IMG_6364
Kids, Parenting, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Saturday, May 23

Woke up early and got out the door for the Fort Collins Children’s Triathlon. The event was a huge success, boys had a blast and we celebrated with donuts after.


Saturday, May 24

Out the door by 3am and made the drive to Laramie to race in the Rocky Mountain 50k. Race start is at 9,000 ft. Finished in 5 hours and 38 minutes and felt strong. The majority of the race takes place on the dirt roads in Vedauwoo, a beautiful camping and climbing spot in Wyoming.  Had to deal with stomach issues throughout the day and will need to get that dialed in before the next race. Temperature was 30 degrees at the start and 32 degrees at the finish. The last 30 minutes was a crazy snow storm. All in all, a perfect day.

This was a build race for the Never Summer 100k on July 25.

Monday, May 24

Monday consisted of multiple cups of coffee, a few beers (most likely 90 Schilling), a long recovery bike ride with the boys to the BMX track and a BBQ with our neighbors. No complaints. 

make-hiking-fun
Hiking, Kids

Make hiking fun for kids

A couple weekends ago we went for a little family hike up to Horsetooth Falls. It was our 3rd hike of the season and the kids were still undecided if they really like hiking or not. On our first hike they were excited to “go hiking” but 10 minutes on the trail and they were over it. On the second hike, let’s just say there were plenty of bribes (and maybe a couple threats) to get them to finish our 1.5 mile easy hike. I knew we needed a plan if we were going to be a hiking family. The solution: make it fun–for kids.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but I realized kids enjoy hiking for different reasons adults do. Adults want to unplug, be out in nature, get some exercise, and be challenged. Kids don’t care about any of this stuff. Kids want to explore, throw rocks, collect sticks, find bugs, and most importantly, have fun with mom and dad. Since most of a kid’s week is sitting behind a desk, following rules, and “being good”, they crave the opportunity to let loose. And what better environment to do this than out in nature.

If having fun while hiking was the goal, we were failing. I knew our approach needed to change. So I jumped online and started searching for ideas on “how to make hiking fun for kids”. I found a couple articles on keeping it easy and positive reinforcement but it was an idea about making a game of hiking that stood out to me. After a quick search on Pinterest and 5 minutes in Photoshop, I created the phone-friendly Nature Scavenger Hunt below (just save the image on your phone to use on your next hike).

Our hike to Horsetooth Falls was our best yet. The kids loved the scavenger hunt! We brought them each a brown paper bag to collect their scavenger hunt items and let them loose on the trail. Starting our hike off with a fun game helped them engage with nature right away. I’ll warn you, you’ll only go 100 yards in the first 15 minutes of your hike/scavenger hunt. This drove me crazy until I reminded myself that how far we hiked wasn’t the goal.

Our scavenger hunt lasted about 25 minutes and after that the kids where happy, engaged and enjoying the hike. We hiked for over 2 hours and the boys crushed it. They were pointing out colorful flowers, birds, and shiny rocks along the trail. We laughed, joked around, and had a great time as a family. It was a huge success.

When we got back to the car my 6 yr old said “Dad, we should try to hike a little farther each time so that we can hike really far by the end of the summer”. #win

So, what are ways you’ve made hiking fun for kids? Share your ideas in the comments below.

 

hiking scavenger hunt for kids

Save this Nature Scavenger Hunt image on your phone to use on your next hike.

 

Chrome
Photography

Open a browser, get outside

A few weeks back a buddy showed me a Chrome extension called, Momentum.

“Momentum is a personal dashboard designed to eliminate distraction and provide inspiration, focus, and productivity.”

Most of my day is spent sitting in my office, typing on my laptop while participating on conference calls. Momentum is a fun reminder of the world outside.

It’s rad, it’s free.

 

horsetooth-family-hike
Hiking, Kids

Funding our summer adventures

The last 4 weeks in Colorado have been brutal. Rain, rain and more rain. Normally I don’t mind a little rain, in fact I welcome it. But it’s May 22 and our neighborhood pool opens this weekend. The kids last day of school is in 1 week. The forecast for the next week: rain. So we’re stuck. Inside. All day.

Being trapped inside for the past few weeks has really made us appreciate and yearn for sweet, sweet sunshine. We have 2 active boys, 3 and 6, and being outside pretty much saves our sanity (and their lives). That’s why we’ve committed to being outside as much as possible this summer. The boys are finally at the age where they can hike (on their own) for a couple hours at a time without (too much) whining. Makai, our oldest, has mastered swimming and loves being in the water. So that’s our summer plan. Nothing fancy. Just getting outside together as a family as much as possible. Swimming, hiking, bike riding, stand up paddle boarding, fishing. If it requires sunscreen and sun glasses, we’re in.

Fort Collins is a great place to live if your family likes being outside. We’re literally 10 minutes from a great reservoir, trailheads, and tons of bike paths. This spring, we’ve already ventured out on a few local hikes. We thought it would be smart to start off easy and as the boys got more comfortable, we’ll go bigger and harder.

To fund our summer adventure plan we had a garage sale last weekend. We sold a couple jogging strollers, an old electric guitar I never have time to play, and some small electronics that have been boxed up in a closet. We made a few hundred bucks in a few hours. It was enough to buy the $75 Annual Entrance Permit to Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, an annual Colorado fishing license and some extra spending cash for our yearly vacation to Southern California.

There are always excuses for not getting out and trying something new. Not having enough money, the right gear, or even knowing what to do.  Don’t let that stop you. Think outside the box. Sell some of your old stuff if you need some extra adventure cash. We’re a family on a budget, so selling some of our stuff we never use to fund our summer adventure was crucial. Ask that guy at work that seems to always be going on epic adventure if he knows of any cool spots you can take your kids. Don’t let excuses stop you from getting outside with your kids and having an epic summer.

