Sunday, August 30, 2009

Multiple Bike Rides

Our computer crashed last week so it took me a week to get everything reinstalled and up and working again. So no blog last week, but I'll play catch up today.

Here's the bike rides we did in the last couple of weeks:

Michelle and I are having mountain biking withdrawals because our bikes have been in the shop since Thursday morning.

Big Springs

Michelle & I went up biking to up Provo Canyon above Vivian Park at Big Spring Hollow. This is one of our favorite trails - Michelle says this is her favorite trail.

This was the coldest ride we've been on. I got my chance to try out my long sleeved biking shirt that I got for my birthday. Even with that it was really cold starting out - we had numb hands and numb feet - it's a good thing it started uphill.

I started out ahead going fast trying to warm up and then waiting for Michelle to catch up once it a while. When we got to the top of the ride, Michelle had made it the whole way without putting her foot down once!

Once we got to the bottom it had taken us under an hour (it's s short ride - less than 4 miles) so we decided to ride it again. This time I tried to match Michelle's feat of riding all the way up without stopping. I made it endurance wise, but I bounced off the trail on a rocky spot at one point and put a foot down. So Michelle has the distinction of being the only one in our family to ride up the Big Springs trail clean.

After we finished, I rode my bike downhill past Vivian Park, on the Provo River Parkway and to work. It was was definitely the easiest 11.5 miles I've ever ridden.

Michelle at the top of the loop after making the climb without stopping.

Michelle riding down the trail in the meadow.

Brian crossing a creek that comes down from the springs. It had rained the day before, but this was pretty much the only muddy spot on the trail.

Brian coming down the trail at the start of the meadow.

Michelle snaps a picture from the drivers seat of the car of Brian riding down the road to work

Tibble Fork Trail -

Michelle and I biked this last Saturday. We parked at a turnout where North Fork and South Fork split then biked up the road to Timpanookee Campground. The climb up the road was tough and not nearly as fun as on trails. (It also didn't help our egos any to have a bunch of road bikers whiz by us like we were standing still.)

At Timpanookee we got back on the trail. This was really fun for us because this was the first trail we mountain biked on together and where Michelle first fell in love with it. We hadn't been back to ride it until now. It was also interesting how much easier that trail was for us to navigate this time.

This was our first time riding down the Tibble Fork trail and I was a bit nervous because it's more technically advanced in some spots that what we are used to. It didn't help that we ran into a guy in a parking lot that told us he had several advanced rider friends who had broken different bones on that trail.

But when we got to the trail it was just fine - in fact it was a blast! I really really liked this trail. We did walk a couple of spots, but it was really fun! It's too bad that there isn't a more convenient way to get to it.

One of the flat, meadowy spot going down the Tibble Fork trail.

Michelle poses in front of pines during a rest stop coming up Pine Hollow trail.

PG to Orem Bonneville Shoreline Trail

This was a solo ride - I hope I can find my cell phone at some point so I can post pictures. This was an early morning ride up Battle Creek road across the BST and then up the dirt road at the mouth of Provo canyon. I had forgotten how fun this bench trail was - it's also nice because its a lot easier for me to do now than it used to be.

Betty, Area 51, Dry Canyon
This was another quick solo ride. This was my first time to ride up Lament on this loop. I'll probably almost always do it this way from now on.

Mud Springs Overlook

Michelle & I wanted to get a quick ride in before Pack Meeting on Tuesday. I went to to work early so I could get off early and we could go biking. We started biking at about 3:15 which we figured gave us an hour and a half to bike and be back for 6:00 Pack Meeting in plenty of time. So for the 2nd time in a week (previously the Tibble Fork ride) we were back on the same track near Timpanookee where Michelle did her first ride. Michelle had done a spin class at the gym the day before so her legs were really feeling it and she was having a hard time when we first started. But she did amazingly well especially considering here legs were already tired. We weren't sure what our plan was and decided on the Mud Springs trail and overlook partway through the ride.

After turning off the Mud Springs trail the trail to the overlook was a lot less used. At one point I thought we were close to the end and it was pretty rocky and steep, so we put our bikes down and walked the rest. This turned out to be a big mistake because it was a lot further to the end still and the trail was very rideable - so we probably lost 15 minutes by walking instead of riding.

