July 29th, 2012

hiker

The Children of Jedediah Smith Ride Again, part I

The Children of Jedediah Smith is our in-house title for the United Methodist Trek at Philmont sponsored by NAUMS every other year. Jedediah Smith, the iconic Mountain Man, was a faithful Methodist. We are following in his footsteps. We especially remember how we wrote his brother from the Rocky Mountains one Christmas in the early 1800s, expressing his deep desire for "a Society" (meaning, their Methodist class meeting back home) "to bear [him] up before a throne of grace." Trail life is like a little cloistered society, an on-going class meeting where we help each other find and follow the way of Christ.Collapse )
hiker

The Children of Jedediah Smith Ride Again, part III

With the second morning on the trail, routines begin to assert themselves. I was up at 5:00, and shortly had coffee made. Philmont gives you the opportunity to snag some coffee bags before you leave base camp, but they make really nasty coffee. I brought a 2-quart French press and a pound of ground coffee, and we had the only Real Stuff in the backcountry (other than what you get at Advisors Coffees in the evening at staffed camps). Collapse )
hiker

The Children of Jedediah Smith Ride Again, part VI

Upon leaving Clarks Fork, we had a long day of fairly easy hiking ahead of us. Our only time constraint was getting to Ute Gulch commissary before 5:00. The commissary would supply us with food at any time, but we needed first aid supplies and some other things, for which the trading post was essential. Since the camp we were going to was a dry camp, we also planned to cook our supper at Ute Gulch and then top off on water before heading on to Devils Wash Basin.Collapse )
hiker

The Children of Jedediah Smith Ride Again, part VIII

With Baldy out of they way, the heavy lifting for this trek was done. The rest of the way was, to a large degree, literally all downhill. There was the matter of visiting French Henry and doing blacksmithing, though. We put the question to the crew: hike eight miles by way of French Henry, plus 2-3 hours of program there, or hike five miles down the South Ponil to Flume Canyon, stopping by Pueblano for program? The easier day won in a walk, as they say.Collapse )