We’ll see you out there.

SteveKlassen
Kids, Snowboarding

Steve Klassen is Still shredding but now with his daughther

As a young snowboarder, Steve Klassen was the man. He rode big mountains, his shop WaveRave in Mammoth was the biggest and best and he always made snowboarding look fun. Now that’s he is a father, he’s making snowboarding fun but in an entirely different way.

My first reaction to the video was, this is SO DANGEROUS! But as I processed, my reaction changed. The first 3 seconds of the video really explain the impact he’s made on his daughter. She loves snowboarding, she is living life in the mountains and spending non-stop time with her dad. Feels like it’s working out pretty well.

Steve Klassen Shreds with his Three Year Old Daughter in this Ridiculous Edit
By Heather Hendricks
May 18, 2015

Steve Klassen, former pro and owner of Wave Rave Snowboard Shop in Mammoth, just dropped this tandem snowboarding edit with his three year old daughter, Kinsley. The duo shreds Mammoth Mountain together, and busts out a bunch of tricks like a front board on a down rail and a frontside rodeo 540 with what appears to be his daughter in his arms, generating a solid amount of mainstream media hype from outlets including Fox News, The Daily Mail, and Huffington Post.

To get the scoop on what was really going on, we reached out to Steve for insight into the editing, and his thoughts on all the hype.

Read more at:
http://snowboarding.transworld.net/videos/steve-klassen-shreds-with-his-three-year-old-daughter-in-this-ridiculous-edit

topo fort collins store
Apparel, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking

Let’s welcome Topo Designs to Fort Collins

I admit it, I’m a gear nerd. As a gear nerd my tastes change from time to time. A few months back I discovered Topo Designs out of Denver and started following them on Facebook and Instagram. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the company. The products look pretty different than my staple brands, Patagonia, Black Diamond and The North Face.

But after engaging with them in social I really fell in love with their approach to the outdoors. Its fun, fresh and upbeat, I resonate with that. It’s not always about athlete’s crushing it on the hardest routes or gnarliest lines, sometimes it’s about friends, camp fires, long hikes and family.

To my surprise, Topo opened a location in Old Town Fort Collins 3 weeks ago. It’s there 2nd Colorado location. Last weekend, like a creeper, I snuck in to take a few photo’s.

The store is beautiful inside. I really dig the simple style of the clothing and hard goods. Let’s support their launch, head in to say hello, buy a sticker, pick up Nalgene or pair of shoes.

I’m begging my wife for the TOPO X SALOMON INSTINCT.

topo_salomon_instinct_shoe_grande
For more information on their Old Town Fort Collins use the URL below.
http://topodesigns.com/blogs/in-the-wild/18367377-topo-designs-store-ft-collins-co

130B S. COLLEGE AVE.
FORT COLLINS COLORADO, 80524 U.S.A

Fort Collins Store Instagram: @topodesignsftcollins

Welcome Topo Designs to the Fort Collins family!

Triathlon
Kids, Triathlon

Fort Collins Children’s Triathlon – Saturday May 23, 2015

Local kids races are a fantastic way to expose the family to the sport of triathlon. If you’re in the Fort, this should be a blast.

Event Description:
Start your summer off right and join the Fourth Annual Fort Collins Children’s Triathlon on Saturday, May 23, 2015.  This event is an opportunity to get outside and get active with the whole family!  We have events for all ages and a super fun pancake breakfast with music and raffle prizes after the race. This is not a competitive race, so just come on out and enjoy a beautiful morning with your family.

Race website:
http://fortcollinschildrenstriathlon.com/

Date: Saturday May 23, 2015

Location:
O’Dea Core Knowledge Elementary
312 Princeton Rd
Fort Collins, CO 80525

Saturday May 23, 2015:
7:00 am — Transition & registration opens
8:00 am — Pool opens for warming up
8:50 am — Pool closes, swimmers line up
9:00 am — First swimmers begin in waves
9:05 am — Duathlon begins in waves
10:00 am — Family Fun Run begins in waves

Ages:
Child: 6-13 (by the date of the race)
Parent: no limits

Cost:
$25 per individual (child or parent)
*Fee includes race, t-shirt, entry for prizes, and spaghetti dinner the night before

Registration at:
http://www.active.com/fort-collins-co/duathlon/races/fort-collins-children-s-triathlon-2015

Carter and Landon will see you in the pool on Saturday morning!

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will-climbing
climbing, Parenting

Climbing the Violet Blue with your 14 year old

Our good friend and climbing buddy, Craig Demartino sent us this recent photo of his 14 year old son Will. The photo is of Will representing on Violet Blue in Estes Park, Colorado, this was a scary thing for him because of the exposure on the route, he is used to trying hard close to the ground, but not way up in the air.

What did your kids do last weekend? What are you doing with the kids this Saturday?

Photo by: Craig Demartino

new-belgium-race-1b
Parenting, Running, Trail Running

New Belgium Brewery Trail Running – Race #1

Wednesday night we ventured out in the rain to run in race #1 of the New Belgium Brewery Trail Running Race Series put on by the Ciclismo Youth Foundation and Gnar Runners.

The pictures help to tell the story of the night. 3 kids, mud, rain, dirt, cheering parents and lot’s of smiles. The track was 1.5 miles long, super fun with ups, downs and curves, all 3 kiddos crushed it.

Thanks to New Belgium for hosting. Hopefully we can have a dry Wednesday next week and get more folks out. I love Fort Collins.

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