A Great Day Outdoors

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Yesterday was crazy busy. It started off with an early soccer game that we almost won. The kids played their hearts out and what started out to look like a landslide victory for the other team ended up with just a 1-point loss. The team did a great job of closing the gap. I even heard one of the kids on the opposing team saying how he thought they’d be easy to beat but he was wrong. 🙂

For the past couple of weeks my son and I have been looking forward to the Hook Kids on Fishing event sponsored by Anglers for Conservation. As we were leaving the game and rushing to make the event my son started feeling sick and thought he’d puke. We tried sitting it out on the side of the road but he insisted on going home. Mom picked him up and I decided to stick to the schedule. The first 100 registered kids would receive a rod/reel and tackle box and I hoped I’d be able to pick his up even if he couldn’t make it. Well, they agreed…but then they snared me. Before I knew it I was teaching kids how to cast. They didn’t waste any time putting me to work. 😀

We had a great time and sent a number of groups through each of five training stations. The kids learned knot tying, rod safety, catch and release principles, and casting technique. Everyone had a great time and then the call came. My son felt better and wanted to come fish! So he made it after all and joined the rest of the kids on the dock. Unfortunately I think the huge storm the night before kept the fish at bay and nobody was getting any bites. We were the last to leave but Joshua did finally land a whopper of a 4″ bluegill. He had a great time and it was awesome father-son time.

After a quick post-fishing trip to Gander Mountain it was back home for a Superman change into hiking clothes. I hopped back in the truck and headed south to Keystone Heights and Gold Head Branch State Park. The Gold Head Associates was sponsoring their annual Haunted Hike and I agreed to their request to be a hike leader. It was a shorter, 1-mile hike as opposed to the 3-mile hike last year. The rain was blinding on the way down and ultimately cut the numbers back but it turned out to be a nice night.

The hike leaders took a hike along the route to get familiar with it and I and another leader decided to do it again for safe measure. I’ll still say that things sure look different in the dark. Especially hiking without a light.

At 8pm the line was getting larger and we started the hikes. We ran groups of 20-30 and everyone had a great time. The screams filled the park as the haunters did an excellent job of terrifying young and old alike. I managed to not lose anyone in the woods so I consider that a plus. 🙂

Haunted Hike

I managed the take three groups through the hike before we called it a night. The total count was somewhere in the neighborhood of 600. That was down from over 1000 last year but I think it’s safe to say the weather kept people home. Unfortunately a large section was unhaunted because a Boy Scout troop backed out.

Overall it was a long day but very rewarding. I’ve already committed to both organizations to help with future events. It’s hard to beat helping kids fish and getting all ages to enjoy some outdoor time with friends and family.

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