Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pole Line Pass & BST

 This was a busy week so I only had time for 2 quick bike rides.  The first ride was from Tibble Fork to Poleline Pass on the dirt road.  The ride up was hot and the ride down was really cold.  There were some pretty fall colors in a few places, but those pictures didn't turn out very good.  Here's some other pictures.   On Saturday Krista watched the boys for a bit while I rode from our house up to the top of the BST.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lindon Elementary PTA Carnival- September 18, 2009

Friday night our elementary school held their annual carnival and Bar-B-Que.  Over all it was a success.  Money was raised, but most importantly everyone had a blast.  I (Michelle) was there for MANY hours, but it was all worth it when I watched many happy children running from booth to booth.  Mr. Thealer put it best when he said, "It's work, but fun work because you're with great people that you enjoy!"  We got some nasty weather towards the end, but it all turned out good.

Krista and her friend Megan and ShaLynn running the TP throw booth.

Adam had so much fun, I could never get him to stay still for a picture.  This was the best we could do.

Scott's teacher Miss Chritiansen in the dunking booth.  Scott was too cheap to use 3 whole tickets to try to dunk her

Brian helping kids build rockets at the Rocket Launch Booth

Brian being a good sport and getting in the dunking tank so that his boys could throw balls and dunk him.  Thanks Rick and Cheri for setting up the tank in your driveway the next morning.  Rick took his turn for his boys too!

Fire Station Field Trip September 17, 2009

Adam and his friend Nathaniel Hassell at the Pleasant Grove Fire Station.  They played a ball bouncing game, watched a safety movie, did a craft, and of course went into the station and saw the BIG truck.   The truck is only 3 days old and is the biggest truck in the western US.  He had so much fun, he never ate the lunch that I packed until dinner.  Boys and Trucks!

3 Bike Rides

Ride #1 - Provo Canyon

I (Brian) did this ride by myself.  It was a quick high mile ride.  I started at Provo Canyon and then rode up to Vivian Park on the Provo River Parkway.  On the way back down I took the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST)  up to the overlook over Orem/Provo then back down to the mouth of Provo canyon.  A quick 20 miles.

On the way up the BST there were a bunch of wild turkeys.  There were big - maybe 18 inches tall and they weren't very smart at getting out of the way of my bike. 

On the way down, there was a HUGE tarantula on the Provo River Parkway.

Ride #2  - Bonneville Shoreline Trail - PG to Orem

Michelle & I did a quick evening ride.  We didn't get started until almost 7 so we were racing daylight.  This was Michelle's first time riding this entire section of the BST.  It is surprisingly difficult uphill, but was a lot of fun.  We got off the trail with some daylight to spare and then rode home mostly on the Murdock canal and the bike trail in Lindon.  It was getting pretty dark by the time we got home.  Usually clouds go from West to East, but this time the clouds went East to West.  A bunch of nasty rain clouds came out of the canyon.  We only got rained on a little bit, but it was really weird to see the clouds do that.

Michelle getting ready to ride - the bikes are still on the trunk.

Michelle riding up the last nasty steep part as the sun gets close to setting.  Michelle says if it looks like she is about to die, that is because she is about to die!

 Ride #3 - Mill Canyon / Deer Creek South Fork

We had a fairly busy Saturday with pinewood derby cars and Michelle's Chino III ward reunion, but we found some time for a nice bike ride.  It was longer drive and a shorter ride, but we had a fantastic time.  This ride has a mix of asphalt, dirt road, and single track.  The deer creek south fork downhill is still my favorite trail.

Brian just off the trail looking down on the Cascade Springs Road side of the Ridge 157 trail.

Michelle at the same spot as Brian above just facing the other direction.

The next 4 pictures are a panorama of pictures taken all standing in the same spot.  This is the spot where the ridge 157 gets to the top so that you are an on the west side of the ridge instead of the east.

Facing West towards the entrance of American Fork canyon/ Tibble Fork.
Facing South towards Timp

Facing West looking down at some of the trees changing colors.

Facing South with a view of the trail we are about to ride down.

The one problem with this ride is that there were a LOT of muddy spots on the trail.  We would walk or ride around them to avoid putting ruts in the trail.  It was a pain - here's an example of one of the worse mud puddles in the middle of the trail.

The next 4 pictures are pictures of the ride down Deer Creek South Fork from Ridge 157.  The mix of Aspens and Pine Trees is absolutely gorgeous.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Adam Stories

One evening last weekend I (Brian) was home alone with Adam. We went to get pizza at Little Caesar's. They gave Adam an orange balloon to his delight. Later in the evening we were in his room with Adam on his bed holding his balloon while I was digging through drawers looking for pajamas.

