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M A Philmont Journal - Part 5

by Tom Baskin

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Article Summary:

Last night, about 45 minutes in advance of sunset, we began the hike from Tooth ridge camp to the Tooth of Time. We were anxious about missing the sunset so we climbed as fast as we could, arriving on the summit slabs out of breath and a little dizzy. The summit was still being grazed by sunlight, but most of the land below us to the south was already in shadow. We watched as the shadow of Tooth ridge crept far out onto the plains to the southeast. The planet seemed to be spinning a little faster on its axis and we spun around too, absorbed in the play of tangential light on our surroundings. There was a good vibe on the Tooth, and we took a lot of group and individual photos to memorialize the psychological pinnacle of our trip.

This morning we arose early, quickly broke camp, and began the hike down Tooth ridge. The hike was predictably tedious, particularly as we got lower, but we finished uneventfully and well ahead of schedule, arriving at the "welcome back" gate by 10:30 a.m.

We returned our bear bags, paying a dollar for the one we lost, and MH and I checked in at camp registration to obtain our group photos and our arrowhead patches. They would not turn over the latter before I went to the Trading post to settle up on the trail charge we incurred when we got new boots for RF at Ute Commissary. We then returned to the Welcome center for our tent assignments, this time in the "home bound" section of tent city. We showered, had a good lunch at the dining hall, and then made another visit to the Trading post. I helped RF choose a Philmont belt and iconic bronze buckle, and told him that if life was kind to him he might be lucky enough to wear it for forty years or more.

Like me.


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