After taking pictures at the overlook, Michelle looked at here watch and realized we only had 1 1/2 hours to get down the trail, drive home, and be to pack meeting (it was almost 4:30). Oops! So we hurried down the trail and drove home, getting home at 5:35. We ran around like chickens with our heads chopped off for a few minutes and I took the first car with the kids and go there just before 6 with flags & awards in tow - whew!

Looking down American Fork Canyon from the overlook.

Looking at Timp from the overlook.

Michelle and Brian at the overlook. It took us a few tries to take a picture of ourselves with Michelle's phone, but after missing our faces, turning off the phone, and accidentally taking video a couple of times we finally got it.

Aspen Grove to Mutual Dell

Another solo ride - this one was tough for me. The trail up from Aspen Grove to the Summit Parking lot was really steep. It branches off of the trail up to the Timp Summit, so when I asked the Ranger guy at the building which trail to follow to get to the Summit Trailhead parking lot it was kind of confusing because he thought I was talking about the Timp Summit and told me bikes weren't allowed. Eventually we understood each other and he told me where the trail branched off. I pushed my bike for the first part of the trail because it was loose rock next to a drop-off. After that the trail was steep enough it pushed me to my limit. The weird thing was that it never seemed super steep but it just consistently was steep and bumpy enough that it was really hard for me.

When I got to the Summit parking lot there was an elderly couple up there - Glen Smith & his wife. They were camping and Timpanookee and Glen's wife was dropping him off so that he could ride down. Instead of heading back to Aspen Grove I decided to ride down to Timpanookee with Glen. He was super nice and we had a great ride. At that point it was 6:15 pm and I needed to be to Mutual Dell for the ward chili cook-off dinner by 6:30 so I just biked down the main road and got there in plenty of time hoping that Michelle wouldn't mind driving me back to the Summit Parking lot after dinner where I could ride back to my car in Aspen Grove.

So after the dinner Michelle found rides home for all the kids but Adam and they drove me back up to the Summit Parking lot. At the top I found I couldn't get my bike back together because my rear brake pad had come off. An experienced cyclist who was up there was kind enough to look at it. He said it would require a bleed kit to fix, so Michelle ended up having to drive me down to Aspen Grove. Michelle took our bikes in on Friday morning to get my brake fixed and to get her bike tuned up. The shop was backed up and hasn't been able to fix them yet, so Michelle & I are both having mountain biking withdrawals. On Saturday night we actually went on a date to dinner - we haven't done that much since we started biking.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Education Week

<Brian and I in a Folk Dancing class. I thought that Brian was joking when he said that he wanted to attend this class. We had so much fun!

This past week, Brian and I attended Education Week on the BYU campus. What and amazing, spiritual experience! I learned so much, or should I say I was reminded of so much. So often I forget important gospel principles and have to be reminded of the truth or of things that I should be doing. Some things that
Brad Wilcox said touched my heart. He quoted 2 Nephi 25:23 "...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." The scripture has a different meaning depending on what word we emphasize. Don't emphasise "after". Don't wait for grace. Christ will help us now. The light is not at the end of the tunnel. It is all around us. Don't emphasize "all". Perfectionists do this. If we berate ourselves we drive the spirit away. Any effort is accepted by God because he is more concerned with the offerer that the offering. Don't emphasize "can". What can any of us do without God. He used to tell the youth, "Give Christ an inch and He'll take you a mile." Now he tells them, "Look to Christ and he'll take you an inch and a mile." Don't emphasize "do". Works are important not for what they earn us, but for how they shape us. In the next life Christ will not send anyone away. Some will leave because they have not become the type of people that are comfortable in his presence. The word that we should emphasize is "WE", meaning us and Christ. Together we can be perfected. It is not about us filling the gap, it is about Christ filling us. We don't have to be perfect, we just have to be willing to be perfected.

The next day he spoke of the difference between justification and sanctification. Some ask, "Have you been saved by grace?" when the question should be, "Have you been changed by grace?".

That is just a drop in the bucket. What an amazing experience.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hike Dry Canyon to Baldy on Timp - August 14

After Krista, Michelle & I did our Timp hike, Michelle told the kids that we saw a 7 year old at the top of Timp. Todd has always been interested in hiking Timp but had planned to wait until he got a couple years older. But when he heard about the other 7 year old on Timp, he wanted to hike it this year.

