Philmont Trek Route #5

Date:        Thu, 09 Jul 1998 15:51:00 -0400
From:        Mike Floyd <>
Subject:     Trek # 5   626k5  report on Philmont conditions

We returned last night to Athens. Our crew has a great time. Here is a quick report on our recommendations to crews who have not left yet for Philmont.

1. We had rain seven of our days. It normally rains in the afternoon. Make sure your crew has rain gear and has sealed their tents. We used our own tents. Many of the Philmont tents we saw that other crews used leaked. One advisor from another crew had his group bring two ground clothes for their tents. One for under the tent and the other one for inside of the tent. However, we did not have a problem because we seam sealed our tents twice before we left.

2. We used turkey roasting bags inside of our 8 qt pots. By doing this we never had any KP duties of cleaning pots. To use the bags put a 1/2 inch of water in the pot and then put the bag in the pot. We cooked every thing for each meal in the bags. The only problem is that the water on the bottom boils and causes a bubble in the bag and you have to lift the bag to get the bubble out. I used 10 each 24-26 lb turkey roasting bags( a box cost $2.25 for two) We did not combine our meals. We had hot soup, entree and then the dessert for each meal. This was a great help for the crew for the dampness and cold after the the daily rains.

ALSO DOUBLE YOUR COOKING TIME THAT THE INSTUCTIONS STATE TO MAKE SURE YOUR FOOD IS PROPERLY PREPARED.Example if the soup instructions state five minutes cook for ten minutes. We also did kept the food on the stove boiling instead of letting is simmer. I also took three clothes pins and we used them to clip the green beans, corn, and dessert bags. We prepared these items in the bags, and then clip them to let them set for the time called for in the instuctions. On some of the desserts we used less water that the instuctions called for in order to use the bags. I also took several spices. They were lemon pepper, cinnamon, Lawrey's black pepper and seasoned salt. The lawrey's seasoned black pepper and salt mixture was the most popular with the crew.

3. Check your stoves out at basecamp. The fuel you use has impurities in it and it is better to learn how to adjust your stoves at basecamp where you can get extra gas and not on the trail. We used two stoves.

4. We asked for 10 bottles of polar pure so we would not have to wait to treat our two 2 1/2 gallon water containers.

5. We took two filters that failed the first day. In hindsight, we would not have taken them.

6. START HIKING EARLY EACH DAY. We got up at 5 am and were on the trail each day by 6 or 6:30 am. This allowed us to get to camp and set up before the daily rains. Only one day did we hike in the rain.

7. Best camps:

        Cypher's Mine- great staff and program
        Clear Creek- great staff, great program, staff trades for trash 
                    food. Best Advisor Coffee ( we had coffee, four 
                    different types of cobblers and chocolate pie)
        Crooked Creek- Crew enjoyed the homestead activities
        Miner's Park- great staff, and great rock climbing program and 

8. Camps Activites that need improvements:

        Beaubien- Campfire was terrible, staff read poems from books
                  The wrangers who did the horseback rides were rude

9. Best views:

        Commanche Peak
        Mt Phillips


Date:        Sat, 18 Jul 1998 10:37:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:     Re: Is everyone at Philmont now?

Is anybody out there? My son is on Philmont 713-k2, trek #5. It seems like talk has trailed off on this list in the last week. I was hoping that as people came off the trail this week they would talk about what the weather was like, etc.. so I could keep in touch. Apparently, alot of people are also on their treks this week! Well, I hope everyone is having fun and I'd love to hear as many stories as possible from any one coming back from there at all.

YIS, Reggie Lithgow ASM Troop 496, NW Sub council, Illinois

Date:        Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:25:57 -0400
From:        Mike Floyd <>
Subject:     Re: Is everyone at Philmont now?

626 k5 is now back. We returned on July 8th. I did post my recommendations that I had on trek #5 since that is the one that we just finished. When we arrived at Philmont it was dry and crews coming in were baked and told stories of running out of water. However, after our third day on the trail we had rain every afternoon.

Your son should be having a great time. He should now be on day 4 on the trail. His crew will be camping at Commanche Peak tonight which has breath taking view of the mountains and Baldy. My best sunset pictures were taken at this point.

