Sunday, August 7, 2011

Philmont Adventure - Day 1 - Cary to Colorado Springs

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Woke up at 3:00 AM and got a few last minute things done. Went back to sleep and up again at 5:50 AM with the alarm. Breakfast of eggs and toast. Left to go to the airport at 7:45 AM stopping at Sheetz to pick up snacks for the plane. Everyone arrives at terminal 1 on time by 8:15 AM. Last insurance card copy collected. Tickets handed out to all but Keegan and Chris who got theirs “later”. Mostly smooth through security except Jordan got his bottle of sunscreen confiscated. Had to wait a while for our 9:55 AM flight. Got seats together in the back of the plane. Good flight. Read about half of “The New Cool”. Had “plane” crackers, pretzels, peanuts and Sprite Zero along with the chocolate chip cookies I brought. Got to Denver about 30 minutes early. Talked to a Scouter from Baltimore at baggage claim. Found Dollar Rent-a-Car bus and got on the second one. Discovered at Dollar that our reservations were with Thrifty. Fortunately it was right next to Dollar. Wound up renting a 12-passenger van instead of the 3 full-size cars that were reserved. Drove out of the airport looking for a place to eat. Crew wanted Mexican, so I suggested Casa Bonita. Got directions there by cell phone. Turned out to be the wrong place. Ate at Ludita’s instead. Had tamales and Inca Cola. Drove to the Air Force Academy (75 MPH speed limit). We walked around the campus and saw the chapel. When we returned to the van, Christian could not find his ID. I ran back to look for it. I received a cell phone call to come back as it had been found. On to the Garden of the Gods Campground. Set up camp around other Scouts including Crew 718-S from West Virginia. Drove to Flying W Ranch for a chuck wagon dinner and western show. The food was quite good: beef brisket, baked beans, apple sauce, biscuit, and spice cake. The western show was really good with the Flying W Wranglers – the second oldest western band at 59 years. They were all very talented. The opossum song was the highlight. Drove back to camp with one wrong turn. Great orange full moon seen on the ride back to camp. All went to bed pretty quickly at 10:00 PM.

Philmont Adventure - Day 2 - Colorado Springs

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Up around 2:00 AM to go to the bathroom. The moon was so bright that I did not need a flashlight. Up again at 5:30 AM. Took a very nice shower. Other scoutmasters went to Starbacks and brought back donuts. Given watermelon slices by a troop from Omaha, NE. Pancake breakfast with sausage and beverage for $4.50 at camp. Ate 3 very large pancakes which were very good. Drove to Garden of the Gods and walked around seeing the amazing rock formations. Climbed a few and got lots of great pictures. Drove around to see more. Stopped at Balancing Rock and wound up doing a lot more climbing and taking pictures. Drove back to camp to get warm clothes. Lunch at A&W/KFC – root beer float! Drove to Pikes Peak Cog Railway missing the turn on the way. Got to park in an RV spot. Rode Aspen car up Pikes Peak. Very steep in parts. Lots of good views on the way up. Took lots of pictures at the top. Called home on Dr. G’s cell phone from the top. Felt really tired on the way down. Drove to Old Colorado City and ate dinner at Thunder and Buttons. Had buffalo brat with elk chili. Back to camp. Boys went swimming. Got ready for tomorrow. Bed early.

Philmont Adventure - Day 3 - Colorado Springs to Philmont Base Camp

Monday, July 18, 2011

Everyone up by 5:30 AM. Broke camp and departed at 6:30 AM. Stopped at Starbucks. Drove to Pueblo for breakfast: Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes at McDonalds. Drove to Philmont. First view of the Tooth of Time and Baldy Mountain. Checked in at the Welcome Center with Caleb. Got our tent assignments (D31 – D36) and met our Ranger, Garrett. I went by myself to handle the paperwork – fast and easy. Caleb and I went to Logistics to learn our trek and mark our map. Lunch of two chicken tenders and mashed potatoes. Then medical checks. All went well except Carl had brought an expired prescription. Took two hours to resolve. Rest of the crew went on to Services to get equipment and food. Rejoined the crew at the end of equipment check. Carl and I did ours quickly afterwards. Some ranger training: maps and first aid. Dinner of pork and potatoes. Advisors meeting while the boys attended Crew Leader, Chaplain’s Aid, and Guia meetings. Chapel. Campfire on the history of Philmont. Quick shower and asleep by 10:00 PM.

