|Waiting for the vans to arrive at the Denver airport|
|Garden of the Gods|
Up at 5:00 AM. Got ready and did last minute packing. Fried eggs, toast and juice for breakfast. Left for the airport at 6:50 and got there a bit after 7:00. Group check in. Security went well, but had to take Miriam’s pointe shoes out of the duffle and move them to the carry-on as the duffle was slightly overweight. Read the paper while waiting to board. Carl’s C-SPAN article was in it. Called home to tell them. Southwest flight 691 to Denver. Sat in the back row in the right middle seat next to Miriam at the window. Pretty good flight to Denver with some turbulence. Mostly read “Surprised by Joy”. Slight delay landing due to planes being backed up due to weather. Still got in on time. Train ride to baggage claim. Bags showed up at 7 (instead of 9). All bags arrived! Lunch at Red Rocks Bar & BBQ and shared a Smokehouse Platter with Miriam: brisket, hot links, beans and corn on the cob. Rental vans showed up and we loaded them with our stuff and us. Had to stop right away for gas as they came empty. Drove down to the US Air Force Academy in a slight rain. Toured the chapel and visitor center. Watched the movie and learned a lot. We decided not to hike there due to the weather. It was a bit cold and I wore my jacket. Drove to Rudy’s for dinner: more BBQ – ribs and pulled pork. Went to Garden of the Gods afterward and walked around taking lots of pictures. Drove to Peterson Air Force Base and checked in. Got organized for the next day and had a group meeting. In bed and asleep at 10:00 PM.
Tuesday, June 16: Colorado Springs
|Cliff Dwelling Museum|
|Miriam at one of the Manitou Springs springs|
It rained very hard last night and the snow barn leaked in spots. Brent tried to wake me up to move some of my stuff, but I had ear plugs in and never heard him. He wound up moving my stuff for me. Up at 4:15 AM and got ready. Out of the snow barn at bit after 5:45 AM. Breakfast at the mess hall: good and very cheap. Drove to the bicycle shop, checked in, and signed waivers. Came up with alternative plans as it looked like the vans would not be allowed all the way up Pikes Peak. At the last moment, the vans were allowed all the way up enabling us to take the Cog Railway to the top. It cleared up a lot on the way up and the views were quite good, better than the conductor’s jokes. It got increasingly cold as we rose in elevation. It was very cold and windy at the top with a lot of snow and slush. I had 4 layers on top, 2 on the bottom, and my hat and gloves. It was still unbearably cold. I let Miriam use my running tights to try to stay warm. We took a few pictures and had a doughnut. The wind was so strong that they did not allow the doors on one side of the gift shop to be used. Conditions were not good enough to start biking from the top. We drove down about a mile and started there. It was still very cold and windy, and Miriam got blown off the road. Soon after that we were driven further down the road (below the tree line) and restarted. The extra van ride gave me time to set up my GoPro on my helmet and use it most of the way down. The bike ride down was a lot of fun. Instead of eating lunch at the Greek restaurant which was closed for vacation, we ate at Front Range BBQ. I had a catfish sandwich and lots of lemonade. After lunch we went to the Cave of the Winds to enjoy the views there. Then we went to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum. It was well done though not authentic. Then we drove to Manitou Springs to enjoy the town and have dinner on our own. Miriam and I sampled a number of the springs. Some were better than others, but I really did not like any of them. We had dinner at Boodad’s Louisiana Restaurant. I had shrimp etouffee with grilled vegetables. We then went to a free concert in front of the library of jazz music with a flute and guitars. We returned to Peterson AFB, got cleaned up, and went to bed at 10:00 PM.
Pikes Peak video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLGRAwkEw4E
Wednesday, June 17: Colorado Springs
|Miriam at Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the background|
|At Balance Rock in Garden of the Gods|
Whitewater rafting video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjIxT7sPwVo
Garden of the Gods video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUMFVTxvno0
Thursday, June 18 – Day 1: Base Camp
|Miriam and our ranger getting equipment|
Base camp video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HayEmHrQY3o
Friday, June 19 – Day 2: Base Camp to Anasazi
|Our bus through the Philmont gateway|
Up at 4:15 AM. Shaved and showered. Finished packing. Put stuff in the van. Breakfast. Decided not to try to tour the Villa Philmonte but made a reservation for after our trek. Crew meeting after breakfast. Brent got gas (for the stoves). Bought carabiners at the Tooth of Time Traders for Miriam’s camera and to have some extras. Final things not going on the trail to the van. Took pictures before loading the bus. Rode off around 10:00 AM. Good, fun ride out to 6-Mile Gate: informative with jokes. Arrived and formed a big pack line. Had the red roof inn talk. Formed crew pack line, and learned about using a map and compass for navigation. Decided to eat lunch before hitting the trail. Hit the trail and missed the first turn. The trail was very nice with lots of flowers. Got to the T-Rex track pretty quickly. Lily read the information on display to us which was pretty interesting. Hiked to Anasazi and selected camp 4. First put up the dining fly – went well. Put up the bear bags. Probably cut the oops rope too short. Got water and sanitized it. Discovered we did not have an 8 quart pot which made the Philmont cooking method impossible. The first pot of boiling water got spilled. Finally got dinner finished and eaten. More ranger training. Leave No Trace training from Cole. Devotional by Nolan. Roses, thorns and buds. In bed at 10:00 PM.
