Monday, May 28, 2012

Pioneer Trail, Wrights Lake Attempts

We had an epic trip planned for this holiday weekend.

The plan was:
Drive to Lake Spaulding area on Thursday night, camp.
Friday - Adam mountain bikes with Brian while I run the dogs on Pioneer Trail.
Friday night - camp either at Spaulding or drive over to Wrights Lake that evening and camp there.
Saturday thru Monday - Backpack Desolation Wilderness--prepared to walk in/on snow (a little or a lot) but enjoy otherwise mostly nice weather. Supposedly rain/snow was a slight chance Saturday morning but we figured we could deal with that.

What actually happened:
Camp and Spaulding Lake Thursday night. Chilly but nice. Awoke to snow flurries! Decide to see how the day goes and attempt our running/biking anyway.

I ran the dogs on Pioneer..not sure how far but at least 14 miles. Was great. Pioneer is a gentle trail and was good to my knee.

The views during the boys' mountain bike ride.

Adam and Brian went off expecting to put in about 50 miles. But, within the first couple of hours, Adam had gotten 3 flat tires and had very few supplies left to fix any other flats. They told me this, and said they'd text me if they had problems.

Brian and the ceanothus!

They had flowers from the ceanothus everywhere!
I went back to to the van after my run and hung out for a couple of hours waiting for info from them, but had no service so ended up driving down the road several miles (after waiting for three hours--seems like a lot but when I caught them mid-ride earlier on the trail they had a lot of miles still to go so I wasn't surprised they hadn't come back). Upon getting cell service, I got a bunch of texts with the common theme of: "More flat tires, need rescue, wet, freezing, it's snowing, can't ride, come get us." So, I drove to the meeting place through a mix of rain and snow (I HATE being in the car when it's snowing, and I had to drive the VAN THROUGH SNOW! Ugh) to pick up two soaked, shivering boys! Blasted heat in the van, made tea, everyone was OK!

Monkey flower the boys saw on their ride.
So--day one was a little colder/wetter than we hoped for....after that, we decided to head to the cabin at Donner Lake for hot showers and a warm place to sleep. (Cabin was awesome: we made chili and cornbread and watched our "we're on vacation and have cable" tv show of choice: House Hunters which can entertain us for hours.)

Saturday: we debated a lot on what to do. Backpacking seemed a little crazy. Reports were that there actually wasn't that much snow in the backcountry..but we woke up to snow falling. Again, reports were that there would only be about an inch of accumulation. We decided to go for it.

At the start of the hike: had been graupeling for maybe 30 minutes at this point. Trees where totally snow-free when we arrived, and the ground is just dusted. 

No snow on the ground when we started at Wright's Lake, but it was graupeling. (Which was ok because it all bounced off and we stayed very dry! At first.). Then the snow started...and got heavier...and was crazy! When we started around noon  the trail was essentially clear (but for the dusting of graupel). About three miles in we were slogging through the accumulating snow, which was up to 8" in some places! Nuts. If we had been there a week before...there would have been no snow in that area! We met up with some hikers coming out who said that it was piling up very quickly farther in. That, combined with the problem that I had developed a stomach ache that was getting progressively worse...we decided that we weren't having fun at all, so decided to ditch our trip and turn around. A hard decision to make for us, since we are usually pretty hardy folks! Particularly hard because all of the weather forecasts showed great sunny weather for Sunday and Monday..but we couldn't get past the snow falling fast on us Saturday....

Then in started to snow.

At Wright's Lake campground. Much less snow here than farther in!
When we got back from our failed attempt: I wish we had "before we started hiking" and "upon our return" pictures to show how great the area looked hours before this picture was taken!

Back at the van, everyone was wet and the van was covered with about 4-5" of snow (mind you, when we arrived earlier there was no snow!!). Adam started to drive and we slid all over the parking lot (I don't tolerate this well) and Adam luckily had purchased chains for times like this. We chained up, and drove out with no problems. Without the chains, we would have camped there and waited until the snow melted to drive out!

We got a steak dinner on the way home to console ourselves. :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

P90X Protein Bar Recipe

Update: I added a second recipe. There are now Chocolate Chip Bars and Oatmeal Raisin Bars. My husband and I both agree, better to underbake these than overbake. We much prefer gooey to dried out.  Dried out/overbaked bars are pretty much inedible, and the line between "gooey" and "brick" is a fine one.

