Originally published September 21, 2012
Day 4 would prove to be our last "easy" day as we casually sauntered from Agua Fria to our first food resupply at Phillips Junction. We departed our campsite at 7:05 and arrived at Phillips in exactly 2 hours. Now this wasn't necessarily an easy hike - the climb was tough but as the boys put it "We killed that hill."
Up to this point we had been carrying food that had been supplied at base camp so this was our first resupply. The commissaries are a nice rest spot and they took care of us with extra treats of donuts, chocolate milk, and fresh fruit. We loaded up on our food for the next few days then departed for Black Mountain camp.
Along the way we passed through Beaubien Meadow. It looked like a scene from a classic western film might break out art any minute.
Black Mountain camp would turn out to be one of our favorites. It was pretty deserted when we arrived, with period costumed (post Civil war) staffers slowly shuffling about. We did our standard "porch talk" and the staffer said they’d welcome any extra food we want to get rid of. This is one of the few staffed camps without road access so everything gets hiked in; so they don’t get as much food variety. We ate lunch (squeeze cheese) and then did program: .58 black powder rifles were cool. We mostly just shot at our bandanas.
Blacksmithing with Sarge was fun – he’s very interesting and knowledgeable. We made a crew dinner triangle – no Phil, twist the OTHER way.
Saw prairie hens at the forge and at our campsite there were 2 doe and 2 fawns. Matthew said one doe had a bed up the hill from our camp (saw her lay down in it). The deer were unafraid of us with one doe coming within two feet of Matthew. Nice cool creek running by the campsite – we all soaked our feet a bit. So refreshing.
After dinner, the boys played 1870’s rules baseball against the staffers. They dug themselves a hole and fell behind 5-0 but won 9-8 in a close game. The bat was an axe handle. The bucket rules were funny (check out Jacob’s bruised ribs from a bucket tag!). If anyone hit the ball into the left field plants, it was pretty much a home run.
Tomorrow we will climb Black Mountain; the staffers said it’s the 3rd hardest climb in New Mexico.
This article is part of my Philmont 2012 series. You can find all articles here.