GET OUT AND ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF WINTER
Welcome to 2019. I hope it is a New Year in many ways.
I hope it’s a year politicians realize they work for us, the taxpayer, and not for their own gain.
I hope this year the news media discover many of us are now turning them off or not reading what they write.
I hope it’s a year when gun control advocates realize violent TV shows, movies and video games are a big part of the problem.
I hope this is the year you figure out kids spell love T.I.M.E.
I hope it’s a year you take your spouse’s hand and go walking on a moonlit night.
I hope it’s a year that finds you spending less time at the office and more time with your family.
I hope this is the year you discover that sunrises and sunsets, the sounds of crickets and the smell of campfire smoke is better than any TV show.
I hope it’s a year you learn to tie a fly, paddle a canoe, pitch a tent, skip a rock, shoot a bow or catch a fish.
May your New Year be filled with all that makes you happy!
A NEW YEAR’S QUOTE
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before.”
– Neil Gaiman
I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW
You certainly won’t hear this on any national TV or newspaper coverage but approximately three-quarters of youth and adults approve of hunting and target shooting.
A GREAT PLACE TO VISIT THIS YEAR
If you’re starting to think about where to go on vacation this year and you love national parks, monuments, historic places and the great outdoors, South Dakota is a great place to go. The whole family will love it!
My wife and I were there for the first time this past September. We had a great time and made lots of memories. There is so much to do in this beautiful part of America.
Mt. Rushmore and the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial were awesome. We loved our drives and hikes around Black Hills National Forest, the Badlands, Custer State Park and Spearfish Canyon.
The drive up Needles Highway was awe inspiring. If you like caves, you do not want to miss Wind Cave and Jewel Cave. We both were fascinated with the active dig Mammoth Site in Hot Springs.
Since I like to use the wise quotes of Native Americans in my writing and radio show, I personally enjoyed all the Native American culture of the area. As we traveled around, I tried to envision what this area was like when it was their land before the white man came. The very large herds of buffalo roaming the Badlands only added to that vision.
Speaking of wildlife, as you drive or hike, you are almost guaranteed to see mule deer, pronghorn antelope, mountain goats and other wildlife. You cannot begin to count the number of prairie dogs you will see.
There are plenty of places to go fishing in lakes and rivers, which I was more than happy to try and yes, I was successful. There are also great camping spots, hiking, biking, places to ride ATVs, go horseback riding and anything else you like to do in our great outdoors.
Go to www.travelsouthdakota.com and start making plans for this year. It’s a trip my wife and I will never forget. Our son and his family went a few years ago, and they still talk about the great time they had in South Dakota. Once you go, you won’t ever forget it either.
NATIVE AMERICAN QUOTE
“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.”
WINTER IS A GREAT TIME TO GET READY
If you enjoy backpacking or want to start doing it this year, winter is a great time to get ready for future trips.
Walk every day or use a treadmill, stair stepper or use the stairs. When closer to the time you’re going to go on your backpacking trip, add a loaded pack to your routine to help add more strength to your legs and so your back and shoulder muscles get adjusted to the load.
It’s also time to plan where you will go. Minimize the distance you plan to travel on that first trip of the year to give your body time to adjust.
Start thinking about what you will eat on your backpacking trips and stocking it up. There are many good lightweight backpacking meals, but don’t overlook what you can find in your local grocery store that doesn’t weigh too much.
As ice drips from your roof and snow blankets the ground, just close your eyes and think of a gurgling stream, the magic of a crackling fire and a million stars in the sky, and all that preparation will be worth it.
YOU CAN TASTE THE DIFFERENCE
This may be the most important reason to wrap up warm and try for a mess of winter crappie. There is no comparison in the flavor of a spring crappie versus a winter crappie. The cold water makes the meat firmer and sweeter. You can taste the difference.
A SHOPPING TIP
If you need outdoor clothing, buy at the end of the season when retailers are trying to reduce their inventory and save big money. Also, shop the clearance racks. So what if it isn’t the camo pattern you really wanted. I don’t think it will make that much difference to the ducks, deer or turkey.
“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
– Rachel Carson