Friday, August 03, 2012

Philmont Journal: Day 10

Day 10: June 19, 2012

            Well, today’s hike was short as I had expected. We actually went in the wrong direction as we headed out of camp, but that only added an extra mile and a half or so. That was for most of the crew. Michael forgot to sign out of the camp, and was reminded about a half mile down the road. He and Nash had to run all of the way back to sign out and then hurry to catch back up. Even with the extra distance and delays, we made it to Miranda, our next camp site, a little after 10. It was a good thing too since we got the second to last black powder rifle time slot.
            The hike itself was not bad at all except for the last ½ mile. We broke through the trees and stepped into a beautiful meadow at the other end of which we could see the staff cabin. We were almost done for the day so we stopped to take pictures before continuing on our way. Well, it turned out that the meadow, which looked rather short, was actually about a half a mile long. We hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked, all uphill I might add, and arrived at the staff cabin bone tired. The upside was we did get a campsite that was close to the cabin and the water spigot. It was a lot better than having to hike the half mile meadow whenever you wanted to go somewhere or do something. Granted, we ended up napping in camp most of the day, but it’s the principle of the thing.
            Later in the day, we went down to the rifle range to shoot black powder rifles. We had to bring our own targets to shoot, so I brought a bandana. We got a whopping total of three shots on these suckers (which I’m told is actually more than most people in the Chinese military get to train with their weapons) and I managed to put four holes in my bandana. That’s right, I’m just that good. Or my brother is that bad. I prefer to think that I’m good.
            Steven’s favorite activity of the day was going to work with the burrows that they had at Miranda. It was a good half mile or so down to the pens and he made the trip several times. I’ve got to believe that there’s a better reason than working with a bunch of smelly animals for him to walk that much in one day, especially when it’s not a necessity.
            One activity that occurred throughout the day was tomahawk throwing. With the basics that we had learned on our first day of hiking, we started to improve our throwing skills. This was the favorite activity of this particular day and culminated in a tomahawk throwing competition. I was washing the dishes when it started, so I didn’t arrive until the middle, but it was definitely worth watching. Our adult leader with the bum ankle along with three others from our troop made it to the 2nd round of elimination where the event was “left right split.” Essentially, the first person would throw and hit the target, then tell the other person whether they had to hit left or right of the first tomahawk. If the second person was successful, the first thrower would have to split the two tomahawks with the third. Should this endeavor succeed, the tomahawks were removed and the process was repeated until one of the throwers missed or failed to go left or right or split. Two strikes and you were out.
            Our leader in the competition and one of the kids from our sister troop went back and forth about 10 times. Each of them had a strike already, so it was down to the wire. There were several throws that we thought would finish the game, but every time the splitter managed to place the tomahawk perfectly. Finally, the kid opposite our leader managed to split with only about an inch to spare. It was a throw that was impossible to make…but our leader managed to do it, bouncing his tomahawk off of one of the first two and knocking it out in the process. Unfortunately the next throw would be his last. His competitor put the tomahawk into the far right side of the target and obviously called right. Our leader got as close as possible to sticking his throw, hitting the previous tomahawk and spitting sparks. There just wasn’t enough room, and he wasn’t able to stick the throw. Oh well, at least it was a good show.
            Well, it’s time to hit the sack again as we have to leave early for Baldy tomorrow since we’re supposed to off of the mountain itself by noon. I’m taking the frantic orange for pictures. It should be fun.

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