June 26th, Day Six – The Definition of Brotherhood
Hail accumulating on the dining fly at the work site.
I awoke early before all the participants to write in this journal. The foremen
decided to have fun this morning, as they took out the water cooler and started
drumming lightly from the cooking area to wake everyone up. They were pretending
to be ceremonial figures. While it looked and sounded weird, they actually did
a good job of gently waking everyone up.
After breakfast, we traveled to the work site. The participants and I talked
about the tools again and we went back to work. We didn't make any new
trail, as we just finished up the parts we already made to ensure that the trail
was level and secure.
About an hour before lunch, Ryan Hawk (the director of OATC) stopped by for
a visit. He took Brandon and me ahead of the trail that we were making. There,
we surveyed the future parts of the trail, using stakes and an inclinator. This
was the first time I ever used an inclinator and surveyed; I really enjoyed
it. I always wanted to try surveying, as I have seen surveyors on the road and
wondered exactly what they were doing. As we went to eat lunch, it started to
hail, again. After lunch, it was back to surveying for me.
The hike up to the summit of Baldy Mountain.
After about an hour's worth of surveying, my foreman Steve got Brandon
and I and brought us back to the where we kept our tools. We cleaned up the
work site, putting all the tools away.
After cleaning up, we climbed to the summit
of Baldy, at an elevation of 12,441 feet! During the steep rocky climb, we surpassed
the height of some clouds that day. We climbed through rain and hail. My neck
was starting to ache from the continual bouncing of the hail. From above the
clouds and peeks of Philmont, we could hear thunder in the distance echo through
the mountains. This song of nature was of beauty.
OATC622 at the summit of Baldy Mountain.
This was not an easy climb. Even without packs, we stumbled through the rocks.
When you're climbing, you frequently mistake a peak as the top. When you get
over it, you immediately realize that you're far from the top. This is called
a "false peak" and we hit about four of them. The summit trail was
difficult to make out. It was a long way down and a step in the wrong direction
could prove to be disastrous. We relied on each other, our brothers, to get
to the top as a team. If one person was having trouble, everyone was. During
this hike, the definition of brotherhood was lived through the actions of the
group. Everyone supported each other.
Once at the summit, we took many photos and reflected. There is a metal barrel
at the top, where others before us placed something in it to show they have
reached the summit. We took some paper and managed to sign our names through
the wind and hail. We placed it in the barrel shaped tube and made our way back
down to the campsite. Back at camp, we enjoyed a hearty meal and a relaxing night in the mountains.
Once everything was cleaned up, we sat around the campfire and had our routine
thorns and roses discussion. With the long hike, morning of work and an incredible dinner, I quickly fell
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