June 22nd, Day Two – Morning in the Western Sky
Breakfast in Philmont's dinning hall.
I woke up at 6:30am to see the light of morning in the western sky. As I got
out of the tent, I quickly thanked my body for still being stuck in the Eastern
Time Zone, as it was 8:30 in my body's time and I woke up with no problem.
Breakfast consisted of this taco scrambled eggs combo, something that was unfamiliar
to me. I will just call it a New Mexican dish. After breakfast, I ventured
to the trading post where I purchased some last minute items for the trek. This
trading post was anything but a "post." It's analogous to
a super store with one department: Boy Scouts. From a stack of Nalgene water
bottles about fifteen feet high to clothing and apparel, this trading post had
At 8:00am, we checked in with the OATC staff and handed in our medical forms.
We then had an on-base medical check, which was a quick check-up
to make certain we were fit to attend the program. Once our paper work
was in order, we ate lunch in the dining hall.
Philmont's extensive trading post: "Tooth of
At 1:00pm, we met at the "Conservation Shed" in which we were divided
in to two crews of nine, including two foremen for each crew; crew "A"
and "B". There were four foremen assigned to OATC622: Chris from
California, Kevin from Ohio, Sean from Florida and Stephen from Nebraska. These
guys are highly active in the OA and Scouting with expertise in the wilderness.
They were to be the adult leaders for the trek. For the first week, we would
have four foremen, as crew "A" and "B" would be working
together. After the work week, both crews would separate having the two foremen
take on roles as "Crew Advisors." After OATC622 was divided in to
the two crews, we made formal introductions. Two more Arrowmen joined our crew
who were not on the bus coming from the airport. From different regions of the
country, fourteen Arrowmen made up OATC622. There were Brad, Gram, Ken, Neal,
Mike and Tyler all from Chicago, Illinois (and the same troop); Brandon from
New Jersey, Evan from California, Ed from Boston, Massachusetts, Ross from Nevada
and Andy from Florida, Steve and Eric from Michigan, and myself from New York.
We then had a shakedown with our gear. Here, we weeded out all non-essential
items and divided up the crew gear and food. My light back suddenly grew to
fifty pounds, which is ironic since I usually lose pack weight during a shakedown.
Check-in for OA Trail Crew.
Once we had our packs all set, we filled our water bottles up and went to a
religious service. We blessed God for the opportunity of the lifetime and for
a safe two weeks ahead of us. I then quickly learned of New Mexico's notorious
weather. A cloud of rain that looked far away seemed to instantly come over
Philmont. We took to our rain jackets and covered our packs. Within about 20
minutes, the rain was gone as if nothing had happened.
Before we departed on our adventure, we had dinner in the dining hall.
We returned our packs quickly and put our excess gear in lockers at
base camp. Then, we boarded on a yellow school bus and traveled to a drop off
point in the middle of Philmont. It was "go" time and we were all
Coiling the rope to hoist up the bear bags.
On the way to the 'turn around' where we would be dropped off,
our foreman, Chris Roach, pointed out some pristine sites of Philmont and delivered
tips on bears and backpacking. Like all Boy Scout camping, we would be practicing
Leave No Trace. As Philmont was the home to
the Black Bear, we were trained in proper bear prevention and safety practices.
After about 25 minutes on the bus we arrived at the 'turn around'. We got off and took our first hike to
The hike was not as bad as I thought it would be. Once we arrived at the campsite,
we set up camp and hoisted up bear bags. Later that night, we talked while munching
on chocolate chip and frosted cookies. We closed the night up with a program
called thorns and roses. In thorns and roses, everyone from the group goes around
and introduces their major thorns of the day, which are things that were negative,
and their roses of the day, things that were positive. Everyone ends with a
bud, which is something that they are looking forward to the next day. We
went through the group and retired to our tents.
I quickly fell asleep with the whispers of the wind around my tent. The day
was long and I am glad to finally be out in the best part of Philmont: the country.
<< Introduction < Previous
Day - Next Day > Post