Camping, Trail Running and Independence Day Weekend


This past week I had to go MIA in the online and blogging world.  I mentioned a few months back, I started working with the youth in my community.  Well this past week was their Young Women girls camp, (girls ages 12-18 can attend) and I went up with them.

If I am going to be totally honest, I wasn't exactly looking forward to it.  But I committed to going, so I felt I should follow through.  I tried to go with a good attitude and just go with the flow.  I did however, when I told them I would attend, I let them know I needed my mornings off.
I wanted to get out and get my morning run in, and I am going to be honest that hour to hour and a half that I had to myself each morning was probably my lifesaver that helped me get through the rest of each very tiring and active day!

Their were 9 girls in the group I was a leader in.  Truthfully, they were great girls and I actually really ended up enjoying getting to know them better.
There were about 150ish girls up there all together, and after witnessing some of the girls in the other groups, I have to say I think the group I was with were the best, very little drama, and great attitudes!

The unfortunate thing was the high temperatures.  We were up in the mountains, but not very high in elevation, only about 5,600 feet.  Which meant, HOT.  It was over 100 degree's each day, but one. The heat doesn't bother me, but the girls who aren't very outdoorsy, had a much harder time with it.
But since I got up at 6am to run, I fortunately got to wake up to temps in the cooler 70's:)


However, the best part of the entire week, was the fact that all the girls at camp guessed my age to be 12-15 years younger than I really am.  Ya, they definitely won points for that:)  When I told them my real age, they didn't believe me.  Nothing makes your day/week/month better than when TEENAGERS (of all people) tell you that you look 15 years younger than you do.  Not only that, but the age they guessed was so much closer to their own:) than my own LOL.  Yup, that was a confidence booster for sure!!!

Not to go into much detail, I will share with you some of the weeks highlights.  (NOTE: I am not sharing any pictures of the girls or their camping experience, because they are under 18 and I did not think it would be appropriate.)


I mentioned I went running each morning.  Being my first time up in this area, I spent a little time running through the farm towns.  Which was fun to watch the baby deer chasing each other in the farmers fields.  I actually haven't been up in this area before, so it was fun to explore new places on my own.

I discovered as I ran up the road, that it eventually ended and turning into an ATV trail. I was the only one out on the trail most mornings.  Although, one day I did see one of the male
leaders out on his mountain bike on the trail.
I haven't done real trail running like this in years, I wasn't sure how my tendon would handle it.  But I think all the hiking I have been doing has really done some good.  I noticed my tendon didn't bother me a bit, and when I made the return trip back down the trail each day, down hill I really opened it up and had some fun criss crossing and leaping over the rocks and dips in the trail.
Truthfully, I had a hard time ending it and going back to camp I was having so much fun!


We spent a little time taking our group of girls down to one of the local lakes in the area.  We didn't have water craft.  But escaping the hot temps, and jumping in the water was fabulous!  I thought the lake water would have been colder, but it felt great!  We just floated around on noodles and inner tubes, chatting and having fun!


Okay, so I did one thing this week that I had a lot of fun with.  Two parts of it, were definitely a first for me.  I won't tell you too much about it right now, because I am going to throw it up on the blog tomorrow for Travel Tuesday.  But it has a lot to do with a few things you can see in this picture below, if you look close enough:)


Eventually I did make it back from the camping trip on Friday, and I was exhausted.  I pretty much slept the rest of the day away.
However, I did wake up and managed to take enough caffeine and went out to see a movie, Jurassic World, I really enjoyed it!
Saturday, I spent mostly sleeping if I am going to be honest.  But that evening, my family and I got together for Red, White & Blue snacks, driveway campfires and of course fireworks.

I rarely or don't discuss religious or political topics on my blog, not because I am not into those things.  I very much am, but rather than offend or bring up topics that could turn into a debate and loose the positivity I like to promote.  I do my best not to bring them up for debate on this blog.

However, I do want it said; I am a VERY Patriotic individual!  With so many recent things going on in our country, that really make me sad and disturbed about the way people take our American history, flag and our country and our amazing historical past for granted.  Because they themselves don't understand it or never took the care to learn about it to develop a sense of pride in patriotism.

I myself will take this Independence Weekend to not shy away from saying, I love this country!  I love the American Flag and what it stands for.  I love what our founding fathers created for us, and I love the men and women both past and current who have sacrificed their time and their lives to help fight for and build this great nation.  No matter what changes come about in our society and what things organizations are able to do away with or change.  I will always and forever be proud to be an American and I will never change my thoughts on "In God We and One Nation Under God!"  I will also always wave the American flag proudly, and always put my hand to my heart when it is time to sing the national anthem, because I have a deep belief in its meaning and values!  I will also always firmly stand against anyone who tries to take away those freedom's from me!


So tell me, have you ever served time to help the youth in your communities before?  Do you find giving your time, is a rewarding experience?

If you're American, how did your Independence Day celebrations go?  Did you take a minute away from the parties and fireworks of the day to reflect on what happened in 1776 when we established our independence and all the things that have happened in the past to form this great Nation?


  1. Sounds like you had a great few days! My students usually guess that I am way younger than I am as well. Sometimes the younger ones guess way older but they really have no concept of time/ I love all things patriotic too. Glad to be in this country where we can stand up for what we believe in!

    1. Isn't that one of the greatest feelings when they think that:)
      Oh, I am so glad we live where we can stand up for what we believe in!

  2. I love the 4th, and I love everything about it. I didn't have time to watch the movies on TCM, but I threw in Gettysburg yesterday and watched through the second day. I might finish it today when I get home.

    1. I love the 4th too, hope you get to finish Gettysburg!

  3. Sounds like a great trip! I'm glad you got the group with good attitudes and minimal drama :) The pictures of the area look beautiful so I'm sure it was nice to have those mornings to yourself to explore on runs.

    1. I am so glad too!
      Oh ya those mornings were fabulous!

  4. It's hard for me to relate to teenage girls. (Boys, yes.) Kudos for spending time with them! It looks like a wonderful location and it's great you got your morning trail runs in. I'm flying the American Flag on my front porch right now and believe in everything it stands for.

    1. I never thought I was good with teenagers either, but I am getting better, this week was good for me in that aspect!
      It was a beautiful area!
      That's awesome you're flying your flag, we are too!!

  5. I'm so glad you had a great experience with the girls and that they were a good group! It sounds like they absolutely loved you, like I knew they would! I volunteered at a youth sports camp once, and it was exhausting lol. I don't know if it was just the group or what, but their behavior was so bad! Your group sounds like they were awesome, teenage girls without drama, can't ask for much more than that, plus the age comment, very nice:) Every time they sing the National Anthem before a race, I get the goosebumps! Proud to be an American for sure :)

    1. I don't know if they loved me, but it was nice to get to know them better. I will say it got better as the week went.
      Oh ya, like you it was exhausting, I am sorry their behavior was so bad.
      I have this theory now and I notice this a lot when I work at the library. But kids these days don't know how to communicate and build friendships and get along, they are best when they are sitting next to each other texting... it's sad really!
      I am the same way with the National Anthem before a race or any event, I can't help but think about what it took to build this country every time I hear it!

  6. sounds like an awesome experience and kudos to you! I am a member of the Junior League of Winter Haven and we have to give back to the young girls in our community, it is important to me! Welcome back and our flag flies proudly :)

    1. That's awesome, I have a friend who is a member of the Salt Lake Junior League, she is super involved it's awesome. I really should take her up on the opportunity to help out sometime!
      I hear you, it is important to work with the youth, I think they need it now far more than kids did when I was a teen!

  7. My goodness, those pictures are so pretty! Props to you for keeping up with your runs (and such a smart idea to do it in the morning)! That's awesome that the girls guessed you to be way younger (oh, the wonders of exercise + healthy living! :D )! I'm really glad you got the low-drama group too. (That is nottt fun to deal with at all.)

    I'm the same way as you with the religious/political topics. I don't mention them all that often either, because I'd rather not have to deal with a huge debate on super sensitive topics that could very easily spiral downhill. (Ain't nobody got time to deal with that negativity right now!)

    I used to be a science camp counselor during some of my Thanksgiving/winter/summer breaks in high school! :D! I was put in charge of 18 children and it was a ton of fun, but also super super stressful. (I felt like their temporary parent, haha.) But I tended to luck out with really great kids every time, so I really enjoyed it, and it's definitely something I really miss!

    1. Thanks, ya it was a pretty area and luckily still hasn't turn brown from the hot summer sun...yet:)
      Oh ya, if I don't run in the morning here in Utah in the summer, then I am stuck with triple digits and although I don't mind the heat, I kinda like starting out a little cooler when I can!

      I hear ya about the religious/political and no time to deal with the negativity, I see no point in putting negativity purposely on my life, and don't want to give it to others in theirs!

      That's awesome, and even more awesome you luck out with getting really great kids each time, that does help to enjoy it more, doesn't it!

  8. Sounds like you had a great week! Glad you got some good trail runs in and that your tendon did not bother you! That is awesome that the girls guessed your age to be a lot younger. That would make me pretty happy too! We were away camping for the 4th and no fireworks were allowed at the campsite, but we did hear and see some fireworks in the distance. Glad you had a good Independence day!

  9. Sounds like a fabulous way to spend the 4th. Being a got coach, I know how challenging this age can be but also extremely rewarding as well. Kudos to you for donating your time and energy.

  10. Yey for Patriotism!! I am right there with you. I served in the military and definitely think I found my love of our country after that. But it is always part of me. One of my pet peeves is when people talk or don't take their hats off during the national anthem, especially at a race! That sounds like such fun to go on that trip and I would have loved to run on those trails! Definitely jealous of all of the stuff you get to do in the mountains!

  11. That's great what you did for those girls. I am just like you Kristy, in that anytime we go on outings with the youth group (hubby is the youth pastor) I'm always dreading it. Maybe it's because I don't volunteer for those things, I'm just expected to be a part of it, since I'm his wife or something! But I usually end up having a good time too. I'm glad you still got some time alone and were able to get some runs in. The pics are beautiful!

  12. I constantly help out at the school. My kids love it, and I will get other kids come up to me and ask for help on stuff.
    My mum helped out a lot when I was in school, so I see it fit to return the favour.


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