Monday, June 22, 2009

It's been a year!

Well, it's been one whole year since we arrived in Cimarron, NM for our trek. Today, I was grabbing lunch and I picked up a cup a soup and noticed I forgot to grab ice for my water. Water without ice. When was the last time I had water without ice? Well I certainly remember doing without ice for 10 days this time last year.

We were cleaning out the garage for our annual all-sub garage sale last weekend and we stumbled upon several water bottles. Two had colored duct tape on them to indicate they had gatorade "smellables" and had to be kept in the bear bag. One still had purified water from the trail at Philmont. My son dumped out the purified water before I could stop him. If I'd had more time to think, perhaps I might have suggested looking at it under a microscope to see how many little bugs were swimming around a year after purification.

So here I sit in a cube farm eating a sandwich and drinking cup a soup and lukewarm water wishing I was purifying water back on the trail at Philmont...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We had our troop crossover campout earlier this month. It is the time the webelos attend a campout with the troop for the first time. We build a bridge out of wood we find around the camp site by lashing it together and then after the crossover ceremony, we burn it all in the camp fire.

I announced at a couple of meetings leading up to the campout I would be bringing grub and invited our crew for a reunion. All but Eric, Jonas and Danny made it. Those 3 all had some obligation. The rest of us enjoyed grilled steaks. I'd go back in a heartbeat, but I'd be more assertive about picking a shorter trek. As I reread some of my comments from the diary I kept on the trail, I recall it was tough but it was one of the best things we ever did. The photo is of 6 of our 9 crew members after our steak dinner. Exactly the same stuff we ate on the trail. Yeah. Right. ;)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A new eagle...

A member of our Trek was honored yesterday evening for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Danny Mooney is among our troop's newest 3 eagle scouts, bringing our total to 103 scouts over the troop's 50 year history. Also honored were Patrick Rooney and Kevin Mersol-Barg.

My son is busy with college apps and so forth so we haven't been around the troop very much. I was happy to attend yesterday's eagle court of honor and I'm very proud of Danny. I hope the two remaining members of our crew, Jonas and Oliver, decide to pursue their eagle rank as well.

I miss Philmont and wish I could go back there again. Maybe someday I can. Yesterday's eagle court of honor reminded me how much I miss scouting. Maybe my son and I can squeeze in one more weekend campout with the troop before he turns 18...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Today I was looking for something to snack on and found a pack of trail mix in the pantry. It was fresh and it reminded me of one of my favorite things at Philmont...


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Looking back...

Today we heard the reading about "My yoke is easy, My burden light". At mass on the last day of our Trek, the reading was about doubting Thomas as it was his feast day. Just as the doubting Thomas reading was relevant on our last day, I thought today's reading was relevant to reflection on my experience and I decided this is a good time to post sort of a wrap up reflection on the trip.

It was a good trip. I'm sure we weren't the only trek in the place where personalities didn't mesh perfectly. I would go back in a heartbeat, but I'd have to know up front that the goals of the group were more in line with the concept of "vacation" rather than that of "marathon". This brings me to the yoke quote. At the hunting lodge, Waite Phillips made a lamp fixture out of an old oxen yoke he found on the property. He did this because it looked like his brand. W was taken, so Waite used Bar U U which looks a lot like the oxen yoke.

I remember sitting there in the breezeway sitting on one of Waite's rodent proof lockers and looking up at it and thinking our trek was "unequally yoked". There were those of us who were frustrated that there wasn't enough "down time" and those who were frustrated that we weren't "doing everything". Neither was wrong except if they are unable to compromise.

I have another panorama shot to share. It is the evening sky New Mexico just before a big storm. I was struck by the number of colors and cloud variations. Apps like Photoshop, Gimp and Hugin (for stitching panoramas on OS X) really cannot bring out the splendor of the sky that evening but I gave it a try...

To me, seeing the sky was not unlike putting my hand in Jesus' side. It was so beautiful there was no question of "intelligent design" or other such hooey. It was authored by God.

When I first posted this blog, I literally typed pretty much what was jotted in my journal pad. Then later, at Michele's suggestion, I've edited some of the blog entries to draw less attention to some of the difficulties of the trek. In the end, I want to convey the beauty of Philmont and how much we all enjoyed it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

7/3 - Thursday

Over the Tooth. THAT WAS TOUGH. Shafers Peak was nice but the Tooth was a steep climb and then fogged in. After a serious brush with weather on Baldy only a few days ago, I got everyone off the Tooth as quickly as I could.

