Philmont - Day 1
The morning of day one the crew packed up all the gear and headed to the front of base camp and waited for our bus to come and pick us up and take us to the start of our trek. There was electricity in the air as the crew couldn’t wait to get the show on the road.
After a few hours of wait, we boarded an old school bus and headed out to Gate 6 to start our trek. When we arrived at Gate 6, we exited the bus and both our crew and our sister crew started our trek. The first obstacle was a bridge up and over the fence that surrounded the Philmont property. Once we crossed over the fence via this little bridge our crew took off on our little over a 2-mile hike to our first camp for the night, but not before we took a side trip to see one of two confirmed Tyrannosaurus Rex footprints in the world. The Tyrannosaurus Rex track in the world was discovered within the camp’s boundaries in 1993 in North Ponil Canyon by the Anasazi Trail Camp. It was formally identified in 1994.
Then it was on to our first camp, Anasazi trail camp, where the crew would camp their first night. The camp at Anasazi is nothing more than cleared spots along the trail itself and an untreated water source. The Ranger that was assigned to us, Aaron, made sure we understood how to set up our campsite, where to keep our food how to bear-proof everything, and how to treat our water. Our crew had several different water treatment methods. My son and I had purchased a filter system. One of the leaders and his son used treatment tabs and the other set used boiling as their preferred method. The rest of the crew used one of these three methods as well. This evening was fun for the boys as we sat around told stories, listened to the many stories that Aaron had to tell which were usually training opportunities disguised as stories, and played little camp games, including the Saltine Challenge, which was to see how many Saltine crackers you could stuff in your mouth at once. For many of the crew members, this was also their first real opportunity to use the nature “facilities”, which was taking a buddy with them, heading away from the trail and camp, digging a hole, and doing your business. For most of the crew, up to this point when they were training, there were more formalized facilities. I recall my son (this was not his first opportunity to deal with nature) waking me up in the middle of the night so he could go take care of his business and that adventure included him getting scared by a noise in the bushes and even cutting his hand on the trowel he used to dig his hole, good times.
Me, I was doing good at this point. I learned that taking a Vitamin B Stress Complex, really helped me recover quickly. I was taking a low dose of aspirin, which was recommended by my doctor (in fact all three of us adults were taking it) as a preventive.