Hiking with a 40-45lb pack can be exhausting. After the ill fated game of Uno in the boy’s tent naps were had by almost everyone. Jared and Ashley started dinner and then another bout of rain had us scurrying under the dinning fly. While in transit the first of three hail storms came upon us. This hail wasn’t tiny! But what’s a good camping story without a little hail! After clopping through the mud to hang up bear bags it was off to bed.
We gave ourselves a little break and broke camp around 7am to head to Baldy Skyline for our conservation project. The views on the way to Baldy Skyline were pretty fabulous. We caught a glimpse or two Mt. Baldy, the highest peak at Philmont. Tanner busted out his sketch book and took down a few notes for future sketches. Trevor wished he had his sketch book but whipped out his iPod to snap a few breathtaking pics instead.
By now we’re used to the afternoon rain but hoping it holds off for us to complete our conservation project. The fellas at Baldy Skyline put on quite the informational show. Tanner volunteered to be their accident prone scouter and demonstrated how to wear all the PPE required for the project. We threw rocks and logs and trees and branches for three hours to help in the completion of the Baldy Skyline trail to Ewells Park. It was a cacophony of voices bellowing “Rock, Tree, Twig, Log” every time something was lofted into the air. Beware, don’t stand downrange of a rocks, trees, twigs and logs being thrown in your general direction. Thank goodness for hardhats and sturdy trees!
After a short 10 minute walk from Baldy Skyline to Ewells Park we made camp. Everyone was super excited to be setting up camp in the same spot for two whole nights! Everything was wet from the night before, including Megan’s sleeping bag. We thought we’d catch the sun while we could, set up camp and hunker in for the afternoon. Ross and Tanner made their way to the Red Roof Inn while the rest of us started setting up camp. It wasn’t too much later when we hear these perturbed cries from the woods. Tanner and Ross somehow managed to toss the toilet paper out of reach and needed to be rescued. Jared could have let them suffer but they were disturbing the wildlife. We just held it over their heads when we needed a good laugh.
The wonderful perk of camping in the same spot two days in a row is NOT having to tear down camp at 4:30am! Our fifth day brought us to our side hike of Mt. Baldy. Good ol’ Baldy at the elevation of 12, 441 feet makes for a long but accomplished day. We made our way to Baldy Town to check in and notify the staff we were heading up the mountain, grabbed fresh water and took one slow step at a time. We made some fantastic friends on the way up. All the crews were leapfrogging and it didn’t take long for us to swap names and call out to each other on the ascent. Our favorite crew was definitely from Wisconsin!
The hike was slow but so worth the effort. By the time we reached the summit the temperature had dropped to around 65 and the winds were excessive. However, we were not deterred and enjoyed the views. On our way down we ran into our Wisconsin crew coming up and had to stop to catch a collective group photo. Nothing like selfies on top of Baldy!
We made it back to Baldy Town just in time to grab some delicious and precious Toblerone Chocolate from the Trading post, pick up meals for the next 4 days and hit the trails before the rain started. We beat the path all the way back to Ewells to escape the rain. We managed to avoid wetness and a hot dehydrated meal never tasted so good!