Thursday, May 31, 2012

Make A Reed Whistle

These reeds are often found near rivers or streams. Locate the reed and pick one.

Known as snake reed by my children, it looks like pieces of reeds hooked together.

Pull off the longest piece of reed found at the end. Look inside. One side is blocked and the other side open. Rip off the blocked end so that when you look through the reed you can see through it. Press the other end of the reed together and put this end into your mouth, keep the end pressed together while you blow through the reed. Each reed whistles slightly different. It took me 3 tries to get one to actually whistle. I had to put it further into my mouth than I expected.

The kids thought it was great and whistled them all the way back to the car.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spanish Fork River Trail Bike Ride

Day 3 of Summer Fun -

Today we loaded all of the bikes onto the bike rack and headed into Spanish Fork for a ride and a day of water fun. We made our way to Canyon View Park (3300 East Powerhouse Road) which is located just past the Spanish Fork golf course.

Canyon View Park boasts a nice small pond where the kids can fish. Grass surrounds the pond making it a great place for a picnic.

Upon arriving at the park, unload the bikes and look for the bike path which runs around the outside edge of the road. Hop on and start pedaling south west. The path is fairly short, coming in about
2-2 1/2 miles one way. It is very easy for children. We had children ages 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12 and they all did great.

Plan ahead and have the children bring water shoes and clothes they can get wet in. When the path ends there is a spot where the kids can splash and play in the river off to the left of the trail. Our group spent about an hour playing in the water.

This is an out and back trail so when you are through hop back on the bikes and return the way you came.  

After the ride we headed to the new park in Spanish Fork near Macey's and the soon to be Costco...Woo-hoo... to let the kids play in the water and at the park.

Rio Tinto Real Game

Day 2 of Summer Fun -

Yesterday we took the kids to the Real Salt Lake Soccer Game at the Rio Tinto Stadium. I bought the Pass of All Passes this year for my family and was so excited to see that we could attend a few of the soccer games for free.

My boys were so excited and really got into the action. We ate before going into the stadium. Our friend bought a burrito outside the entrance from a little mexican food stand and said it was fabulous. Once inside everything is pretty pricey. Water is $4 a bottle and drinks, popcorn and icee's are $6. I noticed that some brought in empty plastic water bottles and were able to fill them up at the water fountains. A trick I will use next time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fun Summer Activities with Kids

With summer here we have the opportunity to spend more time with our kids. I love taking my kids and having them experience new things as well as time tested favorites. I put together a list of some of the activities that we enjoy doing as a family in the summer here in Utah.

Flying kites
Barnes and Noble summer reading challenge
Water Park
Overnight backpack trip in the Uintas - there are a number of lakes 1 mile from the car which makes for an easy trip with little kids.
Day hikes - I will be reviewing/posting hikes as we do them this summer.

The Grotto
Silver Lake
Lakes Mary, Martha and Catherine
Twin Lakes
Dog Lake
Whiting Canyon
The Y
Stewart Falls
Scout Falls 
Elephant Rock
Hot Springs in Spanish Fork Canyon
and many more....

Visit local reservoirs - Tibble Fork reservoir, Spanish Fork reservoir.
Movies/concerts in the park
Visit Cascade Springs
Visit local museums - 
 BYU museums
 Utah Natural History Museum, 
 The Children's Museum,              
 The Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point, 
 The Eccles Dinosaur Museum in Ogden
 Springville Art Museum

Biking - 
The Jordan River Parkway
Provo Canyon Trail
Hobble Creek Canyon
Rail Trail in Park City
Mountain Biking at Round Valley in Park City
The new trail in Davis County

Art Projects - I find mine all on Pinterest these days
Visit National Parks
Frisbee Golf at Solitude Ski Resort
Chalk Art Contests
Lemonade Stand
Visit different parks
Snowbird - day pass to use the slide, zip line, climbing wall, ride the tram, etc.
Alpine Slide in Park City - such a BLAST!

Extreme Leg Pain

At the end of last year I participated in the Wonder Woman Century (100 mile bike ride). I had previously completed a number of centuries yet during this century my body seemed to fail me. It was a perfect day for riding, not too hot, and the course was great. By lunchtime, my face was CAKED with salt and my legs hurt so bad that it was all I could do to not cry. I finished the century...barely, with tears in my eyes.

After this experience I started to do some research about what had happened to me and why I did not feel good. The answer did not involve auto immune disorders or diseases of any kind. It turned out that I had vitamin deficiencies that were causing havoc in my body. Specifically, vitamin D.

As I learned more and talked to two sport nutritionists at my personal training conference, I found that up to 75% of people are vitamin D deficient. In order to absorb vitamin D you need calcium and in order to absorb calcium you need iron. My tests revealed that I was indeed low in iron, vitamin D and vitamin B.

