Want to get away from it all this Fourth of July?
Does your idea of a vacation involve crowded parks or baseball stadiums hoping to get a decent view of fireworks with 50 of your closest friends?
How about days of heart-pounding adventure in the great outdoors? I have scoured the travel guides, combed the Internet and sought out word-of-mouth recommendations to bring you the best of the best. Ive traveled the globe and here in the USA I have visited each state in the USA and I have explored the out of the way, the expensive and non expensive to allow it to culminate into whatever I can say or do to help you get up and live again.
Lets try this... Lets start here this holiday and let me ring you now a bit of 10 of a multitude of the great money saving ways to get outdoors quick, inexpensively and with the only goal right now being my desire to push you out the door, pry you off your couch and to show you just how great it can be take a deep long breath of air away from the normal routines of life.
To coax your " I cants " into one or two " Wow this is amazing why havent I tried this before."
I want to know just a few of you - smiled and looked in the mirror saying " I " did that for me!
Ok Lets get started:
Try this for the top 10 adventure on a shoestring budget, EASY outing trips in your area:
1. Camping at Big Bend, Texas - Cheap Cheap and Stunning Beauty
Load up your RV (or your pick up, or even your sedan), and head to the southernmost tip of the Lone Star State, where there really is an outdoor adventure to suit anyone’s interests and fitness level. Like roughing it in the wilderness? Pitch a tent. Prefer the amenities of a comfortable lodge? You can do that too. You can also hike, go horseback riding, rock climb and bird watch. Whatever you do, make sure to enjoy Texas’s endless night sky.
2. Fly Fishing the Madison River, Montana
Pack up your hoppers, flying ants and beetles – it’s time catch some fish. Also known as the “50 mile riffle”, this fly-fisher’s paradise boasts expansive, calm waters, free from boulders and fallen trees. What you get instead is a pool full of wild rainbow trout and large brown trout. And the river is novice-friendly, so even if you’re new to fly-fishing, you can come away with a cooler full of loot. What’s more, you’ll be surrounded by some of Montana’s most picturesque scenery while you cast your line. Tip: Try evening fly-fishing! The best month to do so is July, and the best time of night is 8:30-11pm.
3. White water Rafting the Chatooga, in 3 states. (Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, in case you were curious).
It’s one of the wildest and most beautiful whitewater rivers in the country. In fact, it’s been designated as “Wild and Scenic” by the U.S government, thus protecting it from development. It flows freely through the Appalachian Mountains, and spans approx 180,000 acres ). The river also caters to different adventure thresholds. If your looking for something mild and scenic (section III of the river), you’ll have time to swim, sun or lunch along the way. Prefer something a little more intense? Conquer section IV of the river for an equally scenic, yet heart-pounding thrill ride. Either way, this Southeastern waterway is a “must do”. There are a number of outfitters in the area. Try Wildwater Rafting or Southeastern Expeditions.
4. Hunting Whitetail in Missouri - I know it may not be for all of you.... but ... for some, this will be heaven in camo.
The “Show-Me” State boasts over a million Whitetail Deer, including plenty of trophy-sized Bucks. Thanks to vast wooded areas, open fields, and large expanses of water, deer are drawn to this region. And the success rate? In the 2008 firearm season, hunters took home 238,819 deer! Missouri is also one of America’s top Turkey hunting sites, and hosts a variety of other game including Elk, Wild Boar and Quail. And whether you’re a seasoned hunter or new to the sport, consider a guided hunt to get the most out of your adventure.
5. Hiking Through the Garden of Gods - Ok this is more my style for a long weekend away people - Cheap - Fresh Air and Sunshine.
