Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 Jun

7 Old School Ways to Relish Summer

fishcampfireThere’s nothing like living Primal in summer. Certain aspects just come easier: the copious fresh produce, unlimited outdoor exercise, long daylight, ample sunshine. True, those of us in the warmer states have some year-long advantage here. Nonetheless, summer remains my favorite season – probably a result of my New England roots. The brevity of the season there inevitably inspires a true carpe diem attitude. Wherever you go, however, I think summer brings with it a sense of adventure and spontaneity. Even if our school years are (decades) long gone, we still embrace summer as a kind of “holiday” from the routine. For many of us, the season is a time to explore, travel, and live outside, relegating the house to role of mere storage unit. There are the elaborate vacations, the well-planned day trips, the sporting and social events. Today, however, I’m thinking along nostalgic lines, some old school pastimes that invoke the (somewhat endangered) ease of summer.

As a kid, my favorite summer days and evenings were all about playing rough, running free, and living like the young savage I was. Needless to say, by the end of the day, I was wearing and eating the elements. Here are a few of my favorites – little to no equipment or planning required. Some, you could say, have subtle survivalist elements. Others are just an afternoon’s adventure or an invitation to lose yourself in a few hours of outdoor daydreaming. (The PB is about enjoying the best of life after all.) Each of them in some way, I think, fit the Primal theme, and they’re family friendly to boot. Here’s to kicking it old school this summer. Enjoy, everyone!

Night Walk

I’ll just say it: we don’t appreciate the dark enough these days. Caught up in the world of 24-hour illumination, we’ve lost touch with how to live at night as our ancestors did. As Richard Louv noted in Last Child in the Woods, many urban children have never even been in darkness before. They represent and feel more dramatically what our society as a whole has gravitated toward in recent decades: a fear of and disowning of natural darkness.

On the nights when I got to stay out late, I relished wandering into the thick of the darkened woods. My heart would beat faster. My palms would sweat. I felt like an alert animal, excitedly crossing a mysterious threshold. Yet, within a few yards I was one with the shadows.

There’s a more practical Primal lesson to be absorbed as well. Many have written about the modern undeveloped sense of night vision. Paul Shepard, Peter Nabokov, and others explain that the peripheral vision (compliments of those handy rod cells) we inherently use to “see” our way through a dark trail accesses a primitive level of consciousness – the primal “unconscious” as it’s often called. We can see finally when we stop thinking, when we let these long-buried, primeval abilities take the reins. For a young child, this comes naturally. For the rest of us, it’s a skill and adventure worth rediscovering. Check out your local recreation and environmental chapters, which often host night walks or at least moonlit walks during the summer.

Creek Stomping

It’s not exactly “leave no trace,” I realize, but it doesn’t get much more raw or earthy than this. (Make a mud shirt while you’re at it.) You’ve got the sun, the mud, and the water. (What more does a kid/Primal type need?) Truth be told, it’s just walking through the water, but that never dampened our exuberance. You can easily burn an afternoon alternatively gliding and rushing through the water, stopping as often as you want to inspect something curious along the banks or to check out the wildlife crawling or swimming by you – if you haven’t scared them away. (Plus, there were always the fits of laughter after someone flipped out about a leech – or several – on their leg.) We did it barefoot when left to our own devices or in old sneakers at summer camp. Done stealthily, you can snag yourself a snack, which leads me to the next pastime….

Cooking Your Own Catch

No cooler or kitchen here. Try on the old school scouting endeavor of making a fire and cooking up – right there in the dirt and sticks – whatever you can hunt, catch, or gather (observing state laws of course). Those fish or crawdads you snagged creek stomping? How about cooking ‘em up beachside? Make your feast as recreational or survivalist as you want. No need for matches or a Bic. Go hunting for some kindling and good fire bow materials. Want a brush up on primitive fire building? Check out this article.

Tubing

First thing’s first: there’s absolutely no exercise or thought that goes into this endeavor. (Of course, that’s the point.) The more cerebral among us might enjoy studying the currents or taking advantage of bird watching opportunities. Mostly, though, tubing is the most soothing activity I’ve ever found. It’s literally impossible to be stressed while meandering down the river watching the trees, birds, and random wildlife/farm animals. (Cows especially love to watch tubers.) I’ll admit it’s been too long since my last go, but I recall the times I’ve tubed like they were yesterday. There are still a number of local tubing “societies” around the country that can hook you up with the best routes and get you happily acclimated into the summer tubing culture. (Although some like the solitary approach, others go in sizable groups with stocked floating coolers in tow.)

