Showing posts with label about. Show all posts
Showing posts with label about. Show all posts

A Family Vacation Outside Of The Midwest Day 4

Wednesday September 14th, 2016
Entering Arkansas, West Memphis, Entering West Memphis Arkansas
Crossing The Bridge From Memphis To West Memphis Arkansas

Today we woke up in Hot Springs Arkansas.  After eating breakfast and packing up the car we headed out for our adventure which started by driving to the top of the scenic lookout located near the downtown area.  Our children were really impressed with the curves (which our daughter referred to as U-Turns) on the way up.
Hot Springs Arkansas Scenic Lookout, Scenic View, Hot Springs Scenic Loop
A View From The Top

After stopping to explore some of the hiking trails and taking some pictures we headed back to the bottom and walked to the visitors center.  Here we went on a tour of the old bath house and made our way to the hot springs for which the town is named.  Believe me when I tell you the water in the holding pool of these springs is HOT!  After checking these out we headed over to one of the water outlets in the area that allows its visitors the opportunity to drink some fresh, cold spring water.  This water was some of the best tasting water I think I've ever had.
Spring, Hot Spring, Checking Out A Hot Spring
Emilee & Dakota Checking Out A Spring
Hot Spring, Spring, Holding Pool
One Of The "Hot" Springs

Once we finished checking out the attractions at Hot Springs, we headed over to the Crater of Diamonds State Park for a few hours of diamond mining.  We managed to find some quartz, lava, jasper and mica.  We weren't able to find any diamonds on this trip but we had a blast!  
Arkansas, Crater Of Diamonds State Park Arkansas, Crater Of Diamonds Sign
Crater Of Diamonds State Park Arkansas
Ore Carrying Cart, Crater Of Diamonds State Park, Ore Cart In Arkansas
Ore Cart At Crater Of Diamonds State Park
Sign at crater of diamonds state park, Diamond Mining Discovery sign, Crater of Diamonds
Sign At Crater Of Diamonds State Park

From here we headed back home so that we could take care of a few things that needed to be done before heading back to work on Monday.  Our trip home was the second longest drive of the trip and we arrived safely back around 1:00 AM.  In all our vacation covered about 1700 miles and took us through Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas.  Although this vacation only lasted four days I'm sure the memories will last a lifetime.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

A Family Vacation Outside Of The Midwest Day 3

Tuesday September 13th 2016

Today we woke up in Memphis Tennessee and headed out for our daily vacation adventures.  The first stop we made was an unplanned detour to take a relaxing stroll along the Mississippi River.  I managed to show my children that their old dad was still able to outdo them at some of the different exercise stations along the walkway.  
Memphis, Mississippi River, Shad
Mississippi River At Memphis

After taking our walk, we headed a couple of minutes down the road to the Memphis Pyramid.  This is one Bass Pro Shop that no outdoor enthusiast should miss seeing. The main floor has a water feature like no other Bass Pro Shop I've seen.  I won't go into too much detail as I would hate to spoil it for anyone who wants to go see it for themselves.  I will say that the upstairs features a museum like area that covers the history of Ducks Unlimited.  Our children loved the whole experience.
Bass Pro, Bass Pro Pyramid, Memphis Tennessee
The Memphis Pyramid
Having finished looking around the Pyramid, we headed out to the car and were caught by surprise when the window hinge for the glass on the back door of our Escape decided to come apart on us.  This presented a slight problem as I didn't want to have the glass fall out while driving down the road.  I managed to get the window latched good enough to limp it over to a Ford dealership where I was told that this problem was not a common problem at all.  I decided to inform them that they would probably be a much more profitable company if they did some research when deciding which parts they would keep in stock.  My brief research on the subject of hatch-glass hinges told me a completely different story in which this issue is all too common.  I wasn't about to spend a couple of days in West Memphis Arkansas waiting on a part so I did the next best thing.  I headed down the road to the closest hardware store I could find and bought the widest roll of transparent Gorilla Glue brand tape they had on the shelf.  With a little effort to keep the glass in the correct position my wife and I managed to run a couple of strips of tape around the entire window and we were back on the road.  Hot Springs we come!

