I was standing on pavement when I snapped this pic. Okay, *maybe* this guy is usually more adventurous. But I still got a little chuckle.

He’s got a nicely outfitted FJ, lifted I guess, fancy-looking wheels that are probably worse for off-roading than stock, a complex-looking (read: expensive) roof rack system with a nice rear awning, expensive-looking tables, camp stove, coolers, and just... everything looked new and shiny. And here we were, about 400' from an interstate highway, 30' from pavement, on level ground that wouldn’t have bothered a #stancebro.

But you know what, he’s not at the mall. He’s camping, and making use of all his expensive toys. So I can’t give him too hard of a time. Maybe he’s just testing out his new stuff before relying on it in a more remote location. Maybe this is adventure for him, and he just likes the appearance of the FJ kitted up a bit. I always liked how they looked regardless. But something just always bugs me about people whose gear looks too shiny. Maybe I just have never been able to afford all the newest, shiniest stuff; but the people I’ve met in life who have the best stories aren’t the ones with the shiny gear. Anyway he’s out there and I’ll give him that.

We saw this after a night spent up in the mountains with my son, his first night staying at one of the AMC’s White Mountain Huts, and he LOVED it. We will be doing many, many more.

Then, this gem was parked next to us at the bottom:

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Oh, but more importantly, this is where we spent the night:

Lonesome Lake, Franconia Notch, NH.

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If you’re still reading, this is one of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s huts, where you can spend the night and get dinner, breakfast, and a bunk for the night. It’s a great way to get up into the mountains without going full-camping-gear overnight backpacking. You wake up already in the mountains, and it makes some remote areas just that much more accessible. They’re all different, the crews and guests always have interesting stories, and it’s just an all-around great experience, especially for kids. I highly recommend it. Just plan in advance. WAY in advance. Or go on a weeknight - we went on a Friday because we live so close, and it was only half-full, about 18 people.