July 2011
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Philmont – Day 5 – Dean Cow

We arose fairly early today because we had a long trip today. The sky was beautiful as the sun was making its way up from the East.

We needed two adult leaders to help with chuck wagon Breakfast preparations so we left the youth in charge of getting up and getting to breakfast. Breakfast was pancakes and sausage and it was good.

We had served the youth and it was our turn to eat. There was no youth from our crew to be seen. What could have happened? We ate our pancakes and sausage and wondered if they would even make it. As they called for seconds, we could see the crew working their way towards the chuck wagon breakfast. They got in line and received firsts and seconds on pancakes. The sausage was gone.

After breakfast we went back up to camp, got our water so we could go back down and fill them up as well as received a new four day supply of food. We took the food and water back up to camp, took down our dampened tents and packed up. We managed to get it all crammed in to our packs and hit the trail for Dean Cow. The trail was fairly steep as we left Ponil. We needed to go from about 7200 feet up to over 8400 feet in a couple of miles and then a decent back to about 7200 over eight or nine miles.

After our trail break we continued up. The weather to the south west was not looking friendly.

Soon enough we made it to the top and took a break. There was thunder off in the distance and we wanted to head down before it got any closer.

On the ridge line there was a faint road. The boys took off heading west. They passed the road headed south. Jacob, who was the last youth in the group called a halt to the progress because we had reached a “stop” sign. Any time we came to a fork in the trail, a sign that was posted, a cattle crossing, or a gate, we were to stop. After a navigator conference, it was determined that we were to head south to New Dean Camp rather than West. There was a well there that we were going to refill our water bottles. The weather to the south west was still looking like we were going to get wet.

We arrived at New Dean Camp after a fairly quick decent. It was time for a break and a time to put on pack covers as the thunder and lightning was signaling us that it was getting closer. Some took advantage to the time to recline and relax.

We then picked up another two track trail that had a fairly gentle grade going down. It was just going to be a long gentle grade. And it was going to start sprinkling on us as well.

We then came to another “stop” sign and had a navigation conference.

Soon enough we were headed to Dean Cow. It felt good to take our pack off and sit on the porch. The activity here was climbing. However, due to lightning, climbing was not going to happen. They could climb at 8:00 the next morning if they wanted to. They were going to have to decide.

We went to our camping spot and set up camp. The first thing up was the dining fly followed by our tents. The rain was getting heavier, but still manageable. It drizzled on and off and the afternoon got later. As we started dinner, or should I say started to boil the water, we has a short church service. Our Chaplin conducted the meeting and he did a great job.

Soon enough we had boiling water so the process of sterilizing the dishes started. Dinner was made and we all ate it up. It was time to start the clean up process. One of the boys did not want to drink his soup. After you eat your dinner, you put some water in your bowl and scrape the sides of you bowl with your spoon. You try to get your bowl as clean as possible. Then you drink the water. Jacob offered and Oreo as a chaser after the soup was drunk. It took a few attempts before it went down.

As 7:00 rolled around, we adult leaders went the “coffee” at the staff cabin. The cookies were great and I just drank more water to hydrate after the long day. We were a little concerned to leave the boys, especially after they did not work as a team getting things in order to make it to breakfast on time. We had talked to the youth leaders before we left and had to wait and see what happened.

As we returned to camp that night the boys had everything in order. They had a little trouble getting things together, but they all pitched in to make sure everything was done. Perhaps they will begin working more together as a team. As we did thorn, roses, bud it became obvious that they wanted to get an early start and make sure that the get to do their activities. It was time to get to sleep for the night.


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