KetchumSun Valley, a concentrated city full of health enthusiasts and fitness gurus looking for their next hill to climb, mountain to ski or terrain to ride. If I’m speaking to you, listen up! Look no further than the Sawtooth Mountain country for your next adventure to fill your outdoor recreation appetite.
Assuming you’re already fit from the fall season – trail running, road biking and mountain bike riding, it’s time to get your winter fix! Winter in Stanley and the surrounding areas can offer you exactly what you’re looking for and more. Take your skis, snowshoes, and packs for a weekend of exercise and activities that will leave you wanting to soak in the hot springs with a cold one. With hundreds of miles of trails from Smiley Creek to Lowman you will be amazed by the endless opportunities to venture off into the white powder paradise. From perfectly groomed trails for classic cross country, skate and downhill skiing to snowshoeing into untouched backcountry, the Sawtooth Mountain country has it all. Or, if you have an engine revving, adventuresome need for speed then try out the endless first class snowmobiling trails to get the heart rate flowing.
For those who just want a weekend away in the beautiful world of winter, getting your exercise couldn’t be more picturesque. It may be taking a leisurely ski trip into the wilderness of Alturas Lake, walking amongst the Sawtooth Mountains, having a picnic along Little Red Fish Lake, taking pictures of the White Cloud Mountains or sitting in the Stanley hot springs – you’ll find it all within the Sawtooth Mountain country.
What about summer, you ask? Summer in the Sawtooth Mountains means unlimited health wellness and fitness, both for the mind and body. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, trail running, climbing, rafting, walking through history, camping, listening to live music or birdwatching – you’ve come to the right place. Summer in the Sawtooth Mountains epitomizes what it means to have endless recreational opportunity beginning when the sun rises until the sun sets, and even then the night is young for those creative individuals that strap on the headlamp and head into the wilderness.
Want to learn more about how the Sawtooth Mountains can help you to stay healthy and fit?  Visit www.stanleycc.org and visitidaho.org for all of the details.
Where’s Waldo? You all remember him, the mystery man wearing a camouflage type red and white sweater, matching hat and blue pants. I took a trip to a small, quaint historic town in Northern Idaho where many people would ask, where’s Wallace?
Wallace, Idaho home to a mere 784 people and a long-standing history is a priceless experience just off I-90. After arriving at the Wallace Inn I immediately felt something special about the town, but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was until I explored the town. It was like an episode of Cheers, where everyone knew my name! Well, not quite, no one knew my name, but locals acted like we’d been neighbors for years. More captivating than the people in the town is the history that surrounds it. The rich history in Wallace of mining led to the building of 13 bars and 13 churches – so you knew exactly where everyone was on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Until 1988 when the last one closed, there were five bordellos in town to accompany the lifestyles of the lead, copper and silver miners. So if you see small huts (usually about five in a row) or extremely steep stair cases covered from the street to the second story as you’re walking through town, you know you’re in the midst of some Wallace bordello history. Unfortunately, the Oasis Bordello Museum is currently closed from October to April, but if you have the opportunity to see this during the open months it’s an absolute must see.
Beyond the history, outdoor enthusiasts have every reason to be excited about this small town in the Idaho Panhandle. Whether you’re into skiing and snowmobiling in the winter months or mountain biking and trail running in the summer, Wallace is your receipt for everything recreation. Two pristine mountains, Silver Mountain and Lookout Mountain during the winter months are both within 10 miles of Wallace and hundreds of miles of road and trail riding for the warmer days, including five nationally recognized trails (Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes, Northern Pacific, Route of the Hiawatha, Milwaukee Scenic and Centennial Trail) ideal for anyone’s needs.
During my time in Wallace, I took the mere 10 mile drive to the border of Idaho and Montana at what many would call a perfect day on Lookout Mountain. Sun shining and fresh powder all in 30 degree weather, hello paradise! For the first time I experienced the adventuresome aspect of snow-shoeing. After riding up the main lift I ventured down the backside of the mountain through the trees and untouched snow. Everything about the mountain and three hours of snow-shoeing epitomized what it felt like to find a hidden mountain secret. After seeing endless lifts with short lines and beautifully groomed runs I look forward to my next trip to truly take advantage of the slopes and experience what if feels like to be a “local” with the mountain all to myself!
Wallace, Idaho, a place you’ve probably never heard of, but a place you’ll never forget. Be sure to visit the Wallace Mining Museum & Visitor Center before you leave for fun facts, cool sights and endless information about the unique town of Historic Wallace.