Update 2: We got a dehydrator and now usually dehydrate these on the "fruit leather" sheets in the dehydrator. We like the texture better (since we don't like the cooked edges in the baked version). Either way--oven or dehydrator--works!

Frequently it's really easy to make homemade version of pre-packaged foods. This goes for P90X protein bars. We looked up the nutrition facts of their bars, and then made our own version. Here's how:

First, we pulled up the label on a P90X bar. The stats are like this:
Calories: 260-270
Fat: ~7 g
Carbohydrates: ~32 g
Protein: ~20 g

Then I made a chart showing the stats for each of the ingredients I planned to use. Amounts of protein, fat, carb, and protein are per cup of ingredient. 

Calories Fat Carb Protein
Peanut butter PER CUP 1600 120 56 72
Honey PER CUP 1024 272
Oats PER CUP 307 5 56 11
Cereal PER CUP 172.9 3.325 34.58 2.66
Protein PER CUP (80g) 322.4 5.2 7.8 65
Chocolate Chips PER CUP 1280 64 160 16

Then I made another chart to alter the amount of each ingredient to change the ratios to match the P90X nutrition stats. 

Here's what we got: (This does not include addition of water!)

RECIPE! Calories Fat Carb Protein
Peanut butter 0.8 cup 1280 96 44.8 57.6
Honey 0.75 cup 768 0 204 0
Oats 1.75 cup 537.25 8.75 98 19.25
Cereal 1.75 cup 302.575 5.81875 60.515 4.655
Protein 4 cups 1289.6 20.8 31.2 260
Chocolate Chips 0.5 cup 640 32 80 8
TOTAL 4817.425 163.36875 518.515 349.505
TOTAL PER BAR (20 BARS) 268 9 29 19

So, the ending recipe is....

P90X Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars!
0.8 cup peanut butter (all natural, ours was creamy Costco brand)
0.75 cup honey
1.75 cup rolled oats
1.75 cup honey bunches of oats cereal
4 cups protein powder (ours is whey unflavored--Nutra Bio brand)
0.5 cup chocolate chips (ours were trader joe's)
~1.5 cups water (maybe more maybe less)

Mix the dry ingredients together. Put honey and peanut butter in a bowl and microwave ~30 seconds to soften/liquify. Add the peanut butter/honey and dry ingredients together, and add water until the mixture is very thick and pour-able. Scrape into a lightly greased 9x13" pan and bake for ~15-20 minutes at 350 (the edges should be slightly brown but the center will still be gooey). Cool on counter until near room temp, then put into fridge until hardened up. Cut into 20 bars. 

Update: I find that if you like really gooey bars, then it is great to use the 9x13" pan. If you prefer less gooey bars, use two 8 or 9" square pans. (You'll get a more even bake in the smaller pans, unlike the large pan, where the edges will overbake and the center will stay gooey.)


By the way, P90X is going really well. It's tiring, but we can definitely see the difference. For one, I am VERY glad to have changed to a higher protein lower carb diet. I have the most sensitive stomach EVER (generally plagued by problems) and have found that many fewer carbs have helped a lot!). We have finished three weeks, so are just starting our recovery week (well, that is, after our 109 mi bike ride tomorrow..then we will "recover").


I created another recipe! This one is oatmeal-raisin. 

Here's the chart:

RECIPE! Calories Fat Carb Protein
Peanut butter 1 cup 1600 128 48 56
Honey 0.75 cup 768 0 204 0
Oats 2 cup 614 10 112 22
Cereal - Grape Nuts 1 cup 400 2 96 12
Protein 4.5 cups 1451 23 35 293
Raisins 0.75 cup 390 0 93 3
TOTAL 5223 163 588 386
TOTAL PER BAR (20 BARS) 261 8 29 19

And here's the user-friendly recipe!

P90X Oatmeal Raisin Protein Bars! 
1 cup peanut butter
0.75 cup honey
2 cups oats
1 cup grape nuts
4.5 cups protein powder (ours is whey unflavored)
0.75 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon (or your preferred spices. I might use more than a tsp)
~0.5-1 cup water

See instructions for the chocolate chip recipe above.

This is the one we buy.  Yes, we are serious about protein powder--that's a 5 gallon bucket in the pictures below. A little ridiculous. **If you order from Nutra Bio, be sure to check their "$6.95 Shipping" link at the top of the page--otherwise the shipping will be super expensive. When I looked the coupon code was SAVE4.