BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Bike Hike on the Silver Comet Trail

The troop went on a 50/25 mile bike hike along the Silver Comet Trail on the weekend of May 18th. We met at Kern at 5:00 on Friday to load our new trailer with gear and load the bicycles onto the ATV trailer before we hit the road. We had 14 scouts and 7 adults on the trip so both trailers were loaded down. The weather was good when we left the church at around 6:30 but it was dark and raining hard when we got to the campground near Rockmart, GA. After a little trouble finding out where we were supposed to setup camp, we pitched the tents (in the rain) and then had a snack (cracker barrel) and went to bed. It rained pretty hard all night. On Saturday morning we got up at 7:00 and had a hot breakfast. There were still rain showers in the area so we took our time getting ready to head over to the trailhead hoping that the weather would improve. We headed out for the Carter Road trail access at around 9:20 and by the time we got there and got all the bikes unloaded and ready, the weather had improved significantly. We had a very pleasant ride along the 27 miles of trail back to the campground. All the scouts completed the first half of the ride with only a few minor mechanical problems with the bikes and two crashes. Everyone was back at camp (the campground was right next to the trail) by 1:30 for lunch. After a short rest, nine of the scouts and the two adults who were still able to ride headed out for the second half of the ride a little after 2:00PM. The remaining scouts and stayed in camp. It was a gorgeous afternoon and the nine scouts finished the second 27 miles (for a total of 53 miles) at around 6:30. We picked them up near the GA-AL state line (Esom Hill trailhead) and brought them back to camp. We all had a good supper and a very pleasant evening. All of the scouts appeared to be having a good time. On Sunday morning we got up at 7:00 and had a light breakfast. We broke camp without incident but before we could get all the gear loaded back on the trailer, the rain returned and most of the scouts personal gear got wet (again). We drove home through several serious thunderstorms with heavy rain and got back to the church at around 12:30. Fortunately, we were able to unload the gear and dismiss the troop during a break in the weather.

At the chruch, almost ready to hit the road.

The scouts and their bicycles.

Here is what our camp looked like on Saturday morning when the sun came up and we could see where we were.

Cleaning up after breaffast.

At the Carter Road Trailhead getting organized.

At the Carter Road Trailhead ready to roll.

This is why the scouts need to be "mentally awake" at all times.

The nine scouts heading out from camp to complete the second half of the 50 mile ride.

At the end of the trail after 53 miles.