Monthly Archives: August 2007

Doing Stuff Outdoors-15

falls.jpg

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

We’re back to a weekly schedule for Doing Stuff Outdoors. This week a feature interview with Lorne Blagdon who has returned from hiking a segment of the Continental Divide Trail in Wyoming. He joined his daughter Naomi for the trip and they were part of a team mapping the trail for Backpacker Magazine. Close encounters with grizzly bears made the hike even more exciting. Listen to part one of this high country adventure and check out Naomi’s podcast from the trail at the Backpacker CDT Project.

Running guy Alex Coffin is back with advice on how to make your regular run and race training fun. This is especially good to hear since I’m preparing to run a half marathon in a few weeks time. And I’m not ready yet.

Our ‘All Things Outdoors’ segment features news about an 83 year old skydiver making his 100th jump, the new wave of summer tubing at ski resorts and little skis for baby strollers.

We have podsafe music on the show from Angel Vivaldi.

I invite you to check out our website at doingstuffoutdoors.com and if you enjoy the podcast please subscribe in iTunes or any other directory. And be sure to email us with your comments and suggestions at doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca.

Next week part two of my conversation with Lorne about hiking the Continental Divide and we’ll meet a young sailing family who spent two years living on their boat and sailing in the Caribbean.

Thanks for listening…..

Gary

group1.jpg

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Adventure, Continental Divide Trail, Grizzly Bears, Hiking, Marathon, Outdoors, Podcast, Running, Yellowstone

Trail Magic 3 (May 23-25,2003) by Lorne Blagdon

img_0235.jpg

Four years ago Lorne Blagdon and his daughter Naomi hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. He kept a trail journal and from that wrote a regular column for the local paper and he called it Trail Magic. We’re posting every Trail Magic column here on Doing Stuff Outdoors. Lorne is also turning his column into a regular audio segment on our Doing Stuff Outdoors Podcast. Be sure to listen to the podcast regularly for the latest from Lorne. Hope you enjoy this series.

After several days on the trail we noticed that we all smelled bad. I wrote a song entitled We All Stink, a couple of lines from the chorus goes, “We all stink, hold your nose, we all stink like smelly toes, nobody smells like rose, but that’s the way it goes….” It is incredible that an everyday experience like a shower became a luxurious treat.

On May 23rd it seemed like some cruel joke that after a days hike and everyone was totally exhausted and hurt that the shelter and water hole was one half mile off the trail. But, the next morning a family from South Carolina rewarded us with pancakes and bacon. It turned out that the father of the family parents were from Ontario.

Later that day we summited Blood Mountain the highest point in Georgia. We hiked down to Neels Gap where the trail came to an outfitter’s store. Everything in the store was very overpriced. We paid $6.00 American for 30 oz of camp fuel and 25 cents for a single ziplock bag. The owner offered his services to ‘shake down’ your pack. He would check all the items you were carrying and offer suggestions on what you could do without or recommend better gear. Most people came out $400 lighter. Regardless the place was incredibly busy, full of tourists and hikers. Chris got sick. I played guitar with one of the workers who wore farmer john pants and a hillbilly hat and accent to match. I felt like I was in a scene from Deliverance. We had fun sending home 29lbs of unwanted and unnecessary items. Chris kept getting sicker. The worker told us that Chris would probably be able to stay at the hostel for free because of his state and our shortage in money. Finally we made the decision, while waiting for our laundry to dry that Chris and Naomi would stay at the hostel while Nathan and I hiked a mile up the mountain to set up camp in the dark.

The next day while Nathan stayed with the gear I hiked back down the mountain to get Naomi and Chris, but they were still in bed. I talked to Brian and Sasha, a young couple from Calais who were doing a through hike. When Naomi got up we hung around the outfitters talking to nice people who gave us food. One of the workers gave me a better pack for Nathan. The owner went through Naomi and Chris’ packs and we sent home another 11 lbs. He also rummaged through the gear that other hikers had left behind. He gave us 3 stuff sacks, a pair of lightweight pants, shorts, 2 water bottles, a spoon, plastic plate and a water sack. Chris got up at noon and seemed to be coming around. I carried his pack up the mountain to our campsite where we stayed the night. We ate ham steak that we had gotten for free at the hostel. We were looking forward to the ham and potato dinner, but it turned out to be awful. The ham was cured in brine and was like eating a saltlick.

