The Blue Ridge Mountains are great! Although it was incredibly foggy the majority of the time in Banner Elk, NC the presence of the mountains was unmistakable, and the fellowship at the reunion brought back the great times we have all experienced at our beloved Philmont. There was an assortment of people there. I being the youngest staffer there was often entranced by the stories of how Philmont did things way back, and of adventures when things like hitchhiking was still an OK thing to do.

What a great weekend! We spent the entire time swapping stories, sharing trails, and reminiscing about old times and great friends. Saturday we took a hike on the Art Loeb Trail. It was still foggy, and at times hard to see the person hiking 30 feet in front of you. We did two beautiful hikes, the first of which ran up to an overlook, giving us an excellent view of the fog, which we all agreed was pretty cool even though it meant seeing almost nothing. The second we hiked around a lake, which was marked by beaver damns, marshy spots, and beautiful fog filled woods. North Carolina must be one of my favorite places in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range!

Doug White’s home is a great place! Nested high in the mountains, it has a cozy feel with a great view; perfect for anything social, especially a Philmont get together. While keeping the fireplace hot, we shared wonderful meals and watched numerous slide shows and videos taking us back to the wonderful experiences of Philmont. Thanks to the Manneschmidt family for the excellent meals and dutch oven cobbler!

I would really encourage y’all to come on out next time, or even put together your own reunion in your region. What a great time it was to see the old and new faces of Philmont, and to take a trip back to one of the best times of my life. I most definitely want to go back to Philmont!

By Sam Moody
Ranger 2007