June 20, 2014

The Undiscovered Path: Road Tripping Without a Plan



The heat is on, the sun’s blazing and you’ve got the urge to visit places you’ve only seen on the cover of the History textbook that you didn’t open in 3rd grade.  It’s the summer, and it’s road trip season.

 Before last summer, I’ve considered myself lucky, as I typically would travel fairly often each year, but that was via flying (and no, not by drinking Red Bull). I’ve always thought it was thrilling to travel to various places, to meet new people and immerse yourself into that culture, be it in the U.S. or outside of it. 

Never before have I had the chance to travel with friends, for simple leisure and take on wild adventures.  During the winter of 2013, my friend mentioned that he was conducting his physical therapy clinical hours out in Arizona, with the intent of driving there (from Connecticut). BOOM, LIGHT BULB TURNED ON.  Immediately, the conversation moved to, “When are we leaving”?  The idea of the trip carried us through a long New England winter.

There were three of us, a few pieces of clothing, a Go Pro camera and our mini-van got onto the road by May 11th.  We left Fairfield, CT with one plan, head West and get there in one week.  Everyone that we talked to about our trip asked, about where we were staying, what sites were we stopping at, or if we were sure that we knew what we were doing.  The answer was “No” to all of the above.

Before a big trip, most people create a plan of what they’re going to do along the way, but we’re definitely not ‘most people’.  To be honest, the only thing we planned was a night at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas. Other than that, the foot was to the pedal and the thought of the Pacific was in our heads.  We did decide that we didn’t have any real reason to stop in the Midwest, although the world’s largest truck stop in Iowa did draw some interest, it was not enough for us to drive that direction.

 25 hours later, we made our first stop, a night in Fort Collins, CO, where we stayed a night with Luke’s cousin.  Through exhaustion of no sleep and never having been at altitude before, we were quite satisfied after 1 pint of local beer.   At this point, we still didn’t know where was next for us.  We stepped outside the next morning to see the Rocky Mountains, big as day.  Egg sandwiches in our stomachs and coffees in our hands, we hit the highway and drove south through the Rockies.  Can you say epic?

After nearly burning out our brakes in the van going downhill, we hit jaw-dropping stop after stop.  Mesa Verde National Park, to The Great Sand Dunes, to the Four Corners, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon State Park, The Grand Canyon, the list goes on, the memories ever lasting.  Everyday, our minds became more and more blown to what we and many people have been missing out on seeing and learning about.

 Growing up in the Northeast, we have the Adirondack's, the ocean and over populated cities.  Call it the intrinsic desire to explore, call it post-college “I’m heading to California, dude!”, call it what you want, but the voyage was destined for greatness. The country is HUGE, that’s an understatement and we were appreciative of every inch of land we saw and touched.  We loved all of the people that we met along the way, thankful for safe camping adventures, pumped we met Chewbacca & Lady Gaga in Hollywood and most of all we caught the bug.  The travel bug.  It’s stuck in our system now, the urge to get out and see the world.  Every neighborhood, city, state, country, they all have different cultures within them. If you have the time and a buddy or two, hit the road this summer and take a road trip.












June 17, 2014

Picky Road Trip Part 3: When Misadventures Lead to Adventures

This blog sums up the series of 'Picky Road Trip' blogs by Sasha and Madeline. Though their trip never ended up happening due to hydroplaning and a car crash, the duo still managed to take on all sorts of adventures with the time they had intended to use for the trip. Read below for a summary of the trip and details on how to turn any bad circumstance upside down. 

There is no way to prevent mishaps or misadventures from infiltrating our lives. Things go missing, we get sick, and cars crash. But, as we have learned in the last couple days, even the worst misadventures can turn into something good. As we mentioned before, our car crash has caused us to spend some extra time in the beautiful outdoorsy mecca of Bend, Oregon, abandoning our meticulously planned and anticipated road trip. However, thanks to the Picky Crew and a little googling, this time in Bend has been filled with mini-adventures that we never expected.


