Wednesday, October 9, 2013


A couple weeks before school, in August, I joined a Venturing Crew and headed to Philmont Scout Camp.  The two main leaders were Rob and Tori Black.  They are amazing in all they do.  Justin Cook and I were the "assistant leaders".  They really just needed more adults and we were crazy enough to agree to go.  :)

The night before we were to check in at Philmont we stayed at the Brown Hotel.  Very rustic, with great character and amazing French bread.

We had been riding in a car all day, I knew these girls needed to play. We found a park/school a few blocks from the hotel.  We have Alicia, Karlee, Lexi, Brooke, Macie, Kirsten, and Bailee.  Britt stayed back at the hotel, she wasn't feeling good.

The Cook's brought Uno cards and we played "crazy uno" whenever we had any down time. 
Here's tent city.  More tents than I could have imagined.  It was impressive.

Heading to the bus...
Zastrow Turn Around was our drop off point.  We made a beautiful pack line, learned some things about map reading, and watched the clouds roll in.  It started to sprinkle so we ran to put on our rain gear.  Then we crouched down, far apart from each other, while the rain poured and lightening struck all around.  Once the lightening stopped we picked up our packs and hiked for an hour in the rain.  What in the would did I agree to?
After we made it to our first cabin, we ate lunch then went and did some geocaching.  It was fun.  Karlee, Lexi, and Alicia worked well together.

OK, so they were posing for the above picture too.

Our first night out on the hike and Preston taught us how to take care of our bear bags.  Preston stayed with us for two nights.  We learned a lot about "leave no trace".  It was intense.

Beautiful scenery everywhere we looked!

At every porch there was a swap box.  Everyone would look through to find their favorite snack.  Plus we dropped off what we didn't find appealing.

This was my favorite camp site.  I think it's called Miners Creek.  Deer would wander through our camp and not even look at us.

They would hang out in the meadow too.  I learned at a young age that deer never went out in the meadow.  ;)
This morning, on the 15th was hard for me.  I was tired, over whelmed with was ahead for the day, and desperately wanting "real" food.  I really wanted pancakes...  This was the day we were climbing Tooth of Time.  I knew it would be hard but I had no idea how hard.

We hiked 2 hours with our packs then we dropped them, hung up the bear bags, then headed up the trail.  It was a 2 1/2 hour hike to the top over large rocks with amazing views.

It really was beautiful.  All the girls did great.

When we made it to the top it was exhilarating!!  Tent city is to my right in this picture.
Here comes Karlee.  About 15 minutes before this point Karlee broke down.  She didn't know if she could make it.  I knew she could!  I'm glad she continued on.

Here's Bailee.  She also had a moment, with tears, that she wanted to give up.  My moment was back at camp before we started the day.  We all had to push forward and overcome our own challenges to make it that day.  This day, hiking 2 hours to the trail, 5 hours on the trail with 20 minutes to the top climbing on all fours over boulders, then another 2 hours to camp was truly the hardest thing I have ever done.  It was demanding on my body and it pushed me to my limits emotionally. 

I'm so glad I was able to experience this with Bailee and Karlee.  It was worth the effort, but I have no desire to do this again.  I think most everyone felt the same, at least on the day of our hike to the Tooth of Time.

These are the boulders we climbed on the last 20 minutes to the top.  There really wasn't a trail.  It was more like pick the best rock to climb on. 


The next camp was a ranch.  Most of us branded our hiking boots.  Karlee and Bailee branded their camera cases too.  The top brand is for their cattle and the bottom for their horses.

At every camp we would have a "porch talk".  Basically giving us the rules of their camp.  Making us aware if they have had trouble with bears and other animals.  At this particular camp they were having trouble with a momma bear and her cub.  They also have a mountain lion in the area.  That perked up all our ears.  Well...that night as Bailee and I were talking a walk to a "red roof inn", outhouse, Justin tells us that he thinks he saw the mountain lion.  Bailee and I get very nervous.  We continue on, making all kind of noise.  Then I see eyes!! Like cat eyes!!  Crap!!! WE make more noise.  We missed the red roof inn and found a couple boys, maybe 16, to keep us safe.  Bailee tells them all we have to do is run faster than you.  They didn't get it. It was frightening!!  We make it back to camp and go to bed.  Some place safe.

Not sure what Karlee is doing here, but she's cute!

Whenever I go on a trip I'll take a picture out our hotel window, I wanted to do the same.  The picture above is as I look out of my tent on our last night.  :)

We are headed to the pick up point.  Everyone is excited that we are at the end.  It was actually our easiest hike.  Probably because we started early and it was cool.  We left early because we didn't want to take the chance of missing our bus.  We were DONE!!

Here are the two amazing people that started this Venturing Crew.  They are awesome!!

The day we got back to base camp we cleaned up then went and had a tour of Waite Phillips home.  It was beautiful.  He donated the land for Philmont.  He was such a generous man.

Bailee bought a bumper stick that says "IWGBTP".  I wanna go back to Philmont.  Now that it's been 2 months since we were there, maybe.  It really was an amazing experience.  I hope my boys get to go one day.  It's hard, but worth it.  

1 comment:

Tori said...

Thank you for creating such a good record of our trip. Rob and I wanted to, but photos ended up being at the bottom of the list of needs every day. Then our phones died...
You forgot to add that I broke down going DOWN the rocks. How lame is that? Melting down AFTER summiting?
I am so grateful you were a part of our trek. Thank you : )