Philmont - Day 5
In the morning the crews will meet after breakfast to do spar-pole climbing and then they will leave for their hike to Ute Meadows by way of Miranda, but first, the boys had to tack up their burro again and take it to Miranda. Miranda is a staff camp, but we were only stopping for a few hours there, our final destination would be Ute Meadows.
Miranda is home to a large meadow with a black-powder rifle range along with a throwing tomahawk range. The staff portrays a mountain man/fur trapper’s rendezvous and displays various trappers and trader’s wares on the cabin and the teepees in the meadow.
The trek to Miranda was uneventful and Norman cooperated fairly well. When we arrived at Miranda, we had to drop Norman off at the stables stow all the tack, and then make our way to the cabin. There we were instructed about the black powder shooting and tomahawk-throwing activities. I stayed back with a staff member to have one of our boys looked at. He ended up being evacuated back to base camp for a day in the infirmary. The boys completed the black-powered shooting and the tomahawk-throwing activities and then it was time to make our way to Ute Meadows for the next two nights.
Ute Meadows is a non-staff camp and we will spend two nights there. Ute Meadows camp is located just below Baldy Town and is used as a layover camp for crews climbing Baldy. This was also the camp where we experienced the most wildlife encounters, with a black bear sighting by one of the rangers, which caused the ranger patrol to have to patrol around the area for the evening. Though we never saw the rangers, we did hear them in the woods and saw the headlights of their vehicles in the distance. It was a stark reminder for the boys as just three weeks earlier on the morning of Wednesday, July 7th, 2010, at 5:30 AM, a bear entered a campsite at Zastrow and attacked a tent where two Scouts were sleeping. During that incident, a 14-year-old Scout sustained injuries, and after initial treatment at the Philmont Health Lodge, he was transported to Santa Fe for further medical care.
It was also this evening when the two crews got to first-hand experience the beauty and destruction of mother nature as a lightning storm passed right overhead with bolts of lightning striking feet from our campsites. It was the closest that I personally have ever been to a bolt of lightning and I hope to never have to be that close again.
Today we hiked 6.5 miles and a 2000-foot gain in elevation.
Until Next Week