Day 10: Miranda to Flume Canyon

Burro packing is on our program itinerary today. We’re supposed to get a couple of the four-hooved beasts of burden and load our crew gear on them. But when we get to the Miranda corral, the staff tells us that thunderstorms are predicted for the day (oh, joy). Since burros can be skittish in bad weather, our crew has the option to pass on the burro packing, which we do.

Pedro and pals having breakfast in the corral.

The burros get overly friendly with Charlie.

Christian communes with one of the corral’s horses.

So we’re off, burro-less, down the trail. Along the way, we see other crews with burros.

Do these guys like alfalfa milkshakes and tumbleweed tacos?

Judging from the way some of the crews are wrangling with the stubborn animals, we’re not so sad that we skipped out on them.

We stop for lunch and the program activities at Pueblano camp, the site of the former Continental Tie & Lumber Company.

So the program is—surprise—all lumberjack-related.

The crew gets the Pueblano “porch talk,” in which the staff tells us about the fun stuff offered at the camp.

Before we can dive into the program, those predicted thunderstorms kick in. Fortunately, we can take shelter on the camp porch.

Everybody’s happy to take shelter from the rain, for once.

Our fearless crew leader is reduced to a green blob.

When it finally stops raining, Travis, Kevin, Christian, Trevor and Charlie do a little spar-pole climbing. After detailed instructions and a safety talk, the guys strap on shin guards, spikes, harnesses, ropes and helmets (a.k.a. brain buckets). The mantra is “Spike! Spike! Lock knees! Heave belt!” all the way up the very tall spar pole.

The safety talk before the guys hit the spars.

Travis is all geared up and ready to go.

Christian concentrates on the spar of the moment.

Kevin works it …

Digging those spikes in …

And heaving that belt.

Travis and Charlie have lots of spar power.

Trevor makes his way …

Higher and higher …

To the top!

Watch Travis making his way up…

…and back down again.

Christian gives it a go:

We head for our campsite at Flume Canyon, where we get hailed on during dinner—that’s the fourth time now. It’s cold and we’re all crammed under our muddy dining fly, but there’s a lot of loud laughter going on. A big part of Philmont is being miserable together but still having fun.

Kendall and Tonie pitch their tent after the storm passes.

Trevor stakes his tent in the mud.

Charlie gets a little overenthusiastic in the sunshine.

Comments about “Day 10: Miranda to Flume Canyon”

  1. Coldtrain says:

    We did spar poles at Crater Lake

  2. The Old Man says:

    Here it is day 10 and Lancealot made a comment that she would cry by day 5. Well she didn’t cry and never did. But I on the other hand did, my dad is 84 years old and was very sick and I had no idea if he was still alive are not. When we came to the overlook on day 6 and saw the beautiful scenery, I thought of him. This was a wonderful place to be with my son, friends and new-made friends, but I knew I’d never be there with my dad. Its not easy to take the time to go to Philmont, but you will never regret it or forget it.

    I thank God my dad is still alive and I was able to make this trip. By the way, the crew got stronger and the girls where great.

  3. Da Boss says:

    Spar-pole climbing looks fun!

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  • A bright and fresh Crew 807-G before the storms, bear scares and horrors of dehydrated trail food.

    Front row, left to right: Charlie Jordan, Christian Gouldy, Blake Kincaid. Back row, left to right: Editor Paula Murphey, Tonie Sanchez, Kendall Brush, Trevor Baggett, Assistant Scoutmaster Ken Forkner, Travis Forkner, Crew Leader Kevin Manning, Scoutmaster Ivy Brush.
  • The oldest of the BSA’s national high-adventure bases, Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron, N.M., covers about 214 square miles of Rocky Mountain wilderness.

    Scouts, Venturers and adult advisors go to Philmont to backpack through its rugged terrain and enjoy its numerous program activities. Most action takes place in the summer, but several programs are offered in the off-season.

    Since 1939, more than 860,000 trekkers have experienced Philmont adventure.

    >> Click here to visit Philmont's website

  • Crew reviews of Philmont trail food:


    Jalapeño squeeze cheese and apple cinnamon oatmeal — Kevin

    Canned ham — Blake

    Almond butter with honey spread — Travis

    Oatmeal chewy bars — “It was the one trail food that I already knew!” — Kendall


    “The worst was the aftermath of the vegetarian chili.” — Blake

    “The macaroni and cheese was more like spaghetti in watery cheese soup.” — Tonie

    “The black beans and rice gave me heartburn. Mostly the trail meals were pretty good.” — Christian

  • Words and phrases you'll hear at Philmont:

    Bearmuda Triangle: The basic plan of bear safety procedures in each campsite. Three points of the triangle: dining fly—sump—bear bags.

    Minibears: Chipmunks and squirrels very skilled at running off with your trail food when you’re not looking (and even sometimes when you are).

    Oops Bag: The very last bear bag to go up before bedtime. It gives everybody a chance to check their pockets and the campsite one last time and be able to say, “Oops! I found another smellable!”

    Pilot to Bombardier: Like a Red Roof Inn, but without the roof—or any walls.

    Red Roof Inn: “Fancy” outhouses that have—you guessed it—red roofs.

    Squeeze Cheese: Very popular trail food, especially in jalapeño flavor.

    Staffed Camps: 34 camps where staff deliver program activities, such as horseback riding, mountain biking, rifle shooting, challenge events and panning for gold.

    Swap Box: A big box at each staffed camp where crews can trade uneaten (and gross) foods for better stuff. Most dumped: Gorp and beef jerky.

    Thorns, Roses and Buds: A nightly ritual in which each crew member tells about his or her “thorn” (worst thing) and “rose” (best thing) of the day and “bud” (goal for the rest of the trek).

    Trail Camps: 55 camps that do not include a staff or program activity. Your crew is on its own in the Great Outdoors.

    Yum-Yum Bag: The large Ziplock bag in which a crew stores all food waste, which is hauled up in the bear bags at night. Ideally, there’s not much to go into a yum-yum bag. If you open a package of food, you’re expected to eat it all. (Or get somebody else to finish it off for you. Usually every crew has a human garbage disposal or two.)