Not-So-Wordless Wednesday {New Mexico Pics and Lessons Learned}

I had too many pictures from New Mexico, so even with culling things down from what I took... I still had to pull pictures out when writing my post the other week. Here are the others I wanted to share.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

I hope you'll indulge me a little bit too. Every trip we take is a learning experience for me, and thought it would be good to record some of those lessons.

Valles Caldera

Lesson #1: Setting up and breaking down a tent gets tiring. I have no problem camping for 5 days straight in the same place, but three days of camping in different places is enough for me to want a break in a hotel/motel/friend's house for a night!


Lesson #2: By day 5, no one is going to want to see peanut butter, nuts, or seeds for a very long time. I need to pack more things that *I* like, even if Gwen won't eat them, because more variety is always good! I also need to up my game with more foil packet cooking. And yes, maybe even plan a dinner in a diner just so everyone can eat whatever they want for one night. 

(We did complete our entire journey without stopping at one fast food restaurant! Win!)

White Sands NM

Lesson #3: Even though I want to be a camping purist and only cook on the fire, building a fire first thing in the morning just too cook breakfast is time consuming and sometimes more exhausting then I'm interested in... especially when its just me and Gwen. Might be time to invest in a mini camping stove.

Carlsbad Cavern

Less of a Lesson, and More of a Reminder #4: I love camping with just Gwen and I, and frankly Trav wants to save his vacation days for the bigger trips (Cape Cod, and this year France and Mexico) so it will normally be just us... but it does make things more difficult being the only adult in charge of everything. Gwen is a great help, and as she gets old it will get easier; but right now I need be okay with the fact that I'm doing all the set up and break down, all the cooking and all the entertaining. (Hence #3, and maybe even investing in a smaller tent for these trips.)

Rio Grande Del Norte

Less of a Lesson, and More of a Reminder #5: Be flexible! We had more downtime in Bandelier because Gwen made a friend and was having the best time playing with her around the campsite, and didn't really want to stop to do another hike in the evening. That's okay. Yes, I want to get the most our of our stops, but if she's having fun, then let go a little. Does that mean we forwent all previously planned hiking/activities? Clearly not! But letting go of some arbitrary number in my head for how many miles we should do? Absolutely!

Rio Grande Del Norte
Less of a Lesson, and More of a Reminder #6: Its okay for Gwen to be bored! The "free day" I built in didn't end up being as fun as I hoped. We made it work, and it was fine; and the downtime was needed.

Also, for the love of all that is holy... woman, buy a damn ax!  😳

I can't wait for our next trip. One that will hopefully be even better with these little lessons!

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