Outdoor Recreation


Jan 06 2010

Ohio -or- Lights and Sounds of the Midwest

Published by under Travel

Ohio - photo by Llalan

Ohio - photo by Llalan

Two things you notice about Ohio when you visit the countryside are the sounds and the light. Coming home from a big city, the contrasts are stark.

Sometimes the lack thereof is enough to remind you where you are.  When I lay in bed at night I hear nothing but the ringing in my ears, the speedy rewind of the day’s incidental noises. My apartment in Boston is not in a loud part of town, but this is a different kind of quiet. This is the kind of silence that makes you think about yourself and your family, sleeping in the bedrooms below you, whether you want to or not. A snowplow scrapes along the road and I’m startled awake.

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Apr 30 2009

Summer is Just Around the Corner

Fun at the Beach

Fun at the Beach

Weather-wise, it was perfect in Boston this weekend. Everyone seemed to be in a fantastic mood, people broke out their summer clothes, neighbors were sitting on their stoops, invitations to barbecues were popping up, and people were seriously starting to plan trips to the beach. Thanks to the weather forecast, I now know that the sun will disappear soon – most likely on my next day off from work – but that shouldn’t stop me or anyone from planning their next beach adventure. One must be prepared to take advantage of every weather-permitting opportunity. My godson Andy, who is featured in the photo, is always ready and willing to head to the closest beach. All he needs is his hat, shorts, sunscreen, adult supervision and he is ready to go. All the adult supervisors need to know is where to go. Continue Reading »

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Mar 06 2009

A Bike Ride in New York City

Published by under Travel,Travel Tips and Resources

Mini Rough Guide New York City

Mini Rough Guide New York City

I took a day trip to New York City this weekend for Monster Track–the alley cat bike race in which you ride to different checkpoints throughout the city and the first one to finish wins.  The race is easiest for those who live in New York and know the streets well, but my friend and I just went to experience the brutality of it all.  What is unique about this race is that it is on the streets in full traffic – there is no closed course – and the only rule is no brakes allowed.

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Mar 02 2009

Liberating Turtles in Puerto Escondido is Fun!

Newly Free Baby Turtles--photo by Lisa

Liberacion de Tortugas--photo by Lisa

While walking along the main drag in Puerto Escondido in Southern Mexico, I started to see notices in a lot of the hotel windows proclaiming “Ahora Liberación de tortugas 5:45″.  I am not a Spanish speaker, but after reading this my imagination started to run wild. I pictured poor little turtles being held against their will in shackles by evil tyrants. They are actually being “liberated” by an organization called Fundación Selva Negra that is dedicated to helping protect the survival of three types of turtles: Tortuga Golfina, Tortuga Laud, and Tortuga Prieta. Continue Reading »

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Jan 18 2009

Winter Sports -or- Time for Hot Cocoa

Published by under News

100 Best Ski Resorts of the World -by Gerry Wingenbach

100 Best Ski Resorts of the World -by Gerry Wingenbach

I awoke this morning to temperatures outside of five-degrees with a windchill of six-below. This did not bode well for my walk to the bus stop sporting still-damp hair and the cute skirt I was determined to wear. Oh well: crunchy, frozen hair and chilly knees I could handle. Five is really not so bad.

Negative eleven is another story. This is what I’m hearing from reports out of Ohio. Minnesota’s negative twenty-two, on the other hand, is downright prohibitive. I’m not sure how one survives in weather where the windchill is fifty-below. I’d have to invest in a hair dryer.

In weather like this, my mind doesn’t necessarily drift to the Caribbean though, but to places where people are able to stay outside and play in the snow.

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Nov 19 2008

Upcoming Winter Fun in West Virginia

Raven Map of West Virginia

Raven Map of West Virginia

Why do we, warm-blooded mammals, particularly dislike the winter season? The answers are apparent: it’s dark, it’s cold, and your bus is always twenty minutes late for the sole reason of torturing you and making you turn into an icicle on that desolate street corner.

But on the other hand, why don’t we take a more optimistic look at the upcoming winter? That will come to you easily, especially after a mug of hot chocolate, don’t worry. Yes, winter can be escaped only if you are taking a vacation in the Caribbean. So if it is inescapable, why not to try to have some snowy fun? After all, global warming is coming, you know, and snow is becoming more and more precious.

