Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Family Traditions: Creating Lasting Memories

The Importance of Family Traditions

Hiking with my boys

Family traditions create a sense of belonging, strengthen family bonds, and create lasting memories. Looking back now that my children are adults, I am thankful for the family traditions we had as a family. Still to this day, I try to keep those family traditions alive and have started new traditions even though my children are adults. 

In today's fast-paced world, family traditions seem to be fading over time. However, it's never too late to start new traditions or revive old ones. Family traditions are important and there are many ways to create traditions for your family. My favorites are holiday traditions and vacation traditions which include spending time outdoors. 

Making Time for My Family 👉 Read More

Remembering Family Traditions

The beginning of the new year brings me back to the days when I would begin planning for the year ahead. One of those plans involved what to do on Spring Break. This was a chance to have some real quality family time. Also a time to start new traditions. 

Easter Traditions

coloring eggs with my son

Typically, Spring Break falls over Easter. Growing up, Easter was always one of the holidays that had many traditions from big meals, Easter egg hunts, dying Easter eggs, and spending time with the cousins. I have carried some of those traditions over as I started my own family. This holiday has created lasting memories with my cousins and helped build strong relationships. Even over long distances and gaps of time we still have a special connection. 

Big family meals always create a sense of belonging and now certain foods bring me back to those moments. Waking up to our Easter baskets filled with treats and the Easter Eggs hunts are some of the most vivid memories I cherish. Remembering my excitement then and now as a mom watching the joy on my kid's faces fills my heart. These traditions also provide opportunities to discuss the origin of Easter eggs which can help children to understand more about Easter and the important messages behind it. 

How to Create New Traditions

Camping with my boys! 

Creating new family traditions can be a fun and exciting process. Start by brainstorming ideas with your family members. Consider activities that everyone enjoys and that can be done regularly. 

Traditions can be as simple as a weekly family game night or as elaborate as an annual camping trip. The key is to find activities that bring your family together and create a sense of joy and unity. For example, you might decide to start a monthly family hike or a weekly family bike ride. These outdoor activities not only create lasting memories but also promote physical health and well-being.

One such tradition for me is having Sister's Weekends, just a weekend with me and my sisters. It is so important to me to have this family time because now that I am older I realize how quickly time goes by. I want to make the most of the time I have left. 

The Importance of Spending Time Outside

My Son and I Visiting the Grand Tetons. 

Spending time outside is an essential part of many family traditions. I have so many memories of camping, fishing, and boating with my family growing up. It was part of our life to be outdoors even in the winter with ice fishing and building snow forts. 

With the influx of social media and video games, a lot of families miss out on quality family time. Outdoor activities promote physical health, mental well-being, and a sense of adventure. They also provide an opportunity for families to disconnect from technology and connect with nature. Whether it's a family camping trip or a simple picnic in the park, spending time outside can create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds.

Even starting out with small adventures outside as often as you can. I would pack up a lunch and head to the playground with my kids. We would adventure out to local parks and state parks in the area so my kids could explore nature.  

Reviving Old Traditions

If your family has lost touch with old traditions, consider reviving them. Talk to older family members to learn about traditions that were once important to your family. You might discover a family recipe that has been passed down for generations or a holiday tradition that has been forgotten. By reviving these traditions, you can create a sense of connection to your family's past and honor the legacy of your ancestors.

carving pumpkins with my boys

Family traditions are an essential part of creating a strong family identity and building lasting memories. By creating new traditions and reviving old ones, you can strengthen family bonds and create a sense of belonging. Incorporating outdoor activities into your family traditions can promote physical health, mental well-being, and a sense of adventure. So, start planning your next family tradition today and embrace the outdoors to create long-lasting bonds and memories!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Holy Cross 4x4 Off-Road Trail

A Legendary Jeep Badge of Honor Trail 

Holy Cross

The Holy Cross Trail in Colorado is a legendary off-road adventure 4x4 trail. This trail promises both challenge and reward. This trail, located in the Sawatch Mountain Range of the Rockies. Holy Cross is named after Mount of the Holy Cross – a prominent mountain peak with a distinctive cross-shaped snowfield on its northeast face.

Holy Cross, A Jeep Badge of Honor Trail 👉 Watch Here

History of the Holy Cross Trail

The trail was once an old mining road built and used by gold miners in 1883. Remnants of the Holy Cross City mining town can still be found along the trail. The town, which had a population of around 300 at its peak, was established in the late 19th century but declined as mining operations decreased in the 1880s.

