Lost Dutchman State Park

It’s neat how a scheduled departure can make you more appreciative of the things you’re going to miss when you leave. In this case, it’s camping at Lost Dutchman State Park with our great friends Sarah and Colin!

A perfect sunset at Lost Dutchman State Park
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Expressing individuality in private. #MidQuarantineCrisis

It’s easily been 2 decades since I colored my hair last. I remember my dad saying, ” Sure, you can dye your hair if you want to but rebelling by imitating a stereotype isn’t really being unique is it?” In my teens I definitely looked like a few stereotypes and quite often “rebelled” by following a path someone had already laid before me such as attempting to be unique by dying my hair with my friends. ^_^

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COVID19 Pandemic impact on life.

Like most of the people we know, we have been blessed to only have a couple noteworthy points of impact during this pandemic (so far). The primary impact has really been social. Not being able to hang out in groups has changed our routine greatly. The second highest impact has been the availability of groceries. We’ve been blessed to not have been impacted financially by this.

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Biking Saguaro National Park

Biking the Saguaro National Park was beautiful! This is a bike ride (or drive) that I would recommend to anyone in the area. It’s beautiful and full of the famous Saguaro. Coming in at 8 miles with only 500 feet of elevation gain, biking the Cactus Forest loop through the Saguaro National Park is super casual. Towing Maxine and stopping to take a bunch of pictures took us an hour. You share the road with cars but we found everyone to be super respectful and slow. Everyone is there to slowly cruise through the beautiful park.

An Enthusiastic child

Maxine unfortunately got sick during this excursion and ended up curling up under Z’s jacket in the co-pilot. Despite not feeling well and eventually letting go of her lunch, she still really enjoyed the ride. This trip really reinforced to us how nice the enclosed trailer styles are over the bike style trailers for our child. With the enclosed trailer she has more room to play with toys (if she brought any) and more importantly she can more comfortably lay down and relax.

2020 New Years Resolutions

Time to schedule some betterment! In 2020 I am setting a resolution to…

Not drink alcohol

Since I quit smoking in 2019 I figured it would be advantageous for my health not drink in 2020. This is pretty big because I easily drank beer five days a week in 2019.

Run over 1,020 Kilometers

I managed to run over 1,250 kilometers in 2019 and that took quite an effort that I want to keep up! Follow me on MapMyFitness.

Read at least 10 books

I wasn’t counting the number of books I read in 2019 but I don’t think I read 10. I tend to listen to audio books when I jog and I’m sure I listened to more than 10 but I’m not going to count my audible consumption as reading. ^_^ Follow my progress on GoodReads

Merry Christmas

This Christmas was perfect…

Santa Barbara to Dana Point Family Bicycle Tour

Z, Maxine and I just rode or bikes from Santa Barbara to Dana point and we loved it! We camped a couple nights, stayed in a couple hotels and visited at least 10 playgrounds along the way. Please enjoy our montage video which is mostly Maxine enjoying herself during our stops. ^_^

SWIMMING!

It was four years ago today that I was swimming in a pool in Littleton, CO with my favorite kids!

Four years ago Z and I had the opportunity to live with my brother Matt, his wife Crystal and their super awesome kids. It was a blast! We spent almost every evening at the pool!

If it wasn’t for this beautiful summer, I may not have had the chance to spend nearly every evening at the pool with Maxine now! She’s hardly 2 but loves hanging out in the pool just as much as my nieces and nephew did four years ago!

Jogging in Scottsdale

I definitely consider myself as a jogger. I’ve logged a few jogs on MapMyFitness from everywhere I’ve lived and many places I’ve visited since 2012. I’ve lived in Scottsdale since late 2017 so I’ve logged quite a few jogs here. The ridiculous heat aside, I really enjoy it. Scottsdale is an urban environment so I can’t compare it to running mountain trails in Colorado or wooded rail trails in Minnesota and Missouri but it’s really nice. It’s especially awesome in the winter when the rest of the world is frozen. ^_^

Summer is HOT!

This is painfully obvious if you live here. It’s darn hot in the summer time so if you’re going to run during the day you learn a bunch of things.

  • Cover up as much as possible.
  • Jog shorter distances.
  • Run slower.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Monitor your heart rate.