If you don’t have a tube worthy river by you (obviously not recommended for rivers with undertow or significant white water), use your tube to float on a nearby pond or small lake. No, you don’t get the benefit of constantly changing scenery around every bend, but it’s just as relaxing.

Stargazing

One of my favorite memories of camping when I was younger was sleeping on the beach of a small island where there was no light for miles around. Truth be told, I was too excited to sleep much that night. The sky was like a velvet backdrop dusted with millions of stars. Although there wasn’t a moon, the collective light of the stars was bright enough to light the beach and water. It was mid-August to boot, which meant we got to savor one of the best meteor showers of the year. I think we stopped counting shooting stars somewhere around 130.

There’s more to stargazing, of course, than shooting stars. How about mapping the constellations or learning to navigate by the stars like our primitive brethren?

Need a refresher on the constellations and the shifting night sky? Check out this PDF, for a summer night tour or Wunderground’s site, where you can get an exact map designed for your zip code.

Trail Running

I know a number of you out there do trail runs. Having abandoned my marathoning training years ago, this is the kind of running I most enjoy now (though, admittedly, it’s more walking than running these days). There’s something uniquely fortifying about the time on the trail that I just don’t get from a running path or even the beach for that matter. Of course, I often imagine myself running after or even with an imagined deer or other prey animal. With trail running, the key is becoming one with the trail as you allow yourself to “feel” it intuitively. As Peter Nabokov writes, certain indigenous groups have traditions of “trance running,” which grows from the runner’s relationship to the trail itself. The run becomes, in essence, a spiritual interaction between the earth and the runner him/herself. The trail isn’t to be learned but trusted. As a child it just inspired a kind of high, and today it does the same.

Early Dawn Climb

Years ago on a backpacking trip, we hiked our way to what would be our base camp in thick fog. As much of a PIA as it was at the time, the next morning’s view made it all worth it. We unknowingly woke up at the base of a majestic peak. We were all in total awe.

How about earning a similar moment of wonder without the overnight trek? Head out in the earliest light of dawn for what you know to be a rewarding trail. Although you’ll be making your way in dim light on the way up, you’ll enjoy your breakfast in the company of an incredible vista. Just think: you can still make that 8:00 a.m. meeting – although you’ll probably find yourself tempted to take the rest of the day off. Not a bad idea there.

Got your own old school summer exploits to share? (In my book, you can never have too many.) Comment away! Have a great week, everybody, and enjoy getting out there!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Tubing is great! Week long canoe trips ranks up there too.

    liberty_1776 wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • Where are your favorite places to canoe? I wish to canoe in exotic places. Any recommendations?

      Primal Toad wrote on June 29th, 2011
      • Take a canoe trip through any of the bayous in southern Louisiana. Go at night. It will be unforgettable.

        cody wrote on June 29th, 2011
      • Boundary Waters!

        Brad wrote on June 29th, 2011
        • I second this one! My husband and I went last year for four nights out, such a great experience. He is headed there this weekend with the guys for a week. I’m totally jealous.

          Maurabela wrote on June 29th, 2011
        • I second the Boundary Waters!!! Best time when I was a teen was a three week canoe trip in the Boundary Waters – northern MN into Canada. Even saw a moose!

          Dawn wrote on June 29th, 2011
        • Noosa Everglades, Sunshine Coast for any Aussies out there! It’s like canoeing on black glass – unbelieveable, especially at night – stars above and below.

          jenbug wrote on June 29th, 2011
      • Nahanni River in the NWT – about as primal as it gets on this planet.

        Bobby Canuck wrote on June 29th, 2011
        • Thanks for the ideas! The Nahanni River looks kick ass!

          Primal Toad wrote on June 29th, 2011
  2. You kind of touched on this with the Creek Stomping… Fishing! Nothing beats relaxing with a line in the water and the sun on your face, whether youre on a boat, a canoe, a dock, or the shoreline.

    This list brings back all sorts of summer time activities from childhood… walking the lakeshore for turtles and crawfish, swimming or jumping bikes all day, exploring, building a fort or paintball field… I miss the freedoms of childhood, nowadays its all day at a desk and “damn gas prices” on the way home

    Ginger Thickbeard wrote on June 29th, 2011
  3. I miss walking in the woods at night. My now wife went out camping with me when we first met and she was always agitated that I never carried a flash light. Creek stomping and stargazing also rank up there. The brightness of the night sky in the absence of light pollution is incredible.

