Steve with the birthday girl
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Steve with the birthday girl
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Bandanna Running and Walking has come up with a cool promotion for 2010 -- it's called Explore Boise Trails. The idea is to expand your horizons and try new hikes and trail-running routes that you haven't experienced before.
Bandanna recommends using my guidebook, Boise Trail Guide: 75 Hiking & Running Routes Close to Home, as the source for inspiration.
Listen to Chris Chandler at Bandanna explain the program:
If you want to knock off all 75 routes in one year, and you're one of the first five people to do so, you could win a $100+ pair of Cascadia 5 trail-running shoes. The shoes were made especially for Scott Jurek of Seattle, who is considered by many to be America's greatest trail-runner. His motto is "embrace your adventurous side."
We all know it's January, so I recommend starting on Greenbelt trails, Snake River trails, Owyhee County trails and lower-elevation Ridge to Rivers trails during the winter mud season. Please be sure to check on trail conditions before you go on Ridge to Rivers trails at www.ridgetorivers.org. I have a link to the trail conditions report on stevestuebner.com as well.
To get you started, I recommend the walking/hiking trail along the Boise River between Barber Park and ParkCenter (see map above). I did a 5.5-mile run on the trail on Thursday morning, and it was totally fabulous. At this time of year, you can see bald eagles perched in the tall cottonwoods, not to mention an occasional great blue heron, kingfishers, many types of ducks and songbirds. You might even see a mink, muskrat or beaver at the river's edge.
Part of this trail section has been renamed the Bethine Church River Trail to honor Bethine and the late U.S. Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, for all of their outstanding conservation work. There is an interpretive sign near the East ParkCenter Bridge that explains the dedication.
I hope Bandanna's promotion inspires you to go where you've never gone before. At the same time, you could improve your fitness and endurance levels. It's a good way to get ready for Robie if nothing else!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Maybe you've got cabin fever, maybe you're ready to lose a few pounds after the Holidays, maybe you've been lazy ... whatever the case, there can be no excuses on Saturday, a totally FREE day for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. No parking fees, either! Get off the couch and go!
The Nordic trails at Bogus Basin, the Idaho City Park n' Ski Areas, Lake Cascade State Park in Cascade and Ponderosa Park in McCall are all open for free Saturday. The North Valley, Galena Lodge and Quigley trails in Ketchum/Sun Valley are open for free Sunday. You'll need to rent equipment or bring your own. Bring extra food and drink for the trail.
The thing that's great about snowshoeing and cross-country skiing is that any able-bodied person can do it. If you can walk, you can snowshoe or cross-country ski. You're just doing it on the snow. It's like going for a hike in the mountains. It's also a great workout.
Gather up a few of your friends and head up to the Idaho City Park n' Ski Areas, managed by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Gold Fork, a nice moderate trail system on the left side of Idaho 21 with 10 kilometers of trail, will be the epicenter of the fun. Gold Fork is about 1.5 hours from Boise. Check out the Idaho Parks and Recreation web site and you'll see cool pdf maps for each park n' ski area, plus detailed descriptions and locator maps.
On Saturday, the weather is forecast to be clear and sunny, but on the chilly side in the morning. Drew in layers, and dress warm! All of the trails will be well-groomed. For snowshoers, off-trail conditions will be breakable crust, so you may want to walk on the edge of groomed trails. Or, send your strongest person out front and let them break the trail for you, and then take turns.
The whole purpose of free ski day is to encourage first-timers and novices to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. I can guarantee that if you visit any of the venues I've mentioned here, you'll want to come back.
Read all about Steve's outdoor trips in Idaho, including hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, camping, trail-running, whitewater boating, canoeing, SUP’ing, skiing and snowshoeing.
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