If you’re going to run under the hot sun, be sure to cover up. There is some sweet clothing tech out there that actually helps. I really like the ArmCoolers by RecoFit. They work pretty darn well to cover your arms AND keep them cooler then if they were bare. With the UV index so darn high, I even wear a visor to cover my face. Fortunately my sister-in-law got me an awesome monogrammed sweat visor! hehehe.

Up to 105 degrees, I’ll still jog. If it’s nearing 100 then I’ll intentionally keep my pace really slow so I can keep my heart rate down. For me, if it’s near or over 100 degrees then I have a hard time getting my heart rate to drop after i pick it up too high so my goal is to keep it down as low as possible by waddling along with a slow jog. I can casually cruise along doing 8:30min miles if it’s 88 degrees or below so if it’s 95 and above I’ll slog along around 10:15min/mile. The hotter it is, the slower I go.

Staying hydrated can be annoying especially when you’re used to running an hour or an hour and a half with no hydration. During the winter it’s easy to put down a liter of water 30 minutes before a run and leave the hydration at home but if I’m going to run for more than 30 minutes in the heat of the day then I bring water. I can easily consume 1.5 litres and hour. I prefer to bring an iced beverage (mostly ice + some water at first) and let it melt en route. On occasion I’ll mix in some powdered Gatorade but I don’t do that often because the sweat from ridiculous heat lets go more water then anything, for me

Become a Morning Runner

Most of us tend to start jogging in the wee hours of the morning even if we aren’t built for it. Despite the fact that I don’t appreciate getting out of bed before the sun does, one of the best parts of jogging in the morning are the sunrises. It’s definitely something to appreciate when you have to be up before the sun comes up to enjoy the jog.

Sunrise in Chaparral Park, Scottsdale
Sunrise at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale

Another awesome perk of running in the morning is that the morning crowd in Scottsdale is just super nice. Everyone waves, everyone says hi. There’s a few folks out there that are dead to the world but the vast majority of the morning walkers, joggers and bikers are really polite.

The Infrastructure is great

For being an urban environment I feel like the running and biking infrastructure in Scottsdale is amazing. I live in a pretty ideal location next to Chaparral park but I only have to cross two small streets before I’m on a nearly endless network of multi-use paths. It’s especially awesome for biking but that’s another post.

The parks and recreation maintenance staff in Scottsdale really take care of everything they offer. The parks and trails are clean, the water fountains always work, the grass is nice and everything is pretty well lit when its supposed to be.

Biking in Sedona is awesome

Since we are working on building our bicycle touring legs we figured it would be awesome to drive to Sedona, camp out for a night and then hit the road on our bikes!

We headed up on Friday toward a location we found where we could camp for the night. We found a free camping site near Sedona and setup camp just in time for it to get dark. The moon and stars don’t get any more clear then when you’re in the desert on a cloudless night. It was beautiful.

We’ve visited Sedona a few times to wander around town and hike some of the beautiful trails. Most recently we hiked the Brins Mesa trail just north of town so we are quite familiar with the amazing landscape Sedona has to offer for hikers and bikers. Although we haven’t ridden the mountain bike trails yet, once Maxine gets a little older we will surely tackle them!

This time we decided to park in town, ready our bikes and just ride around. Before we covered our first mile we managed to find breakfast at SaltRock Kitchen. Getting there was fun as it felt like we were biking down a 15% grade for a block. We paid for it after breakfast though!

After breakfast we decided to head out 179 south and go as far as we could comfortably make it. Riding around town Sedona doesn’t have bike lanes but the drivers there didn’t seem overly rushed in to running bikes over. After leaving town and getting on 179 you’re graced with a massive bike lane for miles. Alas, this is where I recognized that I’m not a Tour de France candidate. Towing Maxine’s iGo Weehoo Venture with her in it adds 60+ pounds to my ride. After going up a couple hills on 179 I now know how it feels to be a really large person attempting to exercise. We didn’t even make it 6 miles down 179 before I punked out and wanted to turn back. Despite how difficult the ride is, it sure was beautiful though! Here’s our whole route on MapMyFitness. All together we only rode 13.6 miles.

Maxine loved stopping at the scenic views and trail heads.
She’s a climber!

After writing this post I realized we didn’t take any pictures of the amazing scenery that is the reason most folks even visit Sedona so let me Google that for ya! It is extremely beautiful out there! Whether you want to sit around and eat, hike, or do any kind of biking, Sedona should be on your list of places to visit. It’s got our stamp of approval.

Tweaking my brakes at a one of the bike repair stands along 179