Summer Solstice Swim

Summer has arrived and the Ferkin Family took full advantage with a trip up to Grandpa Rick’s for a swim in the pool.  Noah, Emily, and Parker have all had swim lessons at our local Splash! here in La Mirada this spring.

Emily and Noah still prefer to wear swim masks that cover their noses and make it easy to hold their breath.  In fact they are a little to dependent on the masks than I would like them to be.

This also was our first opportunity to submerge our GoPro Hero3 White camera that I bought a month ago or so.  I’ve used it on the mountain bike but this was its first aquatic experience.  I think it took pretty sharp, good video.  What you see here is more compressed and shows some pixelation.  At higher bitrates the pixelation is gone. (click “HD,” for sharper picture/fullscreen)

Fun on Bane Ridge

We (Joe and I) always have a good time on Bane Ridge Trail on the eastern side of our mountain biking haven, the Chino Hills State Park.  We don’t get to that side of the park too often because it is more of a drive.  But we got up early this last Saturday (in Ferkin-speak, that means like 8am) and headed over there.  It was a sunny but comfortable day and we really enjoyed ourselves.

I got some footage with the new GoPro Hero3 White, as well as, old reliable point-and-shoot Canon.  I’ve attempted to get more in the frame than just trail and to keep the clips fairly short to improve the video’s watchability.  See for yourself:

I Feel Like I’m Being Followed?

Several years ago I bought a bike trailer that attaches to the seat post of your bike and lets your kid ride behind you.  I think I paid like $80 at Target for it.  We’ve used it on and off over the years but a little over a month ago I started taking Noah on mountain bike rides with me.  I take him once a week, usually on Monday or Tuesday.  I even bought him some gloves to make it easier for him to hang on.  He seems to really like it and asks me if we are going when the beginning of the week rolls around.

We’ve mainly been doing the Fullerton Loop (or at least ¾ of it) but he has been asking to go “up in the mountains” so today we rode up through Powder Canyon, above Schabarum Regional Park.

Almost to the summit :)

Almost to the summit🙂

I definitely notice him back there.  I’m guessing he adds about 80 lbs. with the trailer.  It is a good workout.  Having the trailer behind me also makes it harder to keep my front wheel on the ground when we are going up steep stuff.  So far we haven’t had a wreck, so that is good.  I’ve been pretty cautious so far but with experience we’ve gotten more comfortable and started to go faster.  We hit 22mph on one downhill today.  He hasn’t fallen off yet; that is good too.

You will also notice I finally broke down and bought a GoPro video camera.  I purchased the Hero3 White version, the cheapest one.  So far it has produced some pretty good videos.  I can already tell that taking video from an angle that you don’t usually see can make for some interesting shots.  The video for this ride was shot (if you couldn’t tell) with the camera attached to my seat post.

Here’s some video:

Lemons Aplenty

Last weekend our little family had our yearly lemon harvest and squeeze.  If my memory serves me, we have harvested the lemons every January or February for the last 6 years.

It takes just a little work and then we have enough juice to make lemonade the rest of the year.  In fact, I think we used up the last of last years lemon juice just a few weeks ago.

We used to freeze the lemon juice into cubes and then put the right number of cubes into ziploc bags for making pitchers of lemonade.  The freezing of all the cubes was a laborious process.  We finally discovered it was somewhat unnecessary.  Now we just pour the amount of juice needed for a pitcher of lemonade right into the bag and seal it up.  Way less work AND the bags freeze into little flat sheets that are very easily stored in the freezer.

This year Noah and Emily were both good workers.  Noah did a lot of the washing of the picked lemons and even some juicing.  Emily did a lot of the juicing.  We ended up with about 5½ gallons of juice, a good haul.

Here are some pictures from our day (click on any for fullscreen):

Parker observing the work

Parker observing the work

Emily working the juicer

Emily working the juicer

Noah extracting some juice

Noah extracting some juice

Mommy taking her turn

Mommy taking her turn

Cole wasn't sure he liked the grass

Cole wasn’t sure he liked the grass

Back on the Bike

December proved to be a rough month for the Ferkin Family.  Of course we enjoyed Christmas and spending time with our family.  We were also, however, hit pretty hard by the illness bug.

January has given us some health and that means we were also able to get back out on the trails.  Field got his own bike recently and has ridden with us several times too.  Here is a video from a recent ride in Chino Hills State Park.

Here are a few pics from our ride (click on pic for larger view):

Joek, Forest, and Field at "Four Corners"

Joek, Forest, and Field at “Four Corners”

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Joe riding on "Bovinian Delight" Trail

Joe riding on “Bovinian Delight” Trail

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Field riding down South Ridge

Field riding down South Ridge

SacTown Ferkins Sing This Song

Flint and his Family visited from Sacramento in October and we had a couple of fun activities with them.  We spent an afternoon in the backyard on Trumball and let the cousins play together.  There was lots of jumping on the trampoline and we even laid out a finish line and had some races.

Freesia and Jordan joined us too and we all went for a mountain bike ride in Powder Canyon, above Schabarum Park in Hacienda Heights.  It was a nice day and we enjoyed some nice views.

Click on any picture below to start slideshow: