Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In Between Crews

So I've taken out one crew now since I've gotten back from Rayado. They were from North Carolina and were pretty good for the most part. They were planning to hike Black Mountain the day after I left them. That's a tough trail as it goes straight up the mountain. I told them of the trail that goes around Black Mountain that they could take if they wanted to bail out. They were good hikers for the most part except for one of the advisors. He was the only one who had been to Philmont before, and that was 42 years ago! I'll have to see what they decided to do if I ever meet up with them again.

My hike in started at Lookout Meadow, which was cool because I was just up there with my Rayado crew. I went up Rayado Peak, Crater Peak, Lookout Peak, and Burn Peak on my way up to Beaubien. Then I decided to side hike Bonito Peak. That's my last named peak on Philmont that I haven't hiked yet. The trail up there must be the new one that the crews have been working on for conservation. It kept a very nice grade the whole time and had some pretty fancy switchbacks. After Bonito, I dropped down into Black Mountain Camp and followed the North Fork Uracca all the way down to the stockade. There's a trail up until North Fork Uracca Camp, but the last two miles are one of the most difficult shwacks on the ranch. It took me three and a half hours to go the distance. There's a creek in a narrow gorge that makes travel very slow and path-finding especially important. I did manage to get through it all without getting wet which I thought was cool although it does take away from some of the awesomeness of the shwack. Oh well, maybe next time.

I've got another crew now. They're from Texas. I love how around here that's all I have to say and everyone knows exactly what they're like. They're pretty good so far and they've got some people with previous Philmont experience which usually helps. One of these times though, I'm going to get a crew that doesn't think that oven bags are the greatest things ever made for cooking. They're not. Cleanup really isn't any easier because all you've saved yourself is actually licking out the cooking pot. You still have to wash all your dishes and now you have a bag full of all the food you can't get out.

Anyway enough rambling about cooking methods. I'm still working on getting all of the Rayado pictures on the web. That could take some time. Hopefully with my next set of days off, I can get caught up on all of that. Well, until next time...

- Drew