Day 0 We arrived at the welcome center at base camp mid afternoon.
At the welcome center we checked in and were told which tents we would spend our first night at Philmont in, so we dumped our gear in our tents. Back at the welcome center, we hooked up with our ranger, John Fischer. Our nickname for him was Danger Ranger Fishman, D.R. Fishman for short. He took us over to Logistics, where after a while, Jason, the crew leader, got to go in to learn the details of our trek. Next we went to the Health Lodge for a final checkup be fore hitting the trail. Next our troop traveled to the Camp Head Quarters Services building, where we were assigned the gear the Philmont requires crews to have. After getting our gear we went to the Food Services end of the CHQS building. There we received food for our first three days on the trail. Afterwards, we had just enough time to shove the food and gear into our tents before dinner started. After dinner, our crew leader, advisers, and William had to go to tree meetings, One for Advisers, Jerry and Doug, one fro crew leaders, Jason, and one for chaplain's aide. After the meetings, it was time for evening religious services. The day's last event was the opening campfire skit called "The New Mexico Story", which was not new to us Albuquerqueans.
The morning of Day 1 Was bright and sunny, very similar to Day 0. The first thing we did when we left unconsciousness was run to the dining hall as fast as possible for breakfast. Ok, we very slowly strolled to breakfast. After breakfast our ranger came to our camp to take us to News and Photos for our group picture in front of the Tooth of Time. Then we went back to the tents to go through our gear and find unnecessary weight to leave behind. When we were done with that, we packed our gear and walked to the welcome center for our bus. Our bus wasn't scheduled to take us to six mile gate until 1:30 pm, so we decide to try to tour the Villa Philmonte in our five hours of spare time. Chris and I walked to the museum to arrange the tour. We managed to fit into the ten o'clock tour. We arrived at the house just in time for the tour. The house was owned by Waite Phillips, who was filthy rich from the oil business. The house was lavishly decorated with the finest of everything. The theme for the house was the Phillips Ranch, which owned the uu brand. The brand is everywhere in the house. Waite Phillips donated land to the Boy Scouts because he thought they could use it to teach young men.
After the tour we went to the dining hall to eat lunch. We then waited for our bus. Our bus came a few minutes late. Our ranger and crew were delivered to six mile gate, which is six miles up State Highway 204 from US Highway 64. 204 is a dirt road that is little more than twin ruts in some places. From six mile gate we had a short easy hike to Anasazi Camp. This camp had water but no staff in residence. Our ranger went over the basics of how to set up a proper camp and how to hang bear bags with us, in addition to other precautions a person should take in areas where bears might be. We ate a supper of beef stronoggaloff a.k.a. water mixed with powdered beef and pasta, and went to sleep.
We got up early the next morning to hike from Anasazi to Indian Writings for program, and then to Old Camp for our day's destination. As we entered Indian Writings campground, we saw a crew that was on their last day dancing, jumping and playing Blackjack for joy. We got to the staffed area and put our packs down. We the ate breakfast, took a petroglyph tour, and went on our way to Old Camp, another unstaffed camp. We arrived at Old Camp early in the afternoon, so we had nothing to do until dinner. We wound up playing a low stakes game of Texas hold-em. After dinner, our Ranger talked with us about what Philmont means to people. Then, we signed our Wilderness Pledge cards.
Day 3 was our first day of any real uphill. We hiked for half a mile along the bottom of the canyon to where we ate breakfast. Then we started hiking up out of the canyon to Dan Beard. After a little less than an hour, we got to Cook Camp, an unstaffed camp halfway between Old Camp and Dan Beard. We kept climbing until we were 500 feet above and 500 feet east of Dan Beard. We still had most of our supplies left so the descent was interesting. Then it rained.