Finally the switchbacks going down into Philmont base camp seemed to go on for 600 miles. We saw a rattlesnake on the trail. Richard says it would be 8 feet if you picked it up. My son, Chris says it was more like 3 feet. From where I was it looked like more than 4 feet, possibly 6 feet. I pulled up a digital photo and couldn't tell because in my picture the snake was coiled to strike. OUCH!

Once the snake went off the trail, we proceeded down into base camp and turned in all our stuff and prepared to go home. (snake pic added 7/8)

At the end of the afternoon, we went into Cimarron, NM for Simple Simon's pizza. Pizza never tasted so good. Then there was ice cream then back to camp.

I went to Mass and Father Steve had a wonderful sermon. I spoke with Chaplain Joe about the length of the announcements and he tried to cut them a little shorter. Joe is a seminarian in the diocese of Lubbock Texas. I will keep his vocation in my prayers. After Mass, I walked by and shook hands with Rabbi Rock then went to evening camp fire. A short nap and we were loading onto the bus (at 2:30 am!) for the trip to the Denver airport.

Philmont removes all masks and all of us showed our faults on the trail. There are some in our crew I would go back with tomorrow. Others, I could only go with as a missionary and pretty much only if God handed me the order in writing. I remember praying several times on the trail Col 1:24 ... "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the allictions of Christ on behalf of his body which is the church." To me this relates to offering up the sore feet, sore back and interpersonal trials.

My son has "Cry the Beloved Country" assigned for summer reading. I read it on the trip. What a wonderful book. Well written. It is a tragic subject, the disenfranchisement of Africans of their mineral, land, labor and basic human rights. But it is told in a way that has mercy to go around on all sides. The book filled the time in base camp and on the planes and busses. I hope my son enjoys it as much as I did. I remember all the beauty we saw at Philmont and there is one passages in particular that I found meaningful, poetic and beautiful...

Cry the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.

Just as Africans had to have hope in oppression, on our trek we had to focus on the positive. Glass half full. Don't be distracted by bickering. Don't be distracted by the difficulties of hanging food in bear bags 50 feet off the ground. Don't be put off by having to use outdoor toilets frequently without walls. Don't be distracted by an endless onslaught of powdered food, heavy packs, mud, dust, sweat, sweltering desert sun by day, cold wind by night and sloped camp sites where you wake up in the fetal position in the bottom 1/3 of your tent. Look to the beauty around you from the flowering cacti to the deer to the mountain streams. Nicole tried to force us to do this back at Cottonwood. I see her point now that we rushed through fast enough to "see everything" but I can't help but wonder if some of our crew members "saw nothing" beyond the superficial. In the panorama below (added 7/7), Nicole is seated in the lower right. We are on the ridge looking down into Cottonwood. The tiny white triangle is our dining fly.

Jeff H will be receiving a new pack from Philmont. They will mail it to him. There was no discussion about how to prevent such a thing in the future, but it is not professional to discuss personnel actions with anybody but the guy involved (the driver). I bet there will be some consequences for him even if the staff didn't tell us about it.

I forgot to clean my memory card before coming here but I still managed to snap over 1,100 7MP shots. I have added pictures to this blog that show what can be seen when you look past the glass half empty to see the glass God filled up for us millions of years ago here in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

7/2 - Wednesday

Toured the hunting lodge today. Rode horses. Climbed Window Rock. What a magnificant view. Climbed to Ponderosa Park to camp. Tomorrow - out over the Tooth of Time then home.

Our horseback ride was delayed due to lightning. When we were able to set off, I was grateful to be riding rather than walking but I was also apprehensive about the upcoming climb to Ponderosa Park. The ride was a very pleasant walk and was more in keeping with the anachronistic pace of Philmont than the frenetic pace that some of the mentally or physically younger members of our trek would clearly prefer. We got back to Clark's fork and had to wait a long time to do branding. The propane tank was empty and the branding irons had to be heated over a wood fire using an old piece of cardboard to fan the fire and get it hot enough. This turned out to be a good thing as my wallet was not real leather and my boots were synthetic. A really hot branding iron would have been a calamity.
Philmont Brands

Bar PS is the Philmont brand and is used for cattle. Lazy S is the Boy Scout brand and is used for horses at Philmont. I also had my hat branded.