So Michelle decided to take Todd out on a training/test hike. Krista wanted to come along and Scott decided it might be better than being stuck home alone babysitting Adam and decided to come along too. Adam stayed with the Naegle's while Michelle & the kids headed up Baldy with Brian at work. They started at about 1:15 pm.

After coming up Dry Canyon past the fork to Curly Springs a ways up the trail there was another split in the trail. Michelle decided to take the left trail marked by a cairn. Little did she know she had made a fateful decision. Instead of taking the quite steep and difficult hike up dry canyon to the pass behind Baldy, they had started up the really really steep front side of Baldy. No sissy hike for them! After some nasty switch backs - we're talking 45 degrees plus they hit a clearing with a primitive fire pit. Scott was tired and was ready for a rest. With Michelle's approval he decided to go sit on the rocks of the fire pit. He put his right hand on a rock and found out the hard way that the fire hadn't been out very long - he ended up with 2nd degree burns on all of his fingers on his hand. Fortunately they had a wrap along and pressed on.

This was one of those hikes where they thought they were almost to the top for a long long time. But after much perseverance, a bribe to Scott that he could pick anywhere he wanted for dinner, and some nasty rock scrambling they eventually got to the top of Baldy. Well not quite - this was the first summit. They headed for the second summit (I think this is where the dinner bribe came in.) The plan was to head down the easier back of Baldy trail, but from the 2nd summit they couldn't find a way to safely get to the 3rd summit which is where the back side trail connects to.

So they were faced with going back down the super steep trail they had come up - not a good thing when it's that steep, but it was the only choice. At this point morale dropped drastically. Todd maintained an amazing positive attitude the whole time and thoroughly enjoyed himself. But Scott was NOT happy and Michelle was rather concerned. (Going down really steep, gravely, rocky, scoot on your bum loose trail is never fun - add a burned hand and it gets to be downright miserable.) Krista saw that they were in a tough spot and made a very mature and appreciated decision to put on a good face and be a part of the solution and not the problem. So they began the slow and sometimes painful sojourn back down the mountain. Fortunately cell phone coverage is pretty good on the front side of Baldy and they were able to keep in contact with me as needed throughout the hike.

The arduous hike down was broken up with some happy moments. For one they saw horny toads. This is the first time I've know of someone seeing horny toads in Utah. They actually caught a couple and saw an enormous one that they didn't chase because it was too far out the the way. They also found a really cool feather that cheered Scott up considerably.

About 6 pm after a few calls from Michelle I decided I'd better head up and help them get down. I was somewhat concerned about being able to find them especially since Michelle's description of where they are was rather sketchy. After coming up the initial section of Dry Canyon and passing the first possible turn off trail I gave them a call. To my surprise Michelle asked if I was wearing an orange shirt which I said I was - even though they were quite far away that could see my bright orange shirt. Once I took the turnoff at the cairn onto the Baldy face trail, things got really really really steep. The switchback varied from maybe 25 degrees to 50 degrees. There were sections that it was quite difficult to hike up without falling - I was shaking my head in disbelief that they had actually hiked up this stuff.

A little later we could hear each other shouting. I thought we were pretty close together but found out we still had a ways to go. There were rain clouds coming in but fortunately they were to the north. After about 1 hour of fast hiking and drinking a full liter of water even though it was cold out I finally met up with them. As far up as we still were, I was concerned that we might not make it down before dark, but we actually made pretty good time. Not long after we were all together the rain clouds were heading our way. And pretty soon we were getting dumped on and I mean dumped on. (So for the 2nd night in a row here I was outside in a serious thunderstorm.) These raindrops were so big they actually hurt a little. Then a couple minutes later we started seeing thunder and lighting. Fortunately we had just got down low enough that we weren't quite as exposed to the lightning. And for the first time on the hike Todd got upset - he was quite afraid of being hit by lightning. My biggest concern was that the trails were about to get really slippery and muddy - not good for an already steep, slippery trail. Todd relaxed pretty quickly. Fortunately the rain didn't last long and the if anything the slightly damp trails were actually a little less slippery.

