Like all great journeys, ours started with a lot more questions than answers. We discovered pretty early on that starting a business (and life, for that matter) can sometimes feel a little more like hiking a mountain than a day at the beach. Sometimes the ups and downs of rougher terrain makes you get a little quieter to successfully navigate the task at hand; allowing you to focus more on the journey and less on the destination. While each peak and valley may present a challenge, each also presents an equal opportunity for growth, advance, and victory.  More often than not, the toughest trails and highest peaks turn out to be the biggest gifts and pivotal moments of all. There's often a lot more we can gain from taking the road less traveled, leaving our comfort zones behind, and taking those quiet moments of the trek of to reflect, adjust, regain our bearings. Along the way, we've also discovered that nature has a funny way of navigating us directly to those answers we seek in those rare, quiet moments. 

 

Our story began at a remote  tavern and tasting room nestled amongst the majestic mountains, forested hills, and picturesque range land inside the 3.3 Million acres of The Gila National Wilderness, the world's first protected wilderness area. In what we now call New Mexico, years before the Gila National Wilderness ever existed on a map; American author, philosopher, outdoor enthusiast, and the man who would later become widely regarded as 'The father of the United States' wilderness system'Aldo Leopold, shot a wolf from atop one such rocky peak. He would later describe the experience as something that changed him forever, not yet realizing it would also change the course of American History and provide the foundation on which the National Parks and Wilderness system that we know today was built on. We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”  In his now famous essay, "The land ethic", Leopold championed for an ethical, loving relationship between people and nature. In it, he argued that “It is just as unwise to devote 100 percent of the recreational resources of our public parks and forests to motorists as it would be to devote 100 percent of our city parks to merry-go-rounds.”  Luckily for the many various species of plants and animals who still call the wilderness home, the district forester agreed, and quickly signed the Gila Wilderness Area into existence on June 3rd, 1924—the first such designation in the world. The same land, on which the tavern where our story began still sits, would be the first of some 803 wilderness areas across America; now encompassing over 111 million acres of U.S. soil in total. But as with most things in nature; you have to look a little closer to not 'miss the forrest for the trees', as they say. Sometimes you have a to look below the surface and unearth a bit of the roots before you can really see where the growth of the tree is originating from.  

 

Long before any of Aldo Leopold's visions would ever come to pass; before the formation of the United States, and even the Spanish settlers before that, the land belonged to the the Zia people, or, Tsʾíiyʾamʾé. This indigenous nation was comprised of successful dry land farmers, who sustained a large population. They grew corn, beans, squash and melons. They made intricate and beautiful pottery, and imported irrigation technology to help make the farmlands more productive to sustain their community. Archaeologists believe that the Zia people are descendants of the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) people of the Four Corners region, who migrated to the Jemez River Valley sometime in the 13th century. Despite numerous attempts by multiple groups to destroy their community entirely and the countless attacks on their religious traditions and spiritual ways in the many years that have passed since; many of their symbols, traditions, beliefs, and ancestors still live on today. The Zia sun symbol, a key piece of iconography on our product packaging, is possibly the most recognizable design in New Mexico. The unmistakable symbol is made up of sixteen rays coming from a center circle. It appears on everything from our state flag to our license plates, bumper stickers and key chains, and is boldly draped across the sides of airliners shuttling tourists and residents alike to and from 'the Land of Enchantment'. It is said to represent the four cardinal directions, the four seasons of the year, the four period of each day (morning, noon, evening, and night), and the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle age, and old age). The centre of the sun symbol stands for life itself. It's simple but incredibly powerful design echos the philosophical views of Tsʾíiyʾamʾé people, and represents the harmony and balance found in nature and all things in the universe. From the rocks, to the trees - to the lone wolf and the difficult journey it took to reach the top of the mountain peak - it represents everything, everyone, everywhere; and every space in between. Despite being so easily identifiable - many remain unaware of the ancient universal wisdom the symbol actually represents, as well as  its venerated originators - the Tsʾíiyʾamʾé people. Our hope in including the symbol on our can, is to provide a trail marker and plant a few seeds for the future generations of travelers who, like us, tend to find the most peace in those rare quiet moments spent amongst the trees. 

 

To say that we feel lucky to have started our journey in such a beautiful, storied, and meaningful place to so many would be quite an understatement. While our journey may still be far from over as we continue to learn something new every day; The Zia symbol, and the true story of Leopold and his wolf remind us that life really is more about the journey, and not so much the destination. We have come to believe the reason that so many of us find the answers we seek while surrounded by nature is because we, ourselves, are very much a part of nature. In these strange, modern times it's all too easy to forget that we are all intrinsically connected to everything else that lives on this planet, no matter which path we are taking. We'd do well to remember it too, even if only when we find ourselves amongst the trees - and especially when we find ourselves amongst the trees. Sometimes it's those rare, quiet moments that provide the tiny spark of inspiration needed to remind us how to follow the roots, how look up to the stars, and find our way home - before the little green fire in each of our eyes flickers out. 

Cheers to the adventure ahead. 