After branding, we cooked our dinner and prepared for our hike up many hundred feet to our dry camp site. This would mean we could avoid carrying the 5 to 7 liters of water required to cook dinner and clean up. It also would mean we could avoid setting up a dining fly when we planned to get up at 4am for our hike out over the tooth.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

7/1/08 - Tuesday

I feel much better today. I won't take evening meds in the AM again. There are conflicting goals today: Make it to Cimarroncito early to climb, go slow, and leave late so the boys (including the adult boys) can shoot. The solution seems to be to redistribute the load so we can go faster. A couple of scouts offered to carry some load if I need it. A cool pleasant morning today with the promise of a better hike.

At Cimmaroncito. Much easier hike. A truck hit Jeff H's pack while we ate lunch at the Gulch. I'm lying down. The driver was kind of a jerk. Minutes later, the back country director came driving by and we told him. Hopefully Jeff will receive some compensation because his pack is bent.

I think my exhaustion yesterday was caused by taking evening meds in the morning or perhaps I had a cold. Perhaps it was lack of sleep on that sloped camp site. Whatever the case, I didn't give away any more weight but I am much stronger today.

Monday, June 30, 2008

6/30 - Monday

For me an incredibly bad day. What started out as a nice hike overwhelmed me. At Richard's suggestion, I asked the camp staff about taking a day of rest but that isn't how it is supposed to work here. No jeep rides to the next camp are allowed. Our crew is supposed to work it out. We only have 3 days of hiking left. To me it is not enough and too much. Not enough because I love the beauty of this place. Too much because of the wicked fast pace this crew keeps with no thought of a more reasonable pace that would allow everybody to really enjoy themselves. I convinced Richard to tone down his constant criticism of the kids but now that my strength is waning he has turned his criticism to me. I want to be able to minister to all people, but this jerk I don't care if I ever see him again.

We are at Harlan. Shotgun shooting. I wish I was in better shape and didn't need so much help, but I know there are dads here older than me who need even more help. With my hectic schedule leading up to Philmont, the preparation I did was really the best I could do. 60 flights of stairs with a pack seems like enough, only it has to be 120 flights to prepare for some of the days we have had here. I wish our juvenile crew would realize you can't do 100+ miles AND all the activities.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

6/29 - Sunday

Chris is Navigator and I am "Nagger". The nagger's job is to call for frequent map and compass checks to help prevent getting off the groomed trail and prevent further bushwacking. Doing better today. After yesterday's bushwack back to the trail, we are a much stronger crew. Met Kent, Neil, Pat and Ron who are advisors from 622-H2. Kent has a starbucks coffee bag and a jetboil coffee press. I had a half-strength cup. Today, we hiked up from Miranda to Head of Dean. We will do yesterday's thorns and roses at Lunch today. I dried my wet stuff on the rocks while we drank coffee and talked. They (1029) are doing the orienteering merit badge here. I would like to do it with our boys but Richard and Jeff will not shut up long enough for me to teach anything to the boys. Every time I want to stop and look at the map they say we are taking too much time with map reading.

Even without practicing proper map techniques, our luck held out and our hike from Miranda to Head of Dean was a wonderful hike. We are at Head of Dean at 8757 feet. Slept wonderfully last night. Gentle rain all night long.

Really steep coming into camp. Didn't quite finish glorious mysteries. I hate the thought of leaving here. Beautiful views from behind our tents here at Black Jack. 12 miles today with a steep 600 foot climb at the end. Chris had ANOTHER nose bleed. Everybody is happy and the troubles of yesterday are forgotten.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

6/28 Saturday - GPS

GPS does not make you invincible.

