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Philmont - Vaarka's adventure

Vaarka
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7/6/2016 2:08:15 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
So for the 2 users who probably noticed I was gone, I've been at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for the past 2 weeks. So I'm making a thread to share my adventure :D

So, to start off, if I could describe my time there in one word, I'd have to go with unforgettable, 'and I'll tell you why it's unforgettable'. I kept a journal while I was there, writing down some events each night (I can also share pictures at a later date). However, because I had to write it, I kinda shortened up my entries. So, I'm gonna add onto it, and provide a key so you can tell the difference between the actual entry and what I add.

There are 12 entries, btw, and I doubt they'll fit onto one post.

Key:
Words in italics (parenthesis included) = what I wrote in my journal
[words in bold that are not italicized and between bars] = not in my journal

Journal Entry #1
- So at some point this morning, four alarms went off. It was 5:15 or so [I was in Colorado when I woke up], and Jordan, Jonny and I got up. Cole's watch was off [the time was off], so he thought we were all up at 12:50ish. We got ready, brought our stuff down, and went to get breakfast. Now, most Marriott's are nice and all, but these guys know how to make good food. Eggs with cheese, cereal, bacon, muffins, waffles, etc...and it was fancyish. It was all great [I really should've appreciated it more, because soon after I had nothing but trail food for 2 weeks]. Of course, Rian pointed out that one of my bacon strips looked halfway uncooked, which I ignored and ate anyway.

The bus left at 6:20, and I listened to music.

Now, we'd been in Denver, and I got to see the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Also, a lot of tall mountains. Aside from that. I don't really remember much
[aside from the fact that CO girls look pretty].

They played the 7th Star Wars movie, which I liked. Finally got to see it.

Once at Philmont (Base camp), we did stuff
[I can't elaborate...that was 2 weeks ago], threw a frisbee, ate food (I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches), did other stuff (eat ice cream and play cards), have some meetings since I ended up being my crew's Chaplain's aide, and then go to a service. Finally we had a fire, which was moved because of rain. I still got hot chocolate.

Oh, we also got assigned a ranger. Our ranger was Dave, and I think he's 22. He'll be with us for the first two days on the trail.

Now, I think the bacon came back, because for a while prior, my stomach hurt like crap. I think I may have finally gotten past it earlier.

Now, I'd put much more detail in, but it's midnight in North Carolina, and I'm tired.

Goodnight.


.

Journal Entry #2 - Rainbow! [this is the day we leave base camp and head out into the northern country]

Okay, got that out of the way. So far, I've had a PB sandwich in every meal at base camp (sorry it's raining). We put our stuff in lockers and went to lunch, where they gave us some of them "sloppy joes", which I dumped a lot of the meat out of. Had another PB sandwich. I like peanut butter.

We played Mao for an hour, and I won once. Yay! :D

We set off for the 6-mile turn-around at 1:45, and arrived 20 minutes later. There, we learned about Red Roof Inns, which are "poop and paper only" houses. The reason for this is urine smells bad, and if you pee on your poo, it makes both elements of waste smell bad, plus attracts animals. They said the most common was the double toilet, wall between ones, or the "pilot and gunner" set-up, but we might also find the pilot and co-pilot, or the "cheek to cheek, no peek" kind
[we did find one cheek to cheek, no peek. It was out in the open, on top of a mountain. It was known as the poo with a view]. After 45 minutes of walking, we arrived at Anasazi, a trail camp. It was a short trek, since we're still getting used to the high altitude [for reference, the elevation where I live is 300 feet; the average elevation in Philmont is 7000 feet]. We had some "eh" dinner, learned how to put up the bear bags, and got rained on while trying to make a fire [it was barely any rain, which was a common thing throughout the trek]. In the end, we played Mao again.

After setting up my sleep stuff, I began to finish this entry. It's 9:51 here, 11:51 back in NC.

Cole is snoring.

Goodnight :D (wake up time is at 6...it's really hot out here).


.

Entry #3 - 6/25/16

I got to throw giant darts at animal targets. PETA would not approve. We met a guy named Peter, who reminds me of myself (talks and jokes a lot, positive, annoying but cannot hate). We then looked at archaeological rock carvings, one of which looked like bacon [speaking of bacon, I can smell bacon right now...].

After walking 4 more miles, we showed up at Metcalf Station, the only railroad in the U.S. still being built by hand [this turned out to be my favorite location we went]. Here, we met JP, one of the workers. They're all silly people (I drew an X in the dirt just now :D). They told us we owed them a debt, which translated to helping spike in the rails. Each rail weighs 770lbs, so I don't know how the carry them.

On the way back, we got to ride the hand car [https://photos.smugmug.com...]. Only 4 of us could ride at a time (not including one worker), So Jordan, Cole, Jonny and I got on and began pushing the lever up and down. About halfway back, our conductor, Abraham Lincoln (no relation), told us to shout "pride" and "glory". Cole and Jordan were in the front, Jonny and I in the back, so Cole and Jordan yelled "PRIDE", and then Jonny and I would yell "GLORY" whenever we pushed down on the lever. Great motivation to get up the hill at the end.

We learned a new card game called Louis (thanks Dave), which I'm too lazy to explain
[I can explain it if someone asks I guess].

We had an amazing and unique railroad campfire, making for a wonderful end to the day. They had songs, skits, and almost everything related to the railroad. It felt more personal, rather than the usual campfire you'd attend at a campout. I also saw a mouse afterwards :D

11/10 day.

Cole is snoring again...this is gonna be a long trip.

He's sleep whistling now...

Goodnight (the weather was great).


.

