July 5th, Day Fifteen – Journey Back to Base
Watching the sunrise from the Tooth of Time Ridge
We woke up early to break down the campsite and see the sunrise from the Tooth
of Time. In the darkness, we packed up and hiked up to the ridge of the tooth.
Here, we could see everything; a 360-degree high view of Philmont! The fire
colored sun peaked over the horizon and crawled up to start the new day. The
beam was so beautiful, as I can see far in to the distance the country of Philmont
and town of Cimarron. I was in New Mexico on the ridge of the Tooth of Time
watching the sunrise. How better can one person start their morning?
When the sun finally made it up, we started our decent from the Tooth. This
was a long hike down a mountain. We could see base camp from the trail, as we
walked back and forth of it twelve times on what became the longest switchback
trail I have ever hiked. If I could name this trail anything, it would most
certainly be the never ending trail. When it seemed that we were so close in
reaching the bottom of the trail, there was yet another switchback forcing us
to keep going.
Sun rising from the Tooth of Time.
When we finally made it down, we approached the gateway into Philmont's
base camp saying "Welcome Back, you made it!" The trek was finally
over. My adventure in Philmont has come to an end. Our foremen gave us a welcome
home cheer as we crossed through under the gate. They may not be the best at
singing, but they were two great brothers who proved to be an essential asset
to the program.
Once at camp, we cleaned our borrowed equipment which consisted of our
pots/pans, tent, ground tarps, stoves and cooking utensils. Philmont has a great
system for this that consists of airing out the tents in a pavilion and cleaning
the cooking gear in a large sink. After cleaning, we put our gear in our lockers
and took our well-needed showers.
View of Philmont's base camp.
Again for those mathematicians out there, that was only my second shower in
two weeks. We changed into our class "A" uniforms and
went on a tour of the Villa Philmonte, where we learned of the history of Philmont.
After the shower, I met some other crews that just got off the trail. You don't
realize how bad you smell until after you take a shower. Philmont actually has
a rule that you must shower after your trek before entering the dinning hall.
It's a rule that is totally understandable.
For lunch, we took a bus into Cimarron where we explored the town and area.
We ate pizza and ice cream, which proved to be a mistake after eating dehydrated
food for a week. The city was well-accustomed to Boy Scouts. In fact, they charter
a bus to transport Boy Scouts three times a day back and forth from Philmont
to Cimarron. The city was very small compared to any town I have seen in the
northeast. New Mexico's culture was extremely evident in Cimarron, as
shops carried the western culture fashion and souvenirs.
When we got back from Cimarron, I called home and hit the trading post for
the last time. Our foreman gave everyone in the crew an evaluation of their performance
for the last two weeks. They talked about how I was as a person and a leader,
which would be used for a Philmont staff recommendation.
Sean and Steve welcoming the crew back.
Later that night, we had dinner and got a packet of information. In this packet
contained our medical forms we originally submitted and staff applications. Most important
of all, however, was the roster of who was in OATC622 along with their contact
information. This way, we could remain in contact.
After a long day of getting off the trail and cleaning up, I went to the "Post
Trek Tents" where I quickly drifted to sleep. Today was incredible. I
received my patch for the completing a trek a Philmont; something I have been
longing for the last few years. I set out and accomplished my goal and experienced
the magic of Philmont.
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