August 2014
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Philmont – Day 12 – Base Camp

Rumor was that there was a 9:00 bus at Rayado. We were scheduled for the 11:00 bus and we thought why not take a chance and get on an early bus back to base camp. With that in mind, the young men decided to wake up early. We were on our way out of camp at about 6:00 in the morning. We checked out at the staff cabin and took a picture with the sky painted with the signs of a beautiful morning.


The trail for today was the road that led to Rayado from Zastrow. We were all happy to be on the road early in the morning as the trip was over five miles.

Trail to Rayado

With the sun in our faces and Fowler Mesa and Trail Peak behind us enjoyed the cool morning air.

Trail from Zastrow

We asked for directions the night before as we had heard that the usual spot to cross the Rayado River was deeper than normal. That could mean a lot of wet feet. As we came to the place where the road crosses the Rayado River, we kept going east on a road that was less traveled. Soon the road turned into a skinny trail through the brush. I might add that this trail is on the staff maps, but not on the map we had. Yes, another unmarked trail.

Another unmarked trail at Philmont

However, with a little perseverance through the brush, we made it to a river crossing. You come out of a barely noticeable break in the brush along the river and there it is.

Crossing the Rayado River

We made it to Rayado before eight when it opened. We checked in and waited for the Kit Carson Museum to open. In addition, we had some young men that wanted to do a little blacksmithing.

Kit Carson Blacksmith

At about 9:00 there was a bus and it had room for us. We hustled and got on the bus back to Base Camp.

Before we get to Base Camp, we are going to do a little flora and fauna. There is the Mirabilis multiflora or Desert Four O’Clock in pink flower followed by the sunflowers. They are two different groups of sunflowers, one picture taken while facing west and the next facing east. You will note that when you take a picture of sunflowers in the morning they are generally facing away from you. We also have a foal looking for breakfast.

Mirabilis multiflora



Foal with mom

We arrived at camp, took showers, returned the gear that we needed to, attended to paperwork and of course took time to relax. There was also lunch were we did not have to eat trail food. We also had time to do some laundry.

Base Camp - Philmont

Then came our trip to Cimarron for ice cream.

Cimarron Art Gallery

We had dinner, all you could eat and then we went to Sunday services. The meeting was very good. After church we caught the sunset over Trail Peak in the distance. At least all of us could say that we have been over the top of Trail Peak.

Sunset over Trail Peak

We had our closing campfire. What a warm welcome to be outside on a nice evening. The Crew Leaders all were called up front to get a plaque.

The evening went fast and we were all eager to get to bed so that we could get an early start on our journey the next morning.

There were many miracles over the course of the 10 nights in the backcountry. We all did well and we had no injuries. A couple of blisters, a broken shoestring, broken pack, a lost water bottle, cold weather and weather that some said was too hot. We all persevered and made it. It was not easy at times. The travel uphill was slow. The weight of the packs at times seemed burdensome. There was even the morning where I asked myself, why am I here, as I was cold, damp and tired of the rain. You just get up, get packed and put one foot in front of the other so that you will get closer to the Welcome Back sign. And you count you many blessings along the way because you know Heavenly Father is looking out for you.

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