Well, it's official. We've got Itinerary 28 (Strenuous), our second choice. No burros, I'm afraid. I got online as soon as the system opened, hit our first choice, which said it was available but not yet confirmed, then submitted, whereupon it told me it was no longer available. Oh, well.
We will hike 83 miles in 10 days. Campsite elevations vary between 7,040' and 9,440' above sea level. This will be my first trek in the Strenuous category. Fair warning: we're going to have to be able to get our butts in motion or we'll be late for program at camps all through this trek. Our full backcountry experience goes like this.Day 1
Camping HQ. Medical Rechecks. Gear shakedown. Ranger Training. Opening Campfire. Busy busy busy.Day 2
Dropped off in South Country at the Zastrow turnaround. Hike to Rimrock Park (dry camp) for more Ranger Training (c. 2 miles). Water available at Abreu. Day 3
Hike to Urraca (c. 4 miles). Experience Mexican Homestead and Cantina at Abreu (might do this the night before?), do Challenge Events and Evening Campfire at Urraca. Probably hear about the "blue lights," Urraca Mesa's own home-grown ghost story.Day 4
Hike to Miners Park (c. 6 miles). Pick up food. Rock Climbing and Rappelling. Showers available.Day 5
Hike over Shaeffers Pass to Clarks Fork (c. 13 miles). Side hike to Tooth of Time (9,003') OR do Chuck Wagon Dinner & Horse Rides (crew must decide on Day 1). Western Lore, Branding, Cowboy Campfire at Clarks Fork. A butt-buster of a day. We are now in Central Country. Showers available.Day 6
Hike (c. 6 miles) to Devils Wash Basin (dry camp). Pass through Demonstration Forest. Cabin Tour at the Hunting Lodge. Hike Hidden Valley. Water at Deer Lake Mesa Camp.Day 7
Hike to Santa Claus (c. 10 miles). Now we're in the North Country.Day 8
Hike to Ewells Park (c. 7 miles). Pick up food at Baldy Town. Shoot .50 caliber black powder rifles at Miranda?Day 9
Layover at Ewells Park. Hike Baldy Mountain (c. 12 miles). Gold Mining & Panning, Blacksmithing at French Henry (visit Emily). Up and over the tallest mountain at Philmont (12,441'). A glorious day, but a very tiring one. It's all (mostly) downhill from here.Day 10
Hike to Flume Canyon (c. 7 miles). Do Continental Tie & Lumber Company at Pueblano.Day 11
Hike to Indian Writings (c. 12 miles). Hike Hart Peak (7,979'). Archaeology. Tour Petroglyphs. Food pickup at Ponil. Long hike, but by this time we'll all be in peak condition. Showers available.Day 12
Hike to 6-Mile Gate (c. 2 miles). See World's Only Tyrannosaurus Rex Track. Bused back to Camping HQ. Shower and do laundry. Hang around Trading Post. Awards Campfire.
I'll have our big trail map with our itinerary marked in red on it at the church for everyone to look at.
Rougher! Tougher! Buffer!