Why Sweatpants?

Fashion can be lightly defined as a current popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. So unless gray sweatpants have become a current popular style, then please, don’t wear them as if they are. In all honesty, I don’t think wearing them can ever be defined as any type of fashion statement. Its the persona of an athlete so to speak, to believe that they’re superior to others in the sense that they don’t have to dress unto a standard. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand sweat pants in the house, at the gym and on lengthy roadtrips, but when one struts their stuff for the remainder of the day, that’s more or less pathetic. But but but, I just got done with practice; sorry, that’s not an excuse! What tickles my humor buds are those who feel accomplished by wearing a pair of jeans, congratulations, you’re like the rest of the world!

The following are reasons in which sweatpants are entirely unnecessary and why there shouldn’t be an exception for those who wear them:

  1. Time: It takes just as long to put on a pair of jeans as it does to put on a pair of sweatpants. I don’t care if you bought your jeans too skinny or your donk makes it difficult to slide them on – that’s simply a personal purchasing issue.
  2. Superiority: You’re no better than anyone else for wearing them. Just because your sweatpants say the sport in which you play doesn’t put you on a pedestal. From personal experience, as one who was once a Division I athlete, it not only makes you look lazy but it puts an image in individuals minds about how a specific sport carries themselves.
  3. Yum: If you believe, even for a moment that you’re going to be picking up your barbie or ken while wearing sweatpants you better think again. Quoted by a classmate of an athlete when they finally wore a pair of jeans, “Wow, I didn’t even know you owned a pair of regular people clothing!” Yikes, really, is that who you want to be portrayed as, the athlete who dresses “down” everyday?
  4. Hard-work: A common excuse, which consistently makes me laugh, is that athletes strongly believe they work harder than others. That based on their hours in the gym, on the court, on the field, etc. that they “deserve” to wear sweatpants. Well I’m sorry to bring it to your attention, but your lives aren’t harder than anyone else’s. For example, athletes practice an average of 20 hours per week based on NCAA rules. A large percentage of full-time students are working a minimum of 20 hours per week as well, for at least one employer. Oddly enough, these “non-athletes” still find time in their day to dress well, what a concept!
  5. Cold: Yes, it’s cold outside, but what makes one believe that jeans or dress pants can’t solve this issue – if you’re really cold, put a pair of long johns underneath them.
  6. Gym: Sweatpants, or an entire sweatsuit for that matter symbolize that you just got done working out. Is that what you want? People looking at you thinking “Did they just get done working out? Why are they still wearing their gym attire?” Some of the best advice I ever received was to always look professional, you never know who you’re going to see or meet.

That said, not every athlete dumbs down their everyday attire by wearing sweatpants, but a large percentage do and it’s like looking straight into the sun; it becomes uncomfortable, forcing some type of squinting behavior until its unbearable making one immediately look away. A pair of jeans, that’s all I ask, and hey, you might even receive a compliment based on the way you presented yourself that day (I highly doubt your sweatpants have received similar, positive compliments).

Many don’t know the history behind Halloween, whether this is of interest to you or not, let the History Channel throw an ounce of opinionated insight your way. While the history of Halloween is important to about 1% of the population and .001% of the college demographic, 99.999% humor annually over unique costumes or what one may call an outfit. For that reason, follow me on an adventure through the 21st century and how college students have redefined Halloween.

