|dan (67) myron (1) rich (61) shiloh (4) :: Contact|
Fri, 31 Aug 2007
They call it Scouting Paradise.
First, the basic facts. Through various gifts from Oklahoma oilman Waite Phillips, as well as some direct purchase, the Boy Scouts of America now own 214 square miles of New Mexico wilderness that they also call Philmont Scout Ranch. The land comprises a sizable chunk of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rockies. Once the home for indigenous tribes, Hispanic settlers, trappers and gold prospectors, the land is totally wild today. The only minor exception is a comparatively tiny base camp and training center at its edge and a few widely spaced educational program camps dotting the interior.
The pace of life in summer is much slower, much more languid than the other seasons of the year. The combination of heat and (usually) humidity seem to downshift one's metabolic furnace, moving everything to a lower and slower gear. Activities that call for great physical exertion tend to go by the wayside in favor of those events that demand less of one physically. (Granted there are those who will find the odd triathlon or criterium to compete in during August, but there's a good reason that things like marathons tend to be held in March or October instead of June and July.)