    MightyAl wrote on June 29th, 2011
  4. Ah Mark, just thinking about doing these things makes me feel all primal inside. I would love(!) to go tubing but coming from Scotland I don’t see that as an enjoyable experience it’s cold year round here :/

    Steve wrote on June 29th, 2011
  5. i love the “Night Walk”..
    i really feel like being up late in the summer time – and walk a night walk, watch the moon and stars reflect in the water :)

    Sebastian wrote on June 29th, 2011
  6. One thing I’d like to try this year going camping (we tent camp, no RV comfort here) is to sit around the camp fire on heavy blankets like the old cowboy and indian days, instead of a camping chair.

    Only problam is to get my husband to stick around the campfire long enough to enjoy stargazing, he is usually the one that wants to disappear into the tent when the sun sets on the horizon and nightfall hits.

    Primal Palate wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • I’ve never even thought to bring a chair camping. That’s what tree stumps and logs are for!

      I love camping in the summer (not a big fan of cold camping). My family is going on a 10 day camping trip in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait!

      Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on June 29th, 2011
  7. I just moved to a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains from a major urban area.

    I can actually do a night walk or dawn hike with little trouble!

    Thanks for the inspirations!

    Marsha Stopa wrote on June 29th, 2011
  8. Nothing says summer like sunny early mornings and humid, bright nights. There’s a stable nearby that rents horseflesh by the hour and IMHO there’s nothing more primal than thundering across a dusty field with a ton of beast as your legs.

    Lauren wrote on June 29th, 2011
  9. I’ve done them all. Just a special note about night walking. As a young child we had an out house pretty far from the house. I have always been a frequent visitor to the place, so got lots of night walking (so to speak). As a result (perhaps) I have exceptional night vision. I am wondering if it was developed from all of my night excursions to the out house???

    marilyn zorn wrote on June 29th, 2011
  10. Love the night walking, too bad (or is it great?) that there’s no real darkness here in Iceland for at least 2 more months.

    Björgvin Friðgeirsson wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • Have the same problem here in the stockholm region (Sweden), when it is finally warm enough to stay out at night, it’s to light to see the stars.
      But really, it is not a problem, it’s fantastic to sit by the sea, at midnight, it’s still all light, seagulls are flying around – talking, screaming, and you just don’t want to go to bed, just want to stay up a couple of more hours, to greet the sun.

      Johan wrote on June 29th, 2011
      • In August it starts getting dark enough. When we lived in Göteborg (little farther south, no “white nights”) I always thought of it as no visible stars from 1:a maj to kräftskivan.

        Elisabeth wrote on July 1st, 2011
  11. A night swim in the ocean (a lake or even a fetid warm farm pond). Swimming with the phosphorescence blazing all around is a trip. Clothes are optional but not recommended.

    Chris wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • Chris, it has been a long time since a 3 am summer skinny dip in the ocean! Lol, gotta do that again soon!

      juliemama wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • “A night swim in the ocean…”

      Uh, you don’t watch horror movies, do you?

      Primal Palate wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • Yes, swimming in the ocean – with the moon and its glistening reflection as companions – is a true luxury. You feel all the power of nature surrounding you. It is refreshing and thrilling – not the least because I have a steadfast fear of sharks, which I force myself to face. :)

      kerrybonnie wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • I saw the phosphorescence once on a night swim in the Virgin Islands… amazing…

      Nicole wrote on June 30th, 2011
  12. Beautiful, Mark– I agree, these are exactly the kinds of things that are worth living through winters for!

    El wrote on June 29th, 2011
  13. You’ve covered most of my Summer favorites. I love hiking and just being out at night. I now spend most evenings out, working (playing) in my yard and love being down by the creek at dark. It cools off quickly near the water and the bats come out to swoop around and catch the bugs. Gotta drag the rest of the family out one night this week to enjoy the fun.

    mud flinger wrote on June 29th, 2011
  14. Having done all of these activities (except the early morning climb) at one time or another in the past I have to agree that they are great suggestions and very cool ways to get “out there” and live.

    I also agree with Ginger that fishing although implied in creek stomping should be included.

    Chris wrote on June 29th, 2011
  15. LOVE trail running in the early morning with my dog, off leash, no ipod. There’s nothing better for my mental health than smelling the dirt, hearing disembodied sounds of animals in the woods, peeling cobwebs from my chest, and running as a pack (of 2).