Philmont Adventure - Day 4 - Base Camp to Sioux

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got up very early to repack. By making good use of all space, got everything in my pack including my fleece. Breakfast of waffles and ham. Had to make Villa Philamonte reservations after 8:00 AM and returned to do so in the van. Got 10:30 AM reservation. Checked out of base camp. Boys played cards at the Welcome Center. Went to the Tooth of Time Traders for final items – lighters. Toured Villa Philamonte. Excellent tour with lots of information. Brian played their piano. Had to leave early to get back for lunch. Lunch of turkey with cheese removed sandwich. Long wait for 1:45 PM bus to Ponil Turnaround. Put last things in the van. Boarded the bus for our trip through Cimarron to Ponil Turnaround. Bus went pretty quickly. Lots of “misinformation” from the rangers. Got off the bus and hit the trail. Saw some of the effects of the 2002 fire. Got to Ponil pretty quickly. Stopped for porch talk, branding and root beer. Started to rain a bit, so we put on our pack covers and hit the trail. Got to Sioux pretty quickly. Set up camp: water bottles in the fire ring, tarp set up, bear bags, and then tents. Made dinner. I had beef stew while others had Fettuccine Primavera. Back to Ponil. Went to the trading post and waited for the cantina show. Boys played horseshoes. Cantina show was not very good and very hot. Left before it was over. Got to play some horseshoes in the dark. Back to camp and bed. Started raining hard. Checked on my stuff which I had left out under the tarp and found the tarp had blown off our stuff. Tried to get Caleb up but failed. Others who were up helped with the tarp. Fixed my tent so the rain fly worked properly. Finally to sleep. It rained hard twice during the night with strong winds.

Philmont Adventure - Day 5 - Sioux to Flume Canyon

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Up before the crew (4:30 AM instead of 5:30 AM). Got tent and sleeping pad dried out. Broke camp and hiked back to Ponil. Ate breakfast. Boys picked out a burro. Burro training. Messed up the diamond hitch demonstration twice. Christian and Carl both selected to help with the demonstration. Both called “Freckles”. Boys did not get the burro they had picked out because it had just gotten off the trail. Got B-17 instead. Still named it “El Guapo”. Our crew was the first one done getting the burro ready, so they were asked to help out another crew. Finally on the trail with El Guapo. Hiked on a road straight to Flume Canyon with only a few short stops. El Guapo was pretty good except for looking for any opportunity to eat. Kermit rode on El Guapo. Keegan and Christian corralled El Guapo while the others set up camp. Challenged to set up camp in 20 minutes. Did not accomplish that since Keegan and Christian had things we needed. Ate lunch. Completed ranger training. Filtered water. Some time to relax. Camp site was very nice, but it did have a few flies. Had a bit of trouble hiking today but able to keep up. Rinsed myself off in the stream with my bandana – felt wonderful. Went to watch the feeding of El Guapo. Dinner of turkey and breakfast skillet which we had swapped for the stuffing. Hiked to Pueblano for loggerball and campfire. Loggerball was basically baseball with logs for bats and a large ball of duct tape for the ball. One oddity was running the bases backwards for the second inning. Staff vs youth. Staff won. Garrett and Brian both got hits. Brian hurt his finger fielding a pop up in the crowd of Scouts. Saw a double rainbow during the game. Had to hike a ways to the campfire which was really good. Lots of songs with 2 guitars, 2 banjos, a mandolin and a wash board. Also had stories and “Logger Love Connection” which included Garrett. Campfire ended with a heartfelt talk on the Philmont experience. On the way back to Flume Canyon we helped a Scout without a flashlight and separated from his crew back to his camp. We sang songs along the way to scare off bears and mountain lions. We also did “roses, thorns and buds” on the way. Then straight to bed around 10:30 PM.

