Daypack and Saddlebag Must Haves

No doubt moving makes you appreciate what’s left behind.
Sure, I love Utah. But where’s my Slipstream granola and Eco Lips lip balm? Two great products for day packs and saddlebags.

Mike Winnike

Mike Winnike

I stumbled across both Iowa products while cruising farmer’s markets and reading local papers there. I met Slipstream’s owner, Mike Winnike, at the Iowa City Farmer’s Market (one of the country’s best, in my opinion) where he was just getting started with the granola. For years, Winnike has run a successful bike shop, Slipstream Cycling.
He developed the recipe, delectably heavy on hazelnuts and honey, with a Colorado friend and pastry chef. It’s organic and downright addictive. In our family, the Slipstream disappears more quickly than any other brand. Aside from this original recipe,  called “Heidi’s blend,” Winnike has brought two new varieties to the table this year. “Julie’s Blend” tastes like crunchy, homemade apple crisp and “Theo’s blend” has dark chocolate and coconut.

SlipstreamGranolawebYum.
Missing my farmer’s market ritual, I got back in touch with Mike the other day. Slipstream is more and more available in supermarkets, he said. Plus, you can buy it online. Hooray. Check it out here.

Many readers are familiar with Eco Lips, a company we’ve partnered with as much for its outdoorsy-ness as its commitment to keeping it American and keeping it real (without chemicals).
Last year, I met President Steve Shriver after he’d just returned from a mountaineering trek in South America. He showed me around the facility, housed in Cedar Rapids’ historic Cheery Building. Unlike several businesses, Eco Lips moved ecolipsbalmback into town soon after the devastating, roof-topping, six-billion dollar flood in 2008.
They do solar.
They do sustainable.
And now, they do self-serve.
As in, make your own custom recipe. Yep, with a few clicks, you can whip up your own batch, using Eco Lips huge array of organic ingredients: beeswax, olive oil, lavender, orange, ginger, mint. You could literally eat this stuff. It’s that good.
Check out your options here.

And stay tuned for giveaways!

Maine to Utah, circa 1849

Imagine my delight in learning a Maine family was among the first white folk to settle in this neighborhood!
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Meet Thomas and Mary Jane Butterfield of Farmington, Maine.

[Photo at right shows the stone and brass monument, erected in their hometown, Herriman.]

In the 1830’s, they met Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, and followed him first to Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, before finally heading to Utah by oxen and wagon.
In 1849, they settled just west of the Jordan River and found clear drinking water in the canyon that now bears their name, Butterfield Canyon. (Mormons actually had a better relationship with Native Americans than other whites and the two groups sometimes worked together to keep out other parties, like government forces.)

Thomas Butterfield was a busy guy. He raised cows, sheep, oxen, horses, and bees, and fathered 12 children.

“Thomas Butterfield was a very industrious man. As the years went by, he added to the variety and amount of crops planted until the family produced most everything they needed or cared for. His herds grew large and prosperous. He was known for his generosity, always giving to those in need or less fortunate.”

thomasAccording to Family Search, a website maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The pretty Butterfield canyon lies a few miles from where, after much searching of the 21st century variety, we found a place to suit our needs and wants after completing our own journey west over the Rockies.

Photo at right, Thomas and Mary Jane Butterfield.

Adjusting to a younger scene

It won’t be the old folks running you off the road or scooting ahead of you in the grocery line. It’ll be the teenagers.

hikeThat’s the deal when you move from the oldest state in the country to the youngest one (according to the most recent US census).

It’s been an adjustment.

Approaching 50 years old, I felt relatively young in Maine. It was a feeling heightened in my hometown of Brunswick which ranks 19th in the country for “Best Places to Retire” according to CNN & Money Magazine. More than a third of Brunswick’s population is over 50. There, I was used to holding the doors for seniors and slowing down for all those elderly pedestrians and drivers.

In my new hometown of Herriman, the average age is 24 (twenty-four!) and just 10 percent of the population is over 50. I now hold doors for new moms. And they never seem to have just one child. More often, there are three or five in tow.
In stores and restaurants, the background noise isn’t canned music. It’s kids and babies crying, yelling, laughing, begging, and pleading. The youthfulness around here cannot be overstated. I’m so self-conscious about my age that I try to smile more and walk with extra jaunt in my step when I’m around town.

No wonder the out of doors is so appealing. Here, I’m still reminded of my mortality; the wind, sun, and terrain dole out more wrinkles and sore muscles. But, in exchange, I get fresh air, peace of mind and no sass from the young ‘uns.

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