Saturday, June 10, 2023

Off Road, for a time

Friday's travel did not continue as planned for the troop's Philmont Expedition Crew 612-N. About an hour west of Little Rock, they heard a suspicious thump followed by the tire warning light illuminating. After moving to the side of the interstate to change the tire, they quickly discovered two things. One, the lug wrench was missing and, two, the spare was also flat (it had a large screw embedded in it). The Enterprise customer service representative, reading from a script on the other side of the world, made several promises that, let's say, were not in keeping with "A Scout is Trustworthy."

Scouts playing cards
The Scouts found a spot in the shade and began to play cards. After a couple of hours, and more frustrating calls to Enterprise, Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Podemski put his Scouting spirit to use and hiked back down the interstate a mile to a truck stop. He returned with a patch kit and compact inflator, fixed the tire, and got enough air in it to make it to the next gas station that had an air compressor. (Every troop needs a professional engineer and in-house MacGyver.) Since then, he has also patched the spare and bought a lug wrench at Walmart in case it's needed. The only thing the crew got from Enterprise was an email telling them their service was marked completed!

The four-hour delay for the tire meant the crew didn’t roll into their Foss State Park campsite until 9:45 p.m., but they quickly had the tents up and passed a mostly restful night—except for some “light rain” in the early morning hours.

As of Saturday morning, the crew is back on the road heading to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca, Colorado. Here's hoping to “be prepared” for whatever comes next!

Continue to follow the troop's 2023 Philmont adventures on the troop blog and check out photos of the trip in the troop's online photo album.