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Troop 72 at Philmont 2016: Travel Home
June 5-21, 2016, the Scouts of Troop72.com embarked on the greatest adventure in Scouting: PHILMONT!

July 20-21, 2016: Travel Home!

Day 13-14 (Wed-Thur, July 20-21, 2016) at Philmont: Base Camp; Travel HOME!

We woke up after our first very refreshing night at base camp, on cots that were flat and cushy and LEVEL! After checking out of Tent City and eating a great breakfast in the cafeteria, we walked to Villa Philmonte, the original ranch house of Waite Phillips, the benefactor of the land that would become Philmont Scout Ranch.

We were met at the museum by Josh Gienapp's family -- Brian, Lisa, and his sister Katie! They had a family reunion in Colorado starting the next day, so it worked out great for them to pick up Josh and save him from the 22-hour train ride home. (Although truth be told, Josh was disappointed to miss the huge trip-end restaurant celebration in Wisconsin, at a place still to be determined...the Scouts were "keeping their options open.")

After lunch, we loaded our backpacks and luggage onto the school bus for the trip to Raton, New Mexico. We saw our last glimpse of Mt. Baldy from the bus windows...we were on top of that only a week ago. The bus driver let us off at a grocery store so we can stock up on super healthy (ahem) snacks for the train ride home. (One unnamed Scout bought an entire 24-pack of Mountain Dew...just for himself.)

Following a very non-level night of semi-sleep, we arrived in Mendota, Illinois and reacquainted ourselves with MIDWEST HUMIDITY. It was actually a hot streak, so the non-working air conditioning in the 15-passenger van was worse than ever. It was 96 degrees F inside the van when we started out...and once we squeezed 11 sweaty bodies in there, even with all the windows open it never got below 100 F. (And this is with a high-quality mercury thermometer, mind you.)

So we made an emergency stop at a Dairy Queen for medicinal purposes. And later on, at supper time, we especially enjoyed the AC in our choice of celebration restaurant, the all-you-can-eat buffet at Pizza Ranch.

When we finally arrived back home to Chippewa Falls around 10:00 pm, there was a crowd of families to welcome us in the Chippewa Valley Bible Church parking lot.

Before we did anything else, we got out and sang "The Philmont Hymn" in four-part harmony one last time.

It was a great trip!! I never knew 17 days could contain that much adventure -- backpacking 107 miles, conquering several mountain peaks, enduring two 22-hour train rides, not to mention hiking Chicago and all the great back-country programs at Philmont. And most of all, seeing life-long friendships develop.

Thank you to all the parents and troop supporters who helped make this possible. It's great to be part of the Boy Scouts of America!

- Tom Arneberg (toma@arneberg.com)        

(206 images in this set)

(206 images in this set)


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