Friday, June 16, 2023

Leave No Trace

As of Thursday evening, Crew 612-N has been on the trail for three days and has hiked around 13 of the 65 miles that are part of their planned itinerary. All is going well and they've had no issues other than some sore legs and sunburn.

Philmont practices a low-impact form of camping. The crew must use established trails and campsites along with various procedures for cooking and cleaning. However, Thursday evening, the crew camped in the Iris Park campsite, which is located in Philmont’s northern neighbor, the Valle Vidal unit of the Carson National Forest. This is true Leave No Trace-camping in that the area is complete wilderness without the fire rings, sumps, bear cables, and latrines that are found in Philmont campsites. It is, ironically, the first location the crew has had a cell signal since leaving base camp. Here, the crew must follow a specific set of procedures to camp. Because there is no water in the campsite, the crew had to pack in full loads of water from its previous campsite six miles away. The weight of the water slowed down the group Thursday morning, but the crew still arrived at Iris Park in time for lunch.

Jake (left) and Rhett prepare an evening meal of rice and summer sausage.
Jake (left) and Rhett prepare an evening meal of rice and summer sausage.

Food on the trail must also be carried by the crew. Breakfast and lunch meals are mostly packaged foods that don’t need to be cooked. For example, lunch on Thursday was tuna, spread on crackers, along with various snack foods. Dinners are cooked using hot water in a single pot. Wednesday night, the crew had mashed potatoes with chicken. It was quite good after a day on the trail; however, the first night, the crew's chefs didn’t cook the rice long enough and the group wound up with crunchy rice with salmon added.

Harrison wows the crowd with his piano rendition of  "House of the Rising Sun"
Harrison wows the crowd with his piano rendition
of  "House of the Rising Sun"
The crew has engaged in several programs at staff camps they've visited. At Ponil, they stopped by the cantina, where Harrison entertained those present on the piano. Scouts also practiced their lassoing skills on a simulated cattle herd. At Dan Beard camp, the crew went through the challenge course and worked together as a team to get through the course.

On Friday, the crew is heading to Rich Cabins, which is a homesteading camp.

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.