Whether you get excited to run up and down neighborhood’s for goodies because you’re in elementary school, dress up in a frisky catwoman outfit because you’re in college, or hand out candy to little kids as an adult, there are three common themes that outline Halloween:

  1. Getting candy: It doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, everyone wants their sweets in one way of another. Little kids delight in the opportunity to get their yearly fix of candy, college students get their annual consumption by showing off their goodies, and adults enjoy this evening both by handing out candy and by going through past photos that epitomize their “glory days”.
  2. Breaking away: As a child, parents rarely ever allowed you to eat candy on a regular basis. Halloween on the other hand allows the worst stomach aches to come to fruition through endless consumption of sweet sugar coated delights. Equally, as a child or young teenager, parents had strict guidelines as to what costume you wore for Halloween. Now, as an “adult” the ability to make your own choices has spawned the realization that one can dress however they desire. From the refrained outfits to the cleavage bearing costumes, Oct. 31st has become a “people watchers” paradise. And for parents, well, you can hold your younger children to a standard, but for your college children, you can merely hope their photo isn’t absurdly scandalous when it pops up on Facebook.
  3. Passing out late: After hours and hours of door to door candy trips and pounds of candy creating a temporary sugar high, children and parents are finally falling asleep in the early morning hours. For college students, there’s a slightly different take to passing out. A regular night out or a house party has the potential for someone to drink far too much, pass out on the couch and wake up the following morning with a terrible hangover. But what makes Halloween SO much better are the morning afters. Yes, watching someone try to stay composed after 10 beers, 3 AMFs and 8 purple vikings can be quite humorous, but its the following morning that makes for priceless memories. Waking up, in the same skimpy outfit from the night prior is a hysterical sight (especially if you’re coherent the following morning) when your floor is covered by bodies that resemble pop stars, television actors and a plethora of other sleazy costumes. Something I’ve yet to see is a college student wake up last minute (especially with Halloween being on a Monday this year) fully outfitted and slightly hungover for class – now there’s something I would pay to see!

Halloween has taken a 180 degree turn since the 8th century. People continue to dress up (or dress down for that matter) to compete for the most outrageous costume, epitomizing scandalous behavior and naughty intentions. Yes, Halloween makes people a little crazy but it only happens for one night of the year. Therefore, enjoy your outfits and skewed personalities for one night, personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Fall in Boise

The beauty that arises on an early fall morning – don’t blink, you’ll miss it!

Boise, ID – Julia Davis Park

Boise, ID – Boise River

Boise, ID – Boise River

Fall lasts about…that long. Leaves change, cool breeze in the air, endure the beauty that nature can bring.

Kathryn Albertson Park – Boise, ID

Kathryn Albertson Park – Boise, ID

Kathryn Albertson Park – Boise, ID

Ann Morrison Park – Boise, ID

Kathryn Albertson Park – Boise, ID

Tobacco Smoking is defined as, “the practice where tobacco is burned and the vapors are either tasted or inhaled.” Please, tell me what is so delightful about the previous sentence! Is it the part about tobacco vapors being tasted or inhaled? Boy! Doesn’t that sound delicious? No, of course it doesn’t, so what motivates smoking in our society? Is it the act of conforming to a group? Is it a fashion statement? Is it the alcoholics second hand man? Or is it the act of experimenting with something new?

Regardless your excuse, I’m not buying it. According to the Lung Association, “Over time, your brain adjusts to the stimulation (“buzz”) from nicotine and lowers your natural energy level or mood. You may then start to crave a cigarette for a boost. The more you smoke the more nicotine you need to feel good. Soon, your body craves nicotine to feel “normal.” Being without nicotine for even a few hours can cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches, depression, anger, anxiety, and problems sleeping.” Cigarette smoking can and will consume your life, the slogan not even once epitomizes how seriously this should be taken.

Every morning I pass a group of 4-5 smokers on my bike as I arrive at work. For the most part they’re hunched over and overweight with wrinkled skin portraying an age 20 years beyond what they really are, accompanied by a look of incompetence with each puff of smoke.