As he was standing there, he muttered something like "will it fly?". I answered " huh?". He answers "If I jump, will it fly?" I still don't know what he's driving at.

Suddenly while holding his balloon he jumps off his bed and lands on the floor. Dissapointed that the balloon didn't carry him into the air he simply said - "Oh darn" in a slightly quiet voice.

This morning Adam came up to me with legos and asked,
"Dad, what do you want me to build for you? I'll build you anything you want."
Me: "A tower"
Adam: "No, I'm not building you a tower. I'll build you anything you want..."
Me: "How about a tower then?"
Adam: "No"
Me: "OK, how about a house?"
Adam: "I can't build a house."
Me: "OK, what can you build?"
Adam: "Um... I can build a boat"
Me: "OK, build me a boat"
Adam: "Do you want a vizzy boat?"
Me: "What's a vizzy boat?"
Adam: "Um...the kind you can put root beer on"
Me: "Oh, you're going to build me a fizzy boat"
Adam: "Yeah"
Me: "Yeah, I want a fizzy boat"
Adam: "OK, I'll build you a vizzy boat"

12 Hours Of Sundace and Other Bike Rides

With the kids back in school Michelle is having a much harder time finding time to go biking - gone are the days where we could leave the kids in bed and head out biking. Now they have to be sent off to school. However we did have time to go for a quick evening ride from our house and up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. We made it almost to the highest point near Dry Canyon before we decided we'd better head back to get home before dark. Michelle was way stronger than me on this ride - she had to slow way down and wait for me to rest a couple of times.

The next week I (Brian) had the chance to ride the BST again by myself on the way to work.

Below is a ride I did last week. It's basically the Area 51 loop that I've done before, but I also added the Roller Coaster trail then back up the dirt rode and Betty to Area 51. I took a wrong turn and went the wrong way on Area 51 for a little while, but I was really glad I did because that part of the trail was really really fun to ride. Once I hit a steep part I knew for sure I was going the wrong way and turned around.

Last Saturday (Sept 5) Michelle and the kids were at the story telling festival all day so I took the opportunity to do a ton of bike riding. I got up early and started out on cascade springs road and rode the 252 loop counterclockwise. Just when I got to the stop it started to ran. Then it started to rain hard. Pretty soon the trail and my bike were a muddy mess. I was disappointed thinking that my long day of biking was going to have an abrupt halt. Pretty soon my tires were caked with mud so that they were super slippery. Between that and the muddy ground it didn't take much for me to wipe out. Fortunately I was going super slow and it didn't hurt much. By the time I got back to my car the rain had pretty much stopped so I thought I'd give it a try and ride some more. So then I rode up Cascade Springs Road then up a dirt road to 157, then followed it across and rode down 252. By the time I hit the dirt road the rain was stopped and by the time I hit 157 the mud was gone - yay! So the total ride made a nice figure 8 as seen in the picture below. I finished up at about 10 am and drove down to Sundance.

I got started riding at Sundance at about 11 am. I rode around Sundance until about 3pm. After riding around a bunch, I rode up the ski lift once.

Then on the way down it started to rain again. I tried to take the shortest route to my car and ended up on a dirt road with lots of loose rocks. Before I realized how bad the rocks were I was going too fast and out of control. For wrecking, I did a pretty good job - I jumped to the side so I landed on dirt instead of the rocks and landed on one foot. Unfortunately I put a knee down and banged it really hard. Between the rain and the hurt knee it was clearly time to be done. By the end of the day I had ridden somewhere around 32 miles with 4000+ feet vertical. I was supposed to go to the storytelling festival that evening, but my knee hurt bad enough and was stiff enough that I just stayed home with Adam.

The main reason I went to Sundance on 9/5 was because I was thinking about riding 12 hours of Sundance on 9/12. My friend from work, Darby, and I were talking about riding this as a team. However, when I went to work on Tuesday, Darby's bike frame was broken from his riding that weekend, so he wasn't able to do 12 hours of Sundance. I almost decided not to do it because my knee was pretty sore from my bike wreck. After hiking Timp on Monday it was really tight. I rode a little in front of our house on Tuesday night and my knee didn't feel good at all. I decided I would go for a quick ride on Wednesday and see how it felt. I did the Bonneville Shorline Trail noted above - it was about 1,000 feet vertical including the road up to the trail. My knee felt fine so I decided to register for the race.

