June 28th, Day Eight – 252 Feet of History
OATC622 making some finishing touches to the 252 feet
of new trail.
Today we woke up early for a quick breakfast to finish our work on the trail.
We cut the big pine tree that we fell yesterday in two pieces and removed the
bark off of it. We then used the wood to make retention bars along the trail
to prevent erosion. This consisted of the crew gathering many buckets of rocks
ranging from big to small. We made four long retention bars with only two trees.
Once we finished the retention bars, we packed up the tools and made the work
site nicer than we found it. In all, we made approximately 252 feet of trail
with a switchback. We have labored at an elevation of 10,500 feet on a steep
slope, through hail and rain, building a trail to Green Wood Cabin. This trail
will be used for years and be part of Philmont's history.
We made it back to the campsite and ate a quick lunch. Everyone packed up the
site and hiked to Maxwell campsite, the site we stayed in prior to arriving
at the work campsite. During our hike, we stopped to see the ruins of an old
gold mine, right outside of Baldy town. It is amazing to see how people of all
ages took to Philmont about a hundred years ago with the hopes of finding gold.
They set up heavy machinery in the thick back country, bearing all weather conditions.
It was truly remarkable to see their work, albeit in ruins.
Switchback created, complete with water diverts and
Once we arrived at Maxwell, we set up camp and ate dinner. We had trail food for dinner, since from this point on in the trek
we would not have bear boxes like the one's used back at the work site's campsite.
That means our days of eating hamburgers, steak and pork were over (at least
for the next week).
It then started to rain. I don't recall a day this past week when it did
not rain. The weather at Philmont can be very predictable; always something
coming our way. We all changed into our sleeping clothes and went to sleep after
having our usual thorns and roses. The light was still out, but dark was quickly
approaching. We talked through our tents until the rain really started to
fall. With relaxing sound of rain hitting the top of the tent, it seemed to
put us all to sleep.
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