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

A Family Vacation Outside Of The Midwest Day 2

Monday September 12th, 2016

After having finally arrived in Chattanooga Tennessee, we made our way to the hotel and got some much needed rest.  When the morning of the 12th arrived we headed out for our next big adventure.  This day was to be one our children would never forget (and I'm pretty sure they won't).

Our first stop of the day was a place called Rock City Georgia.  If you ever have the chance to get out there and check it out, you definitely should.  It is beautiful!  We ended up spending several hours exploring the twists and turns along and through the many different passes these amazing bluffs had to offer.
Rock City, Hiking Around Bluffs, Eye Of A Needle
Some Of The Amazing Sites At Rock City Georgia
Along these pathways there are some amazing views, beautiful trees and almost too much too take in in one day.  The swinging bridge pictured below is one of the alternate paths that can be taken to a scenic lookout area (Yes I faced my fear of heights and crossed over it although it took nearly everything in me to get it done).  For those who are afraid of heights, there is a stone bridge that gives you an alternate route to the other side.
Rock City Georgia, Swinging Bridges, Swinging Bridge At Rock City Georgia
Swinging Bridge At Rock City Georgia

This area also features some beautiful trees.  The picture below is of one of the trees I found to be a photo worthy specimen.
Beautiful Tree, Tree At Rock City Georgia, Rock City Georgia
A Beautiful Tree At Rock City Georgia
After we had finished exploring all the nooks and crannies in Rock City, we headed to our next destination - Ruby Falls.  If you are like me and enjoy a good cave, this is another place worth visiting.  There are many different formations inside of this amazing cave and yes I had my camera with me to capture many of them.
Cave Formations, Column, Ruby Falls
A Column Inside Of The Cave
Some of the various formations have been named after our favorite foods such as the one below.
Steak And Potatoes At Ruby Falls, Steak And Potatoes, Ruby Falls
The Steak And Potatoes At Ruby Falls
Of course every outdoorsman loves fish.  I'm no exception to this rule so when I saw the formation below, I had to capture it with my camera.
The Fish At Ruby Falls, Ruby Falls, Ruby Falls Fish Cave Formation
The Fish At Ruby Falls
At the halfway point on your journey through the cave you will come upon a natural wonder that is awe inspiring.  The photo below is one of many pictures I snapped of the waterfall for which this cave is named.....Ruby Falls.
Ruby Falls, Waterfall, Waterfalls In Caves
The Ruby Falls Waterfall

After viewing the waterfall, we headed back to the elevator that had lowered us into this cavern for our 260 foot return trip to the surface and headed on our way to the next stopping point of this vacation....Memphis.  Why Memphis you ask?  Well I guess you'll have to check out the next post to see what could possibly attract a sportsman to such a crazy city.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

A Family Vacation Outside Of The Midwest

Sunday September 11th 2016

Vacation has finally arrived! My wife and I along with our two children have ventured outside of the midwestern states for our first vacation in five long years.  Upon leaving Missouri, we headed east to Tennessee and our first stop was in St. Louis after having made a wrong turn (My wife was reading the turn by turn directions from the GPS one her phone.)  We made the best of the situation and stopped to get gas and eat lunch before making a u-turn and heading back in the right direction.  The next stop we made was a gas station somewhere along the way.  

