Philmont - Day 2
Day 2 started with breakfast, cleaning up the camp, and heading out to our first themed staff camp. The hike was a short 2 miles with many twists and turns and elevation changes, but when we arrived at Indian Writings, we were at roughly the same elevation as at the Anasazi camp. Indian Writings hosts many petroglyphs on the large rock faces around the camp. There are a few excavation sites and archaeological digs corresponding to these ancient writings, each with its own stories. Campers usually take an hour to an hour and a half tour of the easy-to-reach writings and excavation sites. Crews beginning and ending their trek are the most common, as it is located close to the 6-mile Gate turnaround. The program includes museum tours, tours of the petroglyphs and excavation sites, as well as atlatl throwing. Indian Writings is one of the oldest staff camps on the Ranch, opened in 1939.
Our crew and our sister crew were the only two crews at Indian Writing can we spent the day touring the writings and hanging around the camp. As a staff camp, we learned about the trade box, which was where you could take some food that had been left and you can leave what you don’t want. This is an opportunity for the crew to trade in the food that they don’t like and see if there is something they like. It allows them to lighten their load as well, by leaving food that they won’t eat. The evening was spent learning about our sister crew, which ironically happened to be an all-female crew of girls several years younger than our boys, which actually worked out well, as it allowed our crew to help mentor the younger crew. We also spent some time learning to throw the atlatl which is an ancient weapon predating the bow and arrow.
That evening the adults took turns taking showers (the sister crew even did laundry) while the crews practiced their skills and received final words of wisdom from their Rangers, that was due to depart in the morning.
One of my fondest memories at Indian Writings was watching the crews interact with each other and watching the joy on the faces of the two crews as they sat on the front porch of the cabin and interacted with the large hummingbird population that frequently visited the feeders around the porch.
More Next week