-Dave & Teresa  

 

Field NOTES:

SITE INFO

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) describes how Little Toad Creek, LLC  (“Mixed-Up Mules”, "The Mixed-up Cocktail Co.", ) and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively, “we,” “our” or “us”) collect, use and disclose information about visitors and users (collectively, “users”) of our websites, mobile applications, and other online features, products, and services that link to this Privacy Policy (each a “Service” or collectively, “Services”). By visiting or using our Services, you consent to us gathering and processing information about you in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

We understand that your privacy is important, and as such, the below outlines the finer points around how we collect, store, use, and/or disclose your personal information. Federal and various state laws require us to tell you how we collect, use, share, and protect your personal information. These laws also limit how we can use your personal information. Please read this policy carefully to understand what we do with the personal information we collect.

By using our site and online services in general, you affirm that you have read and agreed to the practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, you should not be accessing our site. The policy applies to both the current structure of our site and/or any future updates we might make. All changes are effective as soon as they are posted.

What we collect

By visiting or using our Services, we may collect the following personal information (“Personal Information”) you provide to us:

  • Email address

As related to social media specifically, during the course of our interactions with you, we might also request that you post on social media (including, but not limited to, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) with certain hashtags. If you do engage in such postings, depending on your personal privacy settings, the image may be redisplayed on our Services. While you retain ownership of the image, using the hashtags we request gives us permission to display and re-display the image. The image may contain information about you, and we may collect and use that information for marketing and research purposes. If you do not want your image posted on our Services, please do not use our requested hashtags.

In addition, we may receive certain categories of Personal Information listed above from sources other than you, specifically from third-party applications (including, but not limited to, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) that you use in conjunction with this Service (e.g., for age-gating purposes), as well as from our other brands, affiliates, subsidiaries, business partners, and third-party data providers, which we may combine with the information you have provided for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy.

We may also automatically collect the following categories of network activity and/or device information (some of which may qualify as “Personal Information” or “Personal Data” under applicable law) from devices (e.g., mobile, computer, laptop, tablet) used to visit or use our Services (“Device Information”):

  • IP address;

  • Device identifier;

  • Referral website;

  • Browser type;

  • Any search terms entered on or through our Services;

  • General location data based on your device information, such as country, state or province;

  • Computer operating system;

  • Access times;

  • Usage patterns and page views within our Services;

  • Log files;

  • Cookies

We may also collect geo-location information from your device with your consent in accordance with applicable law. If you do not consent to collection of this information, certain Services (e.g., personalized location-based services and content) will not function properly and you will not be able to use those Services. You can stop our collection of location information at any time by changing the preferences on your mobile device.

We only retain your information for as long as is necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy, or as needed to comply with applicable laws and our own policies.

Purposes for which we use your information
Below, please find the ways we use the information we collect from you to:

  • Provide you with information about our products and services;

  • Develop new products and services;

  • Track responses to our emails and advertisements;

  • Measure marketing effectiveness;

  • Respond to your comments and general inquiries;

  • Improve the quality of our offerings;

  • Communicate with you about special offers and other marketing communications;

  • Verify you are of legal drinking age;

  • Comply with our own policies, as well as for accounting purposes, and as required or permitted by law.

Cookies

If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year. If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me,” your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

Embedded Content from other sites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Log Files

We automatically gather log files, such as your IP addresses, browser type, internet service provider, referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and clickstream data when you use our Services. We may combine information in log files with your information.

Protecting your Information 

We implement commercially reasonable measures to protect your personal information against unauthorized access or use, all based on generally accepted industry standards. However, as with any method of transfer over the internet, we cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that your personal information will be secure from theft, loss, alteration, misuse, or unauthorized access, nor do we make any representation as to the reasonableness, efficacy, or appropriateness of the measures we use to safeguard such information. But, if you have reason to believe any of your information has been compromised or is no longer secure, please contact us immediately at teresa@littletoadcreek.com.

California Privacy Notice & Rights

For those residents of California, we are required to provide other information about how we use and disclose your Personal Information because California provides additional explicit rights.

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), California consumers have the right:

  • Access your personal information

  • Request to see and/or obtain what information we have collected

  • Request deletion of your personal information

  • Receive information we have “sold” (as the term is such defined under California law) to third parties in the last 12 months

  • Request opt-out of the collection and “sale” of your personal information

California law permits California consumers to use an authorized agent to make privacy rights requests. We require the authorized agent to provide us with proof of the California consumer’s written permission (e.g., a power of attorney) that shows the authorized agent has the authority to submit a request for the California consumer.

Europoean Privacy Notice & Rights

This site is hosted and operated in the United States (“US”). By using this site, you are consenting to the transfer of your personal information to the US. If you are accessing this site from outside the US, please be advised that US law may not offer the same privacy protections as the law of your jurisdiction.

Who may use this website 

The website only directed at persons over the age of 21. We do not knowingly collect, store, use, analyze or sell any Personal Information from anyone under the age of 21. If you have chosen to visit this site, given our age-gating procedures, you warrant and represent that you are at least 21 years old. If any person under the age of 21 visits this site, they are required to immediately leave. Additionally, if we have actual knowledge that information about a child has been collected, we will take immediate steps to delete the information.

Privacy Policy Updates

We reserve the right to update this Privacy Policy to reflect any modifications to our practices by posting notice of the update on our Services. Any and all updates are effective immediately after posting and apply to all of the information we collect.

This Privacy Policy was last updated on October 1st, 2020. Your continued use of the site will be deemed as an affirmative agreement that your information may be used in accordance with the new policy.

Contact Us

For any questions regarding: (a) this Privacy Policy, (b) the information we have collected about you, or (c) to exercise any of the rights mentioned above, please contact us.