Russell Winter Camping
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Location: Camp Russell (just outside of Old Forge)
Dates: November 23-24, 2013
Who: In no special order... Josiah A., Zay S., Branden W., Jimmy B., James S., Gage K., Matthew C., Oliver P., Mr.  Ivory, Mr. Pratt, Mr. Wilbur, and special guest Mrs. Abbadessa!

The original plan was for us to hike in 6 miles to Middle Branch Lake... a trip we've done several times.

On the morning of the trip though, we changed our plans.  Weather forecasts suggested that the winds were going to gust to 25, the temps were going to drop to 0, and there would be several inches of snow to trek through in the morning coming home... more than we really wanted to get into, especially since we had a few kids where this would be their very first back-pack trip.

Instead, we found room at Camp Russell, and it worked out just fine.  It was cold(!!), but everyone did just fine.  The snow wasn't nearly as bad as had been forecast.

The before and after photos above were taken only 3 hours apart.  By morning, there was more, but it was nowhere near the 4-6 inches that had been predicted.  But in the Adirondacks, you never know... a storm could move 3-4 mile either way and make a huge difference.

We still managed to get in some pleasant hiking time, visiting the other side of Russell. 

The above is a "Hunter's Cabin" that we may go back to for some future campout.

We had two scouts and a dad join us from Troop 4.  They are joining us for the upcoming trip to Germany, and this was a great way for us to get to know each other.

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Dinner was great, and was cooked entirely over the campfire.  It was a repeat of the meal we had a couple months prior... salad, ziti, and meatballs. 

We had plenty of fruit available, but tastes tended more towards some fantastic peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate.

We also roasted chestnuts over the open fire.  Although pleasant, none of us were really impressed with them; we probably won't bother with that part again.

Whoever was there before us had left a nice courtesy pile of wood for us to get going with.  After a lot of scrounging and cutting, we left an ever bigger pile for the next guys.  Having a roaring campfire made all the difference in the world.

It got down to about zero during the night, and the fire had burned out completely.

One of the boys got a migraine during the evening, so we opted to drive him home late at night.  He's one of our tougher scouts, and it was clear this was difficult for him.

Special credit goes out to Mrs. A. for being such a trooper during this whole event.  It was her first campout with us, and she'd picked one of the most challenging ones we've done recently.  Kudos!