Rose: The silver on the sage meaning I was back at PhilmontThorn: Dinner difficulties
Bud: The trek ahead
Day 2 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAPDbDRlAn0
Up at 5:15 AM ahead of the crew at 5:30. Broke camp and had breakfast. On the trail at 7:30. We were the first crew to reach Indian Writings and signed up to do all 3 of their programs. We started with throwing atl-atls. JJ (who knows the Allens) was our staff person. Our ranger almost hit a target. Lily did hit a target. Chris was our tour guide for the petroglyph tour which was quite good: 4 panels and 2 excavations. Then we helped out with an archaeological dig. We then accepted Chris’s offer to have their staff cook our dinner to eat for lunch. We took showers and visited the museum. We hit the trail again around 2:00 PM up to Hart Peak. Big climb right away with great views of where we were. Some rain with thunder along the way. Not safe at the peak, so we only paused briefly for pictures and moved on. Lots of elevation gain on the rest of the trail. Stopped at a well for water. Had gate training at the well and then we proceeded to do it all wrong at the gate to our camp. Got to camp around 7:00 PM. The camp map showed no bear cable but there was one. Set up camp and had our lunch for dinner. Very little ranger training due to it already being quite late. Quick devotional and RTB. Bed at 10:00 PM.
Rose: The staff at Indian Writings and that the crew had done well on a difficult day
Thorn: My pillow leaks
Bud: The rest of the trek
Day 3 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpHJG80lg4g
Up at 5:00 AM before the crew at 5:30. More ranger training. Decided to cook biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Youth decided to skip the challenge events at Dan Beard and go straight to Sioux. Gave a crew shirt to the ranger. Most went to the well to get more water. I stayed at camp with the ranger and Lily. Wilderness Pledge time. Hit the trail after 11:00. Trail was a road. It was scenic but very sunny and hot. Stopped at a rare shady spot for lunch. Our ranger left us at this point. Continued down the trail at 1:30 PM. Quickly saw a red roof that turned out to be Ponil. Pretty quickly got to the end of the road and into Sioux. Set up camp. Had dinner of chicken, cranberries and stuffing: quite good. We also ate the pound cake with apple pie filling and chocolate icing that I had carried after we decided not to eat it the night before due to lateness. Went to Ponil for evening activities. Got 2 root beers. Listened to the Cantina Show from the cool breeze way. In bed at 10:00 PM after doing RTB on the way back to Sioux from Ponil.
Rose: not going to Dan Beard which was a youth idea and decisionThorn: not going to Dan Beard which meant not doing challenge events for the third time for me
Bud: getting our burro
|Company meeting (campfire) at Pueblano|
Day 5 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9wLeLBMJ4Q
|Miriam with our burro|
Day 6 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny90MjNRLDY
|Hiking on snow descending Baldy|
Up at 4:15 AM with the alarm and crew. Hit the trail at 5:20. Stopped at Miranda to drop off garbage and extra food and get water. Up the trail through Black Horse seeing lots of abandoned mining equipment and structures. The crew did a great job going up. Did a caterpillar to get up the summit together. Got there at 10:30. Took a crew photo before the other crew got there. Walked all around the summit. Ate lunch. Took a combined crew photo. Started our descent at 11:30. Took the safest approach down the backside to the meadow and ridge and then down the switchbacks to Copper Park. Took a road then the trail to Baldy Town. Food pickup with fruit and strawberry milk. Took a very cold shower and bought batteries for my headlamp that had turned on in my pack. Filled up on water and hit the road back to Maxwell. Everyone was tired. Even so, dinner got made and eaten and the bear bags put up. Got to bed at 9:30 PM.
Rose: going up Baldy as a group in great weather without much difficultyThorn: my feet have begun to hurt
Bud: 5 more days at Philmont
Day 7 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkQ633fltSU
|Sunset at Black Jacks|
Up at 6:00 AM before the crew at 7:15. Organized my equipment. Hot breakfast. Hit the trail at 11:00. Back to Head of Dean. Ate lunch there at their covered picnic table. Rained some. Trail to Upper Dean Cow – nice trail. Saw 2 bucks and a turkey. Tough, long, uphill climb into Black Jack. Found a camp that had never been used with a great view of Baldy. Set up tents first as it started to rain, and then set up camp. Watched the sun set right next to Baldy while dinner was rehydrating. Great campfire. Bed at 10:30 PM.