    Courtney wrote on June 29th, 2011
  16. I too grew up in New England. I agree that night walking has a special place in my heart. Now, I know this isn’t a summertime activity, but one of my favorite things to do was to go snowshoeing on those very cold, crisp, full moon nights. It was always awesome to head up into the mountains in the dead silence with the air almost crackling around you from the cold. I could go to places that were unreachable in the summer due to the rainforest like undergrowth of New England in the summer.

    I guess I am thinking of this now because I am in Saudi Arabia with the temperature of 103 today!!!

    Doug wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • One of my most memorable walks was a couple of years ago, at midnight, during the snow. Took my 3 dogs on a walk around a trail I know like the back of my hand (I live in snowdonia in north Wales). I took a torch with me, but it was more of a hinderance than help because the white out conditions. What normally took 1.5 hours ended up taking 3 as I kept getting lost and trying to walk to something I could use as a landmark. I’ve never appreciated the outdoors as much as that night.

      I’m loving the summer ideas Mark! One of my favourites with the kids is “tracking” an adult through the woods, finding “artifacts” like stuffed toys, treats and the like, before being ambushed by the grown ups!

      Tony wrote on June 29th, 2011
  17. This is why I love MDA so damn much. Sure, talking about food is great but us primal/paleo bloggers do it way too damn much. I am incredibly guilty of it myself.
    This post is unique and extremely necessary.

    Ever since going primal 15 months ago I have become more interested in activities similar to what you talked about here. I have a 3 night camping trip planned in Manistee, MI with my 3 siblings (2 sisters, 1 brother – all older than me) and 2 soon to be brother-in-laws (yes, BOTH of my sisters are engaged!).

    It is going to be an absolute blast. We are staying in a lodge which is like a tiny cottage. Not my choice… my older older sister refuses to camp in a tent so that will have to wait.

    We plan on doing a lot of fishing in Lake Manistee and Lake Michigan. I can not wait! I used to hate fishing as a kid and haven’t thrown a poll in the water for at least a dozen years.

    Star gazing will for sure be a nighttime activity as we all sit and chat around a fire that we cook our grass-fed steaks on. They may roast marshmallows… I will roast some grass-fed hot dogs!

    I won’t be doing any trail running on this trip but I will be doing plenty of it over the next several dozen years.

    We will be renting a pontune boat for 8 hours so I don’t think we will be able to do any tubing. Although if they have a tube I don’t see why not! I mean, I wouldnt mind sitting in a tube going somewhat slow, just enjoying myself. It won’t be a “riot” but it will be oh so relaxing.

    And, I am sure we will do some night walking too.

    All of this will be happening in 5 weeks!

    Primal Toad wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • As a fellow Michigander who visits that general area a couple of times a year, I can tell you the fishing there is great and well known to hardcore trout fishermen as one of the best fishing areas east of the Mississippi. Plenty of browns, rainbows, and steelhead. I’ve stuck to the Little Manistee River and the Pere Marquette rivers and if you get a chance, you should try and do some river fishing. Fishing lake Michigan is great, but in my opinion nothing beats the primal communion with nature that you experience wading in streams and walking through the woods from hole to hole.

      Ginger Thickbeard wrote on June 29th, 2011
      • Thanks for the tips man! We will be right next to Manistee and will be going through the river. I’ll mention this to my brother and soon to be brother-in-laws.

        Can’t wait.

        Primal Toad wrote on June 29th, 2011
  18. Tubing is so much fun! A tubing outfitter just opened up on a river 15 minutes from my house, and I’ve gone a couple times in the past month. I posted about it here:

    http://nodivisions.com/blog/2011/06/25/Tubing_on_the_Schuylkill_River

    But “tubing societies” you say? I Googled that, and pretty much the only thing that comes up is industrial applications, and this post :) Can you provide some links?

    Anthony DiSante wrote on June 29th, 2011
  19. Trail Running I’ve done and I love it! I want to go on a hiking vacation on my next vacation….not sure where to start looking for that in my state (Texas) but the search is on!

    Kathy wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • My family went to Big Bend several times growing up, but there are a lot of places locally too. Local no matter where you are! I recently spent a weekend on the Goodwater Trail in Georgetown and it was a great escape.