Philmont Adventure - Day 6 - Flume Canyon to Head of Dean

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Woke up at 4:30 AM before the crew at 5:00 AM. It had rained during the night and the rain fly was very wet. Packed the tent away wet. Broke camp, got El Guapo ready, and hit the trail back to Pueblano. Some of the boys put El Guapo in the corral while most of the crew hurried to sign in for an early spar pole climbing spot. Got 8:00 AM. Ate breakfast while waiting. Good and fun instructions on how to spar pole climb. The whole crew successfully climbed the pole, some better than others. I got tired on the way up and really struggled to finish but did. Somehow got a bloody finger. Took lots of pictures and video. Got El Guapo ready again and hit the trail to Head of Dean. This was a very nice trail that started with a series of switchbacks. Lots of burned trees and great views. We saw Baldy for the first time on the trail. Made it pretty quickly to Head of Dean and checked in. Got a 12:30 PM slot for Challenge Events. Was given the camp site near the corral which was pretty far away. Got Challenge Events time switched to 1:00 PM. Set up camp and ate lunch. The camp site was nice but had a large slope. Started to rain. Walked to Challenge Events which got switched to Porch Games because of the weather. Best games were Green Door and Ghost which was a spelling game. Went back to camp and took a nap. Was awakened for dinner. Went to the advisors meeting and learned a lot from the other advisors. Back to camp and early to bed. Felt better hiking today as it was cooler with a nice trail.

Philmont Adventure - Day 7 - Head of Dean to Ute Meadows

Friday, July 22, 2011

Woke up at 5:00 AM with the crew. Finally broke camp at 7:00 AM. Hiked to Miranda stopping along the way to play Frisbee and enjoy the views. Returned El Guapo. Logistics had told us incorrectly how to return the burro which slowed us down. Got the 2:00 PM slot for black powder rifle shooting. Crew threw tomahawks. I washed my laundry before my turn. Did pretty well ending with sticking a bunch in a row. Christian almost nailed a mini bear. We cooked our dinner for lunch. It rained a bit. Fortunately it did not affect our shooting except we did not get to load the rifles as Uncle was much faster at it and did it to get us done before any more bad weather. Carl nailed his hat twice. I had no idea how I did as my target had fallen over before I had a chance to shoot it. Short hike to Ute Meadows. Boys took a long time to select a camp site. Boys finally chose a good one except that the bear bag cable was far away. Tomorrow’s lunch for dinner. Slowly got camp ready for the night and went to bed. Chris had had a hard day with many things going wrong including a mini bear getting into his Gu which then exploded in his pack and on the map.

Philmont Adventure - Day 8 - Side Hike to Baldy Mountain

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Got up at 5:00 AM with the crew. Not feeling 100%. Hiked up the road to Baldy Town and had breakfast. Caleb learned that he needed “Onion” which he had not brought. He and Jordan ran back to camp and back to retrieve it. Used the delay to read the informational posters about mining and habitat change with elevation. Finally left for Baldy Mountain at 8:15 AM. Got lost once at the beginning of the trail. The trail was rocky and quite steep. We did 10 minutes of hiking followed by 1 minute of rest to drink – worked well. We actually caught up and passed two crews on the way up. The last part was straight up and very difficult. I found that taking short steps worked the best. The crew got separated for a bit, but Caleb got the crew to the summit together. It took about 2 hours from Baldy Town to the top of Baldy Mountain. We spent time enjoying the views and taking pictures. We ate lunch. Then we took crew pictures with Mr. H’s monopod trekking pole. The weather was great when we arrived – mostly sunny with a few clouds. When we left it was cloudy, cooling off, and it looked like it was about to rain. The trail down was quite steep with loose rock. We finally made it to a ridge which was very open when it started to rain. We hiked fast to get off the ridge with lightning in the area. Unfortunately Carl went too fast and had an asthma attack. We had to wait while he recovered. We were then on a very pleasant trail down with a lot of switchbacks. We then found the trail to French Henry and it was terrible – steep with lots of wet rocks as it was lightly raining. I was feeling miserable. Carl found a hot spot which we treated twice on the trail and once at French Henry. We wound up doing nothing at French Henry except sitting and resting. We took the road from there back to Baldy Town. At Baldy Town, we bought some things at the trading post. I replaced my broken spork and got another canister of fuel. Took a shower. Did not have a towel but dried off very quickly anyway. The shower really made me feel better. Boys got our food at the commissary. I got a fresh pear which was quite good. Hiked the road back to Ute Meadows. Was not feeling well again and neither did Carl. Ate dinner of beef and potatoes. Took care of things and went to bed at 9:00 PM.

Philmont Adventure - Day 9 - Ute Meadows to Santa Claus

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Was awakened at 6:00 AM with the rest of the crew. Cooked breakfast. Saw two deer by our camp site. Broke camp and hit the trail back to Miranda. Threw tomahawks again. Had a tournament which Brian won. Hit the trail again to Head of Dean. Ate lunch there. Reserved the 2:00 PM Challenge Events slot which was rained out again. Caleb was nice to a female staffer who rewarded him with snack packs for the entire crew. Left in the rain for Santa Claus. Hiked through a large, burned out forest. Got to Santa Claus and set up camp. Boys found Garrett with another crew. Went and talked to him. Boys filtered water. Late dinner. Two of our snack packs were given to Garrett. To bed at 9:20 PM.