Do you want to smell like an ash tray, acquire a dreadful yellow mustache, rely on a substance that will control your life, increase your chance of lung cancer or look and sound like you’re deteriorating?

While I cannot sympathize for smokers given that I’ve never been one, I’ve known and seen the repercussions of the addiction. Please, don’t be the one to even THINK about starting – not even once! At the least be happy you can save $4 a day. It will be $28 a week you don’t spend hurting your body, $120 a month you don’t spend lowering your energy level and mood, and $1460 extra that you’ll be able to spend to enhance your way of life. Live life to its fullest and be free, smoke-free!

80 Years Young

Do you have dreams, goals and ambitions for your 80th birthday? Possibly being around to see your grand-children grow, playing golf five days a week or maybe it’s as simple as being in good health. At 22 years of age I was able to experience a priceless opportunity with my grandpa, 80 years young, that will forever reside in my memory!Grandpa Joel as the grand-kids like to call him has been a stellar athlete and fitness fanatic for his entire life. A nationally ranked track athlete until the age of 35, YMCA lifetime member and avid cyclist, he has made staying fit a way of life. Do you have an 80 year old grandpa that you brag to your friends about? I do, heck, I brag about him so often the Lake Oswego public relations firms should be paying me for boasting his excellence.

Thursday afternoon approached abruptly as I packed up my car for the 8 hour road trip back to Lake Oswego, Oregon. After a couple of naps, pit stops and leisurely driving I arrived at my grandparents house. Awaiting my arrival was a large bowl pasta topped with my grandmas famous spaghetti sauce and the hospitality that only grandparents could provide. Setting my clothes and gear out I went to bed both anxious and excited for the early morning.

Promptly at 08:00 (as my grandpa would say it) we had our road bikes assembled, equipped and ready to go as we would trek to Salishan, just north of Lincoln City on the Oregon coast. Naturally, as any 80 year old would wish, it was my grandpa Joel’s goal to ride 80 miles on his 80th birthday!

My cousin Alex, 21 years old, also accompanied us on the trip to the coast to complete the grandfather and grandson “trifecta”! For the first 20 miles, where the roads were unfamiliar to my cousin and I, the 80 year old phenom led the way averaging 16-17 mph with ease. From then on, our massive three person peloton switched off lead riders to keep a solid pace – not too slow, not too fast, but to have nice conversation and bonding along the way.

Our first real break was in Grande Ronde after nearly 40 miles of consistent riding. The small town that could nearly be referred to as a ghost town (as are many small towns while heading toward the coast) consisted of a hip and happening convenience store. After doing a small dose of people watching and grabbing a quick carbo-loaded snack from grandmas portable cooler of brilliance we were back on the road.

The beautiful Oregon weather, scenery and ride were enhanced 10 fold once we reached the Van Duzer corridor. Hundred year old Douglas-fir trees shaded the road as we rode with a cool, brisk breeze along the smooth road. All that separated us from sweet downhill riding into Lincoln City were three uphill climbs. While Alex and I thought it would be nice to slightly relax and talk during the ascent, without fail grandpa was cruising in what looked like his big chain ring, stud status! After being partially left in the dust and completing the final hill, we had a mere 15 miles left to Lincoln City.

Flying down hills and passing cars backed up for miles as we entered Lincoln City was priceless, grinning with smiles that couldn’t be slapped off by an angry ex! Cutting through to the back roads right along the coast, the weather turned from sun to the typical Oregon coast cloud cover like night and day. That said, we couldn’t have asked for better riding weather. It was 65 degrees and throughout the entire ride we were blessed with a kind tail wind.

After 6:30 hours, (5:30 hours of riding time) averaging 15.6mph we had arrived in the lush community of Salishan. With a pristine view overlooking miles of Oregon coast it was nothing short of spectacular. The feeling, emotion and tranquility that comes from riding 88 miles, with family, unto a beautiful spectacle was beyond what I’d ever imagined. In regards to this trip, I can only dream that this can continue. There, I said it grandpa, next year 81 miles for your 81st birthday!