Brumbys Hike Philmont: Arrival and Intro

Troop 3 Boy Scouts from the 2001 Brumby expedition to Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico invite you to enjoy this pictorial record of their hike. In official jargon, Crew 702-H did Trek 31, a 77-mile "super strenuous" hike with about half the distance in the Valle Vidal region of Carson National Forest.

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Base Camp Entrance

The trip began on little sleep at 2:30 am July 1, 2001 with a van trip to the Seattle airport for a flight to Phoenix and then on to Albuquerque. A charter van carried the sleepy crew up the interstate and down the back roads to Philmont, with a leisurely stop for late lunch at the Santa Clara Cafe in the booming metropolis of Wagon Mound, New Mexico where the food was excellent and the portions humongous.

Moving into base camp

We arrived at Philmont late afternoon and checked into luxurious base camp tents, complete with cots and concrete floors.

Our expedition was officially scheduled to begin the next day, so we had an evening of leisure to explore the trading post and snack bar and adjust to the elevation and heat.

Checking the view

Philmont is a highly-organized affair, so following breakfast the next morning we met our Ranger, Doug Meffley, who guided the crew through the official check-in and orientation maze. Arriving the day before allowed us to get started early and have a fairly leisurely experience getting through the routine.

Signing for cook gear

Advisor Mark took care of finalizing the payment paperwork in the business office. Crew leader Daniel & advisor Marc paid a long visit to logistics to review the trek route, camp sites, and programs. Everyone received a medical recheck at the health lodge and reviewed first aid knowledge with Ranger Doug in the shade of a big tent. Daniel signed for crew cook gear and a dining fly. Ranger Doug had us empty our packs and remove a modest amount of "unnecessary" clothing and equipment. We’d done pretty well with our own pre-trip shakedown so we didn’t have a lot of excess to put in the storage locker. Daniel signed for our first two days’ rations and divided the food among us.

Great Hat

We knew about bear bagging our food on the trail, but no one told us to skunk bag it in base camp. As a result we had a smelly visitor raid a tent in the night and pass through others. The skunk only bit into a couple of lunch items, but Doug rangled an extra lunch as compensation — food we put to good use on the trail.

In the evening we practiced the 12th point of the Law and went to Protestant chapel, passing up the opportunity to sample the Catholic or Jewish services.

Campfire Bound

The opening campfire program (without benefit of a real fire) told the story of the Philmont country from the time of the Native American residents to the present through a series of skits.

Opening Campfire

The Brumby crew included seven scouts: Daniel Creech, Andrew Lydiard, Nick Jipson, Zach Turner, Marcus Brotnov, Matt Brotnov, and Blake Johnson. The advisors were Mark Turner and Marc Creech.

Why Brumbys? That’s an Australian wild horse. Brumbys gave the crew a strong identity that helped build team spirit. And it was a heck of a lot more fun than being called 702-H or some such bureaucratic nonsense.

Brumbys’ Trek 31 Itinerary