      Maybe this website could help.
      http://www.texashiking.com/

      April wrote on June 29th, 2011
  20. I love this post! Most of these were some of my favorite activities as a kid. I grew up in a semi-suburban/semi-rural area and it was wonderful — I can’t imagine how incredible it must be to do some of these things completely in the wild. this post makes me want to take a trip to a really remote wilderness area where I can hike and climb to my heart’s content…

    I think my favorite way to get primal in the summer would probably be lake/river swimming. Assuming you are an experienced swimmer, don’t be afraid to strap on the goggles (or go without, your choice) and swim across a lake (this only works in areas without boat traffic or crocodiles/poisonous fish, obviously). In fact, I just did this the other day. It can be a lake of any size! It took me about 12-14 minutes in each direction, so this was relatively small — maybe .4 miles across? It’s an incredible adventure, especially when the water and the surroundings are beautiful.

    CH wrote on June 29th, 2011
  21. This definitely hits home with me. I’m an ecologist and I study birds, reptiles, and amphibians. I often get the chance to hike a field site super late at night or early in the morning, stomp through creeks flipping rocks to look for salamanders,or taking a night hike to look for snakes.

    Field biology is definitely a primal thing.

    Max wrote on June 29th, 2011
  22. Tubing + drinks + time = sitting in pee
    8-)

    Nathan wrote on June 29th, 2011
  23. I meet the “Cooking Your Own Catch” condition almost every weekend: I go to the beach with my 6 feet net (3/8″ mesh). Not all times but often I get some nice fishes, which go directly to the cooking pan. With time my net technique has improved a lot (not easy for the beginner to throw it in a way it opens fully).

    And when I do not get anything, the WildGrok either fasts or continues getting his sunlight dose, or goes to the primal cooler and grabs a cold beer :-)

    WildGrok wrote on June 29th, 2011
  24. Wow, this brought me back to two summers I spent at an orchestra camp in Maine. I lived in a converted barn with no heat or air conditioning, went swimming at the nearby lake, grabbed fish for lunch at a shack on the shore, and went on plenty of night walks. We butterflied and roasted a whole pig, went hiking up a mountain, and generally had a blast. We weren’t even trying to be “Primal” — it’s just that’s what there was to do in our free time. I’m about to move to New England, and this post couldn’t gave gotten me more excited!

    Deanna wrote on June 29th, 2011
  25. Great points All! I’m looking forward to getting my kids (and me) a little Primal this holiday weekend. Definitely going to cook up some fish, run around in the woods at night, and maybe a little star gazing.

    Time to create some memories.

    Jeff Witt wrote on June 29th, 2011
  26. In Canada a great summer activity is tubing as well but we do it behind a boat at 20-30 mph – two tubes, two people at a time. It is a good workout trying to stay on a tube or trying knock the other person off.

    Not to be tried for those with weak backs or necks.

    Mark Sherry wrote on June 29th, 2011
  27. Early dawn climb: Check. Last year I hiked up from Aguas Calientes to the entrance to Machu Picchu. Left at 4 AM and started walking in the dark with only a headlamp as a companion. Ran into a bunch of other people on the way, and it was a great time. It was a 2.5 mile hike and 2500 stone steps in the middle of the night in the jungle. It was fantastic. I was dripping in sweat (my temperate body isn’t used to the humidity, apparently), but I was one of the first people into Machu Picchu for the day. It was incredible. The following hike up to Huyana Picchu through the mountain clouds was equally spectacular. Very highly recommended.

    Hal wrote on June 29th, 2011
  28. Your post reminded me of one of my favorite memories from growing up. I grew up in CO and we used to tent camp all the time. One time my parents forgot to pack the tent so we slept out under the stars. The sky was amazing – so much better than what you can see in the city! I remember trying so hard to stay awake to try to see a shooting star (we saw a few that night). Absolutely magical.

    jennf wrote on June 29th, 2011
  29. Why oh why is there no way to go from post to post chronologically?? I’ve been soaking up the info on this blog, but keep coming across the same posts over and over again. I’d love to be able to just click “Next” or “Back” to read more!

    Karen C. wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • Mark Sisson wrote on June 29th, 2011
      • Yes, that section is helpful, and I’m really glad it’s there. Although there are posts I come across that I didn’t know I NEED to read, and never would have thought to look for (the joint mobility series being the most recent).

        I still think it would be nice to go from post to post. I just came back from a week’s vacation and catching up was harder than it needed to be, IMO.

        Karen C. wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  30. Mark:

    It’s all so nice to read about, for the vicarious experience it brings (I’m in NYC now).

    My best summer memories are of the suburb where I grew up. There were no fences or hedges surrounding any of the houses, so kids (and dogs) ran from yard to yard. There was no need for making “play dates” because everyone was already out and about. Play, whatever it happened to be, assembled organically.

    Two very popular yards were one with a rope swing, and another with a lot of extra space that became designated, over the years, as a place where anyone could play ball anytime, without asking, so if you were looking for a pick up game, you knew where to go.

