July 15, 1977, Fri — Day 7 on the Trail, Burning Underwear and Beaubien
“No water in the tent when we woke up at 4:00 am. Got on the road by 7:00 am and at 11:00 am we were back at Phillips Junction to pick up the final four days of food. We had scrambled eggs, hash browns, Swiss Miss, and orange juice for breakfast earlier. For lunch we had cheese on buttered crackers, grapelets, beef jerky, and raspberry juice. I bought four beef jerky, one chocolate brunch, and two apples at the trading post. We sat out a rain storm at Phillips Junction.
We arrived at Beaubien in the rain after 13.5 miles and set up tents in the rain. We had a chuck wagon dinner. It was made up of chocolate milk, vegetable stew, biscuit, and peach cobbler. It was the best dinner we had since Philmont. At 8:00 pm there was a campfire. The best part were a bunch of kids from Georgia. We were talking about the food and a four pound steak that they were going to get at some place in Texas. If they can eat it in an hour, it’s free. If they can’t, they pay $16. The campfire was cold and Ed kept cutting the cheese. The stars were out but I couldn’t find any constellations since there were more visible stars than I’m used to.”
The kids from Georgia told a story about Al Packer and cannibalism. You couldn’t fact check a story like that easily in 1977 so it hung in the back of my mind. I wasn’t sure if it was fact or fiction. A few weeks after I returned home I heard about Al Packer on the local 5:30 news. ‘100 years ago he ate five gold miners. The judge convicted him saying, ‘Before we had six Democrats here, now we have one.’ A cafeteria is being named after him.” The Wikipedia article on Alferd Packer tells the story of the cafeteria naming in 1977.