Treat your adventurous friends to a year of exploration. The National Parks Service annual pass ($80; seniors $10; disabled free) allows the holders (two can sign it and, in some places, it’s valid for a carload of people) access into any national park for free, plus provides free or discounted admission into many national forest day-use areas. For someone who has some travel planned in the next year, whipping out this little card sure beats shelling out $25 per week at Yellowstone or $14 a head for a tour at a Hyde Park mansion. Procure one at any National Parks site; the closest ones to us are Pecos National Historical Park (Pecos, 757-7200), Petroglyph National Monument (Albuquerque, 505-899-0205) and Bandelier National Monument (Los Alamos, 505-672-3861).
For anyone who knows and loves a fly fisherman, you know that once one starts fishing in a new stream, it’s hard to tear him or her away from the banks during the search for bugs skimming across the water. Fly Patterns of Northern New Mexico ($15.95 at The Reel Life, 500 Montezuma Ave., 995-8114) can help in the quest. With detailed instructions on how to tie the most useful flies in this part of the state, you can save your fisherfriends a few hours in the muck and let them get right to the fun stuff (which also happens to occur in the muck).
Just Do It
Nike has declared it will only sell its snowboarding boots ($199-$350) to 500 retailers worldwide, and our very own Beyond Waves Mountain Surf Shop (1428 Cerrillos Road, 988-2240) has snagged one of those accounts. Sweet! The boots, which are comfy and way cool, harken back to the days of Air Jordans and high-top sneakers, only made for a decidedly colder atmosphere.
Stuff Your Pack
When you’re backpacking, it’s hard to justify bringing along anything extraneously fun (we’re talking books, iPods, games, stuff like that). When you’re carrying your life on your back, that Nintendo DS is suddenly heavy as a bowling ball. Imagine the backpacker’s delight when he or she discovers the Stuffball ($11.95) at Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works (328 S. Guadalupe St., 984-8221). It does double-duty as a stuff sack and a ball, so when the hikers take a break, there’s something other than a sharp rock with which to play catch.
Do You Know the Way?
If your friends are like our friends, they’re not from around here. Seems like half of Santa Fe has been here for 500 years, and the other half for only five. If your friend keeps talking about his or her hometown streets or won’t shut up about a favorite neighborhood in Europe, get a custom map ($10.95-$16.95) of precisely where he or she is talking about at Travel Bug (839 Paseo de Peralta, 992-0418). Tell the folks at Travel Bug where you want to see, choose how far to zoom in and, in minutes, possess a 24-by-30-inch color printout of anywhere on Earth.