Philmont '98, 802f2
Jay Thal (jay.thal@TCS.WAP.ORG)
Sun, 23 Aug 1998 22:41:21 EST
Well, after nearly fifty years of Scouting I finally got to go on a Philmont
trek! Yeah, sure, I have been to Philmont before - but that was for volunteer
training. This was different! This was to get my creaky bones, tired muscles,
and wheezy lungs moving to keep up with a bunch of hiking machines 45 years my
junior. But, by gosh I did it! My 60th on Philmont*s 60th
The boys were great, look out for them when the turn 17. So much for the myths
about east coast, low-land, effete city-bred wimps taking on the high country.
They were passing those farm boys on the trail - creak, grunt, wheeze..... Go
again in a heartbeat: thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump (are they really
coming so close together???).
It was fun, and challenging, and exhilarating, and (did I mention) fun.
Scrambling up the rocks in the dark to watch sunrise from the Tooth of Time;
nearly stepping on two rattlesnakes which had their own turf to protect; the
sweeping vistas; the hail storm on the top of Black Mountain; and the deer
licking salt out of your hand, leave indelible memories.
I did miss one trail day as I took a night chill at 9,700 ft. and found how
effective a thin mylar spaceblanket and three cups of hot chocolate are. But,
so what, the rest was all highs.
Say what you like about trail food and sqeezeables, they were better than the
rumors and a lot better than what was served at the Headquarters cafeteria on
the way in and out. (I know that some of you will attribute that statement to
Oxygen deprivation and altitude sickness.) [spellcheck did a *no guesses*
when it reached sqeezeables!!]
It was a late trek, so the Philmont Ranger shorts ($28) which were available in
size 33 when we started were gone and would have been too large when we got
down. (And, hopefully, my waist will stay that way.) All that were left were
size 38. Can you believe no Scouters size 38? Guess I will have to do a
catalog order. They are good looking and well pocketed with velcro closures,
and according to the Rangers comfortable to hike in unlike standard issue Scout
shorts. I think I will use them as my dress shorts - I prefer fast-dry river
shorts with built in supporters, sans underwear.
Another product on sale at the Trading Post were Teflon socks. These were
pricey ($13.50), but I purchased two pair before we started. And, they were
worth it!! Not a blister or a hot spot. Of course it could have been my great
feet and well broken-in boots, but I am betting on Teflon. Made by Fox River,
they are 40% Coolmax; 32% Merino wool; 14% Teflon; etc. They come in Right and
Left; three thicknesses for foot width; and different sizes. The Teflon is
selectively woven into the heel, pad, and toe of the sock. Love them. Will
not lend them. Go buy your own.
Before the Trek I spent a week at the Philmont Training Center, getting
acclimated. More importantly, I attending a conference on Scouting for the
Disabled which I will address in another posting. Have we got challenges and
opportunities for all of you!
Enough for now........
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City