We missed a sharp turn on a trail and followed a path we thought was the right bearing for over a mile before we realized the trail was gone. We were 300 feet too low but we thought we were only 100 feet too low so we proceeded to meet the trail further down. We ran into a sheer cliff of a rock slide. Perhaps 2 of our crew could have made it without injury. I became afraid we were running out of ridge with steep sides all around and no way to go but back to Baldy Town to find the trail we lost. It was late and we were at risk of being forced to bushwack in the dark. God blessed us with a moderate slope to get down and back to camp but a 1.5 hour hike turned into 3 hours. Richard wanted to lead our group right out onto that rock slide. This portion of today was miserable after we were already tired from Baldy. Baldy was such a high but it wasn't ruined by this low. We failed at navigation. We failed to go back and fine the trail when we lost it. One of our adults wanted to put our group in harm's way because he thought he could make it and he seemed to care not for the others in our group. In fact he was 1/3 the way down the rock fall demanding we follow. Note to self: get through this trek and avoid going anywhere with this particular guy again.

Chris had hypothermia on Baldy and fell once up there, now he fell two more times trying to make it through this miserable bushwacking. Danny was saying "I'm done". I was thinking it. Thank you Jesus for getting us back from Baldy. Mountains are nothing to mess around with. Between the quick hail storm, Chris's hypothermia, our getting off our trail, we narrowly missed becoming an evening news item and made it back to camp just as it was getting dark. 5:30 am to 8:30 pm. A 15 hour day. Not exactly what I signed on for. I'm in my 50's not my teens. Not all of the 15 hours was on the trail. We did stop and eat at French Henry and some of the guys tried blacksmithing. Then we chose an unfamiliar trail to return to camp and didn't practice rigorous techniques to stay on the trail. NEVER AGAIN. Known trails, frequent map, compass and gps checks.

6/28 - Saturday - HAIL!!

I saw threatening clouds and dragged our group off Baldy. Not everybody wanted to leave but as we walked along the ridge we realized that anybody still up there would become lightning rods.

Just as we got back below the tree line, the hail storm hit! Yuck. Chris got hypothermia from sitting in the lightning position for such a long time twice. We wrapped Chris in a space blanket but he still shivered uncontrollably. Jonus and August ran down the OA trail with Chris and I tried to keep up. Danny was close behind me. Danny's hands were cold so I gave him my gloves. The hail was 3/4 inch deep and it looked like it just snowed. We were all very cold walking down hill faster than I every have helped warm me up. I went to the French Henry trading post to try to buy new rain gear that is water PROOF not water RESISTANT. All they had was some poncho thing and boy was it heavy. I'll do with out. My fleece made all the difference.

6/28 Saturday - Baldy Day

On Baldy. 7:20 AM 10,500 feet on switchbacks on way to mine. Chris has my stuff and is sweating. I've been sucking down water and the climb feels easier to me today. Lots of rosaries.

Breakfast at 10,700 feet with the other Beverly Hills crew at the mine hut overlooking a beautiful vista. Took a group pic with 622-H2 and us (622-M2).

11,500 feet. Almost there. I plan to borrow Danny's cell phone to call Michele.

11,800 feet. Above treeline (almost). Above snowline. Stopping for sunblock.

10am at top of Baldy! 12,441 feet. Chris in distress. I took his stuff for the last 200 feet.

At Baldy, tried to call Michele but no service. Sent text msg to Michele "At 12,441 feet Chris and I are fine. See you in a week"

Can you believe it? I ran into Brian Jordan up here on Baldy! He is here for 3 months working on logistics.

Friday, June 27, 2008

6/27 Friday

Here it is DAY 5.

We hike up 1200 then down 500 feet today. I was ready to go home after the day 3 ordeal. Since we have to do 4 miles if we do 1 mph maybe I won't feel like collapsing this time.

We slept in (7am). It's 9am now. Today's vertical debt is 1200 and we've paid 600 of it before breakfast!! The last 400 will be tough and then we will have +200 -200 spots till we get -500 down to Miranda to prep for our ascent of Baldy tomorrow. At 9850 feet at Baldy town. A wrong turn brought us here today. We were supposed to get here tomorrow after Baldy. Now back down to 8900 feet at Miranda sitting on porch. Veging. My favorite Philmont activity. Now August is over throwing tomahawks by himself. I wish he was more engaged with the other scouts. He plans to hike down with me if I have problems tomorrow. I can hear our scouts over there shooting black powder rifles. They already threw tomahawks but August didn't go with them at the time. August finally hit the target. He's been close but now he's hit it. He is very pleased with himself. I love this porch. Sitting is the thing to do after walking up 1200 and down 1000 feet.

Nobody's cell phone works here so I can't call Michele and see how she is.