Rose: Black Jack camp – we were the first to use our fire ring and sump, our tent area was great, and the sunset was spectacularThorn: my feet still hurt
Bud: program activities at Harlan
Day 8 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kOUASGDt24
|Miriam reloading a shotgun shell|
Up at 5:00 AM before the crew at 5:30. Barely hit the trail before 8:00. Stopped off at Black Jack’s Hideout. There was a cool, fossilized log inside that was turning to coal. We had a long stop to filter and purify water from the stream in the middle of the road. Long downhill to Turkey Creek Turnaround where we crossed under Highway 64 and over the Cimarron River. Stopped there for a couple of liters of water which were treated during lunch along the river. Tough climb from there. The crew did great, but I melted in the heat and sun. Finally got to Harlan. Got to reload 3 shotgun shells and have a shooting safety talk, but shooting was rained out (due to very little rain) and rescheduled for the morning. Took a while to find a camp as the one we initially selected was bad and the next one was already taken. Set up camp and had dinner. Burro racing right at 7:45 PM lasting only a minute or two. Reid won! Had hot cider at the advisors’ coffee. Early to bed at 9:20 PM.
Rose: getting to Harlan after another long and hard dayThorn: melting in the afternoon
Bud: getting to Cimarroncito (and the promised best showers in Scouting)
Day 9 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pljzb3FVjOY
Woke up at 5:30 AM after a very large storm during most of the night. We were informed that some places in Philmont had gotten 4 inches of rain, and we were held in camp until it was determined that is was safe to hike. Had breakfast and broke camp. Shot shotguns along with our sister crew. Missed all 3 of my shots. Talked to 2 Scouts from Beijing Troop 729. We were cleared to hit the trail which we did at 11:00. Very soon after hitting the trail, Connor noticed he had forgotten his rain jacket and went back with Cole to get it. Played Frisbee with Nolan while waiting. The trail was very muddy. Had a number of stream crossings including one using a rope and wearing camp shoes right before lunch. Miriam, Brent and I went separately to pick up food at Ute Gulch while the others continued on to Cimarroncito. The trail there was very nice as was the one to Cimarroncito. We were informed of a bear siting just down the trail where we had just been. Got to Cimarroncito after the rest of the crew had checked in and gotten shower and climbing times. Took showers from 5 to 6 which felt great: hot and clean. Prepared dinner with Kay and Miriam while the others went to yoga. Went to bed at 9:30 PM. A hole in my mattress made sleeping a bit difficult.
Rose: meeting and talking to Scouts from China and surviving the storm with little troubleThorn: a hole in my air mattress
Bud: climbing in Cimarroncito
Day 10 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2iA0kYBgYg
|Miriam and Dan at Cimarroncito Reservoir|
Up at 6:00 AM before the crew at 7:00. Broke camp and had breakfast. Rock climbing at 9:45 AM. Did well and enjoyed it. Hiked through Hidden Valley and up to Window Rock with Brent, Cole, Nolan and Miriam. Unfortunately we missed a trail due to thinking it was for Conservation only. This cost us a lot of time and effort as we went down a series of switchbacks and had to go back up them. Hidden Valley and Window Rock were worth the effort. We ate lunch at Window Rock. Unfortunately we got to Hunting Lodge so late that we did not have time to tour it. Quickly hiked through the Demonstration Forest to Clarks Fork. Had my hat branded on top with “TT” for the Tooth of Time. They actually heated the branding irons with a regular fire. Took a shower while dinner cooked at Clarks Fork. Rained on us a bit there and on the trail to Upper Clarks Fork. Fortunately the rain stopped, and we set up camp right next to our sister crew. We had a combined campfire and RTBs. In bed at 9:30 PM.
Rose: This was day 35 for me at Philmont. I was happy to be here with Miriam enjoying the experience together and learning more about her.Thorn: missing the trail to Hidden Valley and thus missing the Hunting Lodge tour
Bud: going home
Day 11 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfDe_LvXokM
|We All Made It!|
Up at 4:30 AM with the alarm and crew. Broke camp, had breakfast, and hit the trail a bit before 6:30. Tough climb to Shaefers Pass where we stopped to get water from the spring. Rocky, slow trail to the Tooth of Time after numerous false teeth. Rock scramble up the Tooth of Time for lunch, group pictures, and great views. Long, hot trail back to base camp. Fortunately it was overcast. Got in to base camp at 3:30 PM. Checked in and dropped off the crew gear that we had borrowed. Next to Logistics and then Registration. Needed to pay my trail credit bill at the Tooth of Time Traders where Miriam got a belt and buckle. Back to Registration to get our physicals, crew pictures, and arrowhead patches. Shaved and took a shower. Went into Cimarron for pizza and shared a large Pepperoni Pounder with Miriam eating 7/8 of it between us. Stopped to get Advil and had an ice cream cone. Back to Philmont for the closing campfire which was fun and entertaining. Miriam got our “We All Made It” plaque. Back to the tent to pack for our return home in the morning. In bed at 11:30 PM.
Day 12 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A675KEX5zwc
Day 12 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A675KEX5zwc
|Sunrise before leaving|