for
a comfortable bed, even with sleeping pads. That was the only time
we had rain in Crew 717-B.
We did make it back to base
camp on Friday, July 28, 1984, had a great supper, and all three crews
relived their trip. Of course, each crew had a harder time than the
other crews according to the stories told that afternoon and evening.
The next morning we left the base, stopped briefly in Bissett and then
traveled to Oakwood State Park, Bruce, South Dakota for the night. The
next day we motored to Salina, Kansas and the Salina YMCA. Finally we arrived
back to the Council Service Center about 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 30th.
This was a trip to be remembered by all today. Now if we can just
remember the names of all the great people that went with us!
How The Crews Were Divided
Lace E. "Gene" Hinnard,
Robert Allison, San Angelo
Clay Allison, San Angelo
Jasen Beebe, San Angelo
John Hinnard, Robert Lee
Joe Will Ross, Sonora
Pat Smith, San Angelo
Loren White, Uvalde
Frank T. Hilton, San Angelo
John Herrera, Jr., San Angelo
McNeil Allison, San Angelo
Aaron Miles, Barksdale (Lone
Mark Miles, Barksdale (Lone
Derek Roberts, Ft. Stockton
Marcus A. Ryan, Brady
Patrick Shannon, San Angelo
Trey Walker, Eldorado
Jose G. DeAnda, Big Lake
Ysabel Ledezma, Sr., Brady
Duane Avery, Brady
John Fisher, San Angelo
Joe Huro, III, Brady
Jimmy Keese, Sonora
Ysabel Ledezma, Jr., Brady
Fred Sanders, Del Rio
We want to thank Patrick Shannon,
Wynn Alston, Joe Will Ross and Patrick Wedding, all of San Angelo, TX,
for their help in gathering the information for this page.
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