Loving Virginia Againby Richard
10/02/2013 11:06:01 P.M.
I've realized recently that wherever I've lived, I haven't taken enough advantage of the wonderful places in those areas. In Michigan, I never made it to Traverse City, for example (which is apparently like a delightfully mild Caribbean town in the summer months). In Virginia, I never visited the famous Appomatox courthouse (which was just down the road from my alma mater). And in Missouri, I never once went to see Yakov Smirnoff's comedy show (which, may or may not end up having been a #win on my part).
Not All Hikes Have Live Animalsby Krispy Kritter
08/22/2013 08:22:42 P.M.
Normally, I see animals on hikes in the middle of the wilderness, but this time (maybe the first), I was pleasantly surprised by a different kind of animal. Walking through downtown Dallas, I found myself in the last place I thought I'd see in the middle of a city, a Texas Longhorn cattle drive. Yet, there I was in disbelief, eyeball to eyeball, staring at a line of cattle emerging from a ridge top, descending down a small cliff, crossing a stream and walking past me. And, to top it off, three cowboys on horseback accompanied the steers to make sure they didn’t stray.
Crimes Against Hammockby Richard
08/07/2013 08:12:43 P.M.
I had to do it, to go back to the scene of the crime. So once I got back to my parents country Michigan home, I walked past the gunfire, through the poison ivy, and thorny arcs of raspberry bushes silently waiting to make contact with skin. I tramped downhill, through fields, then through the swarms of mosquitos to put it up—my new hammock. The location: over the same creek where my last hammock broke and dumped me into the muddy water.
ENO hammocks don’t break, but mine just so happen to...because I let it. My previous one had eight years of wear and tear and had recently developed a couple tiny holes. Unchecked, they corporately provided a lack of structural integrity that ripped under the pressure of my body and dumped it into the idyllic creek. If I had done simple maintenance, the spill would have been prevented.
Outdoor Experienceby Richard
07/24/2013 07:19:18 P.M.
The first time I visited Travel Country, I was visiting Orlando on a vacation. I walked in the door and my heart said "yes." I had no idea there could be a successful outdoor retail store so far from the mountains (and so centrally located to the humid flatlands). When I moved to Orlando four months later, I soon found out.
After random jaunts into the store, I started building up a collection of gear that enabled me to get rid of a lot of my clothing, and any old, dated gear that I had. Arc'teryx, Patagonia, North Face, and Outdoor Research projects were the order of the day—and I obtained a fair share of them. But it was the relationships I built with people at Travel Country that really set that place apart.
Scared Witlessby Richard
07/04/2013 09:33:45 P.M.
We left the rangers' station after partially listening to the customary encouragements: 'make sure you camp in your designated site', 'don't leave the trails', and 'make sure your backcountry permit is showing on your tent at night'.
Although we were thankful for the help, we'd traveled to the iconic Bryce Canyon National Park, and we were ready to explore.
So, we breezed our way through the ranger station, grabbing a one-night permit for camping, and made our way out to the most picturesque views of the park.
Review of Salomon XR Mission Shoesby Alley
06/20/2013 07:26:38 P.M.
My favorite part of working out outdoors has always been having a variety of options for moving around. Whether I feel like biking, running, or hiking today...going solo, with a friend, or my dog...what gets me excited about getting outside are the OPTIONS!
When it came to looking for another trail shoe to fit into my arsenal, I knew I wanted stability, but with a considerably low heel-to-toe drop—less shoe than Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra, more than New Balance Minimus 10s.
Through Hiking for Huntington's Diseaseby Zack
06/14/2013 11:29:18 A.M.
As Father’s Day approaches, one local father will be without two of his children. But it could not be for a better reason. Jeff Dekorver has just let his two daughters, Erica and Devon, embark on an adventure that could be monumental in changing their lives and if all goes according to plan, the lives of so many other people.
The Dekorver’s lives have been forever altered by Huntington’s disease. Devon’s birth mother passed away from the disease when Devon was only 10. When she turned 18, Devon was diagnosed with the debilitating disease. Tragedies like this would be enough to cripple most families but this only inspired them to push forward and attempt to do something greater than themselves.
Travel Country Employee Writes Hiking Book!by Richard
06/03/2013 06:13:49 P.M.
In the fall of 2012, Wayne "KrispyKritter" Petrovich, asked me to read the first chapter of his book--The Tales and Trails of KrispyKritter--and tell him what I thought. After bringing the copy back full of red ink, he asked me to go ahead and edit the entire thing. Gladly, I accepted, and began a delightful journey through the life of my (old) friend.
Generational Hammocksby Richard
05/14/2013 11:10:31 P.M.
Recently, I encouraged some friends - a family of four - to get some hammocks for them (the dad and the boys, at least...the mom's content with the comfy bed). Quickly, they fell in love with their new portable beds made by Eagle's Nest Outfitters (ENO).
Content being the hammock-father of the Drake family, I prepared to take a trip home to visit my parents in Michigan. Because of insightly baggage fees, I took only a medium-sized Base Camp Duffel by North Face and packed it full of important things. So, I first put my hammock in, and then bothered with other trifles like "clothes" and a copy of "The Bible."
Getting to know Nick Dyroff, TravelCountry Pro Staff memberby Richard
05/07/2013 06:29:06 P.M.
How did you get into kayak fishing?
Once I came down to Florida when I was 16, I got my first canoe and my dad and I would go out into the Mosquito Lagoon system. The canoe is really what introduced me into the whole kayak world. Seeing how the canoe handled windy conditions and could get me into the places that I wanted to go, that is when I started to get into kayaks
What is your favorite sports team?
I grew up playing hockey my whole life, so I am excited the Solar Bears finally came back to Orlando. I am a season ticket holder, so I went to every game last year.