I was nervous doing this race. I was well aware that I would be way way outclassed by the other people there. First of all, pretty much everyone out riding trails is already faster than me. Second, these are guys who race bikes all of the time. Third, this isn't your standard race - it's a long difficult race so only the more serious or crazy riders would be there. Having never done any race at all I was really nervous to do it, but I like the idea that there wasn't a finish line - you just ride as many laps as you can in 12 hours. I only slept a few hours the night before and got up at 4:30 to get ready and head to the race.

There's too much to tell about the race to even try. But a summary of things is
  • I had a lot of fun
  • People were really nice and supportive
  • Lots and lots of people passed me lots and lots of times
  • I rode 6 laps, 11.5 hours for a total of 48 miles and around 6000 feet vertical
  • I was dead last by a long ways. I think first place did 17 laps or so - 2nd to last probably did 8-9 laps. (Ok there was one lady, Brandi, whose partner didn't make it and ended up riding solo, who also did 6 laps, but she finished her 6th lap way before me.)
  • Me first 4 laps took me about 6 hours. My last 2 laps took 5 1/2 hours. It was an interesting experience to push my body to the limit. I didn't push so hard that it was torture, I just had to slow it down a lot once my body was tired.
  • I ended up with my race number being #1. Part of the trail went under the ski lift and there were some kids on the chair lift that were really impressed that I was #1.
  • I'm way less sore today than I expected.
  • My knee was stiff but did great.
  • My favorite trail section that I rode was Sherwood Forest. Archies loop, Boneyard, Switchback Alley, Speedtrap & Bobsled were really fun too.
  • Michelle came up to visit to support me. It was a great surprise. It really tickled me that she took the time to come up. She drug an unwilling Adam & Todd along with her. I saw her between laps 5 & 6 and hung out in the parking lot with them for a half hour. She had great timing - she only waited about 1/2 hour - that lap took me over 2 hours. Always it was exactly the time that I needed to stay and rest for a while before heading back out.
  • I had a great time & people were really nice, but I still felt like I was quite out of place. I had been considering trying out mountain bike racing, but this convinced me at least for now that I don't want to. It's because I think racing would take the things out of biking that I like the most - I just enjoy being out there and seeing how pretty things are and how fun it is to be riding. I don't want to worry about the racing aspect, although the social part of the racing aspect would be a lot of fun.
  • Will I do 12 hours of Sundance again next year? I don't know. I did enjoy it, and I might want to see how much I improve, and the people were super super nice and supportive, but on the other hand I think maybe I would rather just be out riding. I definitely want to do a 12 hour ride again and see how far I can go. I'm just not sure if I'd want to do it at a formal event like this. I definitely will be back to ride at Sundance again.

Here's a picture Michelle took of me riding around in the parking lot between laps 5&6. You can see Sundance in the background where the track was - that road on the left was the first part of the track - and it's a lot steeper than it look in the picture.

Hiking Timp

For Labor Day we decided to hike Timp. Todd wanted to give it a try ever since he heard we saw a seven year old on top when we hiked it earlier this year. I had hurt my knee in a mountain bike crash on Saturday, but everyone was wanting to go so badly that I decided to suck it up and give it a try. Adam spent the night and day with Grandma & Grandpa.

Ben Crawford hiked Timp with us last year and he decided to come along with us again this year. Also, Scott decided to come last minute (he wasn't too sure about it after getting sick on the Timp hike last year and not liking the Baldy hike last month.) At first Ben wanted to leave at 2 am and we were game, but then he had a friend who was going to come with him and we decided to pick him up at 5 am instead. Ben's friend didn't end up able to come but we decided to stick with our 5 am plan.

By the time we got ready, we didn't get to Ben's house until 5:30. His house was dark and there was no sign of Ben. We tried knocking, and calling, and texting and gave up at about 5:40. Just as we were pulling away we got a text from Sheree that Ben was up now and getting ready. His alarm didn't go off, but he scrambled to get ready. In the end we got to Timpanookee at about 6:15. There wasn't any parking left at the trailhead so I dropped them off, had Ben carry my backpack and parked way down the road and high-tailed it to catch up with everyone. We were reunited on the trail at about 6:45.

For quite a while, things were uneventful. The kids made amazing time. For a long time, Michelle & Todd were way in front of us with. We weren't going nearly fast enough for Ben though. Our slower pace was driving him crazy. He would wait behind us sometimes and then hike fast/run to catch up. He was able to keep his sanity this way.

