Smoke Signals

May/Jun 2012



Guest Writer

Report of the Mora Flats scouting expedition called by the Alcalde of Pecos base upon intelligence that a Hostile Uprising was to occur thereby disrupting the village of Pecos July 4th celebration.

James' and Tom's first look.

Seven hardy scouts responded to the call from Alcalde Jorge Arbusto, the younger, of the village of Pecos to investigate reports of a gathering of hostiles intent upon disrupting the July 4th celebration in the village.  Upon rendezvousing at the appointed location, the scouts consisting of Jim, Doug, Lynn and Julie of New Mexico territories and Tom, Brad, and James of the Colorado territories proceeded to gain the high ground.  Numerous rock outcroppings provided the scouts their first view into the Mora Flats area, the purported area of the hostile gathering.  Not detecting any signs of the hostiles, the scouts descended into the valley and established camp close to water, hidden from sight of the main trail.  A discussion was held concerning edible food seen on the trek into the valley.  Berries, wild onions and a deer were some of the items seen.  Our rear guard, Rick, arrived a few hours behind us, bringing the band to eight.  Still no signs of the hostiles.  There were other folks camped in the area, mostly fishermen as the Mora River is a source of trout.  The evening passed uneventfully with discussions held around the fire.

Morning arrived after a fairly cool night; camp was too close to the water and in a sunken area.  Good for keeping out of sight, but not good for observing the area.  Two scouts were sent out to find another location after breaking our fast.  As we waiting for the scouts to return, a few balls were run before extinguishing the fire and camp was broken.  The scouts returned reporting that they had located a bench down the valley that overlooked the trail area and was difficult to see from the trial.  We all finished packing and headed to the new spot.  It was 20 feet above the trail, high enough to keep an eye on the trail but invisible from the trail.  

After settling in, Rick, Tom and Jim went for a mile and a half scout upstream.  Tom decided to stay and take a soak and Jim and Rick proceeded to scout downstream for another mile and a half.  We observed a fair number of folks fishing, but no hostiles.

Lynn made a pot of soup for the evening meal consisting of rice, corn and green chili. The corn and green chili were dried by Lynn, giving it a good character. A discussion was held concerning other possibilities for trekking scenarios.  The night was warmer as we were high and above the river.  As the previous night was cold, most folks had not sleep very well.  We made up for it this night as the sun was up before we arose.  Brad used a hanging moss to start the fire.  It gave him some difficulty but he was successful.  The morning meal was “a bacon jamboree”, as no one wanted to carry out leftovers.  After everyone had their fill, the last of the fresh apples were cut up and fried in the bacon grease.  As the apples simmered in the bacon grease the last of the blackstrap rum was splashed over them.  Food fit for a first table.  Camp was broken, canteens filled and folks started the trek back to the trailhead.  James took the lead.  Rick and Julie were the rear guard, the rest walked in pairs or singly as they saw fit.  As the folks from Colorado had a long ride, they did not wait for everyone to get to the trailhead.  They left their goodbyes and headed back to the Colorado territory.  After the rear guard arrived, a discussion was held as to what we would do differently next time as far as gear was concerned.  

As this discussion wound down we adjourned to the local Dairy Queen to report the lack of hostiles in the area.

Harsh's scout camp. The group takes a break.

James and Julie taken a closer look.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it...

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