It was our first week on the road and we got to see tons of epic places, awesome landscapes, and work with some cool Leave No Trace learners! One highlight was working with the S.A.F.E. Afterschool Program in Rio Rancho, NM. In what must have been one of the most epic days in elementary school history, the students went on a field trip to a Natural History Museum to learn about dinosaurs and fossils before playing some sweet Leave No Trace games! One big hit was Okay/No Way! This rockin' game mixes questions about all seven principles, PEAK-style, with freeze tag. Kids as young as kindergarten were answering about observing wildlife from a distance with the Rule of Thumb technique and staying on the trail when on a hike. Thanks again, Rio Rancho!
|Quinn poses in Petrified Forest, but stays on the trail!|
In between Albuquerque and Sedona, we were lucky enough to stop in and spend an afternoon at Petrified Forest National Park. This epic park is home to petrified wood over 250 million years old! Everyone we met who worked there was super-friendly, informative, and really dialed in to the Leave No Trace principles and mindset. Unfortunately, a lot of the sites at this park are heavily impacted. The park has to go to extraordinary measures to prevent individuals from removing pieces of the petrified wood from the park, including vehicle inspections when exiting. We also had a long talk with a Leave No Trace all-star ranger who was endeavoring to keep people on the path at petroglyph sites in order to preserve the history of peoples who once lived in the area hundreds of years ago. Remember when you're outdoors to Leave What You Find and Choose the Right Path, staying on the paved trail and avoiding visitor-created paths. We want to give a shoutout to all the rangers putting in such great work to preserve one of the coolest places we've ever been to! Y'all rock!
From the Sunny Southwest,
Quinn & Frank