If you have stumbled into this blog post from a search on Philmont, consider starting at my first post in this series HERE.
Mount Baldy from Wilson Mesa.
After a cold night in the meadow we were up and moving by 7:30. The crew will hike a couple of miles down a meandering valley before we would take a sharp southwest turn and start heading up to Wilson Mesa. The climb up was steady and long but it was still pretty early and the heat had not yet set in. That didn’t mean we didn’t sweat getting up the climb. (I heard from one of our sister crews from our Troop that they descended what we climbed and commented that the descent was equally challenging due to its length ~ hard on the knees for some of us) We took a few breaks here and there.
The crew arrives to take in the splendor.
When you finally reach the Mesa it levels off nicely and rewards you with an epic view of Mt. Baldy. I had been in this very spot 3 years earlier and it was cool to share in the view with my son and his crew. From here we had finished the bulk of our hike for the day and now it was an easy descent into Pueblano.
Pueblano of course looked exactly the same as it did the first time I past through as it is forever stuck in the era of 1914 as a logging camp of the Continental Tie and Lumber Company. All staff are nicely appointed in their grungy, dusty, dirty period wear. And wouldn’t you know, our program director (on the right in the photo above) would be from our hometown and a graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School (we have a few in our Troop that go there). He was also an Eagle Scout from our council (National Capital Area Council).
Pueblano offered spar-pole climbing, loggerball, and the Company Meeting (musical campfire) in the evening. The boys wasted little time jumping right on in with climbing. I was happy to sit and write for a bit while the fun ensued in front of me.
Daniel on the spar pole while Liam suits up. Lots of gear. Scouts love gear.
Each of our crew were successful in reaching the top some 35ft up. The surrounding valley is beautiful and quiet except for the cheers of your crew mates.
Our adult advisers could not resist jumping in on the fun. Big smiles all around.
We soon were on our way up the Canyon in search of Pueblano Ruins. Our campsite was a good mile away from Pueblano. The crew would decide if they wanted to return later for Loggerball and Campfire. For now it was time to set up camp and prepare for dinner. A fed scout is a happy scout.
But first, a short break to tend to an unfortunate bloody nose. Often the altitude can reek a little havoc on your body if your not used to it, which we were not. The dryness can get to you, thus the need to drink regularly during the entire trip. And if you are wondering, that is Daniel’s Father having a chuckle over his son’s predicament.
Everyday the crew is elated to come across these signs denoting we have reached our campsite. Let the fun begin. By day 5 the kids are really getting the hang of it.
Each crew member plays an important role in his crew. Nicholas (waterboy) sits with Thomas (cook) and purifies water that came from a nearby creek. The water is actually quite good and we had no issues to speak of. Many days Nick just sat, and sat, and sat filling every bottle in the group. Thanks Nick! Off in the distance Aidan and Iggy are doing the dishes. Dishes are sterilized before dinner each night by Thomas. After meal dish washing is a rotating job. All the boys chip in. All great skills for a young man to learn.
Liam catches a few winks while laundry dries in the trees.
I’m not a bird guy, so I have know idea what this might be. There were actaully three little guys about 25ft up in this whole in the tree, mouths open waiting for momma to come feed them. Which she did many times. Cute.
The Pueblano Loggermen engage the boys in an old time musical campfire to end the day.
JOURNAL ENTRY, 9:40 pm
“Just finished some great quality time with my son. Most of the crew decided to make the hike back into Pueblano for Campfire. Campfire will be fun as the staff are all very talented musicians. Its dark now and they will have to make the trip back with headlamps on. Liam decided to stay behind and turn in early but not before we had a long chat about many things. The joys of being unplugged. We played cards as well. He is looking forward to completing Philmont and returning to the Goshen Scout Reservation where he works, Philmont belt buckle on his waste. Mr. Z decided to stay back as well as he is still fighting a nagging cold. Its been a long day and very rewarding. The climb up Wilson Mesa was a grunt and tested us well. The kids do great. Mr. K made a poignant comment. He said ‘Pain goes away. Pride lasts forever.’ True that. Its always a treat to get into your next program area or camp. Spar-polling I’m sure will be a highlight of the trip. Scouts dig that kind of stuff. Very memorable. Ya just can’t do that back home. Tomorrow we continue west to the French Henry Program Area then on to Copper Park Camp at the base of Mt Baldy. Looking forward to another great day. Baldy gets closer. Thinking of my family on this lovely evening as I lay in my tent. Goodnight.”