Philmont Adventure - Day 10 - Santa Claus to Upper Bench

Monday, July 25, 2011

Up at 6:00 AM with the crew. Broke camp and hiked to the Cimarron River. Carl was having trouble, so the boys took a lot of his weight from his pack. This sped Carl up quite a bit making me the slowest of the crew. My feet were really hurting. We got to the river and soaked our feet in it while filtering water. The coldness on the feet felt wonderful. We ate dinner for lunch knowing our evening camp had little or no water. It was mostly downhill to the river. It was mostly uphill from there to our camp at Upper Bench. We probably hiked 9 to 10 miles total for the day. We set up camp pretty quickly. Dr. G had medical consultations with each crew member. Advisors meeting to discuss how things were going. Lunch for dinner. Keegan led a devotional. Used a latrine (no walls) for the first time after our sister crew showed me where it was. Walked around the dry lake bed and found a fairly fresh deer leg. Also found a log that had been rolled and lots of animal droppings. Saw a deer and fawn walk through the lake bed. Boys climbed the rocks at the end of the lake bed. They then showed the deer leg to our sister crew. This camp had the first mosquitoes that I saw.

Philmont Adventure - Day 11 - Upper Bench to Cimarroncito

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Up a couple of times in the night and the stars were incredible. Unfortunately my findings the previous evening prevented me from going too far from my tent to look at them. Up at 5:00 AM with the crew. Left on the trail at 6:15 AM. Carl was rattled by a rattlesnake along the trail. We had to hike around it. Ate breakfast on the trail. Got to Ute Gulch Commissary pretty quickly for our last food pickup. Had another pear. At the trading post, bought a Philmont Nalgene for Christian to use, some more fuel, and sock liners and foot powder for my feet. The last two items seemed to help a lot. Hiking through Grouse Canyon was very nice with lots of interesting rock formations. Quite quickly we were at Cimarroncito. We had our porch talk while Christian defended our packs from mini bears. We set up camp and had lunch. Lots of laundry was done. We did our conservation project at 2:00 PM. First we moved their equipment from where it was to the Hunting Lodge. It took two trips. Then we pulled up Musk Thistles and pulled off their seeding heads. This is an invasive species. Ironically it is also on the Philmont staff badges as it has a pretty purple flower. It was a long way back to camp and Carl hit his limit. Therefore we made the long, slow walk back together while the rest of the crew went on ahead. We took a very nice shower on the way. Dinner was pretty late and Christian missed it because he had to attend a Guia meeting. He wound up eating quite late. Carl went to bed quite early and we were all in bed by 9:00 PM.

Philmont Adventure - Day 12 - Cimarroncito

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Got up at 6:00 AM before the crew got up at 6:30 AM. Did my laundry. Slightly late for breakfast. Rock climbing. All climbed up and rappelled down. There was a race to see who could climb up the fastest. Chris won and got a Snack Pack. Back to camp for lunch. Took a side hike to the Hunting Lodge and Window Rock. The Hunting Lodge was interesting in terms of construction and items in it. The tour itself was a bit long and hot. Getting up to Window Rock was very slow as Carl was really struggling. The view from the top rewarded our efforts. You could see the Tooth of Time Ridge, the Philmont Training Center, and I believe Baldy Mountain. Keegan led a very good devotional while we were up there. I was very impressed hearing how the Philmont experience had drawn everyone closer to God. Had a talk with Carl about his pace and dealing with adversity. I told him we would need to send him to base camp if he could not pick up his pace, that I would have to go with him, and that I did not want to go. Carl flew so fast back to camp that I had a difficult time keeping up with him. Got back and took a shower and washed the clothes that I had been wearing. Dinner of chicken and rice. Got somewhat organized for the next day. Watched the boys try to conquer the climbing wall challenge without success. They could have earned a dozen donuts. To bed at 9:00 PM. By the way, no significant rain today – a first for us on the trail.