Old Mining Town Holy Cross

Overview of the Holy Cross 4x4 Trail

Holy Cross Trail is not for the faint of heart. Wheeling this trail requires proper preparation and a well-equipped off-road vehicle. It is suggested a rig with at least 33'' tires, a 2'' lift, and locking differentials. The trail spans over 20 miles and features rocky ascents, mud pits, and challenging obstacles like French Creek and Cleveland Rock.

In addition to its adrenaline-pumping challenges, the Holy Cross Trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, pine trees, and crystal-clear alpine lakes. The best time to visit this 22.2-mile out-and-back trail is from June through October.

Cleveland Rock on the Holy Cross 4x4 Trail

Holy Cross 4x4 Trail Difficulty and Ratings

My First Time on the Holy Cross 4x4 Trail

According to the Jeep Badge of Honor, the Holy Cross Trail is rated 7 to 9 in difficulty. It is a highly challenging route, so it should only be attempted by experienced adventurers. This trail is very popular, and you'll likely encounter other off-road enthusiasts while exploring.

Off-Road Safety Tips and Preparation

Amazing Views from near the top of the Holy Cross 4x4 Trail

To make the most of your Holy Cross Trail experience, be sure to follow safety guidelines. Always check the weather conditions, and have the necessary equipment for recovery and repair. Be prepared for a full day on the trail as you wait for your turn to conquer the major obstacles.

The Holy Cross Trail offers a unique off-road experience with its rich history, challenging terrain, and breathtaking views. If you're up for the challenge and ready to experience the beauty of Colorado's backcountry, make sure to add this trail to your bucket list.

More Jeep Badge of Honor Trails

Gold Mountian Trail - California 👉 Read More 

Hole in the Rock Trail - Utah 👉 Read More

Crawler's Ridge - Rausch Creek Off-Road Park 👉 Read More

Pinyon Canyon - Southern California 👉 Read More

Rubicon Trail 👉 Read More

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Off-road Trail Ratings

Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Different Systems

Jeep Momma scared on Krawlin for Cops

Embarking on an off-roading adventure can be an exhilarating experience, but it's important to understand the various trail rating systems to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. In this guide, I will  explore three popular off-road trail rating systems and what they mean for new off-roaders.

There are a lot of different ratings systems across the US. Researching is key to a successful off-road adventure. Nate and I discussed these systems on Episode 10 of The OffRoad Insiders Podcast 👉 Watch Here

Beginner's Guide to 4x4 Off-road Trail Rating System 👉 Watch Here

The 10-Point Rating System

My Jeep on the Rubicon Trail

Developed by the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), this system assigns trails a numerical rating from 1 to 10 based on difficulty. A rating of 1-2 indicates an easy, well-maintained trail suitable for beginners, while a rating of 9-10 signifies a highly challenging trail that should only be attempted by experienced off-roaders with heavily modified vehicles. This system is widely used and easy to understand, making it a great starting point for new off-roaders.

The Green-Blue-Black System

My Jeep on a rocky trail

Similar to ski slope ratings, this system uses colors to indicate trail difficulty. Green trails are the easiest and most suitable for beginners, while blue trails offer a moderate challenge. Black trails are the most difficult and should only be attempted by experienced off-roaders with well-equipped vehicles. This system is simple and intuitive, making it a popular choice among off-roading enthusiasts.

The Red-Yellow-Green System

My Jeep in Uwharrie

In this system, red trails are the most difficult, requiring highly modified vehicles and experienced drivers. Yellow trails offer a moderate challenge, while green trails are the easiest and most suitable for beginners. This system is less common than the 10-point and green-blue-black systems but is still used in some off-roading communities.

Know Your Skill Level

When choosing a trail, new off-roaders should always consider their skill level, vehicle capabilities, and the trail rating system used in their area. It's also important to research the specific trail conditions, as weather and other factors can significantly impact the difficulty of a trail.

Understanding off-road trail ratings is crucial for new off-roaders to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. By familiarizing yourself with the various rating systems and choosing trails that match your skill level and vehicle capabilities, you'll be well on your way to exploring the great outdoors in style.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

How To Adjust Your Jeep Seat

 Easy Step By Step Guide

There are 3 ways to adjust the front seats in your Jeep Wrangler, JKU. 

Jeep seat lever

How to Adjust Your Seat 👉 Watch Here

Jeep Seat Covers 👉 Buy Here

Forward / Rearward

The front seat can be adjusted forward or rearward by using the bar located in the front of the seat cushion. Pull up on the bar and use body pressure to move forward or rearward. 