We arrived about 2pm and they took us to site 3, a dusty wooded site and it was already occupied so they took us to site 7. The "Presidential Suite". Bear bag distance: 50 feet. Red roof distance: 50 feet. Sump distance: 35 feet. about 1/2 to 3/4 acre grassy lawn surrounded by tall pines for our tents. Everybody is taking empty packs with rain gear and 7 liters of water except me. I've been the slowest so Chris is acting as my shirpa and lugging my rain gear and 5 liters of my water. I'm just taking a fanny pack with a 2.5 liter camel pack. Everybody is dissapointed we were not told ahead of time we would be expected to swallow toothpaste rather than spit it out. We would have purchased "Tom's of Maine" or some other "edible" brand. We should have bought tampons for nose bleeds. At 10,000 feet today there was another nosebleed. Luckily we found a trading post that had tampons in stock. The boys were all joking about walking around with a string dangling from their nose. It beats swallowing blood or digging for the toilet paper on the trail.

On the first day, everybody made fun of Danny for bringing baby wipes on the trail. Now I think they should be on the list of "Philmont Essentials". They boys wanted to play "Mountain Ball" but it was cancelled. So they went to get the frisbee I bought for Chris at Ponil.

Bear sighting!

By the teepee and the dead tree at 7:08 pm (mountain time) a large bear was wandering by our camp about the time we saw a turkey walk by. One of the other dads snapped a photo of the bear. It was a big one! Now the boys are playing frisbee on the very spot where the bear was sighted. All six boys are playing together. A first.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday, 6/26 12:40pm

At 8225 feet going into Pueblano camp.

3:15 pm. At Pueblano. Jonas, oliver, Richard, Jeff H and Eric went up to Wilson Mesa without packs. When they came back they reported that the trail up to Wilson Mesa was a brutal trail. The worst yet. Loose rock. Lots of it. I'm glad I stayed down here at Pueblano. Apparently Richard and one of his sons pooped up on the Mesa. Going for some kind of stinky record I suppose. The nickname Peak Pooper was briefly discussed.

I asked Pueblano Spar Climbing staff if they heard about the dead burro we found. They heard it called in on the radio. Chris has promised to carry my day pack if I will go up Baldy with him so I guess I will go. Hike to Miranda Tomorrow. Tough hike. I'm sore all over but I've spent the past several hours sitting down relaxing. It's like medicine. I'm finally getting into the rhythm of this place now that we're at 8,000 feet in back country you can hear the occasional banjo, the sound of spar-pole climbing. Time stands still a chipmunk just ran by like 6 inches from me like the 3 does that walked right up to me the other night or the 2 bucks we saw on the road yesterday. Of course that burro carcass reminds us there is danger here from all those mountain lions. A quiet afternoon watching Chris, August and Danny playing crazy 8's. I went up on the staff porch and the staff gave me honey peanut butter and ritz crackers. A nice boost I sorely needed.

They call chipmunks "Mini Bears". We see a lot of them trying to steal food from our packs and we have to chase them away.

Pueblano Ruins is our best camp site yet! There is nothing ruined about Pueblano Ruins. Trees. Grassy meado, creek, bear line, sump and fire pit all close by. Pilot / Copilot with no walls. (Pilot Copilot refers to an outdoor toilet with less privacy than most are accustomed to).

Just beautiful. Tomorrow we climb 1000 feet to 9,000 feet to set up our base camp to assault Baldy the next day. Our hike is 40 % done. It's just great. Today was great. God is great. I can't believe how beautiful this canyon is. I have never seen so many plants and so many colors of green. Praise God!! Keep us safe up on Baldy and the rest of our hike. Keep Michele safe at chemo tomorrow.

I'm getting used to praying the rosary on the trail. It helps me focus on the beauty, forget the tiredness and get through the day but some times we go so fast I cannot breathe or remember where I am in my prayers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, 6/25

Today Nicole revealed she's not realated to Waite Phillips. She made us stay in camp an extra 45 minutes to look around at stuff. I was nervous climbing the canyon wall by myself to get a view of the sunrise and scooted back down when I saw what I believe to be mountain lion scat on the ledge I was climbing.

