Day Six: 07/07/2016

Day Six: 07/07/2016

Location: Miner's Park
Destination: Base Camp via Tooth of Time and Stampede Trail and Lover's leap Turnaround

We did it. We got up at 3:45 in the morning, packed up and checked out of the staff camp in the dark, but had to wait until it started getting light to start our hike. Once it did get light, we set off and held a good pace for the trip. Our goal was to make it to the Turnaround where we would stash our packs and just carry the essentials- two litters of water and our rain gear. We had a time cut off for when we had to get to the turnaround to have enough time to hike up and down the Tooth. Luckily, we made it to the turnaround at about 6:45, which gave us enough time to stop and eat a little bit of our breakfast and fill up on our water. Then at 7:00am we left on our mission to hike the Tooth and back in less than 4 hours. 
Tooth of  Time From the Stockade

As we approached the base of our ascent, the terrain quickly changed from dirt paths to boulders and rocks. some as large as recliners. The trail also became very steep and the Peak looked almost unattainable. But we pressed on and kept climbing on until we finally reached the peak.
Climbing Tooth Of Time
The View was incredible. Like miles in every direction. It was honestly one of the most rewarding things I've done this summer. When we finally made it to the top, we stopped and stared for a couple seconds, just letting it all soak in. If I only remember one thing from this trip, it will be the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that came from reaching the top. 

After being up on the top for about a half hour, we started our trek back down, with plenty of time to spare. We arrived back at the stockade and picked up our stuff with about 15 minutes to spare and made our way to the turnaround. There were two other crews waiting at the turnaround as well and we told them about our special excursion. It was fun to brag about our accomplishment, to which they bragged about sleeping in a couple extra hours. 

We boarded our bus and arrived back at the base camp in time to have a sack lunch on the lawn. After that we turned in any gear that Philmont had lended out such as tents, pots, rope and the dining fly. We had time to exchange information, visit the camp store and then we had a testimony meeting with the same church leaders that had been with us at the start of the trip. The meeting gave people a chance to talk about the things they had learned or ways they had grown on the trip both physically and spiritually. Everyone on my crew got up and added their thoughts, which was also pretty special.
After this meeting, we hiked from the base camp, to the training center where our families were waiting for us. We got to parade in with our crews and our families cheered us on and clapped us in. This was a bittersweet moment as we were exhausted but happy to see our families again. After our reunion with our families, we had time to shower, eat and rest before the closing ceremony for the week. Let me be clear. No shower has ever felt as good as one after six days of hiking, sweating and being out in the wilderness. What I thought was a nice tan, was washed away and I was a little disappointed.
Hiking in to the Training Center

After dinner and visiting with my family for a little bit, we attended a closing ceremony where we watched each age group present a skit or song. As a part of the Mountain Trek Group. We sang a hymn that we practiced all week long. "As Zion's Youth In Later Days". This was a special moment as it brought back the memories of all we had done in those few days we were together. I'm sure it will have great meaning to me and a special place in my heart going forward. After the closing ceremony, we had the chance to attend a youth dance in one of the halls on the camp. This was a lot of fun as we got the chance to dance and have fun as a crew one last time. 
Post Shower, Dinner and Closing Ceremonies

This day itself, was a whirlwind. From the intense hiking of the morning with the pressure of our goal, to marching into camp with our families cheering us on. After climbing the Tooth of Time, everyone of us were grateful to have gotten up that early and made the hike. This was the perfect way to cap off a great week of adventures.

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