Originally published November 5, 2012
Leaving Baldy Skyline we had a choice — swing by the Miranda camp for some program time, or high-tail it to Baldy Town to try and get an early slot for our required conservation project. Each crew is required to complete a three hour service project while out on the trail and ours was due. We unanimously decided to skip Miranda.
We left Baldy Skyline before 7am and arrived in Baldy Town before 9am and managed to secure a 10:30am slot for our conservation project which would be trail building. Our feet were sore and tired but we wanted to get this project work done so that we could relax, do some laundry, and take a shower in the afternoon.
It was a two mile hike each way (heading up towards Baldy), so we quickly setup our camp then set out for the project. We were a trail machine, shaping a rough cut path to the angle of repose on the upslope side and the critical edge on the downslope. Tools we used include hazel hoe, McLeod, spoon, pickmatic, and cuttermatic. We gave it our all, and the conservation project leader said we were one of the hardest working crews he had (maybe he says this to all the crews?).
We got back to camp around 2pm and dove into our laundry and showering. The boys did a few postcards while we anxiously awaited the drying of our laundry, which wasn’t to happen while the sun was still out at the laundry shed. We hauled everything to camp then setup a makeshift drying area there.
This was a special day – Matthew’s birthday! Julie had hauled a number of treats with her for the entire trip and we revealed them after our dinner of Mexican fiesta with tortillas (yummy burritos). We did a birthday cake for Matthew made of 3 cherry pies, 7 ding-dongs and a match on top for the candle.
Just as we were finishing dinner a huge thunderstorm came through with heavy rains, forcing us to quickly grab our drying laundry and take shelter under our Tyvek tarp. We made good use of the time as we had Matthew, wilderness guia, tell us some great stories from his guide book.
Tomorrow we climb Baldy!
This article is part of my Philmont 2012 series. You can find all articles here.