This morning they hiked out of Cypher's Mine camp ( great program and hot showers) over Thunder ridge into Commanche Peak camp. If they get up early they will see a great sunrise over the valley and basecamp. Tomorrow they will hike Mt Phillips ( a little steep, but not long, maybe a hour hike) This will be their highest elevation at 11,771 ft. Another great photo opportunity ( I took 15 rolls of film on our hike). Then they will come down Mt Phillips and they will be glad they did not have to climb up this side. This side is steeper, longer and the trail has alot of loose rocks on it.

They will hike into Clear Creek camp that has a great program ( the best staff in my opinion) There they will enjoy axe throwing, black powder shooting, fur trapping presentation. The crew that has our campsite the night before saw a bear in the morning close to their camp. Here the staff will trade food for the crew's trash. How good of food they get will determine how good of traders they are. Our scouts got five packages of cubed steak and one can of beef stew. ( we ate like Kings that night).

The next day will be a short but a beautiful hike to Crooked Creek. There is a stream along the trail that has a alot of great photo shots along it. At Crooked Creek they will do homesteading. Milking a cow, putting up the chickens, etc.

I want to go back!

Date:        Mon, 20 Jul 1998 09:41:47 -0500
From:        Mike Floyd <>
Subject:     Re: Trek 5 report.. cont.

Now to complete my daily report for Reggie Lithgow, Troop 496 ...

On day 7 they will leave the Crooked Creek camp and hike about 1 1/2 hours to Phillips Junction to pick up their last four days supply of food. Here if they are lucky the showers will be on and they can take hot showers. ( we were not so lucky). The crew will also be able to buy snacks and film at the small store. If they pick up trash around the camp, the Commissary staff will give the scouts a piece of fresh fruit for the trash. ( we got oranges). From their they will hike up a nice trail uphill to Beaubien. This hike will also take about 1 1/2 hours. Once they arrive at Beaubien they will be invited on the cabin porch as each camp does to have some gatorade and for the staff to review their camp with the scouts. From there they will pitch their tents.

This is their stay over camp where they stay two nights. During the next two days they can ride horses, brand their boots and anything else ( hats, belts, shirts, etc) play horseshoes. They also can do a side hike to Trail Peak, where the wrecked B25 bomber is at. This will take them a good four hours roundtrip, and this will be their steepest hike. ( They will be glad they did not have their packs). There are also showers here also. But if the state fire ban is still in place they will only have cold showers. Our advisors were the only brave ones who took baths here. ( BrRRRRRRRRR!)

On the second night they will have their chuck waggon dinner. This consist of canned beef stew, saltines, canned peaches and hot chocolate. It might not sound great but after eight days on the trail its like a gourmet meal. Also we saw the most deer here.

Now day 9 is here. This morning the crew will hike to Bear Caves. They will leave Beaubien and go down the meadow. Great view. They will go up and the mountain and then down to Crater Lake camp. Before getting to this camp they will have their first view of the Tooth of Time since basecamp. What a sight! It will now start to sink in that their adventure is now about over. Hiking on into Crater Camp the crew will take part in the spar pole climbing and railroad tie programs. Ask your scout who was their mule when they spar pole climb. ( the mule is the individual who has their safety rope on as they climb and lets them down after they get to the top). Also ask they what did they yell from the top of the pole? From this camp the crew will then hike on the Bear Caves. This is a trail camp that is about 1 1/2 hour hike uphill. More great views of the Tooth of Time and later in the day some great photo shots of sunset over the Tooth ridge.

Day 10 is now here ( Our crew requested a itenary change and we did not hike to Urracca, instead we went to Miners Park and did the mountain climbing . From there we hiked to Shafer's Pass)

Day 11- Our crew got up at 2 am and hiked to the top of Shafer's Peak to see the sunrise over the mountains. After eating breakfast we then hiked the tooth ridge, Tooth of Time and them back into basecamp. Your son's group will have two choices as they hike from Urracca to basecamp. They can hike the meadow trail back to basecamp or they can hike up the ridge to the Tooth of Time. Ask your son about the hike to the top of the Tooth of Time. At a point the trail ends and they have to scramble over boulders to get to the top. The view from the top is also breathtaking! You can see the valley, basecamp, Mt Phillips, and of course Mt Baldy.

I hope this gives some insight to Reggie about his son's adventures this week!

J. Michael Floyd
Department Head
Food Service Administration
University Food Services                     LET THE BIG    
Snelling Hall, University of Georgia         DAWG EAT !!!           
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