As we left Urraca Mesa, we saw fresh sign of bears, which made us aware of the need to mind our cleanliness. Besides NOT bringing smellables into the tents with us (especially FOOD), we do not pitch any tents in what is called the Bear-muda Triangle. The Bear-muda Triangle is that part of a campsite defined by the corners which are the fire ring, the sump, and the bear cable where we hang our smellables at night. In addition, we do not pitch tents along game trails.
Bear track just outside Uracca Mesa camp
We opted for the low road to Miners Park because I wanted the crew to go by Lovers Leap. It was a slow hike. Some of our Venturers were struggling a bit, either because they were not yet acclimated or because they needed more calories. So, we took lots of breaks. At our first packs-off break, I saw a bald eagle fly over us. In the distance, we could see the Tooth of Time, which we would tackle the next day.
The Tooth of Time is chewing on us
Lovers Leap is a beak of land like a ship's prow jutting out of the north side of the ridge we were hiking along. Around 10:30, we saw it peeking out from the screening trees. We stopped for a break and a clamber out to see the view.
Michael on Lovers Leap
When we had explored enough, we had church on the neck of Lovers Leap. We pray every day, say grace at every meal, and have devotions every night, of course; but on Sundays, we pause to worship as a body. T.J. read the Scriptures (Psalm 19), I preached, we prayed and sang a couple of hymns. Then, we went back to our packs by the trail and had lunch.
T.J. helps lead church
We descended to Urraca Creek and made our way upstream to Miners Park. The program there is rock climbing and rappelling, but we were too late in the day to do the big stuff (we were 8 hours on the trail this day); nevertheless, they have a very fine traverse wall there, and we got to spend some time bouldering on it. The place was overrun with mule deer, too. Philmont was so dry this summer that the critters were taking advantage of the puddles at the base of water spigots in staff camps.
Traverse wall at Miners Park