Finally we got back to the main trail. Hooray! It was unbelievable how excited we all were to be on a regular trail. About when we got back to the trail fork where you head into the bottom section of Dry Canyon it starting raining and lightening again. But at this point we didn't mind too much - other than being a bit cold. The trail was much less steep and with canyon cliffs on both sides we had very little exposure to lightning. We did end up with some muddy shoes though. So finally at a little after 8:00 pm a 6 hour 45 minute hike for them and a 2 hour hike for me we got to the parking lot with 45 minutes of daylight to spare. We drove home, grabbed Adam, took quick showers, and headed out to Scott's choice of dinner - Golden Corral getting there at a little after 9 pm.

Todd maintained an amazing attitude throughout an incredibly difficult hike. He passed the test with flying colors! So they plan is to do another training hike or two and then make an attempt at Timp.

All of the kids except Adam were asleep within about 3 minutes of when we got home from Golden Corral.

Scott, Krista & Todd at the split in the trail 1/2 mile up Dry Canyon.

A relatively flat spot on the steep Baldy face trail.

Scott & Todd at the summit overlooking Utah Valley.

Scott shows off a horny toad in is hand wrapped from the burn - good thing that had that bandage along.

On the way day after meeting up with Brian - Scott has recovered some of his good humor by this point.

Todd drenched from the rain with it starting to get dark near the parking lot.

Mountain Biking American Fork Canyon Road - Aug 13

I found out Timp Cyclery does group rides on Thursdays at 5:30 pm so I thought I'd try out riding with them. There was rain threatening but I thought I'd head over anyway. When I got there no one was there - probably because of the weather. It had started to rain lightly, but I thought I would head up American Fork Canyon and see what happened - maybe the rain would be done by the time I got up there. I drove up to Tibble Fork through rain and it was drizzling a little when I got there. I almost didn't go biking but I decided to just head up the dirt road, American Fork Canyon Road, and see what happened. I figured I was going uphill so if it started raining I wouldn't get too cold. (You may see the hole in my logic already - eventually I would need to come back downhill.)

So I just headed up the road - I ended up going about 6 1/2 miles. Even though it was a dirt road and there was a lot of pickup truck, dune bug, atv traffic it was really beautiful. I only saw a lot of traffic maybe the first 1/2 of the trail up - after that it thinned out a lot. There was a creek that was near the road quite often that was really pretty, not to mention lots of green growth everywhere. I was also surprised by how much camping is available up there. There are several major campgrounds and then lots and lots of little campsites all along the road.

The cool part was that there was only 1 truck going up and I beat it! It started out ahead of me and I caught up with it at about mile 3 during a really rocky section and then passed it back on the way down. It's not that I went especially fast - I think I was going 4 miles an hour when I passed it. It's just that the road was really rocky and he was driving conservatively - we even talked for about 10 seconds when I passed them.

I just went straight up the road - I believe towards Dry Fork until I hit a section that was super super rocky and I decided I'd better head back. After I'd turned back for maybe 2 minutes the rain hit! And it hit hard! After going just a couple of minutes, I saw a gorgeous deer bounding through a field not far in front of me. I had been feeling a little unlucky in the wildlife department lately since I hadn't seen anything cool for a while other than the skunk we ran into.

The rain was nearly blinding especially once my glasses got soaked. Now back to the - I'll be going uphill so I won't be cold. The 6+ miles downhill in the soaking rain eventually got to be pretty cold. Although I have to admit it wasn't nearly as cold as I was afraid it was going to be when the rain hit. The rain eventually dropped off, but pretty soon the road got really muddy with streams running down and across it. I never thought riding a dirt road could be so fun!

A look at the dirt road I was riding down - this is about 2/3 of the way down.

A look at the beautiful creek that meandered next to the road for much of the ride. I actually took this photo standing in exactly the same spot that I took the picture of the muddy road from - I just turned a little left.

Here's me covered in rain & mud after the ride - notice the clean spot where I was wearing my hydration pack.

Demolition Derby- quality entertainment and new friends

Brian and I took our family to the Demolition Derby in Spanish Fork. We all had a great time watching the cars crash into each other and rooting for our favorites. When the action slowed down we could entertain ourselves by watching the people around us. We even made a few new friends.

Scott takes a quick break from watching the action to pose for a picture.

An example of what we watched that kept my kids so riveted. I was so afraid that another car would hit #57 from behind and then #100 would flip over. They did have to stop the final round because one driver got smacked so hard that he passed out. There is a very strict rule that you cannot hit the driver side door.

I spent forever trying to be stealth and get pictures of these guys until we realized that the teeth and hair were fake. Then we just asked them for a shot and they posed for us. We are definitely dressing up next year.

We looked long and hard for a mullet, but this was all we could find. The guy is balding so I guess mullets are out of style even for WT. We don't know what to call this Melany. Maybe Amy S. has some ideas. Is it a thinullet- thining mullet?

Jordanelle Reservoir with the Huish's - Aug 10

We spent the day with Jason & Kristy (Brian's sister) Huish and their kids Andrew, Kayla, & Brooklin. Jason's sister Haylee was also there for the first half of the day - happy birthday Haylee. (Sorry if "Haylee" is misspelled.)

Jason did all of the hard work of figuring out where to rent a boat, picking it up, etc.! Thanks Jason. We got up to Jordanelle at about 11:00 and then it was time for boating fun! Everyone loved being on the boat - Kayla was probably the most excited. She kept saying - "This is fun!" with a huge grin on her face.

Kayla, Adam, Todd, Andrew, Scott & Brian at the front of the boat just starting out our day on the lake.

Kayla and Adam excited to be out on the lake.

Krista and Scott were the first to jump in the water. Gotta love the looks on their faces as they anticipate the cold water.

Ahh - that wasn't so bad after all. (Or are they just pretending it's not too bad to trick the rest of us into joining them?)

Brian prepares to dive in with Scott & Krista while Adam & Kayla look on.

Krista on the wake board - this was impressive photography by Michelle, since Krista was up for about 3 seconds.

Andrew, Kristy, and Brooklyn enjoying the lake.

Jason shows us how it's done on the wake board.

Scott holds the orange flag - Scott took the first shift holding the flag. He was much better at it than me who had to be reminded to hold it up pretty much every time.

Brooklyn was getting a little grumpy - all she needed was a nap and then life was much better. Kristy hold Brooklyn. That's Jason on the wake board in the background.

Haylee relaxing on the back of the boat while Jason wake boards in the background.

Brian takes a turn knee boarding.

Scott on the knee board.

Aunt Kristy LOVES the cold water!! This is a shot from the 1 time she got in the water - the knee board was enough to draw her in.

Kritsy on the knee board while Scott, Andrew, and Todd look on.

Krista on the knee board.

Scott takes a turn driving the boat with a little assistance from Brian.

Adam takes his turn driving the boat. (e was much less willing to accept assistance from Brian than Scott was. Fortunately he was only interested in the steering wheel and didn't notice the throttle or we really could have had an adventure.

Scott & Michelle on the tube.

Another shot of Scott & Michelle on the tube.

Kayla & Scott getting ready to start.

Andrew & Scott posing. At this point Andrew & Scott were the only kids out. The rest were with Brian & Krista on the "beach".

Eventually I (Brian) got motion sick on the boat and spent a lot of the afternoon on the beach. Scott, Kristy, Andrew, Michelle, Krista, Adam, Todd, & Kayla all spent time some time on the beach. We went to the "picnic area" which had to be the worst beach in the world - it was rocky and then once you got about 6 inches deep in the water, the mud was like quicksand - our flip-flops kept getting stuck in the mud! Krista watched Adam & Kayla for a long time on the beach - Thanks Krista! She took them to the playground and had them making all kinds of "potions" in a sand bucket.

We also had tried out the "nuclear globe" I got from Bright Builders. Todd went the furthest in it - clear around the perimeter of the beach and back. Scott & Andrew had the most fun - they played in it together and had a blast. I also had fun swimming around the globe and spinning them. Adam had a scary experience where he tried to stick his head out of the hole in the globe to pose for a picture and got dumped straight into the lake - with his feet still in the globe. He popped up a few seconds later, but it scared him and us pretty good.

At 6:00 we brought the boat in. We spent the next 2 1/2 - 3 hours figuring out how to get the boat on the trailer right and cleaning it up to turn back in. We had a few mishaps but eventually got it ready to roll. Since the boat was late, the Clark's went to Heber to Dairy Keen to order for both the Clark's and Huish's. The Huish's finished getting the boat on the trailer and drove by Dairy Keen as we handed them their food.

Thanks Huish's for a fun day and all the work renting the boat!