I began taking vitamins prescribed by my doctor about 3 months ago. This cycling season I have completed 2 early centuries for the sole purpose of finding out if my body is feeling better. My report? No severe leg cramping or increased loss of salt. I feel strong and much more like my old self. Gone is the feeling of, "I just don't feel like myself." Having problems similar to these? Go get your levels checked and start taking the necessary will feel 100% better.

Be Fit!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tibble Fork Loop Trail

Day 1 of Summer Fun

As summer begins my husband and I decided to offer up a family summer challenge. If, as a family, we can hike at least 100 miles this summer then we will take the kids to do something special of their choosing. The boys decided that sounded like a good idea so here we go. Wish us luck!

We took our kids and some friends on a new hike up American Fork Canyon near Tibble Fork Reservoir. The hike is called Tibble Fork Loop Trail. I read reviews of the trail and it seemed like a good one for the family. Here are our stats taken from our GPS.

The stats:
4.5 miles
1000 foot elevation gain
3 hours

To access the trail you go to American Fork Canyon by taking exit 284 the Timpanogos Highway exit and following the road east to the canyon. From the toll booth (plan on paying $6 or buying a year pass to get into the canyon) drive until you see the Tibble Fork Reservoir sign. Turn left and follow the road until you come to the parking lot.

taken on the dam looking south
taken on the dam looking north
our hiking group today

The trailhead is located on the east side of the dam. Park and walk across the dam. Plan on the first mile of the hike being somewhat steep. If it has rained in the previous couple of days, I suggest you choose a different trail to hike. We hiked up in the mud. The kids loved it and it made for a memorable hike, but it was slippery and made the hike more difficult.

When you reach the first meadow be sure to turn around and look back down the trail. The view is stunning. The snow covered mountains tower over the aspens and pines. A 10 year old boy in our group managed to catch a snake near the small stream running through the meadow.

When you come to the junction in the trail with a sign for Mill Canyon hang a left. A man on a horse told us that there is a resident BIG black bear that often times is in this area so keep your eyes open. He saw it not more than 2 weeks prior to our hike standing in the middle of the trail.

Geo-caching Fun!
Take your next 2 left forks and then stay on the trail. If you enjoy geo-caching plan ahead. We found a geo-cache right off the trail. Remember that if you find a cache you can take something if you have
something to leave. This photo is of our group finding the cache. This is always so exciting for the kids!

Follow the trail and it will lead you to a bridge that crosses the river and puts you out on the road North of the dam. Follow the road back to your car. This was a fun hike. Be aware that this trail is open for equestrian use as well as motorcycle use. We saw plenty of both being Memorial Day Weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just Do It

I thoroughly enjoy to trail run. Having said that, I am not a runner and definitely do not like going alone. I have visions of wild animals attacking me or of something random happening and no one knows...morbid huh? I found myself seldom getting out on the trail so I decided to do something about it.

Is there something you have always wanted to do but just have not taken the time or the initiative to do it? My challenge for you is to simply do it. Find that thing you have been wanting to do and make it work. How did I do it?

1. Determine when you can fit it into your schedule.
2. Invite those you know to join you and form a group of others interested in trying it out. Convince them of the benefit of cross-training and trying something new.
3. Stick to the schedule.
4. Text the group the night before to line up a meeting place or a driver and to see who is planning on coming.

My opinion is always the more the merrier. A bigger group ensures that someone will always be available to go with you. New friendships are built as you share experiences together.

Getting a group together isn't hard, but can be rewarding when you take the time to simply do it. Many individuals are scared or nervous about asking others to join them in an activity for fear of rejection or lack of interest. If this describes you, don't let your fears stop you from enjoying the things that bring you feelings of satisfaction. I am usually surprised at the positive response others have when I invite them to participate. The biggest blockade are feelings of inadequacy or hesitation believing that they will hold the group back. And do not be afraid to invite those who are better at the activity than you.

For instance, in our trail running group that I just started a few weeks ago we have experienced fast runners, intermediate runners, some doing the couch to 5K program and those who are just starting with a walk/run program. It works. The faster runners do an out and back to pick up the stragglers or we will divide into groups. On one of the days it is always just me and the faster runners...not being a runner, I am always last. I don't mind at all. In fact, I find that I push myself a little harder on that day and I am slowly improving.

I have a BLAST participating on a local city league women's volleyball team. To top it off, I was just invited to play women's soccer with some friends. Although I have never played soccer, I am having soooo much fun. I would have never known how much fun it is if I had never tried in the first place. Believe in yourself and take some time for you. If you are like me, that time I take helps me be a better mom, wife and friend (:

Get out there and have FUN!