To catch some of it (or sometimes quite a lot), I would personally recommend West Virginia. Don’t be surprised! They have all the trails open right now with 8 to 16 inches of that white stuff, which we probably won’t get for another month here in Boston! And for those who just started shivering, the experts say – it is never cold when it snows unless it is a serious blizzard. However, there is always a cure for that disaster, like a ski resort cabin with a cozy fireplace, for example. That is certainly something you would appreciate and enjoy when it’s 15 degrees outside.

So, grab your skiing or snowboarding gear, your kids, dogs, friends, and put them all into the car and go. There is more fun to winter than the fear of cold, I assure you.

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Nov 10 2008

Get Lost! -or- Neighborhood Tourism

Published by under Travel

Red Maple --photo by Llalan

Red Maple --photo by Llalan

The other day, cooped up in my room, computer on, windows closed and thermal, black-out-style curtains drawn, I realized I felt rightfully trapped. I rolled across the floor in my desk chair and folded back a small corner of my curtain. Blinded! The sun was out and singing loudly in a bright blue, cloudless sky.

It occurred to me that I might feel less claustrophobic, anxious, antsy, and frankly depressed if I got out of my dark cube of a room. After all, Mom had said as much when I talked to her on the phone earlier that day, and she’s always right.

So I swapped out the slippers for some sneakers and grabbed my point-and-shoot just in case anything caught my eye. And then I got lost.

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Oct 13 2008

Surprise! Fishing Is Fun

Published by under Travel

Jess Caught Fish! --photo by Jess

Jess Caught Fish! --photo by Jess

Up until about a month ago, I had never given much thought to the numerous fishing guides and fish photography books dispersed throughout our store. To be honest, fishing always seemed boring — a kind of waiting game that culminated in a slimy scaled creature with a hook through its mouth, a flapping tail, and an odor that was, well, fishy. But, like with so many other things in life, my preconceived notions were dramatically changed when I had the opportunity to actually go fishing for brook trout in Vermont.

I do have to admit that my first fishing excursion was undoubtedly “fishing-lite,” and any serious fisher, or fan of The Deadliest Catch for that matter, will find my account laughable. Nevertheless, the nerve-wracking yet exhilarating feeling of the first little bite at the end of my rod grabbed and kept my attention. With my eyes fixed firmly on the stream and my thoughts on the fish resting just below its surface, I felt myself fishing.

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Oct 01 2008

A Book Of Trees…Made Of Trees

Published by under Book Reviews

Trees: A Visual Guide

Trees: A Visual Guide --by Tony Rodd and Jennifer Stachouse

Trees can tell us a whole lot of things. They can tell you direction if you are lost. Some can provide water for you. They make the air you breathe, which is pretty cool. They also can tell us which way the prevailing wind in a specific area blows. Oh yeah, and they look amazing. Trees, A Visual Guide by Tony Rodd and Jennifer Stachouse has come in to the store and the book is awesome. It has gorgeous pictures of all different types of trees from all over the world. It gives you all the information you need to have a general understanding of tree usage in our world and tree usage in the animal world. This book also lets you know how tall they are, where they grow, the types of flowers or fruits they produce, and much, much more. Anyway, I think it is an awesome book that tells you about some of the tallest and oldest living things on earth. Even if you don’t want the information, the pictures alone are worth it and are spectacular.

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Sep 12 2008

Fall Comes to New England

Published by under News,Travel

A New England Autumn

A New England Autumn by Ferenc Mate

Today, it is fall in Boston. Perhaps not on the calendar, but certainly in the air. The crickets of late-summer have stopped their song. The sky is low and gray. The local Farmer’s Market was full of crisp apples and fat heirloom tomatoes. Chrysanthemums are blooming and the leaves on the trees have turned dull in preparation for their brilliant costume change.

Autumn is a dressy affair in New England. When the trees finally do put on their finest, people migrate north en mass to drive the Kancamagus Highway or even hike the Long Trail in Vermont. I myself am looking forward to fresh apple cider, apple pie, apple cobbler, and those sugary maple candies they make in cute shapes.

Until then, I watch the skies darken further and hope the rain doesn’t pull down the leaves prematurely. And I rejoice in the excuse to wear sweatshirts and curl up inside reading all day.

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