Philmont Adventure - Day 13 - Cimarroncito to Ponderosa Park

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Got up at 6:00 AM before the crew at 6:30 AM. Got a few things done and watched woodpeckers peck. Had breakfast, broke camp and hit the trail. Tried a group picture beside a lake. We hiked through the Demonstration Forest and saw a number of turkeys. Quickly got to Clarks Fork. Had our porch talk and decided to hike onto our camp at Ponderosa Park. We quickly set up camp and went back to Clarks Fork. We ate lunch there and headed to our horseback ride. We were getting our horses when lightning struck. We were delayed for 30 minutes and tried again. Unfortunately there was more lightning and the ride was cancelled. We then got things branded. I got the horse brand on my hat. Most of us then waited out the rain on the porch. Some of the boys played horseshoes. I played Moose Farkel with Carl, and then most of the others joined us. Brian won that game twice as he gambled and lost after reaching 10,000 the first time. We then went to the chuck wagon dinner. We were one of the last crews to get to eat. The beef stew tasted quite good. We then had to wait quite a while to leave as Keegan and Christian helped with cleanup. We loaded up on water on the way out since it was the last water until base camp. Chris carried the 2.5 gallon jug filled with water. We arrived back at camp and prepared for the next day. Some of the boys made large quantities of hot apple cider. Keegan cooked a spaghetti dinner he had found. Most of the boys ate the extra pound cake they were given at the chuck wagon dinner. To bed at 8:30 PM.

Philmont Adventure - Day 14 - Ponderosa Park to Base Camp

Friday, July 29, 2011

Got up at 3:45 AM before the crew at 4:00 AM. Ate breakfast, broke camp and hit the trail at 5:15 AM. Started the hike using my headlamp to see. Up through Shaeffer’s Pass. Then every rock formation was the Tooth. This happened many times. Finally we arrived at the base of the Tooth of Time. We made a pack line keeping our smellables with us. It was a difficult rock and boulder scramble up to the top. The views were great. Took a lot of pictures. Getting down was a bit difficult. Carl’s hip bothered him on the way down, and he took quite a while. We hit the trail again. It ended with a series of switchbacks that were hot and dusty. Made it back to base camp about noon taking a group finishing picture. Checked in at the Welcome Center getting our tent assignments and list of things we needed to do. Went into Cimarron for pizza at the St. James Hotel. Came back to take showers, to do the advisors survey, take care of trail charges, and get our arrowhead patches. Hit the Tooth of Time Traders for souvenir purchases. Got the mail. Dinner in the mess hall at 5:45 PM – Asian food. Chapel at 7:00 PM after dealing with sons’ SEEK classes. Chapel was pretty good. Closing campfire at 8:15 PM – Home Bound! Caleb was awarded the “We All Made It” award. To bed at 10:30 PM after some packing.

Philmont Adventure - Day 15 - Base Camp to Cary

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Up at 5:00 AM to finish packing. Took a few sunrise pictures. Breakfast at 7:00 AM – raisin bread French toast. Last trip to Tooth of Time Traders for patches. Loaded up the van and checked out. Drove to Cimarron and shopped for knives. Bought Leslie-Jean a pair of hummingbird ear rings. Back on the road. Stopped at a McDonalds in Colorado Springs for lunch. Drove on to Denver. Got gas and returned the van. Shuttle to the airport. Had to check our luggage at the curb. Mr. H got the wrong name on his boarding pass and had to go back to get it fixed. Through a long but efficient security line. Train to terminal C. The plane was beginning boarding when we arrived. Scrambled to use the restroom and grab some food. Flight left and arrived on time. Some turbulence during the flight with a thunderstorm going into RDU. Met at the airport by the rest of the family. Had to wait on Jordan’s grandparents picking him up. Then a long walk to the car and finally home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Swim Team 2011

The swim team season is over! :( We ended up 5th overall in the Cary City Meet in July and had 3 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie (incomplete meet in this case).

Miriam was in the main event for all of the meets in Freestyle and placed in many of them. Her relay team also did really well in all of the meets.

On Thursday, July 21, we had the banquet. After receiving the medals and times sheets, they moved onto the special awards! First, they handed out the "Imp Awards". This award went out to ten people, who during the season showed great sportsmanship, vast improvement
and had a steady attendance record. Miriam was awarded one of those awards, which was a silicone cap and certificate. They went through most improved boy and girl with every age group and then MVP boy and girl with every age group. After that they did the coach's award. They only present 4 of these awards. One boy and girl for the 10 and unders and one boy and girl for the 11 and ups. I won the coach's award for the girls 11 and up. I got a really nice plaque with my name on it. It's really cool! :)

Coach Beau (below)