Mini-adventure #1: Camping in Patrick’s Yard

Picky’s Problem Solver, Patrick (aka VP of Operations), has been generous enough to allow us to set up our tents in the far right corner of his woodchipped backyard. If you ever need an escape within the city, his backyard is the place to be. Complete with a fire pit, picnic table, and wildlife (his terrier Guinness hopped right into Madeline’s tent the other day), his yard has exceeded our expectations in the amount of fun it can provide. Not to mention this campsite has a shower and kitchen only seconds away.

Mini-adventure #2: The Mercury Sable

Who knew a beat-up loaner car could provide so much adventure? When the auto body shop told us that our car would take several weeks to fix, they handed over the keys to their last available loaner: an ocean-mist aqua Mercury Sable with forest green interior. Thrilled to have wheels once again, we hit the road to Smith Rock and Black Butte in the Sable. It’s not perfect. The old girl shimmies violently when you hit the breaks at 55 mph and eats up gas, but she does have a trunk large enough for several crash pads and/or thousands of Picky Bars, and puts up with our loud music. Without her, we’d probably be on a bus back to Eugene already.


Mini-adventure #3: Smith Rock

Smith Rock State Park, one of the most breathtaking sites in Oregon, was essentially in our backyard now. On our first day at Smith, we wheezed away and hauled ourselves up Misery Ridge to enjoy the expansive and (literally) breathtaking views of what lay below us and the enormous snowcapped mountains that rise up around Bend. After a quick Picky Bars refueling break overlooking Monkey Face, we grabbed our crash pad from the car and hiked around attempting to boulder on rocks that were beyond our skill level and finger strength.

On day 2, we continued to explore and adventure around the park with some bouldering detours. A highlight of the day was listening to stories from a motorcyclist about his friend who de-fanged a rattlesnake and kept it as a pet. While we weren’t immediately inspired to pursue this path ourselves, who knows what the future holds? We also watched with jealousy as a friend sport climbed across the regal rock faces of smith.



Mini-adventure #4: Black Butte Ranch

Upon realizing we were destined to be in Bend for a while, Madeline reached out to some East Coasters that she knew were spending some time in Oregon on a roadtrip of their own. As chance would have it, they were staying 40 minutes from Bend at Black Butte Ranch, so we hauled our loaner Mercury Sable to the ranch and cooked some steak we found on sale at target for dinner. We spent the evening diving for frisbees on the golf course and stargazing at the ranch’s grounds.

Mini-adventure #5:  Mountain biking

Apparently, local adventure tours are also part of our “camping” stay at Patrick’s house, as he guided Sasha through her first mountain biking escapade. While simply making it to the mountain biking trails was a mini achievement for Sasha in her oxygen-deprived state, managing not to break any bones on the winding and glorious mountain biking trails of Bend was the overarching success. Patrick blazed down the trails and around the hairpin turns while (kindly) waiting for Sasha to catch up. At the end she reflected that her teeth had dirt on them from smiling the whole time. They met an (older?) couple at the end of the ride who informed Patrick that it was tradition to get someone a shot of  tequila after their first mountain biking trip. This means that Patrick owes Sasha, Anna, and Betsy tequila shots. We’ll update you on how this goes.


So, what’s the moral of the week? When you take the “mis” out of misadventure, you get an unexpected opportunity for new adventure.


June 16, 2014

Cloggin' the Noggin: Week of 6/16/2014

It's already Monday and things are really rolling along over here! With the biggest sporting event in the world going on this week (World Cup) and all sorts of track and field championship meets popping up during the month of June, competition is definitely underway all over the globe. Here are some weekly picks to keep you fueled on to radness. 

1. Where are you following the World Cup? Set up goal alerts here for each time a goal is scored.


2. There is going to be a Dumb and Dumber sequel. Heck yes!

 3. Drinking black coffee used to be torture. Then, I found out I was just making it wrong. People, buy the nice stuff. Grind it properly. And try these 9 methods for your morning brew.


4. So, this happened. Thank you, @RunnersandCats.

5. Did you follow the running races this weekend? Check out NCAA track and field results as well as Portland Track Festival.




6. Don't neglect stretching after your run, bike, hike, or climb! Jasyoga shares simple tips for helpful poses after working out. 

7. Hard to keep up with beer when there are so many new breweries and types being constantly released. Here is a guide for the best beers of summer 2014.


