31 July 2010

Day 7

Has it only been a week since they hit the trail?

By now, things have almost become routine. Wake up early, take down the bear bags, break camp, divvy up the food & crew gear, load up your pack, pack on, anybody not ready?, and hit the trail. The earlier you get a start out of camp, the earlier you can hit the next camp/program.

Today is a medium day. Depending upon which trail they take, they have about 5 miles to get to Clear Creak Camp. Based upon the trek itinerary we took last year, they could take the trail up to Wild Horse Camp and then onto Clear Creek. About 5 miles with a fairly steep climb at the beginning. The hike out of Crooked Creek is nice and gradual until you hit the steep section into Wild Horse. About a 2 kilometer section where you gain about 1,000 feet in elevation (do the math). Tough climb, but once you reach Wild Horse, the rest of the trail is an easy, flat trail down into Clear Creek. The other trail is down along Rayado Creek through Comanche Camp. About the same distance, but a more gradual climb to Clear Creek. Totally up to the crew to pick the trail they prefer (but I believe the views from Wild Horse are better).

Some neat things to do at Clear Creek today, so I hope they get an early start. Black powder rifles, beaver trapping, Rocky Mountain Fur Company, Tomahawk throwing. The program at this camp shows everyone how the trappers lived/survived in the area back in the late 1800's. Nice camp with good facilities/program. Good chance to rest up before they tackle Mount Phillips tomorrow.

At this point, the crew has been able to see/experience a lot of Philmont and have become "seasoned" trail hands. I am sure they have seen a lot of outstanding scenery and lots of wildlife (deer , mini-bears). I'm sure they have encountered the other residents of the back country: mosquitoes. Typically, whenever the summer is wet, mosquitoes tend to flourish in the backcountry, especially at Clear Creek, Crooked Creek and Wild Horse. No amount of bug spray seems to help and I seem to recall sitting outside my tent wearing my raingear (no rain) just to keep them off. Early reports from previous crews this year seem to have them in high numbers but I hope the guys don't have it too bad. I am also hoping that the weather has been nice for them. Typically, it rains at some point in Philmont almost every day.

1 comment:

terri said...

Rain every day? I suppose you get used to it. It's probably a minor inconvenience in comparison to some of the other challenges.