Friday, July 20, 2012

Philmont Journal: Day 7

Day 7: June 16, 2012

            We woke up today at an ungodly hour. We were going to hike the tooth of time trail, roughly a seven mile round trip and had 5 miles to hike afterwards to get to our next camp. We started before the sun rose above the mountains, carrying with us as much water as would kit in our day packs. Our adult leader with the bum ankle stayed at the camp to “watch our packs” which is code for “save his ankle for the rest of the trip.” We would come back to camp after the climb to the tooth and retrieve our packs and our stray adult
            We began our climb, gaining altitude quickly. Over all, we would gain 500 ft before reaching the top of the tooth, but in classic sadist trail maker style, the paths would lead us up and down many hills, dropping us back down to our original elevation before beginning the final climb up the tooth. The trip was though, passing through two rock fields and up and down several grades. At long last, we found ourselves at the bottom of a rock scramble, aptly named because it consisted of a bunch of rocks that you scramble up. We looked up at it, assessing its height and difficulty, but all that we determined was that it didn’t end pretty much until it reached the sky. If the people who tried to build the tower of Babble had lived in New Mexico, they would have had a serious head start by building on top of the tooth. Who knows, with the head start, they might have made it a little higher before God stopped them!
            After several moments of staring and after we had allowed the feeling of utter despair at ever reaching the top creep in, we started up the rocks. Steven and I chose to stick together as we climbed, hoping that we could collectively pick out the easiest way to the top. Steven said that I climbed like a spider monkey, but all that I remember was that it was AMAZING! It took about 20 minutes for us to reach the top (Nash only took 15 so he got some of his pride back) and it was 20 of the funnest minutes of my life. The mountain also inspired me to a new exercise plan. I’ll make a huge rock scramble in the backyard and climb it every day. Actually, I think I’ll just by the tooth and move it to my backyard. I feel like that would be easier.
            The top was amazing, even I will admit that and I don’t really care for views. We could see all of the way to the base camp. There was also an odd, very large circle of green grass. I speculated that either it was alien’s attempts to communicate, or they watered the grass a lot. There were two bench marks on top of the tooth, though what practical purpose they serve, I do not know. We also found out why high places are called “Look Outs,” at least Nash did. He wasn’t looking when I snuck up behind him and gave him a shove, but I guarantee you he was looking the whole way down!
            We met two crews on the way down the tooth. These poor saps had made the decision to take their packs with them on the tooth hike; boy it looked hard. One of their leaders had left his pack at the base of the rock scramble, effectively setting out what we call a “bear buffet.” Sadly we didn’t see a bear to tear into the pack. Hey, I guess God looks out for idiots sometimes. We head back to camp, trying to get back in time for lunch. We arrived at 12:30, ate lunch, and left our great, dry campsite that apparently only has rocks and no dirt on the ground. He headed down the mountain at as fast of a pace as our “crippled” leader could handle. He is definitely getting faster as the trip progresses. Of course it started to rain as soon as we started hiking. We stopped to don rain gear (at least the rest of the crew did. I didn’t because I’m stupid like that) and continued.
            We reached Clark’s Fork, a staff camp, and filled our bottles, officially ending our dry spell. One of the staff told us that the rest of the way to our camp was pretty level, so we started off happily. After a mile of climbing, we stopped to take a rest.
            “Where’s that lying dog?” one of the leaders panted. “He needs to come out here so that I can smack him with my stick!”
            The terrain evened out as soon as we started again, and the rest of the hike went quickly. We arrived at camp, got our site, ate dinner. Nothing much else happened except that we made the mistake of giving Steven some hot cocoa. He went loopy for a while, almost as if he was high (or really, really hyper). David suggested that there was LSD in the water Steven had drunk, a real possibility considering his actions that night.

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