An introduction

Expedition patch

In 1967 I was the happy winner of an essay contest co-sponsored by the Boy Scouts, Newsday and the Long Island Lighting Company. The subject? "How Electricity Powers Progress". I probably still have a copy of that epic work around here some place, but if not, the world hasn't lost much. Winning the contest was important to me, though, for besides getting a neat pen and pencil set and my name in the paper, I also was given a gift certificate for camping. Instead of another summer at Onteora Scout Reservation, as fun as that might be, my parents put in the extra money and I was thrilled to learn I would be going to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.

The trip, simply put, was great. I saw more of the United States that year than before or since. It was a real physical test, one that would kill me today, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

During a summer vacation in 1999 with my family I was near Philmont and decided to stop back again for a quick visit. Although my hiking this time was pretty well limited to a path between the parking lot and Trading Post, the visit re-awakened some great memories of the past. I dragged out my ancient slides and other memorabilia from the trip and started putting this little effort together. I had been meaning to copy the pictures for my brother, Jim, who was also on the trip, and due to a new slide scanner could finally do so.

I kept a journal of each day's events on the road and have used that as the basis for this site. I also took a lot of pictures. I can't recall what kind of camera I had but it was likely an Instamatic due to the square format of the slide images. After the trip I borrowed slides from Harold Snedeker, one of our leaders, and possibly some of my fellow Scouts. We had a rudimentary slide copier at my high school, but without any instructions, so some of the images are less than ideal.

When I started I was using a HP PhotoSmart S-20 scanner, which scanned at 2,400 DPI. Disk space was expensive and connection speeds were slow, so I kept the images pretty small. A few years later I redid the site with a 2,900 DPI scanner. Now, in 2016, I'm redoing the site again, hopefully for the last time, with a 4,000 DPI scanner and files sized for modern connect speeds. Of course, though, people are likely to be viewing this on a phone so we're back to small pictures all over again.

A guide to this site

Expedition neckerchief

We were given the designation of unit Expedition 810B, with August 10 being our date to finally arrive at Philmont. Getting there was half of the fun. The neckerchief shows our route across the United States. We were the last group from Nassau County Council to travel to Philmont by bus, as the next year began the current practice of flying there. I'm glad that we went by bus, for even though it was a slow and sometime boring trip, we all had a great time. We also saw a lot more than you can see racing through the sky in a pressurized aluminum tube.

Our route out was across the northern part of the country, with a wonderful stop in Idaho for the World Scout Jamboree. The trip back was through the central section of the U.S. This photo journal shows some of the many places we visited along the way.

There were 40 boys and 3 adult leaders on the trip. We divided into 4 crews of 10 Scouts each, and there was supposed to be one adult per crew. One of the adults had to drop out but happily the remaining leaders agreed to shoulder the extra workload so no one had to be left behind.

You can navigate the site through the drop-down menus at the bottom of every page. Before you head off to Day 1, though, here are some pages of information you might find useful.

Expedition roster

Trip calendar

Now, it's time to head back through the years and miles.

Daily guide