Nestled within Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest, this wilderness area (and geological masterpiece) is alleged to be over 320 million years old. Come here to see the unusual rock formations — you’ll be amazed by some of the intricate designs. There are two main hiking trails: the Observation Trail and the River-to-River Trail. The first is famous for its spectacular views of the local geology. The latter — and longer — path stretches 30 miles from the Ohio River, is equally scenic, and offers a few camping stops along the way (just $5 a night). Park entrance is free. Tip: Bring a compass and a map. Trails are marked by painted wooden signs, but it’s easy to miss one if you’re not paying attention. * Google it and get there fast daylight is wasting.*
6. Kayaking the Russian River - Or any river near you - Cheap thrills - outdoors and no suits.
Spend a full day cruising the Russian River, an 11-mile stretch around Northern California’s wine country. And you don’t have to be a skilled boatman to conquer it. The rapids are mild enough for your aunt, but the journey is anything but boring. Pack a picnic and take a break at one of the beaches along the way. Pack a six-pack and throw back a few local beers while you paddle. And when you’re done, venture into downtown Healdsburg (where the ride ends) to enjoy some of the local cuisine and world-famous wine (if there’s any room after all that beer).
7. Whale Watching in Boston - This is a lways a family favorite when Im there and it is inexpensive - once in a lifetime fun depending on your marine visitors - No 2 trips will ever be the same. ( try this 3 hour adventure on a catamaran)
Boston Harbor Cruise's Whale Watching cruise is both an unforgettable and educational experience. Our professional researchers from the Whale Center of New England, the region's foremost authority on whale populations, are onboard for every trip to provide narration. They'll teach you about everything from whale behavior and migration patterns to the local ecology so you can better understand our deep-sea friends. Im partial to a catamaran so try these people for a unique journey and to get out of the regular mode of group charter experience for just a little more http://www.bostonharborcruises.com/boston-whale-watch/
8. Caving in Kentucky - Im a caver from way back - This is a great summer activity when its hot above ground its always cool below ground.
Living up to its name, this Kentucky attraction is the largest cave in the world, stretching 350 miles long and plunging 379 feet deep. Even its runner up, Ukraine’s Optimisticeskaya cave, is just a quarter of Mammoth’s length. Take a discovery tour and explore the colorful stalactites and stalagmites, underground rivers and giant vertical shafts. And the natural wonder doesn’t end there. You’ll also get to see some of the world’s weirdest creatures, including eyeless fish, white spiders and blind beetles. Tip: If you’re not claustrophobic, or afraid of the dark, try the Spelunking tour — you’ll get a more authentic experience and see parts of the cave not normally accessible to the public.
9. Tree Climbing in Atlanta, Georigia ( Ok yes its close to my heart and my birth city - but trust me- Its a trip you wont forget and will smile about for decades after)
Remember how much fun it was as a kid? Guess what — it still is! And now that you’re all grown up, you don’t have to climb back down before dark. Turns out there’s no better place to try it than Atlanta, Georgia — America’s tree climbing capitol. Unlike the free climbing you did in your youth, you’ll use a rope, a helmet and a harness to make your way to the top of 100-foot-tall trees. Your kids will love it too! With their lighter weight and lower center of gravity, they’ll be giddy as they speed past you up the trunk. Many guided tours offer the opportunity to camp way up in the branches. To plan an Atlanta tree-climbing adventure and learn more about the sport, contact the Tree Climber’s Association.
* cue drum roll please*
Last but not least- What summer vacation would be complete if your near the ocean without water sports?
10. Scuba Diving (or *Snorkeling* cheap route - easy easy) the Florida Keys
Just off the coast of Florida lie The Florida Keys, a cluster of 1,700 islands and the longest living reef in the Western Hemisphere. The Keys offer calm seas and a kaleidoscope of bizarre shapes and colors, sea creatures from sharks to marlins, breathtaking coral formations and over 500 wrecks to explore, including Spanish galleons and remnants of the Civil War. With waters this clear, you can see up to 120 feet ahead of you, so it’s no wonder divers come from all over the world to explore this underwater paradise. Tip: For a more off-the-beaten path diving experience, explore the Lower Keys’ 5.3 nautical miles of marine life and coral reef. Contact the tourism board for more information and scuba shop suggestions..
Well there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed this small dose of what is to be many many more installments of "Elsi - Surviving the Outdoors". We will see you again at this same Blog channel and same web address.
Questions - or idea minded.... send me an email or a notation. I love to help and your smile is reward enough for me.