Hike On {Part 6}

How did we come to the day we leave the back country?  Even though it’s taken all of this summer and fall and what seems to be the start of winter to bring the conclusion of our time at Philmont the actual 11 days went by in a flurry.

Ponil

Tuesday morning we broke camp for the very last time on the trail.  Jerry and Randy worked alongside the other adult leaders at Ponil to make a Chuck Wagon breakfast of pancakes and orange juice.  Breakfast was a perfect way to end our meal times on the trail.  Before leaving Ponil we rode horses throughout what was the original base camp of Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp. It was a lovely change of pace and a relief for the footsies. The canyon valley takes on a whole new beauty when atop a horse.  We leisurely rode with about 30 other scouts for an hour and made our way back to the stables before walking the 10 minutes to the buses waiting to take us back to base camp.

Ponil

Riding in the school bus on the way back to base camp and driving past the site where we first hit the trail brought a flood of memories.  Only 11 days ago we crammed ourselves into a Red Roof Inn with 30 of our closest friends.  Just 11 days ago we looked fresh and dust free.  On July 12 we hiked the first four miles of our 97 miles.  That Saturday our history together as a crew was just taking shape.  Making our way off the bus on July 22 we were no longer the newbies.  We were veterans. You could tell by the cakes of dirt on our legs and the sheen of our hair and the scruff on Jerry and Randy’s faces we had not just survived Philmont we had lived Philmont.

Ponil Turnaround

Over the next few hours we enjoyed a meal we did not have to prepare from dehydrated foods, we walked into air conditioned buildings, we unloaded our gear and crashed onto cots…cots!  Going through the final steps of a “Home Bound” crew we managed to return all our gear, visit the trading post and most importantly SHOWER!  Some of us threatened to take a shower and then don our trail clothes from the train ride home.  The idea was quickly vetoed!  Once we were all duded up we hopped the bus headed for Cimarron, New Mexico.  Hitting up the local stores, stopping for ice cream and ordering fresh pizza was the perfect cap to a wonderful adventure.

Cimarron, New Mexico

There is a tradition at Philmont Scout Ranch when leaving Philmont property.  It is said when you look over your shoulder at the Tooth of Time fading into the distance you are bound to return to this enchanting land.  As we made our way to Raton every single head was turned to catch one last glimpse of the Tooth of Time in hopes to be able to return.

Philmont Scout Ranch

I Want to Go Back to Philmont.

 

 

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Hike On {Part 5}

Our 10th day on the trail was a doozy!  The morning was a delightful walk across open prairie of Ring Place leaving our feet nice and soaked for the next 14 miles of our Philmont experience.  We made our way to Seally Canyon by way of bushwhacking through a most challenging terrain.  There’s nothing like starting the morning by crossing a barbwire fence and making straight for the hills, okay mountains.  Talk about a wake up at 6am!  The rock face and the boulders we walked among were stunning.  When we reached the peak we had two choices: 1) go around and add 3-5 miles to our day’s total or 2) go down the rock face straight into Seally Canyon.  We were all about covering the distance in the shortest amount of time so rock face it was.

Early Morning Look

Early Morning Look

Crossing the Barbwire Fence

Crossing the Barbwire Fence

The tricky part about traversing a rock face?  Yucca plants, cacti, loose rock and no real trail.  But the view across the open expanse of mountains and valleys was a beautiful trade off for an early morning start.  There is really nothing more breathtaking as the wide open spaces of Philmont Scout Ranch.  We survived the tumbling of rocks and the occasional pricking of a yucca plant and made it into Seally Canyon in record time.  We were greeted by an amazing swap box and potable water.

View of Seally Canyon

View of Seally Canyon

Hiking into Seally Canyon

Hiking into Seally Canyon

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Hike On {Part 4}

We were gently reminded of a very large time lapse concerning our Philmont escapades.  Hopefully we’ll wrap it up in a couple of posts and move onto more recent adventures.  So here it is, Part 4 of our time at Philmont Scout Ranch. 

 

Just when we thought the hike to Iris Park was about to reach completion we realized we had a long ways to go.  We leap frogged with our sister crew the whole way from Upper Greenwood to Iris Park.  The valley walk was beautiful but the road stretching for miles was excruciating.  We were on our eighth morning and everyone was feeling it after hiking for 5 hours.  So to lift our spirits we sang more songs and ate plenty of snacks.

Iris Park

On our way to Iris Park

This lovely stretch of land belongs to Leave No Trace camping and boy could you tell.  It was a beautiful landscape change from Upper Greenwood.  We saw remnants of a widespread forest fire.  The roaming cattle could be seen everywhere and the skies were a brilliant blue.  No one wanted to say it but we were SUPER excited to be walking in dry weather.  We were afraid to jinx ourselves but we enjoyed it while it lasted.  Iris Park was a beautiful expanse of sparse Ponderosa Pines and open prairie grass.

Iris Park Sunset

Iris Park Sunset

The only problem with prairie grasses…restroom facilities.  Leave No Trace camping means no Red Roof Inns which means finding a rock in a land full of grass can be tricky…we survived.  We had to hike about a mile to retrieve water so we split into teams.  We had a water gathering party and a set-up-camp and get-dinner-going party.  Everything was not dry from the previous day’s deluge and we quickly spread out gear on any and every surface.  The previous two days had taken its toll on our merry band with Amariah getting a fever and a start of a head cold and the boys burying themselves in their tents to catch some shuteye before dinner.  Never did a warm meal and a sleeping bag feel more inviting.