A MUCH better day. All our energy went to hiking. We turned a 3 mile day into a 10+ mile day. we camped at 7400 feet. Indian writings is at 7000. We are now at 7990 feet so the "stairmaster" would have been 3 miles +990 vertical.
We did 7400 to 7900 (+500)
7900 to 7600 (-300)
7600 to 7900 (+300)
7900 to 7200 (-700)
Then 7200 to 8000 (+800)

1600 vertical in 12.5 miles versus 990 vert in 3 miles. We chose wisely because we got to see so much more. Our trek is Jeff, Chris, Danny, Jeff H, Eric, August, Richard, Oliver and Jonus. Our crew leader is August. He tends to sit around and doesn't set the example by starting to get camp set up and we have to keep nagging him to get things going. Richard, meanwhile spends all his time making little quips to tear other people down including his own two sons.

This evening, after a very tiring hike that will bring our total mileage to over 92 from a planned 85, we arrived at a 5 diamond/5 turd campsite. Our camp site is over 300 feet up a hill. I was so tired I set up my tent and laid down. I plan to only go down once again tomorrow morning when we leave. The red roof is 150 feet down and the bear rope is down the hill as well. This camp site seems like an afterthought and putting us here feels like Ponil is over its intended capacity. Later, I found out that when 1029 arrived, they were offered this campsite but refused the climb. They are about a mile down the road but at least level with the rest of camp. Tomorrow, we have to send 2 advisers down to help make chuck wagon breakfast. Jeff and I are going. There isn't even any discussion of Richard going, even though I am very tired. I plan to go down with my full pack so I never have to climb up here again. This camp site is a mixed blessing, though. While it is ridiculously far up the hill, it affords a spectacular view of Ponil camp and the surrounding hills and ridges. For this reason I call it a 5 diamond camp site. It is so hard to get to, I must also call it a 5 turd camp site.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday 6/24

Found animal carcass on the way to Cottonwood. 36 deg 9 min / 105 deg west. Work detail today (conservation project). MUCH sweat. Tally Ho...

(...When it's time to hike, we yell Tally Ho and I have to stop writing.)

The carcass we found today was a fresh kill with fur still on the forlegs. There are mountain lions here. We heard one in Ponil Canyon. We are sleeping in Cottonwood Canyon. There are 3 does about 100 feet from my tent. They are not afraid of me. Here they can never be hunted. We saw orange flowers in the meados and the rock formations in each canyon are beautiful. This canyon is very narrow. I'm lying in my tent with my feet up. It feels so good. The sun is down and it is finally cool. Tomorrow we have a touch hike. 6 miles up the whole way. Today we worked our butts off building a trail. 3 hours then our hike. Brutal. It was HOT at 8am. I was beginning to worry about our crew. Hair tempers. Lots of criticism. Today it's better. Chris lost his water bottle into an 800 year old Indian ruin. Richard snapped at him before it even stopped falling. This guy really is wound a little too tight.

The bottom line is that I'm really enjoying this. The low impact camping rules are a pain but it's worth it to be here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday 6/23

Up at 5:30
Breakfast @ 6:20
Breakfast was good unlike the paltry portions we got at dinner last night. Nicole Phillips, our ranger says she is related to Waite Phillips. She says her family can use this facility for free. He was her great uncle. About a half an hour bus ride to 6 mile gate. I thought the camp should be left, but when we oriented our map with 10 degree declination it was clear our camp was on our right. My son keeps saying he doesn't like it here. I've asked him to keep this to himself. Today we hiked about 2 miles. It felt like 5. We hiked to Anastasi camp site. One camp site is a MILE LONG! So when we thought we were done, we had to go half again as far as we had already come just to get to site #8 which it turns out was taken. We are now at site 5. Everybody is in good spirits and singing silly songs after a lunch of Ritz Crackers ans Squeeze Cheese we all felt much better. Here comes the rain! Loud too!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday 6/22

3 hour bus ride.
Up at 5:00 am.
Breakfast at 5:30.
On bus at 6:30.
and STILL 3 buses beat us here.
Check in was disorganized - we sat over 2 hours waiting for trail food and pots and pans. skipped the evening campfire so I could organize my stuff. Best decision I ever made. I feel ready to go now. Jewish chaplain (Rabbi Rock) was awesome. A man of God. Catholic mass was dissapointing. Too long. Too many trivial announcements. Bear proof rosaries? How is that supposed to inspire kids to pray?