Lately, most of our exercise and fun activity has involved half day hikes, though some children might take exception to my definition of "fun". We have two reasons: the weather is still nice and cool in the morning (and by cool, I mean less than 80 deg) so that we won't risk sun stroke; and my hubby and oldest will be hiking down into the Grand Canyon on a rim-to-rim backpacking hike as part of their Boy Scout Troop in October, so they need to train for it.
We have also been hiking as a family more. Last month, we camped at Picacho Peak, about 90 minutes southeast of Phoenix just off of the freeway between Phoenix and Tucson. We were planning to hike the trail listed as strenuous for those in reasonably good shape and insanely strenuous for those of us who have been slacking lately. We knew this trail would require a lunch stop, requiring at lest four hours to get to the pinnacle and return, so I went to my Pinterest Camping board to see what I could find for portable lunches. I found a series of lunch recipes from Wild Backpacker and decided upon trying out the Ford Wrap, which is the second from the bottom. It is basically a flour tortilla with cream cheese and smoked salmon, which is easy to prepare, doesn't take much space in the backpack and isn't overly filling. I added fresh spinach for some extra iron and crunch. We ate it as a lunch just before we began what became a rather arduous ascent. Immediately, we all felt so much better as the salmon provided salt and protein and the tortilla added carbs and we decided to make this our staple for long hikes.
This weekend, we camped at Chiricahua (pronounce Chih-ri-KAH-wah) Nation Monument, where a mountain rises from the desert valley hiding so many beautiful standing rock formations made of weathered ryolite (petrified volcanic ash). We stranded together trails eight miles long, mostly downhill. It involved being driven to a peack called Echo Point by our friendly, neighborhood Forest Ranger and walking to the base of the mountain, where the campsite lay. Once again, because we knew this would take us past lunchtime, we brought ingredients for the Ford Wrap. This time, instead of cream cheese, I decided to use a garlic white bean paste recipe from A Little Bit Crunchy (A Little Bit Rock n'Roll), the last five ingredients. The pannini recipe is also fabulously tasty. The white been paste added some extra flavor and some extra carbs. Once again, it gave us a lot of energy and it didn't have any milk products for those in our family who are mildly lactose intolerant.
My next blog post will have more details about our hikes with pictures.