The weather was ideal - we pretty quickly shed our early morning layers. After a couple/three hours we made it to the approximate halfway point. There is a long rocky straight ridge that gets a little more steep. A couple of things happened here. 1) We got to the point where the sun made it high enough that it was shining on us. 2) We hit the switchbacks which were more steep than the hike so far. 3) Todd hit the point where he got tired.

Krista, Ben & I went ahead for a mile or so and then waited for the others. The others made amazing time and were only a few minutes behind us. By this point Todd was feeling really tired and looked quite pale. He said he was feeling sick. I told the others to go ahead and I'd wait with Todd and see what happened. Michelle would have preferred to stay behind but with my hurt knee she agreed to go ahead. Todd & I took it a lot slower at this point, but I was concerned that Michelle might be waiting for us at the meadow near Emerald Lake, so I pushed Todd to go as fast as he could with not feeling well.

When we made it to the start of the meadow and Michelle wasn't there we relaxed and slowly meandered up the meadow toward where the trail goes up to the saddle. Todd was feeling better, but he decided that he'd had enough so we ate lunch (which was grasshopper cookies and grapes, since Michelle had the other food in her backpack) and just relaxed in the meadow. It was pretty windy but we found a nice spot by some rocks that broke the wind. We had a great time relaxing and Todd had a blast on the rocks. This was a 12 mile round trip hike for Todd - not bad at all for a 7 year old! (We actually saw a 4 year old and a 2-3 year old that hiked all the way to the summit - amazing.)

In the mean time Michelle, Krista, Ben & Scott headed up to the summit. Scott made it! Scott making it to the summit was the highlight of the hike. He was so close last year and was so sick. But this year he made it and didn't get sick. Krista also met her Sunday School teacher - Brian Boyce at the top. Krista was rather shocked by Brother Boyce's claim that this was his 527th trip to the top when he signed the log book a few lines above us. Hummmm?! She was also disappointed that his grilled hamburgers were not waiting at the top as promised.

Finally, we were reunited in the meadow and began the long walk down. Michelle & I with our bad knees were slower than the kids - but they had to stop more. Between our bad knees and lots of breaks for the kids it took us almost as long to get down as up. Todd & I went ahead to get the van and met back in the parking lot. Those who went to the top finished the approximately 15 mile hike in about 10 hours.

We dropped Ben off and were heading straight to a labor day BBQ at Grandma & Grandpa Clark's that we were late for. However, Todd got car sick and maybe a little sick from the long hike and threw up in the car. So we headed home for a quick pit stop to clean up (and ironically everyone but Todd took a quick shower - ah to be seven and not care.) Then we went to Grandma & Grandpa's for a delicious dinner of steak & salmon.

Scott, Brian, Krista & Ben hiking up the trail - Michelle & Todd finally decided to wait for us to catch up with them.

Scott, Ben & Krista doing some kind of pose??? on the way down.

Ben, Scott & Krista on the way down.

The moon setting and the sun rising.

Brian, Todd & Krista resting near the halfway point. We are still in the shade for a few minutes, but about to get to the sun.

Krista signing the book in the "shack" at the summit.

Scott at the saddle with a mountain goat in the background.

The same shot of Scott at the saddle but you can see the summit in the background.

Scott signing the book at the summit. Way to go Scott!

Ben, Scott & Krista posing at the summit overlooking Utah Valley.

Todd hiking.

Krista, Scott, & Ben doing another pose at the top.

Krista, Michelle & Scott on top of the world.

Ben & Scott doing ??? next to the shack at the summit.

Timpanogos StoryTelling Festival

Our family loves the Timpanogos Story Telling Festival. We go every year. It is always the first weekend in September. This year Scott's class went on a field trip to the festival the day before the public was permitted so I (Michelle) got an extra dose. The picture to the left is Scott listening with some of his friends in his class.

We attended Look Who's Talking on Thursday night. On Friday Night I took the boys to Bedtime Stories with Brian's sister Kristy and her kids. We then met Brian at the Scera Shell for My Favorite Stories while Krista went up to Shivers in the Night with some of her friends. I spent most of Saturday at the beautiful park in Provo Canyon enjoying the stories and then in the evening the kids and I met Kristy and Jason at Laughin' Night. Some of our favorite tellers of the weekend were Carmen Dedie, Bill Lepp, Donald Davis, and Bill Harley. We can't wait to go next year!

One of the highlights every year is the potters that come to help the kids make clay bowls and cups. Adam loved feeling his hands get messy on the clay!

Todd learned how to play the washboard and the kazoo in a workshop by Angela Loyd.