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Seven Men and a Mountain

I’m embarrassed to write this, but its been a number years since I went on a proper backpacking trip.   Sadly, we’ve fallen into the lazy habit of car camping whenever we head into the wilderness, which while convenient, is just not quite the same as hiking.  Something about trekking countless miles, step after step down a dusty trail, with everything you need to sustain you right there on your back, with no concern other than appreciating the view and looking forward to the next rest stop for some water and a granola bar, there is just something about it that you can’t beat.

Lucky for me, Kacey’s brothers and a few other fellas have a yearly tradition of going on a backpacking trip, and this year I was able to join them.  We spent three sunny September days tramping around Rocky Mountain National Park, camping at Finch Lake and hiking all the way up to Coney Lake, the two acting as ends of a long pearl string of alpine lakes and ponds, each one more picturesque than the last.

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Old Santa Fe

The oldest house in America, or so the plaque on the wall claims, is a two story mud brick affair in a back alley of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was a little incredulous towards this statement and took a minute to see what Mr. Wikipedia had to say on the subject, which is: that it is old, really old, but maybe not quite the oldest. Or maybe it is? Built in 1646, but on top of a foundation of a building from the 1200s, I guess it comes down to semantics which date you go with for the house, and thus if you think it is indeed the oldest. Oldest or not, the one thing I took from it was that everyone must have been a lot shorter back then- I could hardly fit through the door ways!

Besides a really old house, Santa Fe also boasts of being home to the oldest public building in the US, a set of “magical” stairs in an old church, and the best Native American handy crafts in the area, among other things. In our opinion though, the best thing they have going for themselves might be the Santa Fe Brewing Co.- which treated us to a pleasant afternoon of social crapulence.

After Santa Fe, it was just a long drive north to complete the circle of Hadley’s first roadtrip. All in all, it was a great three week adventure- we saw a lot of cool places, learned a little about camping with a baby, got the royal treatment at the finest of resorts, and aside from missing a few state welcome signs on the way in (though we always made sure to catch them on the way out), everything went perfectly to plan- just how you want your son’s first roadtrip to go. Thanks for reading! Until next time- D.K.H.

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The Petrified Forest

We left Scottsdale tanned, rested and eager to abstain from food or drink for a long time to come. To round out our tour of the Southwest, we were now headed east to Santa Fe, but considering the 3 hour in-the-car limit of one of our traveling companions (looking at you Hadley), we thought it prudent to break up the drive with a stop at one of the lesser visited national parks… The Petrified Forest is definitely not for everyone, but to those that appreciate such things, it is a little gem poking out of the desert of Arizona, just waiting to be uncovered. It was a gem for me. It was of no interest to the 6 month old. And lets just say that Kacey is also a gem for indulging me when I drag her to places like this.

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