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Rainy Days and Turtles

Last weekend I caught a break in the torrential downpours  occurring for days on end and wandered into a nearby woodland.  The quest was simple, to see what I could see.  I was not disappointed!  All the rain had kept the general public away for the weekend and the woods were a vibrant green.  On top of that, the birds and wildlife were taking advantage of the break in the weather as well.  Still looking for my first snake of the year but this was a solid trip.

It was a good little adventure.  Come on along with me on a bit of a wet and slick ridge climb!

Next weekend, I’m heading into the woods on my first bushcraft/minimalist camping trip of the season.  I’ll be taking the camera with me to be sure.  I’m super excited about the trip as I’ve had to cancel three times previously.  If all goes well, I’ll be in the woods for two straight days.

More to come!

New Youtube Channel

I wanted to make a quick post to let people know about my newest project.  I’ve decided to start a Youtube channel focusing on getting out into the woods and wild.  I call them my homemade adventures.  At the turn of the new year I decided I wanted to do something like this and so started thinking and planning as to what it would look like.  What did I want to cover?  What was the focus of the channel?

I knew I wanted to focus on my lifelong love of being in the woods.  I call it “getting in my dirt time.”  It keeps me sane.  “Shinrin-Yoku” or forest bathing as it is becoming to be known.

I  decided I would also focus on bushcraft, foraging, nature awareness and observation.  In addition, I couldn’t forget  my love of rock hounding, fossil collecting and getting out there and “finding something.”  I wanted to share those experiences with people.  As I practiced and tried out ideas I came to discover I just really, really enjoy making videos.

So, welcome to Yoteden Off Trail!  My plan is to have a video at least once a week at the minimum.   The first video is below and there is, most certainly, more to come!

First Trail of 2016

FirstpicWith the February weather opening a nice window of sunny Spring-like weather over the weekend I took my wife and daughter on a long hike into the Hoosier National Forest along Lake Monroe.  This was a particularly special event for me.  All my life I’ve typically gone into the woods alone.  Due to my wife’s past fitness level, she had never been able to go with me this far down a trail.  This year was different because several months ago my wife started a fitness/weight loss program and stuck with it.  The result? I was getting to share my hiking and nature experiences and knowledge with her.  For the first time in our relationship, we were going on a day long hike.

Besides completing the trip, we had three goals. I wanted to have more than just a small hike. I wanted an afternoon and into the evening kind of day on the trail. It had been since December that I had gotten into the woods and I wanted a full day to reset my nature batteries! The first goal was to stop at mid-point, have lunch and just settle down for a bit to enjoy the energy. Since we were in a National forest we were going for a quick fire, some high quality hot-dogs and s’mores. A classic choice for sure.

The second was to try out our hammocks. My wife had purchased an ENO Singlenest for me as a Christmas gift two years ago. Though comfortable, it was not well suited for my height. At Valentine’s Day, she surprised me with a Doublenest hammock and then gleefully claimed the Singlenest as her own. For this trip I’d be showing her how to set the Singlenest up with the straps and she would get her first chance to try it out. I would try out my Doublenest and maybe catch a nap!

Finally, several Bald Eagles had been seen in the area we would be in and so our third and final goal was to hopefully see one of those majestic birds once we got to the lake’s edge.  Not much else we could do there except put ourselves in the right spot and keep our fingers crossed.

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