I grew up in a rural area of the US with a couple of parents whom both enjoyed the outdoors. I was a Boy Scout for many years and I spent most every summer camping around the United States.
My mother is currently an Interpreter with the National Park Service (that pretty much means a park ranger to lay-people) at the Big Sout Fork National River & Recreation Area. I love the outdoors and many of my hobbies have to do with just being outside on my own.
Explore our National Parks! These are definitely some of the nation’s greatest treasures. The Department of the Interior has lots of stuff at the NPS Site. Here’s a list of some of the great parks I’ve been too:
For the time being, this list isn’t displaying. I’ll work on it, while you think about all the parks you’ve been to.
- Grand Canyon
- Great Smokey Mountains
- Big South Fork
- Sequoia & King’s Canyon
- Death Valley
- Petrified Forrest
- Mt. Rushmore
- Bryce Canyon
- Washington Parkway
Boy Scouts of America
Growing up in Scouting was simply a way of life in our family. I am an Eagle Scout, as are both of my brothers. Although, I do not agree with the Boy Scouts of America‘s conservative social attitudes, I do agree that it teach young men responsibility, respect, and how to work towards being a better person. Getting outdoors some isn’t bad, either.
Hiking & Backpacking
I love to go out hiking. This is something that I sometimes do on my own or with friends. Hiking has even become the way that my family gets together to do things. As I go hiking here in Virginia, I hope to start posting some of the places I find here.
I used to go backpacking quite a bit with the Boy Scouts, my family, and friends. Angela and I since have gotten back into this. Its a great way for us to get away from our daily lives of school and work and really unwind like we just can’t do at home.
Day Hike With Brother Dave
Here’s a picture I took while hiking with brother Dave. Yep, that’s famous rocker Dave Coleman down on the steps.
Angela and I at the Cascades Falls
The Cascades are near Blacksburg, VA; located in the Jefferson National Forrest.
Hiking & Packing Links
- Backpacker Magazine – From the good folks at Rodale Press
- The Backpacker.com – More information
- Great Outdoor Recreation Pages (GORP)
- The Lightweight Backpacker – This guy is insane, but he has great posture!
- The Appalachian Trail Conference – Non-profit group helps to maintain the trail.
- The Appalachian Trail Homepage – A non-official site dedicated to the AT
- Eureka! Tents – You can see our nice little 6 lb bungalow here.
- Gregory Packs – Forrester Model
- Kelty Packs & Tents – Noah’s Tarp
- Primus Stoves – Yellowstone Trail Light
- PUR Water Filter – Hiker, although I think PUR’s hiking filters got taken over by Sweetwater.
- The North Face – Cat’s Meow 3D & Mountain Light Jacket (which I take everywhere)
- Marmot Clothing & Sleeping Bag – Cervino Jacket
- Nalgene Ubiquitous Plastic Bottles
Some Great Places to Buy Gear Cheap
I got into mountain biking a few years ago and have only been on a few trails. I really enjoy the tight, winding, technical trails near where I grew up.
I ride a ’96 Specialized HardRock with RockShocks front suspension. I really like this bike because it’s lightweight but didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. Of course, it’s pretty long-in-the-tooth at this point and I’ll soon have to suck it up and buy a new bike if want to be able to ride anywhere. However, it works fine for the light single-track I like to do.
Moutain Bike Links
This is something that I got the taste for while on a extended-family fishing trip in the summer of 1999 in Norfolk, Arkansas. My buddy Jason and I are now trying to get more into it and learn how to really catch fish. He’s been fishing with his father, David, for years, and is now showing me the ropes. Fly fishing is a lot of fun and if you want some exposure to it, you can always just watch the Robert Redford film, "A River Runs Through It" based on the story of the same name by Normal Maclean.
Me fishing on the Little Stony Creek
Jason Johnson fishing on a Beautiful Day in July
Fly Fishing Links
Some Commercial Sites
- The Orivs Company – I have 8′-6″ Clearwater rod & reel from Orvis, as well as some misc. stuff.
- Murray’s Fly Shop – Really nice shop in the Shenandoah Valley here in Virginia.
- Cabela’s – Everything Outdoors (and redneck, for that matter)
- L.L. Bean – Some nice fishing gear
- Pike’s Peak Fly Fishers – A nice page with a great intro section for newcomers, like myself.