Camping and Events
In the beginning, God created Philmont. Philmont was without form and void, but even then the mini bears were looking at the prospects of a free meal.
Then the Spirit of “Bob” (and hosts) began hovering over the idea of a NWSC council training program.
All to prepare man and beasts for a 10 day backpacking vacation in THIS mystic place.
And Bob said “let there be crews“, and there were crews –
Then Bob said – let these crews hike – and they hiked.
Even in the middle of a polar vortex.
Just like Noah, all the people thought they were crazy hiking in the mall at 8 am on Sunday mornings!
Then Bob said “let there be an expanse that separates the crews from Philmont so that we can create and adventure for said crews and work for travel agents”. And Bob called the travel agent and who informed him of the options available to both the “Day” and the “Night” travel to Philmont. Since the crews were made in Bob’s image, they decided upon the train and plane avenue and a little bit of water travel near the end.
On a later day Bob said “let there be a taste of the food that everyone will eat in this Eden of Philmont”. And so it was that Taste of Philmont was held – to great success.
On another day, Bob (and hosts) decided that all crews should gather and eat from the Tree of Knowledge (somewhere at Lakota) and learn the ways of the Trail.
They all learned the ways to the best of their ability, but there was one last lesson they had to learn.A man-eating bear awaited the crews on the edge of their campsites.After passing this test Bob blessed them and said “go forth, be fruitful – no need to multiply, since it would mess up our travel plans – if so, payment would need to be in by July 1″!
And thus after toiling over many more meetings, emails, t-shirts, broken-in boots, backpack sizes, knives, IDs other sundry items and especially POLYPRO, Bob decided to rest, while the crews made their way to the promised land.
Several months later a guy like Noah began loading the Ark:
There were many different animals from many different places, but for some reason they were not in pairs.
Later they all tried to make a flag for the ark. It was too big to take with, plus the Exodus of 40 years in the desert (ok really just 48 hours ) was to be over railroad tracks and roads. No room for this – or Unicorns.
There was a mighty flood on the way indeed
But the Lord was good to the crews and provided dry land to travel over.
He also likes Amtrak and so did the crews:
Joseph and his amazing technicolor neck pillow made an appearance too.
Of course the crews could not wait to use this new found knowledge from the tree of life to gamble their time away.
Their desert wanderings were just about to begin – here they are in La Junta CO:
The Exodus continued to the Koshare Kiva:
There was no Mt. Sinai here, but lots of very cool native artifacts, painting and a show.
Later the wanderers made their way to the Tower of Babel (Old Bents Fort)
Here they heard about the ways of the plains from Kit Carson’s great grandson:
And then since it was only the sixth day the crews, being mostly teen aged, faced with a choice of sleep or food, chose the latter and gorged themselves on Subway(God also created Subway on the sixth day):
Yet on the Seventh day they were tired.
They rested on the train and bus:.
However the excitement of more food on the way to this veritable Eden excited them once again.
Their arrival in the “Promised land” was joyous:
And here they were assigned a guardian angel (Ranger) to lead them on their way (Bart on the left in Green):
And the view from one of the Churches at Philmont was outstanding (yes those are deer in the background)
The accommodations were ample
Then the Guardian Angel said, crews must learn about the history of this place at an “opening fire bowl”.
(They were told to grab a rock a the start, and then a fine young lass told them all something to the effect that if you wanted a chance at her affections that you should bring it to her. EVERY SCOUT DID!! Sorry no picture, it happened too fast but you can see them holding a rock in the second pic).
They then learned additional ways of the trail from Bart.
Then it was time to cross the river into the promised land.
And then they were off for ten days into the land of Milk and Honey.
Below we see what would be the first in a long line of equipment malfunctions for one of the crew members.
Life is so hard, isn’t it?
And the Lord was good and provided an uneven patch of ground for the first campsite:
And on this uneven patch of ground the first of many battles of biblical proportion began over the remainder of the evening’s dinner. Below is the victor of the first night devouring the residue of the Black Bart chili. He was victorious in his battle to clean the pot as well.
It was amazing to see the battles fought over less than and ounce of salt and seasoning. They must have been loud enough for all the woodland ruminants to hear. Some showed up for a piece of the action. They got the “other” left overs. (At Philmont you are told to pee on a rock to provide the deer with salt…well, here’s proof)
After a good nights rest the crew was able to revive themselves for day 2.
And we’re off!
Food pick up.
Here one of the hungry lads decided he really liked something called sun butter – peanut butter made with sunflower seeds instead. So much so that he at 15 packets of them. We later found out that the was the equivalent of almost 1 lb of the stuff. He was so proud.