8. The season for hiking is upon us. What a great activity to challenge yourself while contemplating life. Here are 10 great hikes that are safe to do solo! 

9. We all know athletes in the World Cup are fit. But have you ever considered the referees? They run an average of 6- miles a game.


10. Last, but not least. Picky work week stats. 60 coffees this week, but keep in mind we are measuring each cup as 8 ounces! So a typical 'medium coffee' counts as two. Don't want to spur you on to dangerous caffeine habits. And Picky Bar count is up. 


Cheers mates! 

June 13, 2014

Picky Pictures: Week of 6/13

Friday, Friday, it's already Friday! This week's pictures convey energy, enthusiasm, sunshine, and the joy of life. Let yourself be inspired and inspire others this day and every other day. Don't forget to tag #pickylife on your instagram pictures so we can be sure to consider you for our Picky pictures each Friday.
Cheers folks! Enjoy the weekend.

June 12, 2014

Posts from Kelly: Epic Adventure Man

You may have seen his rad pics on our Instagram at times or maybe even came across his own profile, but as you'll soon read, Luke Kelly lives an epic life. A native of Red Hook, NY, Luke goes to bed at night with travels on his mind.  The well bearded man has ventured to Norway, New Zealand, and Patagonia as well as multiple cross-country road trips.  Yes, we know what you're wondering, what does he do when he's not traveling across the globe? He gets down and dirty in Alaska on a commercial fishing boat (I guess that does qualify as an adventure too).  We want to introduce you to Luke Kelly, a legend in his own right, model of the #pickylife and fierce look-a-like to Paul Revere (that last one may be just a guess) and have you look forward to more posts from Kelly to come during these Summer months. 

My name is Luke Kelly. As I write this, I’m taking shelter from the cold Alaskan rain beneath a rotten plywood roof in Juneau. It’s June, but I can see my breath. The air is fresh, but has a chilling bite to it that makes it feel more like March. I can feel the fatigue of having traveled twelve hours from New York starting to set in, and my eyelids are feeling heavy. I should probably get used to not sleeping, though. I’ll be working on a commercial salmon fishing boat this summer, and sleep will be a rare commodity.

Five years ago, at the age of nineteen, I left my small town of Red Hook, New York, and traveled with my best friend to Alaska for the first time. I was struck by awe. At some point during that trip, I came down with a severe case of the travel bug and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve always been restless, and from that point forward I decided to dedicate my 20’s to traveling the globe in search of adventure and raw experience. My trips have led me as far as Patagonia and New Zealand, as well as to various corners of Europe, Australia, and the States. I always try to travel with an open mind and heart, on the off chance that I just might learn a thing or two along the way.

As every traveler eventually does, I quickly realized that funding trips to remote parts of the world proves costly. I knew that I needed to find a good seasonal job that would provide me with enough money to travel, but that would also satisfy my itch for adventure. A coach of mine back in New York had been a commercial fisherman in Alaska when he was younger, and I had always been captivated by his stories of the sea. When he mentioned that the industry could also be very lucrative, I knew that commercial fishing in Alaska would be the perfect job to suit my traveling lifestyle. At the age of 20, I went back to Alaska alone and walked the docks, asking for a fishing job. Despite having no prior experience, I eventually landed a spot on a boat.

That was four years ago. With the exception of last summer, I’ve been back to Alaska every summer to work on the same boat. Each season has had its own share of triumphs and heartbreaks, exhaustion and excitement.

This year, my friends and I are planning a long backpacking trip through Europe in the fall, with the hope of doing some extensive hiking and climbing. So here I am, back in foggy Southeast Alaska, gearing up for another season of commercial salmon fishing in order to fund the trip to Europe.

Commercial fishing is a unique industry to work in. It’s often dangerous, and the pay is based on the amount of fish that a person catches, so you never know how much money you’re going to make in a given summer. That, combined with the thrill of the constantly changing weather and the striking beauty of Southeast Alaska, and the whole experience usually makes for a few interesting stories. I’ve decided to blog about the upcoming salmon season, and the adventures that I’ll have on the boat this summer. My hope is that I’ll have something worth writing about.

