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Outdoor Family Life – May 2014

Summer time is here already.  It feels like we went from winter, directly into the summer.  The mesquitos are already in full swarm and the grass needs cutting.  The gardens are getting planted and the kids are excited for summer break.  We’ve had a busy month of May.

Lessons Learned

1) There is no spring season in Minnesota this year

Biking

We did get back out on some trails again for some family mountain bike rides.  Our rides are usually pretty short, as Reid is only 4 years old.  Kyle is doing really good.  Each time we go out, the boys get better.  When we go riding as a family, we go to trails that have a park or some play equipment near the trail head for the boys to take a break on while I go ride some longer distance.  I do a little bit of racing, so I like to get some miles in and it works out for the boys and Lynn also if there is a park to kick back at while I’m riding.

Trails We Rode

Woolly Bike Trail in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin

Carver Lake Off Road Cycling Trails in Woodbury, Minnesota

Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trails in Eagan, Minnesota

Gardening

The rain finally stopped for a couple days and I was able to till up the existing garden plot.  I plan to put in a larger garden, but still need to get the existing garden planted.  The boys planted Sunflower Seeds along the fence row behind some Spruce Trees that we planted.  They get a real kick out of planting the seeds.  They are learning fast.  I’ve been letting them help me plant over the last few years and this year, I just let them go on their own with the sunflowers and they did a great job.  Over Memorial Day weekend, we planted our main garden.  Our soil is very sandy, and we’ve only lived here for a year, so we have some work to do in our garden.  We did plant corn, carrots, broccoli, beats, radishes, beans, variety of lettuce, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, pumpkins and watermelons.  I assigned a few of the rows to the boys to take care of throughout the summer and they seem to be very excited about having their own rows to take care of.

Tree Planting

We planted some more trees this past month.  I’m trying to create a little mini forest in my backyard.  The kids enjoy planting the trees and I love watching them grow.

Trees We Planted

5 Black Hills Spruces

6 Eastern White Pines

Gear

CamelBak Lobo

I bought a CamelBak Lobo to use for cycling and it has been working out great.  I mainly wanted it because of its large 3L water capacity without being to bulky.  It fits only minimal gear, but does have just enough space to carry the essentials for a long distance mountain bike race or trail ride.

CamelBak Mini Mule

Before our Moab, Utah trip we got the boys their own CameBak hydration packs to get them excited about doing some hiking.  They are smaller in size and perfect for small kids.  The boys love using the hydration packs on hikes and have started wearing them for our bikes rides as well. They are learning to carry their own water and even their own spare tire tubes for their bikes.

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