Friday, July 18, 2003

I want to go to england!!!!!
ok an email from my freind Gavin


Hey Dudes (sorry - American slang),

Things are going well here in Philmont, I have now completed Rayado and after 21 days of treking through the ranch we let the Scouts go home this morning. The experience of being out in the back country for such a long period of time was amazing - as is the fact that I survied on three showers and no shaving for the duration. Those that know me wouldn't recognise me with a beard, I think that I may keep it for a while to see how thick it grows over the remainder of the summer.

We estimate the total distance of the hike to be around 170-180 miles after we made small route changes due to the crew getting lost when we where remotely following them, also missing a big peak after one crew member suffered from bad altitude sickness and became very fatigued. I went through many camps that I hadn't seen last year and made lots of new friends and found a new home from home at a camp called Beuabien. Beuabien is a cowboy camp, the staff are very friendly and I even had my very first ride on a horse over there. In the evening I was shown to the large meadow and saw 50-60 elk several hundred metres away, I took some pictures but as it was half light i'm not sure how good they will be.

Not seen any bears in the flesh yet but I did walk 3 miles down a road following bear prints the size of my fist. I have also seen a single print that had dried in the mud which was larger than my open hand (estimated as a 300-400 pound male). I have seen lots of mule deer and wild turkey and one rattle snake on the edge of the trial which was pretty cool.
Now that Rayado has finished we have four days off prior to starting regular crew treks again lasting 4 days each. It looks like at the moment that a group of us may be driving to Colorado to chill out and do some sailing on the big lakes if it doesn't cost too much to hire a boat.

I think I have been walking/camping for 31 days now and have lost 6 pounds in weight as a result. One of the camps that I visited was a climbing camp called Dean Cow Camp, in the cabin was a Union Jack - it turns out that a British Scout called Orric had worked there in 2000 and left the flag on the cabin wall.

I hope that all is well with everyone and that the weather is treating you well, here at Philmont the rain has only bothered me three times, two of the times it was very heavy and the lightining was striking all around us - luckily for me I was hiding from the Rayado crew in a staffed cabin and managed to sleep through most of the rain and hail etc.

During the trek I was lucky if I managed to get 6-7 hours of sleep, as a result at any given oppurtunity I can now sleep anywhere and on almost anything (its called the Ranger nap and I'm good at it!). Last night was the last night with the 6 Scouts and as a result we only grabbed 3 hours of sleep - I am now a walking zombie and it's amazing that I can even write this e-mail.

All the best - write back


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