One day, the trekkers were finally able to climb the mountain (Cimarroncito):
The crew also saw a fox afterwards on the way to Webster Lakes – the next campsite of the night.
The Spaghetti was delicious and very enjoyable
The battle for the last ounce ensued once again. You know who was victorious again.
In the distance you can see a “rock cleaner” hard at work.
And it was also at this site that the Guardian Angel provided the crew with the heavenly pound cake and frosting. It was saved for the next day and then devoured.
The next days trek was to Sawmill however the hike was a bit arduous and at the outset one the crew mentioned that they would be hiking all “downhill”. This was not the case and much moaning and consternation occurred. However the arrival was well worth it.
Next it was time to make some bullets to shoot:
It is believed that the crew enjoyed this much, however a comment, “why did we have to walk so far to shoot a few bullets” might belie that fact.
Life around camp that night was relaxed after shooting out all their aggression.
They did a great job putting up their bear bags:
Making dinner – Mexican Dinner.
And we can see once again the battle for the last ounce and the winner and loser (consolation prize – spoon).
The crew went to sleep early this night -on3ewas sick but recovered. The next day was a long hike up Mt. Phillips. First they had to hike up Comanche Peak:
Unfortunately the clear skies in the background did not last. As the crew descended from Comanche peak to Mt. Phillips, the rain began – just in time for the arrival at the campsite and at the same time that the tents needed to be set up. It mattered little due to the majesty of the view at the top:
And then it was sleepy time
The view in the morning was even more glorious:
The Hike down the other side of Phillips was very steep. At the bottom was Clear Creek camp where the crew threw Tomahawks and toured the replica of a trappers cabin:
This was also one of the longer hikes of the trip and quite beautiful
Hey Mom look, no hands!
The next stop was Porcupine campsite. Then on to Crooked Creek camp for horseshoes and chicken hypnotizing.
The next day was the start of a two day layover at Beaubian campsite after a brief stop at Phillips Junction to pick up food for rest of hike.
Beaubian is a horse ranch in the middle of God’s country. There was much to do there in addition to the required conservation project, where the crew’s did their best lumberjack impersonations.
Here the crew also was drawn into a game like Chutes and Ladders called Streams and Trails. A lovely young staffer seemed to grab all their attention – she won!
There was a musical campfire and the boys stayed for the after party and sang
Horeseback riding was on the agenda the next day.
Scouts and their horses names were:
Mr. Glancy- Jed
Adam – Fletch
The next day the crew decided to bushwack a little bit and headed to Abreu. Instead of the scheduled hike over Trail Peak, our wanderers disobeyed and decided to make their own way. After getting lost for a bit, we did make it in good time.
However the nice smooth flat land above quickly turned into a jagged, rough and extremely steep down hill hike below (canyon in the middle).
The view below is from the northwest looking down into this canyon. It was a very tough hike:
Abreu was also a highlight of the trip in that there was ROOT BEER!! One of the crew was actually cut off – after 5 the server told him he had had enough. A pound of sun butter here and a gallon of root beer there and pretty soon you’re talking real money!!!
The hike the next day was up the Urraca Mesa. This was also a difficult hike but one that challenged all. The view was spectacular and
Then Mr. Rattlesnake decided to visit, or more precisely his afternoon nap was disturbed. He was not happy about this and became a bit camera-shy.
Urraca was fun but a little wet. The challenge events were enjoyable and the crew did their best to have a good time. The evening campfire had to be held on porch due to the rain. It was crowded but worth it.
The next day the crew also took a different path than the prescribed one. Rather than taking the switch backs theye went down an abandoned road and ended up at crossroad where they encountered another crew. Their ranger pointed out this interesting feature:
Can you see Jar Jar Binks ? If you can that means on your next trip you will have to dress as a Jedi!
The remainder of the trek involved a climb over up to the Tooth of Time, which was absolutely gorgeous:
The hike UP to the Tooth was a bit of a challenge. But the Lord was kind and gave us a great day and a reason to return once again!
The hike down Tooth ridge back to base camp was quick and another rattle snake was spotted. Eventually the lure of ice cream, junk food and a flat dry bed was enough that they were almost running at the end.
The crew had a wonderful time and MEMORIES WERE MADE THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME!
A great experience and one that hopefully these fine young men will be able to pass on to their children one day also!
And then Bob said, time to start again for 2015!!! (I just got the email! He never sleeps)
The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.
The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.