Day 4: It was a normal morning, but I noticed the farther into the trek we went the colder it got in the mornings. I devised a system where at night I would put the legs back onto my pants and then put my fleece in the very top of my pack, which was under the rain fly. This was my motivation to get up in the mornings as it was warmer clothes and it also woke me up walking in shorts to go get my clothes.
Today was a sad day for us because Spencer had to leave us, and we really liked him! We all said goodbye and he started hiking away. He got a whole 50 yards before Dalton yelled “Spencer! Don’t leave we forgot everything.” He actually started walking back but he yelled back “Nah, you guys are fine,” and continued on his way. I really hoped that we got to see him before we left for home.
After all this we did our usual chores and then set out for Fish Camp. We hiked and hiked just like normal, and ended up following the ridge almost the whole way there. I think we ended eating lunch somewhere between Comanche Peak and Lookout Peak. Great spot for a lunch break!
Day 4 was probably the toughest for me mentally. I missed normal food, showers, a bed, and most of all I missed my music! I tried to whistle some songs but we were gaining altitude quickly and there was a noticeable air density difference, making it harder to breath. But, we made it to Fish Camp, no problems and relatively early too! We made our pack train and went for a porch talk, which was making fishing flies.
The camp itself was beautiful and I loved everything about it. It was also our first real experience with the mini bears (chipmunks) I thought they were cute and not much of a threat. Little did I know that later that night we were going to have an experience with a real bear.
Fly making wasn’t that hard but took awhile because there were a lot of steps involved. We finished and the dude told us we were gonna “learn howda cast perperly” I thought his accent was funny but then again I didn’t care. Casting itself was easy we just had to make sure we didn’t snap the line and break the fly off, which was exactly what happened on my first cast. The dang thing flew right off! I was happy despite the quick ending. I would rather sit and watch the river than try to catch something. So that’s what I did. I found Ginette on a comfy rock so I thought I would join her.
We had a great conversation about streams and how relaxing they were. She made a slight movement and slid down the rock. Her feet were the only thing that got wet and I thought it was hilarious but didn’t laugh. By this time we were all ready to go back to camp. There was a great view from the latrine so I enjoyed myself greatly. I slowly wandered my way back to camp and found Ron and we were talking about how nice a shower would be.
We both looked at each other and then walked over to the stream. Where we sat on a felled tree and rinsed our shirts, socks, and pits in the water. That was one thing I will miss most, the feeling of the cold water as you first put your feet in. It was the best thing ever! After about 40 minutes of relaxation Michael, Jakob, and Robert joined us. About 2 minutes later Dalton came over ending our relaxation time. So we dried off and went back to make dinner.
The rest of the evening was the usual of us doing our roses and thorns and our short presentations as well as clean up. It was during clean up that 2 staff members came over and told us that we had to be extra careful tonight because a bear was spotted in the area. We agreed and made sure we had no extra food laying around. It was about that time that another crew came around the corner asking “did you guys see the bear cub just around the corner?” and we replied no and before we could finish Ron comes back from the latrine walking rather quickly and shouts “GUYS! There’s a bear cub just around the corner!” We decided to put just about everything in the bear bags that night. It was this time when Robert decides that whoever sees the momma bear first has the biggest balls. We all agreed and went to our tents to sleep.
This is a continuation of my brothers trail diary of his Philmont Trip in the summer of 2012. To read all of the previous posts you can find them here: