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Day 5: Schaefers Pass to Hunting Lodge

It’s a gloriously sunny morning. We take advantage of it and let our clothes and gear finally dry.

Trevor ponders his dry toes while everything else dries out in the glorious sun.

We take off on what proves to be a scenic hike.

Ah, there’s nothing like a Philmont morning: a cool breeze whispering through the Ponderosa pines, the fluttering aspens, the scent of your hiking mates wafting toward you…. It’s day four since anybody was able to take a shower, and it’s starting to show (and smell).

Schaefers Pass was a dry campsite, one without a water source, so we’re running low. Along the trail, we fill up from a clear-running stream.

We break out our lunch at Clark’s Fork, a staffed camp with a blacksmith shop where we can have our hats and boots branded (no shirts, Nalgene bottles or human flesh allowed).

Trevor looks on as his cap gets the famous Bar P Crazy S brand.

Philmont’s two brands are the Bar P Crazy S and Slash Crazy S. You can also get a Scouting fleur de lis brand.

Today’s a miracle day because it doesn’t rain. At all. No kidding.

When we first arrive at our campsite at Hunting Lodge, the staff tells us about their regular visitor, Steve. A regular visitor? Big deal. Except that Steve is a BEAR.


What we don’t miss about home. Nobody misses TV one bit. Trevor: “I miss my mom and dad, but not my little brother so much.”

“He’s here almost every night, so be sure you tighten up your bear procedures,” they tell us.

“I want to see a bear,” Christian declares.

“You need to be a little more specific,” Blake tells him. “You want to see a bear in daylight, at least 100 yards away from us. Not in our campsite tonight.”

“Oh, yeah. Right.”

We’re at Hunting Lodge early enough for some leisure time. I’d forgotten what that was, exactly. I’m excited because I have some time to wash clothes, something I’d never be excited about at home. Hey, gotta cut down on the stink when you can.

The Hunting Lodge once belonged to Waite Phillips, who donated most of the land that is now Philmont Scout Ranch.

Serious Scout: Blake orients his map during leisure time.

Travis and Christian treat aching feet with ice from the Hunting Lodge.

After a dinner of vegetarian chili, we head to the Hunting Lodge for staff-made cobbler. But there’s a hitch: Before getting a bowl of the mouth-watering dessert, each crew member has to tell a joke the staff has never heard before or then it’s three different jokes you have to tell. And there aren’t too many jokes the staff hasn’t heard before. After all, we’re one of the last treks of the summer. It’s well after dark before all of us get our cobbler.

Sad, pitiful faces don’t bring the cobbler any faster.

Back at our tents, I think, What is the Philmont staff thinking, putting chili in the trail dinners? The sound effects from everybody are pretty astounding. If the gaseous explosions don’t keep Steve away tonight, I don’t know what will.

4 Comments on Day 5: Schaefers Pass to Hunting Lodge

  1. i went with the us army we did a 108 mile trek

  2. Will tell jokes for food. // March 27, 2009 at 9:02 am // Reply

    Aww man I hope our troop can go to philmont.

  3. I thought all the smellies were hauled up into the triangle every night??? It sounds like Steve and all the minibears are not safe from the Philmont troopers.

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