Halloween, Candy, and Pumpkin Seeds!

Smashing Pumpkins“What do you think about this one, Dad?” asks my son after picking his prize pumpkin at Bartle’s Pumpkin Patch in Fort Collins, CO only a couple of weeks ago.

And now the sugar high is here.  Candy wrappers are plentiful.  And what to do with all of those pumpkins and pumpkin seeds?

Smash the pumpkins!  At least that’s what my kids want to do.  But I just wanted to share a blog from Whole Foods Market in case you need some ideas for making the best out of your pumpkin seeds.

But seriously, you’re probably still eating all of that Halloween candy, aren’t you?!

Family Photos on the Poudre River Trail Bridge

BridgeFall in Fort Collins, CO is one of the most beautiful times of year.  Leaves are changing color, the temperature is dropping, and the air is crisp with anticipation of snowfall.  In my opinion, the landscape is absolutely stunning!

Like many of our friends in Fort Collins, the changing seasons also means that it’s time to take our family photos for our holiday cards.  There are so many options for family photos – parks, Old Town, Colorado State University campus, pumpkin patches – you name it.  But this year our photographer Ryan Levander of Colorado2 Photography introduced us to the west bridge on the Poudre River Trail.

If you haven’t been on this bridge yet, it’s time to see it!  Walk, run, or bike your way over it and enjoy the amazing architecture and the colorful scenery around you.  Take Overland Trail north toward Laporte to Lions Park Open Space just past Bingham Hill Road.  The bridge is on the east side of Overland Trail.

If you are taking pictures, I would suggest going during sunrise or sunset because the shadows of the bridge cast many shadows throughout the day.  And even if you aren’t in it for the photos, go for the experience, hold someone’s hand, and enjoy it.

 

What is Cycle Quest Racing?

NoCo Cycle Quest Racing

Just another cycling team in Colorado?  Not exactly.  Together Klara Rossouw and Michael Nichols, founders of Cycle Quest Racing, have twelve years of bicycle racing experience between them.  After racing for various teams over the past five years, they created Cycle Quest Racing to fill the void they found in their prior organizations.

Michael began cycling when he was in high school.  His goal was simple:  to lose weight. Michael’s father introduced him to mountain biking, and before long Michael lost over 100 pounds!  He has had the opportunity to race both professionally and collegiality for his previous school, Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina.  Klara started cycling when she was 14 years old.  Nearing the end of high school she competed in national level events in her home country of South Africa with a dream of receiving a cycling scholarship to America.  She began her schooling at Mars Hill College in North Carolina in the spring of 2010.

Klara and Michael met through collegiate cycling.  From the beginning they shared the same views on the complexity and exclusivity of the sport.  Long story short, they decided to live in Fort Collins, Colorado and are currently students at Colorado State University.  They are still inspired by the healthy lifestyle and organic living in Fort Collins.

Cycle Quest Racing will be in its first season in 2014 to face a daunting yet exciting schedule filled with seasoned veterans.  The type of racing the team will focus on is what is known as endurance mountain biking.  This discipline of the sport calls for mental and physical endurance due to the length of each race.  The values Michael and Klara have instilled into this program are integrity, honesty, and respect. It is important to them that the team be involved in their community and give back to a sport that has given them so many opportunities.  These two hope to make an impact that is bigger than just cycling.  They strive to go beyond competition and show people they can be passionate about what they love.

You can see Cycle Quest Racing around the Rocky Mountains next summer – most notably at the legendary Leadville Trail 100, and Endurance Mountain Bike Nationals.  If you would like to keep up with the adventures of Cycle Quest Racing and their continued growth you can ‘Like’ them on Facebook at Cycle Quest Racing or follow them on Twitter
@Quest4Shred.

 

Larimer County Fair and Rodeo

 

Larimer County Fair

Larimer County Fair

 

The 2013 Larimer County Fair and Rodeo was held at The Ranch in Loveland, CO from August 2nd through August 6th.  My brother and his wife recently moved to Colorado from southern California, so this was the first year that we attended the fair with family.  Whether you go to the fair with family or friends, it’s always a good time.  Parking and entrance are free, but as always we expect to spend some money on ride tickets, carnival games, and fried food.  The kids enjoyed the games, rides, and animals, especially the horses and pigs.  Some of the main attractions included the Splash Dogs competitions, the 5th Annual Gnarly Barley Brew Festival at the Budweiser Events Center, evening movies, and fireworks.  Click here for the schedule of events: http://www.larimercountyfair.org/schedule.html.

 

Here are some pictures from the fairgrounds on Sunday, August 4th.  All smiles!

