THE CASE OF THE POWER RINGS
It’s so often that bit of silliness that makes a high-adventure trip so memorable.
On our way to the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado, we made a stop at Alabaster Caverns in Oklahoma. The caverns were closed at that time while a new lighting system was being installed, so the boys would not have the usual pictures as souvenirs.
Undaunted, Paul, Brian, and Dayle bought these cheap plastic “power rings” that were in the Alabaster gift shop. Where I might have bought a useful postcard or an item of real Native American craft, boys are not so discerning. What kind of power this dollar’s worth of plastic scrap lends the wearer, I’ll never be sure, but the boys did “battle” with the rings far into the next state.
After our backpacking portion of the trip, we spent a relaxing day on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train climbs from Durango to Silverton, where it makes a 2-hour lunch layover before returning. We ate lunch in a historic hotel in Silverton, where some of the boys ordered their first buffalo burgers.
While waiting for the food to arrive, 17-year-old Paul came from the restroom and approached me with this puppy-like pleading look on his face.
“Mr. K,” he said, “I dropped my power ring in the toilet!”
“What do want me to do about it?” I asked. It was clear that he expected me to go in there and get it.
“I didn’t realize until it was too late,” Paul explained, “but if I flush it, the ring might go all the way down!”
Poor, poor Paul! We all had a good laugh. Oh what kinds of favors the Scouts expect of their leaders! This time Paul would just have to say goodbye to that ring.
Someday we’ll go to Alabaster Caverns again and buy Paul another ring… then send it to him at his Navy A.P.O.!