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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America!!

So it's been a pretty busy summer so far. I haven't had a ton of time to write on this blog, especially since my internet connection isn't the greatest out here. But, it has been a fantastic summer. It's been stressful lately with a lot of different events at camp going on for the fourth of July and some special treks are coming off the trail at the end of the week. There's a nasty little virus going around too which is making out schedule tighter than usual because so many people are sick. And we've had quite a number of Search and Rescues in the past week and a half, so our department (and a few others that help out out on occasion) are really working their butts off. We finally saw our first major rainfall of the season on July 1st, when it down poured! It was glorious. If you haven't heard, New Mexico has been in quite a drought which in turn makes perfect fire conditions. We had a lot of lightning with our glorious rainfall, but luckily the ranch is still in tact. I guess I should also mention that usually forest areas should burn every 25 years or so, just to help keep the forest clear and healthy. The southern part of our ranch hasn't had a fire in over 100 years. So basically, it's well overdue.
My mom and her two friends are coming to visit here in a few days. That's really exciting for me because she's been hearing about Philmont and seeing pictures for years but she's never gotten to experience it herself first hand. I'm going to show her around here and then go to Taos for a day. I'm pretty excited for this week, it should be a good one.
Here's some pictures of my crew I took out last week. :) They were awesome!
 First day.. Hiking along...
 Abreu, an interp camp for Mexican homesteading.
 My crew got to milk goats!
 Lower Bonito Canyon.
 My crew!
 Hiking through the meadow.
 The Tooth of Time hiding behind some smoke coming from the Santa Fe fires.
 The old man face on the side of Lovers Leap.
 The Tooth of Time.
 Caught a butterfly on some thistle.
Jar Jar Binks rock on Tooth Ridge.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Philmont 2011

So, I've been slacking on the blog. I've been in New Mexico for a little over 3 weeks now. The first week was a lot of paperwork type stuff with 5 of us crammed in a little office. Needless to say, we all got a little crazy cooped up in such a small room for so long that there was a lot of delusional laughs that were had! We also seemed to overdose quite a bit on coffee and cookies (thanks mom!)
I guess I should give a little rundown for those of you that don't really understand what I do. There are over 1,000 staff members at Philmont. I work in the Ranger Dept. There are about 200-250 rangers. We are the people that meet the crew when they first get to Philmont. We show them around base camp and prepare them for going on the trail by getting them food and gear and such. The next day we take them out for 2 days into the backcountry and show them how to hike, camp and all that fun stuff. On the 3rd day on the trail, the ranger leaves them and travels back to base camp, while the crew continues on for 8 more days. When the ranger comes back to base, they either have a day off, a work day (doing work helping other departments), or they pick up another crew and do it all over again.
In the ranger department, the chief ranger is the head of the department, under that is four associate chief rangers (this is my job this summer - we are called ACRs for short. The ACRs are in charge of approx. 6 ranger trainers (RT for short). There's 25 RTs and each of them are in charge of 6-8 rangers. When I say in charge of, I mean, they teach, observe, evaluate, and supervise.
My special duties this year are banquets and search and rescue.
I'm in charge of ordering food and organizing efforts for random banquets we have in our department throughout the summer. I'm also in charge of teaching search and rescue efforts to the ranger department. Because the ranger department is the largest on the ranch, we are used for any search and rescue efforts that are needed in the backcountry. I'm not going to go into all the details of that because it's kind of complicated. Anyway, here's some pictures of the beginning adventure of another summer in the fabulous New Mexico mountains.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Domelands Wilderness and Channel Islands National Park

So it's been a fun couple weeks. Last week I went on a trip with a group of 11 awesome sophomores to the Domeland Wilderness in the South Sierras. It was pretty fantastic. We did 4 days of backpacking, 1/2 day of climbing, and 1/2 day of rafting. All the instructors were supposed to raft together and one of the instructors was going to guide, but he got sick and lost his voice. Since he wouldn't be able to call commands on the river, we had to skip out on it. Oh well, we're going back to the same area this week and we get another chance to raft!
After the trip we had 4 days off so me and a co-worker went down to the Channel Islands National Park to Santa Cruz Island where we did some hiking and beaching. :)
Here are lots of pictures of the adventures!

We ran into a bit of snow the first day...

Domelands Wilderness in the distance.

My fantastic group.

Domelands Wilderness.

Creek crossing, and let me tell you... it was cold!

Rain in the distance.

I love the contrast of colors in this picture. 
The Kern River was flowing too fast so we luckily didn't have to cross it.

All the kiddies rafting!

My co-instructors and I psyched for our rafting trip!

Trying on shoes in Solvang, CA.

Awesome candy shop!

Bieber fever.

Wasting time before our boat ride to the island.


Seals playing in the harbor.

Excited... clearly.

Bye bye mainland!!

Johnny Depp is excited.

These little foxes were the raccoons of the island.

He was brave enough to go in the cold water.


This lil guy was fearless!