Category Archives: Kid stuff

Pictographs and wilderness lessons

I love being in the back-country under the great blue dome. Backpacking used to be my prime mode of getting in deep. I saw some really cool places. I gave it up about 12 years ago. Pregnant bellies, babies and toddlers just don't fit with backpacking. I'm very excited now Emma and Wes are big enough to start backpacking.

We went on our second backpacking trip last weekend. This time we had a more ambitious plan to go further someplace more remote.

I want the kids to learn how to move and be safe in the back-country, not lambs following their mommy ewe. What if I get hurt and they need to rescue me or what if they get lost?

Emma and I (Wes wasn't interested...) brainstormed about what should be in a survival kit. She was fascinated by it and the concept of survival and self rescue. We spent time with each item talking about what it did and how to use it in different situations. We ended up with a map and compass, an emergency blanket, water purification tabs, waterproof matches, whistle, signal mirror, multi tool and flashlight. Both kids carried their own personal survival kit along with water, food and clothes.

They learned how to use the map and compass

We found a spring and filtered water. The spring was not an easy find so that added to the adventure and a little tension too as we needed water!! The tank where we thought we would get water was dry. We found a second tank also dry. Then we hiked and searched further up a side canyon and found a concrete tank with a beautiful dripping spring above it.

Wesley is already a master of fire making

Then the kids proceeded to ask loads of questions I didn't have the answer to!!  Hey mom, what if you were dropped out of a helicopter with nothing, what would you ____fill in the blank here___? What plants are edible? How do you build a shelter? What would you drink? Good questions. Guess I am not a survival expert!!

We had the pleasure of DH's company on this trip.

Whaley and dolphiny made the trip again

We went down Snake Gulch which has one of the largest rock art sites in the area. The pictographs and petroglyphs were amazing!!!

Emma got tired at the end. We hiked about 14 miles in total. Wes does not get tired, ever...EVER... He carried a pack only a little lighter than mine and did not complain once about it (I complained about mine a few times). He is 11 years old and a beast already!


Yep that isn't a typo in the title! I went backpacking last weekend, no bikes involved! My backpack buddies were Emma and Wesley on their first ever overnight trip.  They were mega excited and lots of hyping got done. We hiked up into Cottonwood Canyon wilderness area.

Wes carried a for real backpack filled with 100 oz water, food, 2 sleeping bags, clothes and a stove! Ems carried an Osprey Talon 22 with 80 oz water, candy, clothes, a whale and a dolphin. Me - I carried what seemed like a lot but only weighed in at 19lbs at the trail-head (yes I took a scale).

There are some old tunnels in Cottonwood Canyon. Emma went down this one into the darkness. She woke up a bat and it flew out but she kept on going!! Clearly she didn't get my claustrophobia gene.

Headed into the darkness

She popped out on the other side of a cliff. Wes and I walked around the cliff!

Camp was a tent for kinders and a yellow tarp for me. Wes was the fire bender, single handedly collecting all the wood and lighting it with one match - a feat he repeated nicely in the morning.

Whales and dolphins in the desert wilderness

Wesley fulfilled one of his big brother tasks and taught Emma how to light matches. No homes were burned down during the lesson :-)

We ended the trip with kinders begging to go again = success!!

Redrock Rampage Tradition

I love the Redrock Rampage XC race here in St George. This year was its 16th year running. Before the race I chatted with its promoter Glen Ames. He mentioned maybe it was time to change up the course. I told him no way!! This race is a tradition and you don't mess with traditions.

This year Rampage was all about Wallenfels vs Binghams. Let me tell you this aint little league anymore this is big time ;-)

Joel flying the Bingham colors gives Emma a pre-race strategy talk on the start line

First off were the boys 10-12 yrs age group. Already stalking each other are Bryn Bingham #648 and Wesley #655

Go!! Bryn hammers off the start and Wes keeps an eye on him

Next up are the 9 and unders. #220 Lauren Bingham looks relaxed and confident smiling on the front row. Emma is staged in the second row.

Joel must have told Ems to start fast as she hammers off out of the saddle!!

The boys come through and go out for their second and last lap. Bryn and Wes are flying and have a massive gap on the rest of the field - no other boys are in sight when they come through. They are working it AND working together!! Strategy in the 10-12yr field - you bet there is.

Lauren Bingham takes the 9 and unders win AND she beats all the boys too!! Awesome ride from Lauren.

Ems rode hard and finished with the biggest smile I saw from any racer all day.

Flushed cheeks and finish elation

Bryn makes it into the finish chute chicane with a bike length lead on Wes and takes the win by 1 second in a sprint to the line

Two wins for the Binghams!!

I raced too! We had a strong Pro women's field who started FAST. Too fast for me for the first 10 minutes and I had to pedal hard to keep up! Then everybody slowed a little or my body kicked in and I pulled ahead to finish first. I am an endurance gal!

For Byrn and Wes their 18 minute race was a teeny tiny warm up for the next 24 hours of non-stop-play-sleepover-play more. They hyped it out relentlessly. It was amazing to watch. Those two boyz are a force when they get together!!

Kids were all the talk at this race. 17yr old Keegan Swenson and 15yr old Noah Talley raced with the PRO men finishing 2nd and 6th respectively - WOW!! We have young talent here in Utah!

There was much talk and activity too this weekend about Utahs bid for a High School Mountain Bike League being spearheaded by Lauren and Bryn's dad Chris Bingham, Lori &Dave Harward and Justin Thomas. They were at Rampage taking names and drumming up support. E mail if you can help on any level from sponsorship, logistics to coaching.

It feels good to see all these kids having fun with bikes!

Early out Friday’s

Kinders get out at 1:15pm on Fridays. This afternoon was too nice to do anything but ride bikes.

I made Wes ride behind for a photo. Other than that he rode like a sheepdog

Emma has finally grown into her 24" wheel bike with a recent spurt

On the way home Wesley inhaled a Domino's pizza. That boy is an eating and growing maniac right now!

Red Canyon at last

We have been planning to ride in Red Canyon all year and haven't made it. This weekend was awesome up there.

Photoblog time

24, 26, 29 one of each

Emma has just grown big enough to be able to handle her 24" wheel bike on anything technical and she railed it this weekend

She was determined to pedal over all sorts of stuff

So cute

Wes and I got out for a super-fine evening lap on Thunder Mountain. I used to think he would start dropping me when he was 14yrs but I have had to just downgrade that to 12!! He is 10 now and pushed it hard enough a few times to make me breathe!

I rode Thunder Mountain for the first time with him three years ago. Look how cute he was then.

We took a photo in the same spot this weekend. After comparing pics Wes pointed out that he is wearing the same helmet in the second pic that I am wearing in the first pic - funny (to me anyway...)

Some refueling was done at camp

Group pic

Back in the desert

It was hard to leave Crested Butte but nice to be back in the warm dry desert

We did escape to 10k for a couple of days for a little camping

a little hiking

a little flying

a little silliness

Meanwhile, Dave has dropped out of Colorado Trail Race - his stories to come later I'm sure. Many storms and tough, tough year on the trail this year. He will be making his way back to the warm dry desert shortly.