Getting Dry

Getting Dry

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A Typical Wednesday

We were pretty busy last night checking on our tent situation for Philmont Scout Ranch.  We leave for Philmont in 14 days!  If we want to be comfortable we better be sure to have all our tents and gear ready to go.

Venture Crew 91 Tenting

As people drove by the yard full of tents we’re sure they were thinking we were crazy.  Though there were only four tents set up in the yard it definitely is a different sight for Chillicothe in the middle of the week.  We’re really too excited to care what the general passerby is thinking. 🙂

 

Thankfully each tent will be keeping us dry and we even found a tent we forgot we had!  That’s the problem with camping gear…it gets out of control!  We decided to leave the tents assembled for our gear shakedown this Saturday and save us some steps.  So we won’t kill the grass we’ve stuffed them all into a garage.  Poor garage.

Venture Crew 91 Tenting

Who really puts cars in their garages anyway?  Isn’t it supposed to be filled to the brim with tents, sleeping pads, backpacks and backpacking stoves?

Venture Crew 91 Tenting

 

Scouting All Summer

When asked, ‘What are you plans for the summer?’ being a Venture Scout has its advantages.  Summers are awesome and hold the keys to the great unknown, if you know where to look.  One member of our crazy crew will have plenty of stories to tell from the summer of 2014.

Trevor is a Life Scout of Crew 91 and the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 50.  He has packed his summer to the brim.  Starting off the summer with a bang by participating in National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), moving into three weeks working at Camp Ingersoll and then catching the train to Philmont Scout Ranch for two weeks makes for one massive summer of scouting!

Mr. Trevor

For the fourth summer in the W.D. Boyce Council, NYLT has been opened to Venture Scouts.  Trevor is the second member of Crew 91 to participate in NYLT and we’re so excited to see what leadership ideas he brings back to the crew.  National Youth Leadership Training is youth-led by previous graduates of NYLT and seeks to integrate modern leadership theory with the strengths scouting has to offer.  Every participant will discover what a leader must BE, what a leader must KNOW, and what a leader must DO.

National Youth Leadership Training

The next three weeks will be exhausting and amazing all at the same time.  Trevor will be working as a ‘floater’ at Ingersoll Scout Reservation in London Mills, Illinois.  Camp Ingersoll is our council summer camp offering Boy Scout troops an incredible summer full of activities, rank advancements and the opportunities to complete Merit Badges.  Mr. Trevor will be floating around camp serving wherever duty calls.  He’ll be busy at the waterfront, in Scoutcraft and a handful of other outposts leading by example and learning what it means to serve others before self.

Ingersoll Scout Reservation

After trekking all over Ingersoll Trevor will be throwing together everything he needs for a two week adventure at the epic Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.  While at Philmont Trevor will serve as the trek Crew Leader while the group backpacks for 12 days through the mountains of New Mexico.  While there he will be able to put to practice the skills he learned at NYLT and the servant leadership he observed while on staff at Camp Ingersoll.

Philmont Scout Ranch

These are the best summers.  The summers that start off by learning new skills that move into serving others and then progress to leading a group of venturers through the backcountry make the most memorable of summers.  If anything, Trevor will be ready to take a real shower, crash into his own bed and share with others why scouting is really the best option for a jam packed, unforgettable summer.

 

Fall Has Arrived

Just two weeks ago we had weather in the 80’s!  Over the weekend a switch was flipped and today we face a high of only 45.  What has happened?
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We’re not really complaining though.  This weather is perfect for roasting marshmallows, gazing into blazing hot fires and snuggling into a comfy hoodie.

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A fall campout just might be in the works.  There really is no better time to camp.
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It’s Been a While

Well, it’s been ages since we’ve posted about anything happening in the land of Venture Crew 91.  So we decided we’ll do one massive post with loads of pictures to get caught up on our happenings.

We participated in Relay for Life and had quite the blast.  There was a crazy marshmallow war that took place at the Bannister’s.  There were not any winners but the game was sure fun.  Try using the massive marshmallows, ripping them apart and then throwing them…they stick to your targets!  🙂

Relay for Life 2013

Four of our members traveled to West Virginia to participate in the National Scout Jamboree as members of Jamboree Crew F404!  What an awesome experience!  We’ll dedicate a whole post to the Jamboree.  There were just too many amazing things that took place for a synopsis.

Jamboree Crew F404

Jamboree Crew F404

Every year the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce holds the CornFest.  This year 125 dozen ears of corn were shucked, cleaned and steamed.  Members of Crew 91 served hundreds of Chillicotheans close 1500 ears of corn!  It was a great way to spend an evening giving back to our community.

Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce CornFest 2013

We’re headed to Philmont next summer and we’ve been getting ready.  Summer 2014 seems ages away but it’s never too early to start hiking.  We spent a Sunday morning right after Jamboree hiking the trails at Camp Wokanda.  It was perfect hiking weather and we’ll be hitting the trails for many months to come.

Philmont Prep Hike

We attempted to use our speed boat last Sunday and that turned into an adventure all by its self.  Attempt would be the operative word.  Our speed boat is super fabulous…when it runs!  We backed into the river and the boat was running.  The boat ran for maybe two minutes tops…while still on the trailer!  But never fear, Craig came to the rescue with his fancy fishing boat and saved the day.  The weather was perfect, the water was fine and who knew a fishing boat could haul a tube at speeds fast enough to almost barrel roll.

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

The summer has almost drawn to a close.  School resumes in our little town next week.  Just because the summer is about to end does not mean the adventures will cease.  We’re looking forward to an outstanding school year!