Luke Kelly Juneau, Alaska 6/7/14"

June 11, 2014

Jasyoga guest blog: How to #hitreset outside!

We love the peeps at jasyoga, and this week jasyoga was in Bend for a bit! We got to experience multiple #hitreset sessions with Erin and all of them were incredibly restorative. Outdoor yoga was happening all over Bend, OR at breweries and parks. Being able to take the time to #hitreset on the day does much more than you can imagine. Sometimes slowing down can enable you to do much more and regain the inspiration you need. Read below for several poses to do in your outdoor venue of choice!


(Pictured: Erin from jasyoga visiting Picky Bars HQ in Bend).

The sun is shining and it’s time to Hit Reset outside! After all your outdoor adventures this summer, be sure to hit up our fave trifecta to mitigate booty lock, stretch your quads and hip flexors, and re-lengthen your sides. Hold each pose for 5+ deep breaths and complete the sequence before switching to the second side…

Pinwheel —

  1. Sit down and bend your knees, staggering the right leg in front of the left so that it makes a “pinwheel” shape, with a little bit of space between your right foot and your left knee.

  2. Keep both feet flexed.

  3. Sit up tall and turn your torso toward your right thigh, and lie down on top of it.

  4. When you think you’ve found your resting point, try to lengthen your spine even more, as if you’re pulling your ribs further away from your hips.

Pinwheel Quad Stretch —

  1. Keep your legs in a “pinwheel” set up.

  2. Reach back and grab your left foot with your left hand.

  3. Pull your heel toward your left glute as you press your left hip forward and draw your left shoulder toward the center of your upper back.

Pinwheel Back Bend —

  1. Keep your legs in a “pinwheel” set up.

  2. Leave your right hand on the ground just behind you to the right.

  3. Press your hips forward and up as you lift your butt off the ground and reach your left arm overhead.

  4. Drop your head and relax your neck, and make sure you’re not squeezing your butt!

(Pictured: Some Picky Bars peeps doing the pinwheel stretch series).

Share your #outdoorstudio pics on Instagram using #viewfrommymat and enjoy hitting reset anytime, anywhere!

June 10, 2014

Picky Road Trip Part 2: Sasha + Madeline Hit a Snag

Below is an update from Madeline and Sasha, Picky’s friendly road trippers. A couple hours after the lovely pair left Bend last week we got a call that they had been in a car accident. Fortunately, they came out of it unscathed! We are lucky to have these two in town. Though they are bummed about missing the trip, they are finding all sorts of adventure here in Bend and surrounding areas in Oregon. Continue to stay updated on their blog series and follow the spirit of adventure these two are churning out!


(Pictured: A lot of local adventuring has been going down due to the road trip cancellation.)

The #pickylife is about finding adventures and positivity in all situations, good and bad. Sometimes this lifestyle is one that strays from the beaten path or takes a turn in an unexpected direction. A few days ago, our Picky roadtrip started off with a lot of enjoyable adventures around Picky HQ and Bend, and then a lot of less-fun adventures further down the road. After a hydroplaning snafu landing us in a ditch, the Picky Bars roadtrip has been slightly rerouted. We are safe, healthy, and recuperating via massive amounts of Picky Bars and some deserved rest.

(Pictured: The Picky Road Tour car has seen better days, but we are determined to make the most out of havoc!) 

(Pictured: Can't take a road trip? No problem. We'll camp in Picky Patrick's yard.)

Never fear, rad adventures come in all shapes, sizes, and locations. Currently, our newest adventure has manifested in a mini camping trip in the backyard of Picky problem solver Patrick’s home and a few days of traipsing around Eastern Oregon. We are literally and figuratively happy campers. Time to explore Deschutes County while our boy Stephen repairs the car. Have tips for off the beaten path places near Bend? Send us a shout out.

(Pictured: Trail running like a boss with Madeline and the Picky Crew).


(Pictured: Beers at 10 Barrel the night after the accident. Patrick and Jude sure do know how to bring smiles!)


We will find adventure.
We will continue to the Picky Tour in whatever form it takes.
We will live the #pickylife.

