Sunday, June 11, 2023

Been There, Dune That!

 The Philmont contingent left Foss, Oklahoma early yesterday morning for a long day of travel. Along with stops for gas and lunch, the trip included a stop at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. The scouts wandered the field but a large quantity of mud kept them from approaching to closely. 

The destination for the evening was the Oasis Campground at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca, Colorado. Following camp set-up and preparation of a nice dinner of chicken alfredo pasta, the crew settled in for a restful evening, despite the late night musical selections of the neo-hippy cult in the adjacent campsite. 

This morning took the crew a short distance over to the park for a hike up the sand dunes. This unusual formation of sand dunes among mountainous terrain is the result of hundreds of thousands of years at the conjunction of two mountain range watersheds. The wind did the rest of the work. After a tricky navigation across Medano Creek, the ascent up the dunes began. The fine grained sand made for a difficult climb and the higher altitude challenged those used to life on the Plains of Auburn. The elevation of the dune summited was 8587 feet above sea level. This should help prepare the crew for the challenge of Philmont. 

Sometimes the climb upward seems never ending

Summit reached!

The arrow indicates the dune climbed by the crew

The obligatory pose in front of a sign

Following a stop at the visitors center and a respite in the picnic area for lunch, the crew hit the road for the trip down to Cimarron, New Mexico, the home of Philmont Scout Ranch. Tonight finds the crew in a pavilion at the Ponil Campground in Cimarron. Due to rain expected overnight, the campground manager was gracious to provide alternate shelter so that the crew does not have to deal with wet tents in the morning. After the exertion of today's hike, every morsel of dinner was consumed with gusto. 

Check-in to Philmont occurs tomorrow morning for a full day of check in, logistics, training, and a welcoming campfire. Tomorrow's blog will follow the progress towards getting out on the trail. 

Continue to follow the troop's 2023 Philmont adventures on the troop blog and check out photos of the trip in the troop's online photo album.