July 2011
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Philmont - Day 2 - Anasazi

We started our day with our last meal at Base Camp. Soon enough we were at the Welcome Center waiting for a bus to take us to the 6 Mile gate, the start of our trek. When the bus arrived, we loaded our packs into the back of the buss and got onto the bus. There were 3 other crews also going to the 6 Mile gate.

Our first stop after unloading our packs was to examine a “Red Roof Inn” which was also known as the place to relieve oneself. The rangers had all of us, about 40 people, pile into the two sides of the Red Roof Inn. They asked us to take a deep breath as they explained no pee in the latrines or Red Roof Inns because that is what smells.

Our ranger, Taylor led our crew to a location where he covered basic map and compass and some other basic things that needed to be taught. Before the ranger leaves us on our own, he needs to make sure that we have a working knowledge of the basics needed to survive in the backcountry.

Soon enough we were lining up and ready to go. We had our navigator up front who was going to lead us on the trail towards out first camp in the back county at the unstaffed camping area of Anasazi.

It was a warm morning as we traveled the trail. Our first stop was going to be the worlds only confirmed tyrannosaurus footprint. We covered our packs and dawned our rain gear as the skies became cloudy and there had been lightning flashes and thunder. No sooner did we start eating lunch that we received some rain. It was pleasant and cooled the air.

After lunch we continued up the trail to find our campsite for the night. Everyone was happy to get their packs off.

Our ranger taught us the Philmont method of setting up the kitchen and cooking. Our bowls and spoons were to be passed through boiling water before we ate.

He also taught us the process of cleaning the dishes after eating.

After dinner we took time to set up our tents. We learned to set them up in a random placement with no more than two tents in a row and nothing parallel of perpendicular to each other. They also needed to be close and no one tent could be set apart from the others. The idea was to concentrate the human scent together so furry creatures would leave us alone.

We also had to make sure that anything with a smell was out of our packs and pockets so that we did not attract large fury four legged beasts in the night. It was then on to hanging our bear bags for the night. The bear bags were important because there had been a few cases that thing like hot chocolate had been left in the pocket of a pack and the bear did not use the zipper to get to it. Then again, there was the scout that left a Gatorade pack in the pocket of his shorts and the bear did not knock at the tent door to ask if he could enter.

So as the sun set, Jacob and our ranger gave us a pose we will never forget.

Soon we all went to our tent for the night. Some of us slept better than others. The ones that had dreams of large furry creatures visiting them in the middle of the night did not sleep as well.

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