June 09, 2014

Cloggin' the Noggin: Week of 6/09/2014

The weeks are rolling on by! Our weekly blog post is ready to rock and roll to fuel ya for adventures all week long. World Cup begins on Thursday and we are pretty stoked, what are you most excited for this week?


1. Are you following this twitter account? Runners + Cats has us hootin and hollerin with laughter over here. 


2. Do you love the feeling you sometimes have after going for a run? Read about, 'How to Properly Achieve a Runner's High.'


3. Look at this graph ranking largest vocabularies in hip hop by artist. Some are above Shakespeare! 


4. Gramps does soccer freestyle. Watch video below:



6. Did you know eating certain foods can help you avoid getting a nasty sunburn? Check out the best foods to eat to save your skin.


7. It seems there are some breakfast myths floating around out there. While breakfast may not make you leaner, breakfast eaters are more likely to exercise!


8. Game before the game. An astounding video leading up to world cup 2014. 


9. Need a healthy green vegan summer latte? Check out this blogger's Coconut Match Latte for delicious hydration.


10. Lastly, weekly stats. Coffee consumption at an all time high. Could the tracking be driving increased caffeine intake? I guess that's okay as long as it drives increased activity and Picky Bars consumption at the same time.
Stay tuned for more Picky Bars posts to 'Clog your Noggin' every Monday morning to fuel you to weekly radness!

June 06, 2014

Picky Pictures: Week of 6/02/2014

Lots of local love happening this week in Picky Pictures. We got overly excited about the arrival of summer and everyone is feeling fresh, sunburned, and eager to get outside every day. You can see from Jesse and Lauren's stellar river trail shots that Bend that everyone is pretty stoked about the summer. What is your home like? How have you been getting outside?
Don't forget to tag all of your stellar instagram photos with #pickylife so we can consider your shots for the Picky Pictures of the week next time.

June 05, 2014

June Pro Updates

Lauren, Jesse, + Steph are a very special part of Picky Bars. They started the company on their own outta their own kitchen! It has since grown, but they are still part of Picky Bars in a very large  and wonderful way. We know that many Picky peeps and Picky Club members want to stay up to date on the happenings in the lives of the talented trio. Monthly 'Pro Updates' are designed to do just that. Keep it real, and keep you connected with the athlete founders of the real food bar you are eating everyday.

Fleshman Flyer

Lauren kicked off the month winning local 'Heaven can Wait 5k' with fellow Picky Bars employee and Oiselle teammate, Mel Lawrence, taking second. Fleshman said it was a blast getting to race with Mel and she is thoroughly enjoying the process of getting to climb the ladder together. 

She is preparing for her next race on the road's, the New York Mini 10k on June 14. This is the oldest women's only race in the world, and she will get to line up next to Deena Kastor, Molly Huddle, and some other serious talent. Go Lauren!

After that, Lauren heads to Seattle to autograph lots of Runner's World Mags for all ya'all. Find out how to have your copy autographed here. 

 Mr. Thomas

The other half of Lauren has a pretty big month coming up as well! Jesse is still coming off his fourth Wildflower title and ready to continue to have a full racing season summer 2014. 

JT is headed to Ironman 70.3 Eagleman this weekend in Cambridge, Maryland. Wish him luck as he heads to this historic little town on the East Coast.

Jesse spent a week at Red Bull camp, where he tested his limits and learned how to better his mental and physical performance. Always improving!

Steph Rothstein

This is a hugely exciting month for Steph! She has a baby coming any week now! What an excitement to bring a baby Bruce into the world. Keep Steph and Ben in your thoughts in the following weeks.

Read Steph's blog post about her excitement to return to running post baby here. Beautifully and honestly written! 

Hubby Ben Bruce made the trip to San Diego last weekend to win his second marathon. So far, that makes Ben Bruce an undefeated marathon runner! He took the race in style and then took his shirt off promptly after his San Diego marathon 2-peat!


***Special side note for June: Jude the Dude turns 1 this month and he is ready to celebrate in style. He will be a great big brother-type role model for Steph and Ben's little one!


 That's all for June. Be sure to continue following Picky Bars Pro Updates on the blog at the beginning of each month to stay updated on the three Picky founder athletes!


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