Crew 715F Philmont Experience

Day 1: Thursday, 7/14/11
• Uneventful flight to Dallas
• Good views of the desert on flight to Santa Fe
• Small airport in Santa Fe
• Santa Fe – cool adobe architecture
• Checked into Garretts Desert Inn
• Lunch at San Francisco Street Cafe
• Visited New Mexico Museum
• Georgia O’Keefe Museum
• Popcorn at popcorn stand
• Went to oldest church in the USA but didn’t go in because they charged a dollar
• Went swimming at the hotel pool; made a human bridge and carried Will Stoeffhaas across the pool
• Dinner at Mexican Restaurant
• Haagen-Dazs

Day 2: Friday, 7/15/11
• Woke up early – ate breakfast at hotel and took a long time
• Drove 2 ½ hours to Philmont
• Met our ranger – Kristen, an Air Force Academy cadet
• Ate lunch of fish sticks at base camp cafeteria
• Met another ranger named Derek who we saw and kidded with repeatedly over the next few days
• Mark, Mr. Carley, and Mr. Landy got all of the info for our itinerary at logistics
• Had our medical forms checked at health lodge
• Ate dinner at base camp
• Attended religious services – Catholic Mass said by Bishop of Santa Fe; Many of the crew attended Mormon Service
• Rained at opening campfire, so it was cut short
• Saw SOS signal up near Tooth of Time and reported it

Day 3: Saturday, 7/16/11
• Woke up early
• 6:30 breakfast of eggs and greasy bacon
• Weighed our packs – ranged from Mr. Carley’s pack at 31 lbs. to Steven Ircha’s pack at 52lbs (i.e. without food and water).
• Bussed into backcountry
• Rangers told us tall tales about ranger zip lines and underground golf course
• Hiked a couple of miles to Ponil – practiced lassoing and went to Cantina (Trading post)
• Set up camp – took forever to put up bear bag
• A couple crew members went to show at Ponil – saw cool card tricks and funny skits. Show ended Philmont Hymn

Day 4: Sunday, 7/17/11
• Went to pick up our burro – took a long time because another crew came late
• 2 hour orientation for burros
• Named our Burro Derek after Derek Redfern
• Took turns guiding him on the trail; he slowed us down a bit
• Pueblano camp-funny porch talk and intro to sparpoling (i.e. basically telephone pole climbing with spiked boots and a leather climbing strap)
• Assigned to furthest campsite even though we arrived first
• Most crew members participated in sparpoling. The staff was hilarious.
• Nature walk with Kristen-received Wilderness Pledge Cards
• Amazing show – great musicians and comedy

Day 5: Monday, 7/18/11
• Kristen left us early in the morning
• Faster taking down camp
• Hiked to Miranda
• Dropped off Derek – Savino ended up being dragged behind the burro
• Long hike up an enormous meadow to Miranda
• Joked around in porch talk; staff pretended they were from the 1800’s
• Black powder rifles and Tomahawk throwing
• Hiked to Baldytown and arrived in time for a thunderstorm
• Comfy chair, hot chocolate and awesome snack box on porch while we waited for the storm to pass
• Got to campsite – sang Philmont Hymn again – did “Thorn, Rose, and Bud” for first time

Day 6: Tuesday, 7/19/11
• Climbed Mt. Baldy – tiring hike – slept on the “temper-pedic” rocks
• Waited for bear to leave path before hike
• Bear trap failed and bear got away 5 times
• Took break on meadow after hike; sang Philmont Hymn with Mt. Baldy as backdrop
• Long stroll down the mountain
• Two mile hike to Conservation Project – built a trail and cut down trees
• Chased bear out of our campsite several times; came back to neighbor’s site at 5:30 am

Day 7: Wednesday, 7/20/11
• Challenge course at Head of Dean – Steven pulled Chris C. singlehandedly over wall
• Other challenges included balancing platform, rope swing, and square that we all had to stand on
• Went through burnt down forest from Ponil Fire
• Saw wild turkeys walking into Santa Claus camp
• Sat down for a while and made Wookie noises
• Pumped water – no spigot
• Problem with neighbor and bear bags

Day 8: Thursday, 7/21
• Lots of deer in the morning
• Long hike – 11 miles
• Nice campsite at Devil’s Washbasin
• Dry camp – open field– more deer
• Great view of mountains in open air latrine

Day 9: Friday, 7/22
• Mr. Carley’s Birthday
• Hiked fast – picked up food at Ute Gulch Commissary
• At trading post we won Goldbond and cookies for answering Greek and Roman trivia
• No shower’s at Clark’s Fork – very disappointed
• Rained a lot
• Mountain lion spotted in camp next to ours; tough to sleep
• Chuck-wagon dinner; ate beef stew and pound cake with peaches for dessert
• Won roping contest versus other crew – “We Been Lashing” – won donuts
• Campfire wasn’t great

Day 10: Saturday, 7/23
• Hiked quickly up to Cypher’s Mine
• Slept in a Lean-to; had to cram all 12 of us into one
• Ice cold showers
• Tour of Contention Mine – team building exercise to simulate a cave-in and exit mine in complete darkness
• Blacksmithing – made J and S hooks
• Strong man competition – Will Tarry and Savino represented Crew 715F – German girl won
• Attended “Stomp” -best campfire of all
• Staff played “real” music for a few hours after

Day 11: Sunday, 7/24
• Hard beginning of hike – tried shortcut up near vertical road
• Hiked up Mount Comanche
• Hiked up Mount Phillips in approaching thunderstorm
• Rained a lot
• Froze in Red Hills Camp; temperatures dropped into 30’s
• Took hours to untangle bear bag rope

Day 12: Monday, 7/25
• Woke up early to get to Black Mountain Camp
• Ate lunch and filled up water at the camp
• Couldn’t climb Black Mountain because there was lightning on top of the mountain, so we did an easier but longer hike to Shaefer’s Pass
• Bear was in another campsite and we scared it off with the help of our sister crew
• Went to bed early to wake up at 2 am to watch Sunrise from Tooth of Time

Day 13: Tuesday, 7/26
• Woke up at 1:45 am
• Stars were incredible
• Night hiked to the Tooth; difficult trail in the dark
• Bear sighting in Tooth Ridge Camp
• Scrambled up The Tooth with full packs – turned out to be a foolish decision
• Saw completely orange sunrise and ate breakfast
• Long hike to base camp via 14 switchbacks
• Ate junk food
• Attended religious services
• Cool closing campfire featuring “Home Bound” song and mini-bear attack skit
• Crew awards ceremony

Day 14: Wednesday, 7/27
• Some crew members visited Waite Phillips’ house in the morning; some had gone the day before
• Took shuttle for Santa Fe at 10:00 am
• Stopped at Subway and Dairy Queen
• Flew to Dallas Airport
• Many of us ate at McDonald’s and a few others went to TGI Fridays
• Flight back to New York was delayed 2 ½ hours
• Arrived at JFK at 2:30 am