2019 Philmont Blog

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Our two crews waiting at the Naperville train station:

Thursday, July 18, 2019
Philmont crews have arrived into New Mexico!

Train ride has been convenient and smooth sailing. Everyone got a bit of sleep – some better than others. Under Dan Laverty fearless leadership – we secured 8 Domino’s pizzas in Galesburg on a train stop that lasted less than 5 minutes. Tom Knapp made sure that the train didn’t leave while Dan, Liam Ratz, and Mrs Wandke ran to grab the Pizzas. There were many envious stares from others on the train while we ate our pizza.

During the rest of the ride – we have slept, watched IPads, read books, played cards, played Munchkin and a few other games – and Only a little bit of last minute work completion by the adults. The boys have already started preparing for trail time without electronic devices – including defining rules for a custom game to occupy our trail time.

Next steps in our itinerary:

1) Off the train in Raton
2) Lunch in Raton
3) Bus ride to Philmont

Our afternoon on Thursday is relaxed before we start our check in process on Friday! And hit the trail on Saturday.

Just a few pictures for today:
We arrived here at Philmont around 1:00 pm. We were assigned tents and registered and received our information for tomorrow. After registering the scouts hung out and played cards and. He led out the Tooth of Time Store. Some purchased some last minute supplies; others identified what to purchase when we get back. We had dinner around 5:00 then were able to play cards, shower and get ready for bed. Tomorrow will be a busy morning as we go through the check in process. Everyone is safe and having a great time.

Friday, July 19, 2019
We started the day with a briefing on our treks. We then went off to medical re-check and then gathering equipment and our food for the upcoming days. We all packed our gear to be ready to go tomorrow.

Alan Wandke’s crew leaves Saturday at 10 am and Patrick Aabram’s crew leaves tomorrow at 8 am. We are ready to roll.

Saturday, July 20, 2019
Trail Day!!!

Last night was our evening campfire – a really good performance that describes history of Philmont and their main founders and pioneers of the area. As with any Boy Scout campfire there was a requisite amount of crowd participation.

Woke up to another beautiful sunrise. And for the sake of the steamy folks in Illinois – most of us need sweatshirts on the morning due to brisk desert evenings. Although it does get hit by hot sun and 80-90s during the afternoon – we follow the mantra “drink water, drink water, drink water”.

We are anxiously awaiting our bus at 10:00am.

Laverty’s crew left at 8:00am.

This will likely be the last email for several days – unless we get to the top of Mount Phillips and there is text message opportunities on Day 5-6. Could be the last message until the finish.

Sunday, July 21, 2019
Pictures from the crew today:

Monday, July 22, 2019
Aabram’s crew rock climbed yesterday and today have a 7 mile hike to next camp. Everyone is safe and having a great time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Pics from their adventure – arriving home today at 6 PM – Naperville Train Station

Crew #2 – Nagle
Day 1
Boys are ready to get hiking
Collin made a great first impression with our ranger guide (Marco) for the first days in the trail. Collin even shared one of his doo-rags for support.
Day 2 and 3
Spent day 2 at Carson meadows camp site after geocaching (Zastrow) and homesteading and root beer at Abreu. Collin even caught a chicken and broke an Axe. On day 3 we had a beautiful / long hike into Fish Camp. We tried a bit of fly fishing, although Benjamin was the only one to Catch a trout, although the caught 2 fish. We also each tied our own fly fishing lure and toured one of Waite Phillips fishing cabins.
Day 4 and 5
Apache springs is a beautiful camp nestled in the meadow full of prairie flowers. While at Apache springs – we shot 3D archery, sat in a sweat lodge, did laundry (in wash tubs, not ziploc bags), got rained on, and watched the sunset.

We even got a treat (unexpectedly) or cell phone reception. So a quick call home for Birthday wishes and hellos to girlfriends/moms/dads was accomplished

5 days on the trail creates some awesome hair styles too
Day 6
Group photo from the top of Mount Phillips – our highest and first of six peaks summited

That night after getting doused in rain and hail – we dried our clothes around a campfire (which also lifted our spirits)
Day 8
Playing cards during a rain storm.

And earlier in the day, Jack Cassidy had the Philmont staff brand his Pop Tart. Which was a first time for the staff member
Day 9
This was one of our toughest days as we submitted our 4th peak of the trek Trail Peak. This summit is very challenging and steep. At the top is a wrecked B-24 Bomber from many decades ago.

The crew photo is from the top of trail peak.

On our descent we get a spectacular view of the tooth of time (from ~10miles away) which is our day 10 task.
Day 10
During Day 10 (lunchtime)- we scaled two mountain peaks above 9500 feet (Schaefer’s Peak shown here) and tooth of time (late afternoon). The boys got to look out over the north country of Philmont from this vantage.

Also you can see from Cameron’s shirt the last 10 days on the trail is some messy business.

Mr Stephens smile is still looking positive – even though we have a long day of hiking left.

end of the trip
BBQ lunch on our last day, and after a good shower. Waiting for the train in Raton. Sleeping on the train. Can’t wait to get home -but the train is running 4 hours late. So nothing to do but sleep.