Kimmie's Outdoor Blog
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: FISHING - GET HOOKED!

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From an early age, I’ve been into fishing. There’s something about being outdoors (usually in the boonies) that is very mesmerizing to me. This is not to say that once I get there I’m asleep at my rod. NO WAY! It’s quite the opposite.
The other thing that really attracts me to fishing is the enormous sense of optimism and potential that I feel. Every time I head to the water, it doesn’t matter what the results of my last fishing trip were, I’m confident. When I’m walking down to a creek for the first time or driving a boat toward the open water, I’m anticipating how that fish will feel on my line. Any prior trips that were less than successful are somehow temporarily erased from my memory. It’s like going back to childhood where your spirit was completely intact. As we grow up, society can squash parts of our spirit. With our day-to-day lives of repetition and routine, pure optimism is not overly common in today’s world. But for some reason, fishing brings me back to childhood and my overwhelming sense of hope. YOU should try it!


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It does not matter where you live, there’s a place to go fishing. Within a few hours, there’s always an ocean, lake, stream or city pond. And although you may not catch a fish every time, you will have a wonderful experience trying. Many anglers strictly prefer catch-and-release. Others take their fish home and cook up a tasty meal. Either way the choice is up to you. What’s important is that you get outside in the fresh air and feel that sense of potential you remember as a child.


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Speaking of children, kids seem to go nuts over this sport. I especially enjoy the spending time with my child when we have a chance to get out on the water for a few hours. Talk about the memories that we have! We are both knowledgeable yet always still learning together. He gets so excited to try a new lure or bait. And I must admit…oh, there’s that optimism again…we are always hoping to catch that big one!
I know you’ve heard of the saying: “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at the office.” It’s true.


Kimmie

 

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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: SURFING

I’ve finally figured out what it is about surfing that attracts me. Look, we all love walking the beach and listening to the waves. But there’s something more that makes me want to pull on a wetsuit and head out. It’s that the ocean is a mysterious being that dances to its own rhythm. By surfing, I am succumbing to the unyielding strength of this massive force of nature.
At first I thought why would I spend countless hours and dollars trying to get in synch with something that would never even skip a beat if I left? The surf is a natural force with no regard to anything in its path. And that’s why I’m intrigued so much by it.
Surfing is easy and like all things, just takes practice to perfect. If you get the right advice in the early days with surf lessons, you will fast track the learning curve. Although I’m still in this learning phase, I really get while people fall in love with surfing. To find a wave’s energy, to harness it and then be able to run with it-that’s what surfing is all about. I look forward to the day where I go from standing on the wave to actually drawing lines on this liquid canvas. To all of the pros out there, I sure have admiration for how you have mastered your elements.
There are those that may not call surfing an extreme sport, but I do. It’s certainly an activity where one of the main elements of pleasure is derived from an intense thrill. And don’t forget that in most extreme sports, you need some sort of precise balance and a certain element of…risk. Riding big waves is all of this and lives up to the description as an extreme sport in my eyes.
So if you want to know what it really means to completely let go and live on the edge a bit, try surfing. You’ll give in to something much bigger than you, and you’ll love every minute of it.


Radically yours,
Kimmie

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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: HORSEBACK RIDING

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In some parts of the world, riding a horse is an essential means of transportation. In most places, however, we can enjoy our countryside by horseback and consider it an exciting outdoor adventure.


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Imagine this scenario: A good horse beneath you, a blue sky above, trails and countryside out ahead in the distance. Never ridden you say? Or you had a bad stable experience when you were a child? I’m here to tell you about the wonderful world you can discover on the back of a horse. With all that goes on in our daily lives, wouldn’t it be nice to just get outside and be in harmony with nature?


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I tell you this because I grew up speaking one language: HORSE. As a very young girl, I tied string like a harness and pretended to be the prancing horse pulling the wagon. At age 6, I got my first pony. Age 7 my first blue ribbon. A room-full of ribbons, saddles, trophies and buckles later, I am still hooked!
YOU can learn to ride, too. Find a local stable. Take a vacation to a dude ranch. See how cows are really gathered on an authentic cattle drive. I encourage you to do your research and find a reputable place to ride. Make the effort and you won’t be sorry.


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So get outside and ride a horse. Rather than machines or cell phones, you’ll hear leather and hoof steps. .


Chomping at the bit for my next ride,
Kimmie

 


 

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: TRAIL SAFETY

The snow is melting and spring is calling. Most of us have had enough of winter and are ready to get outside. Ok, letís face itÖwe have a bit of cabin fever and are craving some fresh air.

If you are looking for a great way to get outdoors, lose weight, or spend time with others-take a hike! Iím writing this to encourage you to dust off your hiking stick and start planning your mountain trek. As with any outdoor adventure, preparation is the key. Here are some tips to help make your outing enjoyable and safe:

Weather
Springtime hiking is a thrill but can also be wet. While our days may be bright and warm, many trails will still be muddy. Itís important to check your local conditions by visiting www.nws.noaa.gov. Always remember that spring rains can make for some hazardous water crossings.

Mud
Summer-like conditions can lead to snow melt and mud on many trails. During this mucky period, itís often best to look for trails at lower elevations with southern exposure. Hikers should seek out areas with well-draining soils. In general, until the leaves return, hardwood forests receive more sunlight than coniferous forests and will usually be the driest of the trails. Be aware of bridges and sections of trails that may have washed away with adverse conditions. If you plan to cross a creek, unbuckle your waist belt and loosen the shoulder strap of your pack. Hiking Boots

By the way, creeks are usually at their lowest levels in the early mornings.

Gear
Before heading out, be sure to grease up your hiking boots so theyíll shed water efficiently. Gaiters are a good idea to help keep muck out of your boots and socks. A hiking stick will help you with your balance at times. Sun block and bug spray can be priceless. I admit that itís obvious, but food, water and a mini first-aid kid should always be packed.

Navigation
Itís refreshing to go out and get lost in the woodsÖbut not literally. Even if you only plan to follow well-marked trails, itís wise to have some navigational skills. Getting lost can be a very scary and possibly dangerous situation. Even if youíre familiar with the area, itís a good idea to have a local map. A compass is a must-have and will keep you headed home on the right course. A modern GPS device is also a good investment if you plan to very far into the hills. Along with a good topo map, a GPS can pinpoint your exact location. Finally, do you have memories of learning how to spot the big dipper? Remember to find north, look for the clear star at the end of the big dipper.

For some up-to-date information on trails, here are some helpful links:

http://www.nps.gov/
http://www.fs.fed.us/

Sounds a lot better than that stair walker, doesnít it? Have fun!
- Kimmie

 
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