From July 16-27, 2017, my son and I, along with three other boy scouts and two other dads in Crew 716-J-02, backpacked 84 miles through Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmarron, New Mexico. This story takes place on Thursday, July 20, Trail Day 4.
We emerged from our tents before dawn in Copper Park. It was 5:30am, our earliest wake-up of the trek, but it was Baldy Day.
When we’d gathered months earlier to choose from among the 35 Philmont treks, our first order of business was to eliminate any trek that didn’t include the summit of Baldy Mountain. There is majesty throughout Philmont’s 140,000+ acres, but Baldy is the true pinnacle as the highest peak (~12,450 ft.) in the Cimmarron Mountains. Baldy is so famous in scouting circles, when you mention you’ve done a Philmont trek, the question you get is invariably … did you summit Baldy?
From July 16-27, 2017, my son and I, along with three other boy scouts and two other dads in Crew 716-J-02, backpacked 84 miles through Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmarron, New Mexico. These wildflower images are from along the trail.
For the past several years, I’ve used Easter weekend to get out into nature and feel the emerging Spring fill me with new life. Yesterday in the middle of a six mile hike through Forest Glen, I knelt down beside a small creek, closed my eyes, bowed my head, and just listened to the forest.
I spent our lunch break yesterday sitting by myself along the river, the chatter of scouts within earshot but not distinguishable. My mind raced through all that has happened this year, as I watched the water swirl in eddies and around obstacles. The challenges change our direction, sometimes alter us in irreversible — often beautiful — ways. Our journey, our own persistent river, is our beauty, isn’t it?
I’ve spent much of my life, the last decade in particular, trying on different skins, looking for the one that felt right. I was searching for the man I wanted and needed to be.
I wanted to both feel right and be in the right.
There are times when I’ve craved a blank slate, a new canvas on which to start over. Blank slates, though, are fallacies. Impossibilities. Figments of our imagination. Our history can’t be rewritten or erased. It’s what lies under our skin.
I thought I was looking for the right skin. Continue reading An indelible reminder