August 2014
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Philmont – Day 11 – Zastrow

We woke up to a beautiful morning in Carson Meadows. We had decided that we would wait until today to do our breakfast that required cooking. As breakfast cooked, the young men got camp torn down and everything ready to go.

The adults stayed behind and the young men took their backpacks up to the staff cabin to do the program for Carson Meadow which is search and rescue. We finished up the dishes and took our time packing up. It was peaceful as we were the only two people for several hundred yards around. We made our way up to the staff cabin and sat on the porch waiting for the young men to finish their program. Soon enough they were done and we took a picture in front of the staff cabin with the Tooth of Time in the distance behind us.

Carson Meadows

The trip to Abreu was less than two miles and it did not take long to get there. We had a quick porch talk and then made our way to the cantina where cold root beer was available. It was a good time to eat lunch as well. There is nothing like actually sitting at a table and eating when you have been sitting on the ground, a rock or stump for over a week. The root bear was great. I think everyone had three glasses full.

Abreu Root Beer

With less than two more miles to go we arrived at Zastrow. We had our porch talk and the young men chose a campsite. As it was nice and warm, one of the first order of business was laundry and showers. It had been several days for the young men so they each took a turn in the shower. There was also the added benefit of heated water. Soon enough, with the sun out, there was a sock tree forming from people doing their laundry.

We then went back to the staff cabin to do the program. The youth chose a Geocaching activity and had a GPS and made their way from point to point. As adults, we chose the orienteering course. Both activities were times. If you had a quick time for the activity, you got pudding. As adults we made our way to the starting point and the timer started. Like young men, we started running. We made it to the first point and stamped our paper. While that was happening I determined the direction of next point and started running. When I spotted it, I let the other adult continue towards it and I stared to the next one. Sometimes the other adult would find the points first and sometimes I would. However, once spotted I would be studying the map and start running while yelling the distance and direction to the next point. We ran past the youth a couple of times. Or should I say, ran past, walked to catch our breath and then continued running. I did not take any pictures while doing this activity, but I did take a picture the next day of what we were looking for.

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As it turned out we did the course in 18 minutes, well enough for pudding. As we were still breathing heavy from running we decided to wait on the pudding. My thought was to wait until the young men came back so that we could eat pudding in front of them, which we did. We checked the map later and discovered that we had been running around at almost 7,000 feet above sea level. It must be due to spending the last 9 days at an average elevation of 8,912 feet and the 60 miles of backpacking or hiking to get from place to place.

We soon enough gathered for dinner. We were having chili-mac served in a tortilla in our bowl. We had been waiting a couple of days to have the chili-mac and tortillas.

One of the other activities at Zastrow is Dutch oven cobbler. The youth had their choice of several cake types and fillings. By popular vote the chocolate cake and cherry filling was chosen.

The sun was gone for the evening and we wanted to make an early start to get to Rayado for our bus back to base camp, so everyone quickly went to bed for the last night on the trail. What were the miracles for the day? No one got sick from drinking too much root beer. We traveled safely and made good time. How about, all the young men took a shower. More sun during the day, which is always appreciated.

As for the flora and fauna we have several on this segment. We have the white daisy, pink geranium, an undefined orange bloom as well as the saprophytic pinesap

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Geranium

Pinesap

Then for the fauna, I captured a couple of undetermined insects in a picture after one of the young men pointed them out. Where is a bird when you need one. They just better stay our of my tent as well.

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