Front Seatback Recline 

Jeep recline lever

Leaning forward, lift the handle then lean back to desired position.

Seat Height Adjustment

Jeep seat adjustment lever

Only the driver's side seat height can be adjusted. Using the ratcheting handle, located on the outboard side of the seat. Pull up on the handle to raise the seat. Push down on the handle to lower the seat. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

National Park Visit Tips

Navigating the National Park System

Rocky Mountain National Park

Know before you go!  Whether you're a seasoned park-goer or a first-time visitor, these tips are essential to ensure you have the best experience possible.

  • Do your Research
  • Know When to Go
  • Have a Detailed Plan
  • Pick Off-Peak Travel Times
  • Choose Non-Popular Parks

My Ultimate Guide to National Parks with Top 5 Tips 👉 Watch Here


Avoid the Crowds

Ledge at Rocky Mountain National Park

Knowing when to visit the National Parks can make or break your trip. As you might have heard, our parks are experiencing an unprecedented level of attendance. To avoid the crowds, plan your visit during the off-peak times. This means choosing the off-seasons or weekdays when fewer people are around.

Plan in Advance

National Parks can be vast and overwhelming, so it's crucial to plan your itinerary in advance. Research the park you're visiting, explore the trails you want to hike, and make reservations for popular activities if required. Having a plan ensures you make the most of your time and don't miss out on the park's hidden gems.

Lesser Known Trails

Hood shot Rocky Mountain National Park

While iconic landmarks are a must-see, don't forget to explore the lesser-known trails and areas. This not only provides a more intimate experience with nature but also helps alleviate the crowding at popular spots. Plus, you might stumble upon some incredible wildlife and breathtaking vistas.

While the big-name parks are incredible, consider exploring the lesser-known ones. They offer stunning natural beauty without the overwhelming crowds

Time Entry Permits

Some National Parks now require time entry permits. On specific days, they release a block of these permits months in advance. It's like trying to score concert tickets – people are ready to snatch them up as soon as they become available. For instance, Glacier National Park sold out in just ten minutes once. However, there's a glimmer of hope – they often keep a small batch for the night before the day, so you might get a second chance. But remember, not all parks have this system, so always check in advance.

Some parks now charge extra parking fees, and they might only accept cashless payments. So, do your research and be prepared to pay these fees to access the park.

Remember, with the surge in park attendance, a little planning goes a long way in ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

My 60 Before 60 Bucket List

Embracing the Simple Joys

In a world dominated by the hustle and bustle, it's easy to lose sight of life's simple pleasures. As I grow closer to the milestone of turning 60, I've decided to embark on a journey of rediscovery of life's simple pleasures by creating my 60 Before 60 Bucket List. 

Crafting a Bucket List 👉 Read More 

My 50 Before 50 Bucket List 👉 Read More 

Checking an Item off My 60 Before 60 Bucket List

Over the last decade, I have come to realize the value of experiences versus material possessions so my focus in life is on experiences and creating lasting memories. These experiences don't always need to be grande adventures, when I can find joy in the simple every day it makes life much happier.

In the spirit of embracing the simple joys of life, I am focusing on gracefulness, relishing in everyday simple things, trying new foods, and experiencing new places. 

I am making it a daily practice of expressing gratitude for my life and all the positive elements in it. Every day I find things to be grateful for like the beauty of a sunrise a warm smile from a stranger to colorful flowers in a garden. It is a mindset that helps me focus on the positive and makes me happier. 

Trying New Foods

Along with my adventures trying new foods is one of the items on my list. I want to experience at least 20 new foods. Just recently I tried cactus, Nopales, at a local Mexican restaurant and it was amazing. I will definitely order it next time I see it on a menu. 

Trying a New Food: Cactus! 

Rocky Mountain Oysters 

60 Simple Pleasures to Savor Before 60: A Bucket List Adventure

In the spirit of embracing the simple joys of life, here is a list of experiences that emphasize the beauty of simplicity. 

Try new restaurants or culinary dishes

Start a game night with family or friends

Become a tourist in your own town or state

Host a backyard picnic with friends and family 

Visit a local farmers' market and try new fruits and vegetables 

Create a piece of art 

Attend a local theater production 

Go stargazing 

Visit a national park or state park

Learn to cook a new cuisine

Attend a cultural festival 

Try a new outdoor activity 

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