Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The End of a Summer

And so another summer comes to an end. Tomorrow I will be leaving Philmont, once again not knowing when I will next return. It's been a good summer and I had the time of my life, but I'm about ready to head back home. It's hard to believe how fast it has gone by. There are a lot of things I know I will miss about this place, but hopefully I can carry the spirit of the wilderness back home.

My last crew was a merged crew from Texas. They had two crews in their contingent and one of the advisors was physically unfit to go on the trail. The solution was to merge the two crews together and keep both rangers. That seemed like a good solution until I found out that I was the only one doing any work. The other guy really didn't do much to help out and really just made it harder for me to teach things my own way. We went from Lover's Leap to Urraca and I got to do the challenge course there with the crew, which was really fun. I hadn't done one all summer and so it was fun to get to climb the 13 foot wall and do the other events with the crew. They were a good crew, but they had a rough time after being merged together and having to deal with two rangers.

After leaving the crew in the morning, I hiked down to Abreu to see Debbie one last time for the summer and got a ride back with the bear researcher and his family. Today I had a work day moving rocks into a dump truck up at Maxwell turnaround for the fireplace in the new staff lounge. Apparently they should have it done by next summer, along with Metcalf Station, the 35th staffed camp here at Philmont with a railroad theme. All this new stuff really makes me want to come back, not to mention that I'd really like to see some of the guys from my Rayado crew come back on staff. It's hard to say what will happen next summer at this point, but if I do come back, it will probably be as a Mountain Trek Ranger or an RT. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the responsibility of a ranger trainer yet, but I don't think I can come back as a regular ranger again. I've done too much at that level and am ready to move on up the ladder. Mountain Trek would be cool because I'd be with the participants for their entire trek and wouldn't have to deal with any advisors, which can be a real pain.

Well that about wraps things up for the summer. It's too bad I didn't have the time to really keep this site up to date. Losing my camera in the middle of the summer made things hard, but really gave me more time to just relax and not worry about the site, which I'm pretty sure is read only by my mom. Oh well. It was a good learning experience. I've had a great time out here, but I'm ready to go back to school. I would say I'm going back to the real world, but in many ways I feel that this life is more real than the one I live back in Columbia. You really have to work to survive out here and you can't just rely on the comforts of civilization. I would also say that I'm going home, but over the past few years, I've found that I no longer have just one home and that Philmont is just as much a home for me as my family in K.C. or my house in Columbia. So in just a few days, I'll be enjoying the comforts of civilization once again. Yet somewhere within me, Philmont and the greatness of the outdoors will always remain. Until our next meeting...

- Drew