 

Pony Ride Fair Ride Splash Dogs Tractor

 

Colorado State University Flower Garden

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NoCo Lifestyle took a walk around the breathtaking Colorado State University Flower Garden shortly after a fresh rain. This was what we saw through the lense…

Splash Parks in Fort Collins, CO

Splash at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins

Splash at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins

Looking for a place for your toddler to cool off this summer?  Don’t want to buy the kiddie pool and store it all winter?  Perhaps it’s time for you to venture off to one of the splash parks in Fort Collins. As a parent of two toddlers I can tell  you that the splash parks are a great alternative to crowded association pools, public pools, and the drowning fears that go along with taking my kids to play in the water at Horsetooth Reservoir and Lake Loveland.  My kids still get to play and splash in the water, and once they cool down we can have fun in the playgrounds or play lawn games in the open space.  And best of all, it’s free. Water features are located at the following parks in Fort Collins, CO:

Spring Canyon Park

Fossil Creek Park

Oak Street Plaza Park (water feature only – no open space)

If you decide to take your kids to these water features, please remember the following tips:

  1. Kids should wear swimsuits and plenty of sunblock!
  2. Bring towels, extra diapers, and a change of clothes.
  3. No running!  Encourage your kids to have fun, but be careful not to slip!
  4. Bring drinking water.  No glass bottles or containers that could shatter and cut bare feet (think of those pool rules you’ve seen).
  5. Supervise your children and respect park rules.

Most importanly, have fun and enjoy this summer perk from our City of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation.  If you would like to share your experience or chat some more about other fun water features in Northern Colorado, feel free to send me a message!

 

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

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Red Rock Amphitheatre. Some call it the 8th wonder of the world. For those fortunate enough to witness a concert here, it would be hard to disagree.

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Before Red Rocks was an amphitheatre, and even had the name “Red Rocks”, the area was believed to be occupied by Ute tribes throughout 1800s, and was nicknamed “Garden of the Angels”. Fast forward to 1906, and Red Rocks produced it’s first concert, on a makeshift stage. John Brisben Walker had the vision for this perfect setting for acoustic sounds nested in the rocks. In 1927 and a few encores later, the city of Denver bought this for a cool $54,133. Not a bad price for the venue it is today, eh?

For Northern Colorado residents, it is roughly a 60 minute drive to this awe-inspiring venue, just West of Denver. Red Rocks is best known for the concerts they put on, however, that isn’t all they do. Festivals, films, fitness/yoga classes, you name it. With a venue of this magnitude, it will be used for as many events as possible.



This weekend, for example, Global Dance Festival will be taking place at Red Rocks on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Global Dance Festival is one of the world’s largest Electronic Music Festivals. Originating at Red Rocks, Global Dance Festival has now spread out to Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Athens Greece.

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It sure is great living so close to such an incredible venue for so many things. A couple months ago, I visited Red Rocks on a Sunday morning for a workout. There had to be close to one-hundred others working out there that morning as well. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and heck, some were ambitious enough to run the 69 rows of stairs!

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For more information on Red Rocks Amphitheatre events, click HERE

For more information on Global Dance Festival this weekend, click HERE

Morning Hike in Horsetooth Mountain Park

Horsetooth Rock

Horsetooth Rock

Many residents of Fort Collins have made their way to the top of the infamous Horsetooth Rock in Horsetooth Mountain Park.  Sitting at 7,256 in elevation and visible from nearly everywhere in Fort Collins, Horsetooth Rock attracts hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers from all over Northern Colorado.

I have run and hiked to the top of Horsetooth Rock many times over the past few years.  What I realized on my hike this morning is that I have so much more exploring to do in Horsetooth Mountain Park.  Sure, I have made my way over to Horsetooth Falls, but there are still miles and miles of trails waiting for my shoes to step on them.

Today I decided to do a couple of things differently to make my hike a bit more interesting.  First, I climbed to the top of the south rock (the one on the left side if you are looking west toward the mountain).  Horsetooth Rock Trail leads you up to the north rock, but if you willing and able to scramble up the rock on the south side you may be pleasantly surprised with the unobstructed views as you look south.  Carter Lake, Lake Loveland, Boyd Lake – you name it.  If you have been to the top of Horsetooth Rock you know the views are spectacular and well worth the excursion up the rock.

Horsetooth to Longs

On Top of Horstooth Rock

Once I made my way back down the rock, I kept an eye out for the Audra Culver Trail.  I have passed the trail loop so many times on my way down but today I finally took the one-mile loop – and I’m glad I did.  The Audra Culver Trail has much less traffic than the Horsetooth Rock Trail, and because it’s on the west side of the park you can see the valley and Long’s Peak just about the entire time.  The trail intersects with the South Ridge Trail, so even though it added some distance to my descent, it was a nice way to mix it up and see something different in the park. All-in-all my hike this morning was less than two hours, and that includes the time I spent taking pictures.  What a great way to start my day!  And what a blessing it is to live in Fort Collins, CO! If you have any questions or suggestions about hiking up Horsetooth Rock or if you’d like to share information about some of your favorite hikes in Northern Colorado, send me an email or Facebook message!  It’s always nice to chat with other outdoor enthusiasts! Here are some more pictures:  

Sunrise on Horsetooth Rock Trail

Sunrise on Horsetooth Rock Trail

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Mark on Horsetooth Rock

Richard Jensen on Horsetooth Rock

Richard Jensen on Horsetooth Rock

 

Horsetooth Rock via Audra Culver Trail

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