Lower Blue Lake with Dallas Peak in the background

My first multi-day backpacking trip was a 5-night excursion through the San Juan mountains of Colorado. The snow-capped fourteeners and lush river valleys were quite a sight for a 14-year-old from Kansas. Flash forward nearly three decades and I was now driving my wife and two children to that same mountain range for our first backpacking trip as a family. And despite a few hiccups, everyone ended up having a fantastic time.