Entry #4 - 6/26/16

Dave left us today. RIP our chances of survival.

We were supposed to have an 8-mile trek today, but it somehow turned to 10.5 miles... My feet hurt, I've got a blister, there's been a lot of thunder, I've got a ton of hangnails on the skin behind my finger nails, and I'm tired. I have a feeling this will often be a reoccurring thing.

Cool thing about Seally Canton is we can see Mt. Baldy
[highest mountain in Philmont, highest elevation being 12441 feet], so I got some nice pictures of it.

I put my "failure to Spock" rule into play when playing Mao, and it was soon banned. Funny rule
[The Spock rule means you cannot show emotion whatsoever, which was very difficult]. Dinner was cheesy mashed potatoes, which made me gag (I don't like potatoes). Not the best dinner...

I sat with the 3 staff members around a fire, and we shared stories and experiences, They told Cole where to find elk.

Cole is snoring.

Goodnight.


[More to add in the next post]
You're probably thinking right now "haha I'm a genius". Well you're not -Valkrin

inferno: "I don't know, are you attracted to women?"
ButterCatX: "No, Vaarka is mine!"

All hail scum Vaarka, wielder of the bastard sword, smiter of nations, destroyer of spiders -VOT

"Vaarka, I've been thinking about this for a long time now," (pulls out small box made of macaroni) "W-will you be my noodle buddy?" -Kirigaya
Vaarka
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7/6/2016 2:32:26 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Entry 4.5

I almost forgot to mention the Bliss fiasco!


At Seally Canyon, we had a search and rescue 'lesson' of sorts, and as a part of it, they had Mr. Bliss "help out" by disappearing. We were told he was missing and most of us figured out it was a part of this 'lesson', except Rian. He thought they actually need him, suggesting they look around near our campsite. Once he realized what was happening, he laughed way too hard about it.

So we found him lying on a dead tree, red paint (blood) on his ankle. While the others set to work "treating", Jordan and I had to comfort him. I tried Mission Impossible, chocolate, letting him wear my hat, but he wouldn't calm down. However, when I said "Mr. Bliss, look, a bunny!", he immediately calmed down and said "oooh bunny rabbit".

Once bandaged, we took Mr. Bliss back to the Yurt, and yay he was better.

Also, our current elevation is over 8k feet.


[I'll have to continue these later]
You're probably thinking right now "haha I'm a genius". Well you're not -Valkrin

inferno: "I don't know, are you attracted to women?"
ButterCatX: "No, Vaarka is mine!"

All hail scum Vaarka, wielder of the bastard sword, smiter of nations, destroyer of spiders -VOT

"Vaarka, I've been thinking about this for a long time now," (pulls out small box made of macaroni) "W-will you be my noodle buddy?" -Kirigaya
Vaarka
Posts: 7,574
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7/7/2016 3:36:09 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
Entry #5 - 6/27/16
It's 9:30, and we're getting up at 5 am. We have a 10-14 mile trek tomorrow.

We left Seally Canyon a little late, but got to climb to the top of a tall ridge, where we could see anything. I actually recorded a bit.

We also saw a cow in our campsite, btw.

Cole is snoring.

So after the ridge, we meadow walked to Ring Place
[meadow walking is when everyone walks about ten feet apart, as to help preserve the land instead of wearing down a path in the grass by walking in a straight line. Also, Ring Place is a commissary, so we got more food]. I don't know why, but I really enjoyed that walk. I think it's because I actually got to walk at my own pace and think.

At Ring Place, I saw JP again. He hiked up from Metcalf Station. Turns out his real name is Mike...but he doesn't look like a Mike. No, he looks more like a Joey. Anyway, we restocked our food and continued to Whiteman Vega.

Somehow, we beat our sister crew to Whiteman Vega, despite them leaving before us.

Here, we did our 3-hour service project for the Philmont patch. We helped build back a berm on a bike trail.

Also, while meadow walking , Cole sunk knee deep into mud, which was random and funny.

Whiteman Vega is actually flat for once, so no rocky sleep tonight. We saw ground hogs, antelopes, and squirrels
[minibears].

I have a big trek tomorrow, so goodnight.

P.S., it's hot out here.
You're probably thinking right now "haha I'm a genius". Well you're not -Valkrin

inferno: "I don't know, are you attracted to women?"
ButterCatX: "No, Vaarka is mine!"

All hail scum Vaarka, wielder of the bastard sword, smiter of nations, destroyer of spiders -VOT

"Vaarka, I've been thinking about this for a long time now," (pulls out small box made of macaroni) "W-will you be my noodle buddy?" -Kirigaya
Sapphique
Posts: 4,119
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7/7/2016 5:54:35 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Welcome back XD
DDO Beginners' Mafia Moderator -- PM me if you'd like to learn how to play mafia!

"We wondered what happiness would look like if we could give it a physical form...the shape of happiness might resemble glass...even though you don't usually notice it, it's still definitely there. You merely have to change your point of view slightly, and then that glass will sparkle when it reflects the light. I doubt that anything else could argue its own existence more eloquently." ~Lelouch
Vaarka
Posts: 7,574
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7/7/2016 7:05:12 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 5:54:35 PM, Sapphique wrote:
Welcome back XD

<3
You're probably thinking right now "haha I'm a genius". Well you're not -Valkrin

inferno: "I don't know, are you attracted to women?"
ButterCatX: "No, Vaarka is mine!"

All hail scum Vaarka, wielder of the bastard sword, smiter of nations, destroyer of spiders -VOT

"Vaarka, I've been thinking about this for a long time now," (pulls out small box made of macaroni) "W-will you be my noodle buddy?" -Kirigaya