Despite our disappointment in the meal we were very happy. We discussed how pleasantly surprised we were that the outfitter was so good to us. He gave us some great advice, showed us how to organize our packs and gave us some better gear. His unexpected kindness contributed to our success.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Outdoors, Trail Magic

Doing Stuff Outdoors-14

img_0287.jpg

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

This summer edition of Doing Stuff Outdoors is all about running. Gary has finally decided take the plunge and run the half marathon distance in Marathon by the Sea in Saint John, New Brunswick in September. To prepare he went to a Half Marathon event held in Grand Bay-Westfield earlier in the summer. He talked to a number of runners ranging in age from 12 to 63. Gary asked them why they run and why they put themselves through the agony. He wanted to discover their motivation and their passion for long distance running. If you’re a runner or want to be, you’ll want to listen to this special edition of DSO.

Also on the podcast more podsafe music from Brothers in Stereo and Gary begins what he calls his ‘Outdoors Ramble’. Today it’s a commentary about what Doing Stuff Outdoors is all about.

Check out our webpage at doingstuffoutdoors.com and email your comments, suggestions and outdoor adventure stories to doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventure, Grand Bay-Westfield, Marathon, Outdoors, Running

Kayaking with Glooscap

img_0111.jpg

The Bay of Fundy is home to the highest tides in the world, although that claim has been debated recently. Another bay high in the arctic is also laying claim to the title but either way these tides are immense. One hundred billion tons of water, double the daily flow of all the rivers in the world, cascades through the mouth of the Bay of Fundy from the Atlantic Ocean every 12 hours.

The St. John River has its source in a wilderness area of northern Maine. The river flows south a distance of 450 miles until it meets the Bay of Fundy in Saint John. That’s where the fun begins. It’s called the Reversing Falls.

The Micmac and Maliseet Indians of the area had a legend about the Reversing Falls. Glooscap was the keeper of all life. All the animals accepted Glooscap’s supremacy except for the beaver. He built a dam across the mouth of what is now the St. John River. Glooscap became angry and with his mighty club smashed the dam, in the process creating what is now a series of islands in the river by the falls. The force of his blow caused the water to swirl and boil and Glooscap said he would leave it that way so beaver can never again build a dam. But the Indians who lived there begged Glooscap to change his mind so he agreed to still the waters for 20 minutes every six hours.

This legend tries to explain what happens when the Fundy tides meet the waters of the river. Twice a day at high tide the powerful tides force the river water to change direction and flow upriver. Twice a day at low tide the mighty river pours into the Bay. And for 20 minutes in between each the river water is calm at slack tide. Combine that with the narrowing of the river in this gorge and an underwater ledge and you have the world famous Reversing Falls. For hundreds of years people were terrified of the falls. To venture into that water at high or low tide meant instant death. And most often it did. But today freestyle-white water kayakers play in those roaring waters every day.

One of the first people to paddle in the Reversing Falls was Harold Cox, the manager of the Canadian Freestyle Kayak Team. He’s been kayaking for 34 years. He knew the falls was doable and today paddlers come from everywhere to kayak these waters. Harold has paddled all over the world and he believes the Reversing Falls is the best white water a kayaker can find.

Earlier in the summer paddlers from all over the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and Maine gathered for an annual competition at the Falls. They ride the standing waves and do tricks on them. They sometimes get sucked down into a whirlpool and pop back up like a cork. Kayakers say they love paddling here most of all because of the rush. They say when you get out into those waves your heart is pounding and the adrenalin is surging. They call it an amazing experience.

If you want to find out more about paddling in the Reversing Falls check out the podcast Doing Stuff Outdoors-10. You’ll get to meet a number of the paddlers and find out first hand what it’s like to paddle in the falls, the only place in the world where the water flows both ways.

I’m a sea kayaker and you’d never get me in those rapids. But it sure is fun to watch people who know what they’re doing playing in water that terrorizes most of us. I can’t help but wonder though what Glooscap would think of all these people in little plastic boats messing around in his rapids.

1 Comment

Filed under Adventure, Kayaking, New Brunswick, Outdoors, Reversing Falls, St. John River, Whitewater

Doing Stuff Outdoors-13

img_0291.jpg

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST 

This is a special summer edition of Doing Stuff Outdoors. Today we look at only one topic, the relatively new fitness craze of Nordic Walking. It’s like cross-country skiing without the skis. Nordic Walking is a low-stress exercise technique that involves the use of walking poles to engage the legs and upper body in a total body workout. The activity has clinically demonstrated physical and psychological benefits.

We’ll talk to Daryl Steeves, a coach and trainer who’s been advocating Nordic Walking as a fitness activity for a long time. We’ll also meet two Nordic Walkers, Marilyn Inch and Denise Meahan who are in training for a Nordic Walking Marathon.

Also on the show some podsafe music from Brothers in Stereo.

Contact us with your thoughts and comments at doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca and be sure to check out our website at doingstuffoutdoors.com

1 Comment

Filed under Adventure, Nordic Walking, Outdoors