Friday, July 24, 2015

Philmont Scout Ranch Staff 2015, Update #6

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The previous week we worked on the flood issue. I spent most of the week working on the first two parts of the main article, researching the science behind flash flooding and the Rayado Flood of 1965. That issue is out in print today.

Last Sunday I hiked Wheeler with six others from my department. That was a pretty challenging hike, but now I've climbed the tallest mountain in New Mexico, 13,159 feet above sea level. The view was pretty nice, and we ate watermelon at the top.

This week I was in the backcountry on assignment. We started at Harlan and then hiked to Ute Gulch. After dinner there, we hiked to Cimarroncito for the night and then after a few pictures in the morning, hiked to the Cito Turnaround just barely in time to catch the bus.

Harlan's program is 12-gauge shotgun shooting and reloading. Ute Gulch is another commissary camp like Phillips Junction that I would consider working at next year, but I'm not sure which I liked better. Cimarroncito is a climbing camp, and also has a really cool bouldering gym, where we spent the night.

After making it back to base, I went back out to the Cito Turnaround with another photographer to spend the night and next morning at Clarks Fork, one of the Western lore camps. The Clarks Fork campfire area has a view of Cimarron's city lights, and the camp also has hot water, showers, electricity, and possible cell phone reception.

I'm not sure, but I might try to make it to Ponil's cantina show, which is supposed to be exceptionally good this year, and maybe Rich Cabins as well.

Next week I will be in the backcountry on assignment again. I believe the plan is to start as close as possible to Black Mountain, hike in to the camp and spend the night there. Next day, we would hike to Crooked Creek and spend the majority of the day there. Then we could hike to Phillips Junction and spend the night there to be sure to get a ride out in the morning. Black Mountain and Crooked Creek are the only two staffed camps that do not have direct access by backcountry road.

Edit: Read Issue 8 here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Philmont Scout Ranch Staff 2015, Update #5 - Visiting the Backcountry

Any images, information, and opinions expressed on this site are neither approved nor authorized by the Boy Scouts of America and/or Philmont Scout Ranch.

Well, last week was my first week to go into the backcountry on assignment, which was exciting.

We started out at Apache Springs, and then hiked to Fish Camp and spent the night there. Fish Camp has a beautiful valley and a lot of water, and the staff there have a cat, Bagheera, as well as lots of extremely nice cabins. I slept on either Waite or Genevieve Phillips' bed that night-- I just don't know which one. The mattress was nicer than a foamie in Base Camp, either way.

The next day we hiked up to Phillips Junction, which only took an hour, and we had perfect timing to switch photographers. It felt like not much was going on, and I wasn't sure how I was going to write an article about the camp.

Anyway, we continued to Beaubien that night and they have a very nice camp with a lot of activities and a beautiful meadow. Roping seems to be the participant's favorite, and we also got to see their campfire. It seems that sleeping on two foamies is standard in the backcountry.

The next day we hiked back to Phillips Junction and spent most of the day there waiting for a ride, but I got a lot of good material to write about this time. Several Scouts participated in a pickle challenge, a Rayado crew was conscripted into building a box fort, and crews came by to pick up food and supplies, as well as browse the trading post.

I've decided that PJ is currently top on my list of places I want to work next year, although I'm afraid my options may be limited because I won't be able to arrive until around June 12th or 13th next year. I'm really hoping to be able to drag more people I know into doing this with me next year.

I attended the 4th of July Rodeo for an article, so that was pretty neat. No one was able to stay on the bulls long enough to qualify (8 seconds). Two of the wild horses jumped out of their enclosures. Luckily, no humans or animals were seriously hurt.

This weekend, for days off, we went to spend the night at Crater Lake. The Crater Lake campfire was exceptionally good, and I got to go spar pole climbing at night with no belt. My arms are all scratched up now, but I think it was a pretty good experience for a first time. I'm very afraid of heights, and that spar pole was a lot taller once I was up on it, but at least I made it, even though it felt like an eternity.

This week I am making good progress on my articles. I think Issue #7, we will address the flooding. I'm not sure how much we will be able to put out there, but I'd like to address clean-up efforts and get some of the facts out there about how extreme the damage was, so I'm glad we're going to have the chance to do that.

Next weekend my parents will be visiting, so we will visit Taos and the four Philmont museums.

Edit: Read Issue 5 here.

Philmont Scout Ranch Staff 2015, Update #4 - Flash Flooding

Any images, information, and opinions expressed on this site are neither approved nor authorized by Philmont Scout Ranch and/or the Boy Scouts of America.

Here's the links if you haven't heard:“~/link.aspx?_id=C4971E900D924B83B09ACBA4585D37B8&_z=z

Also, here's how you can help out.
1- Monetary Donations: 
2- Care Packages:
Packages can contain candy, snack foods, thank you notes, encouragement, morale boosting items, etc.
Departments/staffed camps to send to:
Indian Writings
Metcalf Station
Dean Cow
Head of Dean
Rich Cabins
Ranger Department
Philmont Training Center Staff
Backcountry Warehouse

The packages will get out faster if you put the name of Dept and send to Philmont Post Office so put this address:
Philmont Scout Ranch
Attn: [Department] - Flood Relief
47 Caballo Road
Cimarron, NM 87714

Edit: Read Issue 7 (Flood Issue) here.