From the Philmont Trail Guide:
From Ponil to Pueblano you will be traveling through the wide and green South Ponil Canyon which abounds with wildlife, especially deer and porcupine. You may see old bridges on the road. These served as stream crossings for the logging wagons which once rolled through this canyon. If you look closely, you can find the railroad bed of the Cimarron and Northwestern which had lines in both the North and South Ponil Canyons.
Route for the day
From my journal of 1967:
Woke & left Pueblano after 3 hours work on a trout pond dam - staff gave us 4 hours credit for a good job. Level & easy hike all the way - got hit by rainstorm on way - happy to find tents set up & on platforms & a dining shelter. Had a mountaineering lecture & demonstration - climbed up a short but steep hill, then rappelled down. Returned to cook a late dinner. Tom & I went to sleep early, & the others put up the bear bags, but left a table under them. During the night a bear came & stole 1 breakfast package. Mr. Snedeker chased him away & moved the table.
This was another fairly easy hike, although a bit of a long one.
Deer encounter on the way to Ponil
During the trip we saw several bears and the antelopes near Baldy, but I think this was the only deer we came across during the entire trip. As a result, everyone did their best to get a picture before it dashed back into the woods.
I wonder if those shirts ever came out clean or if the guys just burned them.
Bob Spencer in Ponil campsite
After several days of having to set up our own tents, we were pleasantly surprised to find everything waiting for us when we arrived in Ponil. It was another one of our better campgrounds. The fact that the camp was of a more permanent nature hadn't escaped the notice of the local wildlife, for I can remember a bear prowling between the tents at night. Happily he stayed outside, but it made for a very tense time as he shuffled about.
I believe this was the ranger who taught us how to climb.
Looks a long way up!
Although it can't be proven by looking at the picture, my notes indicate that this was Harold Snedeker attempting the climb. I recently saw a picture of Scouts at Philmont taking part in a similar exercise and was struck by a noticeable difference - the lack here of any safety helmets. We were given lessons in how to wrap the ropes around us, using leather gloves as protection against rope burns, but that was about it. No one got hurt, though, so things worked out fine. The climb up was hard, but the rappelling down was a real thrill.