    Now that I’m a grown up, I’m grateful for the plans I have to leave the city for most August. Hopefully I’ll get to do some of the things on your very cool list, which makes for happy reading.

    Great post!
    Susan

    Susan Alexander wrote on June 29th, 2011
  31. I love summer! I grew up doing all of the things you listed. Unfortunately, walking in the dark won’t happen in the summer here in Alaska, but when it’s sunny at 10:30pm, we get out and enjoy it!

    Amber wrote on June 29th, 2011
  32. Love this!! Man, this brings back the memories–I grew up with a creek in my backyard. Now I live adjacent to an urbane mini-park with a paved dogwalking path. Not quite the same as the great outdoors, but hey, it’s still outdoors!

    This post makes me want to stay up late (stargazing) and wake up pre-dawn (for that early morning hike). That’s some inspiration!

    Anne wrote on June 29th, 2011
  33. I find running trails at night to be one of the most relaxing things I could do. While most people scoff at the idea of getting eating by animals (really?) or it just generally being unsafe, I absolutely love it. I find that my senses are heightened. Any move an animal makes in the bushes quickly gets my attention, and adrenaline quickly rushes through my buddy, only to return to a relaxed, yet alert state. I always seem to come back with a fresh mind.

    Also, while doing the Race Across America, while not exactly the same as trail running, the shifts I enjoyed the most were the night shifts out in the middle of nowhere. The night shifts that turned into dawn/morning were always the best. The feeling of watching the sunrise while doing something so few people get to experience, while the rest of the country is busy reaching for their snooze buttons, wondering how much coffee they would need to start their day was one of the more memorable points of the race(s).

    Ryan Denner wrote on June 29th, 2011
  34. I’m fortunate to be a rock climber and each summer, I travel west with a friend for a climbing trip to the mountains — this year to the Wind River Range and the Tetons. Very few things in life bring me more satisfaction than those days in the backcountry, camping out and challenging one’s mental and physical fortitude in the fearsome splendor of the mountains. Nothing that I’ve ever done focuses the mind on the present like being thousands of feet up on a sheer rock wall, searching for the next foot- or hand-hold. For those who’ve never rock climbed, consider hiring a reputable guide service to climb with. Put it on your bucket list — you won’t regret it.

    pocopelo wrote on June 29th, 2011
    • yup climbing is #1 for me. i live 3 1/2 hours from Smith Rock State Park

      DThalman wrote on July 3rd, 2011
  35. Some of my favorite summer activities and memories come from spending months on a small island off the coast of rhode island, living, working, exploring. We would go skinny dipping in the middle of the day in one of the ponds, and took dips in the ocean at night for a thrill. We star gazed from the beach, and sat on cliffs and observed the beauty of the reflection of the moon on the vast ocean. I was so lucky to live among such natural beauty. Now I’m up in Vermont and there is even more to explore, not being confined to a small island. We’ve been hiking so much and I’ve been exploring new trails with my dog.

    katie wrote on June 29th, 2011
  36. all of the above… and getting caught in a summer thunderstorm while out on a bike ride. Ahhhh…!!!

    Dasbutch wrote on June 29th, 2011
  37. Great article, Mark, and brings back childhood memories. My favorite is a bike ride as the sun is setting (not blinding one’s eyes). The cool, night air begins to settle in, and around here, the deer and elk bound in the wheat fields. It seems to give my body and mind closure to the day.

    hiker wrote on June 29th, 2011
  38. Thousand of stars, Mark. I feel to young to correct… :D
    If millions were shinning there would be daylight only, now that would be cool! :-)

    Paul Alexander wrote on June 29th, 2011
  39. Great post Mark! I think to sum up your post, and my goals this summer, is simply to be outside as much as possible. Sprained ankle be darned, I’m going on a night trail run this week!

    Jaybird wrote on June 29th, 2011
  40. This was a great post. Some of my favorite memories are of camping with my family at Devil’s Lake, WI. Last year I went camping with some friends, in an area with absolutely zero electricity or lighting, and to see the stars, and even the Milky Way, and just breath-taking. That was in October. I have a camping trip planned for the same place–just 10 days away!–and I will hopefully be able to do more than huddle around the fire trying to warm up (the northern part of Wisconsin is rather cool year round). One whole week to just be, do a little swimming, a little hiking, probably a whole lot of laughing and cooking and eating. I can hardly wait!

    Kim wrote on June 29th, 2011

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