When we finally arrived in Nashville we ate at Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint.  The food there was amazing.  If you are ever in the Nashville Tennessee area I suggest you stop in and give them a try.  Being the adventurous person that I am I always have to try anything spicy and the Devil's Nectar BBQ Sauce lived up to its name without a doubt.  If you have any sinus problems, this sauce is sure to clear them right up.
BBQ, BBQ Sauce, Devil's Nectar
Devil's Nectar BBQ Sauce

From there we drove over to the Grand O'le Opry  to take some photos.  We arrived too late to tour the inside of the building, but it was still worth checking out.  Our kiddos were rather impressed by the size of the two guitars that were in front of the building.
Giant Guitar, Giant Acoustic Guitar, Huge Guitar
Giant Acoustic Guitar At Grand Ole Opry
Giant Electric Guitar, Huge Electric Guitar, Grand Ole Opry
Giant Electric Guitar At Grand Ole Opry

After taking a few photos at the Opry, we headed on to our final destination for the day....Chattanooga Tennessee where we spent the night before continuing our adventure.  In all we drove about 700 miles on our first day and spent many hours in the car.  Our children were surprisingly well behaved during this journey and by well behaved I mean they somehow managed to make the first leg of our journey without harming each other.

This trip is pretty much a round trip outdoor adventure vacation with new stops planned for each day. I guess this means that our children have a few more opportunities to get on each others nerves while we make another long trip in the car.

I will keep you posted on our vacation as it progresses.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Weather & Work Delays

As much as I would like to be out there fishing and/or hunting right now I have been experiencing both weather and work delays.  Working long days in combination with more nasty weather has really put a damper on what was turning out to be a great year so far.  Oh well, I guess this too shall pass.  When these things happen you just have to catch yourself before you become too disappointed by the circumstances and regain control of your mindset.  This situation can't possibly last forever, and believe me when it finally lets up I will be right back at it.  Up to this point it has been a really great year for filling the freezer.

Fireworks Pictures, Fireworks, Fireworks Display
The Family Fireworks Display

We did have a fish fry with the family on the 4th of July shooting clays and blowing off fireworks.  I must say I was a bit surprised with myself having shot about 100 shells through my Mossberg 500 12 gauge without experiencing any soreness whatsoever. My wife on the other hand did bruise her arm where it meets with her shoulder and asked me "you think I held my gun in the wrong spot a couple of times?"  She then laughed the matter off and said "guess I learned my lesson.  Keep the butt of the gun in the pocket where it belongs."

Shooting Clays, Target Practice, Shooting Shotguns
Shooting Clays With The Family

Over all we had a really good time visiting with family and friends although mom and dad weren't able to be there this year as mom wasn't feeling well.  I'm pretty sure she has been pushing herself too hard since the cancer surgery.  She just doesn't know how to take it easy when she needs to.  I guess some people may never learn that lesson.

I hope you all had a fun, safe and exciting Independence day too.  Until next time, remember......

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Why Have The Daily Posts Slowed Down?

Hello everyone,

I must apologize to all of my followers and the faithful readers of this blog.  My daily postings here have seemingly came to a halt for a while now and for that I apologize. At times life has a way of throwing obstacles in our paths that can hinder our progress, and these past few weeks have been no exception to that rule in my family.

To start with my daughter broke her hand in three places which required surgery and a total of six screws (two in each of the three broken bones).  This alone was enough to put a damper on things; however, two days later my mother had to undergo cancer surgery.

Broken Bones, Surgery For Broken Bones, Screws In Bones
Emilee's Hand After The Surgery

After we managed to get through two surgeries in one week, mother nature decided we didn't have enough on our plates and decided to send a hail storm our way.  Below are a few pictures of the hail that tore up our vehicles as well as the roof, guttering and some of the siding on our house.
Hail, Large Hail, Baseball Sized Hail
Huge Hail Stone
The hail stone pictured below was picked up from our yard after it had melted a bit.
Hail, Hail Stone, Spiked Hail Stone
Giant Hail Stone
Below is a picture looking through the window of the vehicle I happened to be driving when the hail storm arrived.  Some of the hail that bounced off this car was the size of a softball.  I thought I was going to be wearing the windshield.  Needless to say, I have no desire to go through that experience again.
Hail Damage, Shattered Windshield, Hail vs Windshield
Window Shattered By Hail
One of our vehicles (my trusty '92 F150 4x4) was considered a total loss by the insurance company which left me without a way to get to my favorite hunting and fishing spots.  This of course meant that it was time to find a new vehicle.  After days of searching through every ad source my wife and I could find, she finally stumbled across the truck that would become our new adventure mobile.
F350 4x4, Lifted Crew Cab F350, Lifted Crew Cab 4x4
The New Adventure Mobile
If this truck proves to be as trustworthy and the old one was and we can manage to avoid being hit by any more hail we should be in good shape for quite some time.

