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My Thanksgiving Day hike was the first hike I had ever taken without a ‘real’ camera.

I love my trustworthy Nikon DSLR. It’s a point-n-shoot with no removable lens. We have literally traveled the world together. I have snapped stunning vistas through its display screen and documented countless summits. Far afield, we scaled to ‘the roof of Africa’ atop Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341′); and here at home, we make an annual trek up to Wheeler Peak (13,159′).

But my digital camera is now seven years old. And with any technology, it’s reached a point of obsolescence. While its digital prowess has remained static, the iPhone has continued to dynamic evolve its camera function –– to the point where the latest models take magnificent pictures. So I considered the ‘old and new’ technology I had to work with. And when it came time for a 12-mile round-trip Thanksgiving Day hike (through backcountry Bandelier), I opted not to bring the weight of my camera and instead rely on my phone for pics.

In today’s day and age, ‘being a millennial’ is the new standard. I don’t personally subscribe to that mindset; I prefer to match my values to my hard-won wisdom and maturity –– and not make a desperate dash to drink from the ‘fountain of youth.’ Nevertheless, I’d be hard-pressed to find a millennial who brings a weighty camera out on a hike with them; most just use their phone.

I did too. And it didn’t disappoint.