Trail Day 10: Cimarron River to Harlan
By this time the Brumbys’ trek was winding down. Just another day and a half on the trail, starting with a 700-foot climb from the river, passing through Visto Grande camp, which really did have a great view across the canyon toward Baldy.
The trail to Harlan continued high on a bench, paralleling the Cimarron, dropped through more meadows with shallow lakes, and then climbed gently up to camp.
We could tell we were getting close to Harlan from the sound of shotgun blasts, our afternoon program. Matt had camped at Harlan on his first Philmont trek and requested a nice campsite among interesting rock formations. The Brumbys had lunch in camp, then time to rest and relax a while.
On our first day in base camp, we saw crews come off the trail looking incredibly filthy like they’d never gotten clean their whole time on the trail. The Brumbys had done laundry and gotten clean several times along the way. At Harlan, they spotted a washtub at the staff cabin and asked to borrow it. The staff offered a washboard, too, and the crew took them up on it. Given it was our last night on the trail, the staff was pretty amazed.
The Harlan program was shotgun shell reloading, followed by skeet shooting. There were lots of crews there, so we had to wait around a while for our turn, but the instruction was great and the action fun.
After loading shells, we hung out on the reloading shed porch while a thunderstorm passed through. It was a great place to watch the rain and wait our turn on the range.
Everyone had a chance to shoot on the range, some shooting better than others. Advisor Marc got the best shot award, making four out of five.
After dinner we gathered with all the other crews for the Great Harlan Burro Race. Each crew picked a burro, trying to find one that would run fast. At the starting signal, they were off from one end of the meadow to the other, trying to coax their burros. Some got away, and had to be hunted down in the surrounding bushes.
The Brumbys’ burro wasn’t the fastest, but they maganed to place in the competition. It was fun. The advisors got to stand back and watch.