Despite the diminutive nature of this adventure, it’s earned itself a full report – not least because it was Sage’s first night under tarp, and thus deserves celebration!
The milestone of Nancy’s 30th birthday demanded due attention too, so we decided to enjoy a night’s camping first, then spend a second in a farm guesthouse we’d found via Air B&B.
Just off the Rio Grande, under-the-radar Dixon (one of 8 Great Places You’ve Never Heard of) made the perfect base for this preliminary outing. A small settlement in northern New Mexico, it’s complete with a co-op, an organic farming scene and a small but flourishing arts community. Our planned campout wasn’t far from town, reached via a dirt road that climbed up and out of the desert, and into the Carson National Forest – a respectable incline of 1500ft, taking us to some 7500ft (2300m).
The initial idea had included busing from Santa Fe to Dixon, changing in Española. Although there’s room on these buses for two bikes, it sounded unlikely we could fit the trailer in too, so we ended up having to drive – Dixon’s an hour or so out of Santa Fe.
Want to see Sage’s packlist? Click here.
A proud moment! Heading out towards the high country for our first mini-tour.
I do love those New Mexican skies.
Within a couple of miles, we hit dirt. For the most part, the road was well surfaced, with some corrugation and steep inclines to contend with: a good testing ground for the bikes, gear and trailer.
Nancy. All smiles, for now…
Feeding time for Sage.
A butternut squash top-up keeps Sage smiling too.
Starting at a lowly (for these parts) 6000ft, the desert stretch made for hot and sweaty riding.
Further up amongst the junipers, a collection of prayer flags snapped in the wind.
As we reached the fringes of Ojo Sarco, a storm swept in, tempering the heat.
Classic New Mexico.
Once we reach the the high road that runs between Santa Fe and Taos, we found ourselves a dirt track that curled amongst the ponderosas.
We were running a bit late, so it was straight into pyjamas for the little one.
Best moment of the trip? Watching Sage, entranced by the trees around him. Sprigs of pine needles were duly studied and checked for tastiness.
The source of much fascination.
Then it was time to layer up and put him to sleep, while we cooked up some dinner.
Bedtime story. Nancy’s read this book to Sage since we was just a few weeks old, and it has a wonderfully soothing effect. It seemed a good idea to bring along to give him a sense of place.
Come morning, Sage was bright and chirpy. If truth be told, it hasn’t been the best night’s sleep – not that he seemed to mind.
Our camp spot and dwelling for the night. At just over a kilo in weight, Black Diamond Megalite’s tarp is both light and cavernous – it will comfortably sleep 3. Being tall and single skin in design, it tends to get a little cold inside though.
Nancy’s Troll has proved the perfect trailer-hauler. Her custom Porcelain Rocket framebag/toothbrush holder makes for a nice touch too…
Lots of new things for podgy fingers to play with. Inside…
Then it was time for a quick nap…
A change of clothes…
… before we took to the road once more. We retraced our steps down the mountain.
Past the usual clutter of abandoned cars…
Back through the canyon…
Not forgetting a few short, granny gear workouts…
… and breaks in the shade for Sage.
Anxious to ensure the event was properly recorded, I raced ahead to capture every angle…
Back in the desert – and almost back to Dixon.
And finally… Sage is initiated to the post ride feast. Lunch at the co-op proved simple and tasty. Avocado is turning out to be a family favourite.
I posted details of Sage’s packlist here. Additionally, a short foam mat, to lie him out on by the roadside, would have been useful. This could easily be attached to the trailer handlebars.
Don’t forget – BikeKidShop (site affiliate) is discounting Chariot trailers by 25-35% at the moment!
Nancy found it a challenge to stay hydrated while riding and breasfeeding. Rehydration sachets might have been useful.
Sage slept in a sleepsack made by The Milk and Honey Company and a down Patagonia jacket. This combination worked out really well. It kept him warm, and unlike a conventional sleeping bag, ensured his face stayed uncovered. He slept on a 3/4 length Thermarest which we placed between us.
Our Milk and Honey Sleepsack. This one is an outdoor prototype – previous models use heavier and bulkier cotton exteriors.
It features a series of adjustable snaps, and two way zips that run around the bag for easy diaper changing, and ventilation if needed. The bag is roomy enough for babies up to 2 years old. As Sage is over 6 months, there’s no shortage of growing room.
Packed away, the combo weighs 470g (16.5oz).
Part 2 coming soon!