Story and Photo by AARON RICCA
KINGMAN – They were hard chargers charging hard.
Motorists, bikers, walkers and curious passersby may have seen a small pack of men and boys hiking up and down Hualapai Mountain Road, Andy Devine Avenue and DW Ranch Road.
That was a portion of Boy Scout Troop 19 pacing through their semi-somewhat, sort of, annual 20-mile march for their hiking merit badge.
Cars and trucks cruising along Hualapai Mountain Road were honking and waving in support of the scouts.
The group of six scouts between the ages of 14 and 17-years-old and three troop leaders started early Saturday morning at the Love’s Travel Stop at the Interstate 40 and DW Ranch Road interchange. They made their way up the rest of DW Ranch Road, down Hualapai Mountain Road and Andy Devine Avenue/Route 66 to Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner where they had their half-way point/celebratory lunch.
After the refuel, the group started back up the hill toward their finish mark at the Church of Latter Day Saints temple on Eastern Avenue.
As of about 2 p.m. were into the 17-mile mark and starting to feel the pain.
“My feet are blistering,” said 12-year-old Redd Peterson.
The boy was in good spirits despite exhaustion.
“They’ve done well,” said Nate Peterson, Redd’s dad and scoutmaster. “There haven’t been many complaints. This is probably hitting us harder than it is the kids.”