Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Philmont Autumn Adventure
Philmont Autumn Adventure
Calvin H. Gray
Wed, 7 Oct 1998 14:54:08 -0500
Here is a report on our recently completed Autumn Adventure, the only
Philmont program in which an "all adult" crew may participate.
Our nine person crew departed Georgetown (725 miles from Philmont) in
three vehicles at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. Our first stop was
at 8 p.m. in Coleman, Texas, at a steak house we've visited before.
Then on to Cimarron with a couple of stops for gas and snacks. One of
our vehicles hit a deer when we got to New Mexico but there wasn't
enough damage to require a repair stop as the deer ran into the door on
the driver's side of the truck. We arrived at the Kit Carson Inn
Restaurant in Cimarron at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, just in time for
breakfast. Then on to Philmont, arriving just before 8 a.m.
We met our two guides, had our medical re-checks, picked up food, filled
our water bottles, visited the trading post and headed for Abreu where
we camped on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday, we hiked to the Zastrow camp where we ate lunch. Zastrow is
the national Wood Badge training center and was where three members of
our crew attended Wood Badge during the first week of August. The camp
really looked sad and deserted. The Zastrow apples were red and ripe so
we enjoyed several with lunch and even took a few back to Abreu.
Gilwell Hall was locked but we were able to open the windows and see
that the Patrol Flags had been removed. One crew member climbed through
a window and found our service patrol shovel and we took photos with it
before returning it to the building. We saw several deer, probably the
same ones we kept seeing in August.
After returning to Abreu, several crew members fished quite a bit and
even caught a few which we enjoyed with our trail supper of macaroni &
cheese on Monday night.
On Tuesday, our main activity was a hike to the top of Urraca Mesa.
This was a 6-mile hike and very strenuous. Right after we reached the
top, a strorm came up and the guides made us depart due to the
lightning. We returned to Abreu and started supper. It began raining
so we moved the cooking under the dining fly. After a few minutes, a
hail storm moved in and we discovered that 11 people will not fit under
a dining fly. After eating, we moved to our tents as the rain
continued. This was around 7 p.m. It rained all night but had cleared
by Wednesday morning.
We packed up and went by Philmont HQ, filled all our water containers
(to avoid drinking water purified by Polar Pure) and went to a hamburger
place in Cimarron for lunch. Then to Miranda, a camp in Philmont's
north country near Baldy. We saw a bear as he ran across the road in
front of the truck as we were nearing Miranda. This was the first bear
I've seen in five visits to Philmont.
We set up our tents and moved our stoves, food and other equipment into
a nice cabin which had been completed this past summer. We explored the
area around Miranda which is really beautiful in the fall with the trees
beginning to change color.
As it turned out, we made a wise decision in moving our cooking
operations into the cabin as a thick fog bank rolled in on Thursday
morning with rain on and off throughout the day. We wound up spending
most of Thursday in the cabin.
Things picked up during the afternoon as we had another hail storm, and
a very wet crew from Mississippi arrived. After the weather began to
improve, one of our guys, along with our two guides and the guide for
the Mississippi crew, hiked to Ute Meadows to view a hail covered Baldy.
Most of us stayed up relatively late on Thursday night (9 p.m.) watching
the Mississippi crew play cards, a game called "B.S." which our Scouts
play during montly camping trips. Visiting with the Mississippi crew
was especially nice for my wife and myself as we are natives of that
The sky cleared completely during the night and we woke up to a
beautiful morning on Friday. It was 38 degrees but most of us slept
better that night than any other as it was finally cold enough for a
sleeping bag. After eating breakfast, we packed up and drove back to
the Philmont HQ, stopping to take several photos of a hail (or snow)
covered Baldy along the way.
After arriving at base camp, we hit the showers for the first time
during the week. It certainly was nice to enjoy a warm shower as the
water had been cut off for the winter at both Abreu and Miranda.
Several crew members toured the Villa Philmonte. Then, we headed to
Simple Simon's Pizza in Cimarron for lunch. After filling up on Pizza,
we visited the Cimarron Art Gallery and several other stores. Next, we
returned to Philmont for a visit to the Museum & Library which had been
closed when we stopped by earlier.
We departed Philmont at 2:30 p.m., drove to Amarillo where we ate supper
at Burger King. Then, on toward home arriving in Georgetown at 5 a.m.
on Saturday morning.
All in all, a nice trip that we plan to repeat next fall. We "lost" one
day to the weather but still had a great time.
Calvin H. Gray
Scoutmaster, Troop 405
I used to be an Owl (WM-62-2-98 @ Philmont)