I can assure you that as things begin to get back to normal for our family I will once again post on a much more regular basis.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day (even when the weather throws you a curve ball)

Who Is The Average Midwest Outdoorsman

I guess it is about time I let you know a little about myself.  

I am a freedom loving, gun toting, family man who is proud to be an American!  I guess I'm probably one of those people who is referred to as a bitter clinger and I'm sure there are many more average outdoorsmen just like myself out there.  Although the name callers and those who want to take our rights away may think they know what is best for themselves, they couldn't begin to know what is best for myself, my family and my friends.  Ok....Ok.....Enough with the political talk.

I was born to a loving family with a father who was a Sargent First Class in the Army as well as being a preacher.  His wife - my mother was a stay-at-home mom, I grew up in small town U.S.A.  The atmosphere around these small towns definitely played a huge roll in developing my love for the outdoors.  I was taught from an early age that family is extremely important. I was also taught that hard work and dedication are the two qualities that will enable a person to succeed in any area of their life.  

As a grown man with a family of my own, I do my best to instill these same values in my children.  I have also found out that raising children really doesn't come with an instruction manual.  As you have probably noticed, many of my posts include pictures of my family members and close friends.  This is because I want them to be as much a part of this endeavor as myself.  I love hunting and fishing with my family and friends. To me there is nothing better than sharing the good times and the memories  that each of those outings provide with the people I am closest to.

I love to share my knowledge about the outdoors (what little I have) with anyone who is willing to listen.  I hope that as I continue learning through my outdoor adventures I will be able to pass along some useful information to those who read this blog.

Always remember:
- Any day in the outdoors is a good day! 

A Day With The Family

As an average outdoorsman, I know that I can't spend every waking moment fishing, hiking, hunting and taking in nature.  I can only dream of making a living by doing the activities I enjoy the most.  There are always other responsibilities such as working a full time job, taking care of the animals, working around the house and spending time with my wife and two children doing other things they enjoy.    Yes they like the outdoors and spending time with me there, but there are times when they have other things they want to experience.

Royals Baseball, MLB, Kansas City Royals
Royals Stadium KC MO

This has been one of those days.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  Today my wife and I took our kids to a Royals Baseball game.  Throughout the game it seemed as though it would be a loss for the Boys In Blue.  Starting the bottom of the ninth inning with the White Sox in the lead seven to one, there seemed to be no way our hometown heroes could win.  However, we found out that when you don't give up, there is always a chance to come out on top.

Royals Stadium, Royals, Royals Baseball
Spending Time With My Kiddos

During the final at bat for the Royals, we watched as they brought in one run after another and went on to gain the lead for the first time winning the game eight to seven.

This game provided me with the opportunity to explain to my children that "in life there will be times when things seem impossible, but with persistence you can win in the end."  I believe this is a life lesson that should be taught to every child.  Obviously you will not be able to come in first at everything you attempt every time you try, but if you don't give it your best you will definitely lose.

KC Royals, MLB, MLB Baseball
Being Silly With Emilee
This lesson can help in the area of teaching our children about hunting and fishing as well.  You will not always get the animal you are hunting.  You will not always bring home a boat load of fish.  Sometimes your camping trips may get rained out.  However, with patience you can increase your odds of pulling off a successful adventure.

MLB, MLB Baseball, At The Ball Game
Emilee & Dakota Enjoying The Game
-Any day in the outdoors is a good day