Trail Day 3: Ponil to Dan Beard Camp
We bid a fond farewell to Ranger Doug after a big chuckwagon breakfast of pancakes and sausages. Then we sent Daniel and other crew members to pick up food for the next few days, packed up, and headed up the trail through Bonita Canyon toward Dan Beard Camp.
Along the way, Andrew had a minor problem with his pack which provided an excuse to stop while he made a repair. Thank goodness for duct tape. Nick got stung by a bee, cause for breaking out the first aid kit for about the only time. The wood lily we saw along the trail is uncommon and beautiful.
Upon arriving at Dan Beard, Daniel requested and received permission for the Brumbys to gather in the shade on the porch of the staff cabin. The friendly folks there welcomed us and directed us to a pleasant camp site on the hillside above the valley. We signed up for late afternoon sessions in Leave No Trace skills and a visit to the challenge course.
Following lunch in camp and fetching lots of water, the Brumbys practiced the 11th point of the Scout Law and did laundry. The wash bucket (cook pot) was only good for two or three people before fresh water was needed. Trees and shrubs provided the clothes line. In Philmont’s heat and low humidity everything dried pretty quickly, even thick wool socks.
The challenge course included several team- and confidence-building activities, including the "Trust Fall," problem-solving to get the crew across an imaginary swamp with minimal materials, and the wedgie-inducing wall.
Since many of the Brumbys had just finished a week on Orion junior leader training camp staff, they were familiar with the activities and made quick work of solving the problems. That didn’t help in the physical act of getting everyone over the wall, however. With lots of enthusiasm and perseverance the crew succeeded and retired to camp to celebrate with a big one-pot dinner.