June 27, 2008

Cool Off With A Cold Book

Into Thin Air, a true account of one writer's experience on Mt. Everest, may be just the thing for these hot summer days.

In 1996, Outside magazine sent Jon Krakauer to Napal. His assignment: tell readers what to expect on a guided ascent of the world highest peak. Into Thin Air was written after Krakauer returned from what had become the deadliest season in the history of the mountain. The author's insight into the culture of the Himalayas, the personalities and motives of climbers, their sacrifices and survival stories is mesmerizing.

David Breashears' IMAX team was filming during the same climbing season and their incredible film Everest is a must see after reading the book.

June 25, 2008

Learn to Swim

If you weren't born a water baby, learning to swim may be one of the great adventures of your life. Developing a happy relationship with water can open up a whole new world of wave jumping, boating, canoeing, rafting, surfing, scuba.... Start expanding your horizons by visiting the American Red Cross.

Updated 1/2/2012

June 23, 2008

Surfin' U.S.A.

If everybody had an ocean
Across the USA
Then everybody'd be surfin'
Like californi-a
You'd seem 'em wearing their baggies
Huarachi sandals too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo

Surfin' USA

You'd catch 'em surfin' at Del mar
Ventura county line
Santa cruz and trestle
Australia's narabine
All over manhattan
And down Doheny way

Everybodys gone surfin'
Surfin' USA

We'll all be planning that route
We're gonna take real soon
We're waxing down our surfboards
We can't wait for June
We'll all be gone for the summer
We're on surfari to stay
Tell the teacher were surfin'

Surfin USA

The Beach Boys said it all. Wanna learn to surf? Google "surfing" for your area or start here or here.

June 21, 2008

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Looking for something different for the first day of summer (TODAY!)? How about sweet corn ice cream. Read Slashfood's comments on this taste adventure here.

Updated 1/2/2012

June 20, 2008

Profile of an Adventurous Woman: Surf's Up!

Guest post by Jan who founded an adventure group in Southern California.

I have always been a water baby.

In 1955, our first house was on Bangor Lane, less than ½ block from the beach in Ventura, CA. Ventura, at that time, was one of the great, gritty beach towns, as famous for oil as it was for surfers, second only to Huntington Beach.

I have fond memories of planning my escapes to the beach. When I went missing, which was often, my parents knew where to find me…sitting in the edge of the surf playing in the sand. As I was only 18 months old, this caused great concern for my parents, and so, hook latches were installed on the doors. Not to be dissuaded, and having a lot of time on my hands, I soon learned how to foil the latches with a broom handle. Spring latches came next, and again, I learned how to use a broom to slide and push the locks open. Having exhausted their creativity in keeping me safe…we moved inland. I discovered puddles. I discovered I could make puddles with the garden hose. And after flooding the backyard for the 3rd time, the handles were removed from the spigots.

It’s not easy being a water baby…or the parents of one.

The summer of 1974 was my summer of discovery and freedom. I was recovering from my first bout with cancer and I had decided life was just too short to try and please everyone. I decided also, that recover was not going to be spent safe in bed battling nausea and pain, I was going to direct my own recovery. I began to get up each morning before dawn, pack a lunch sack, towel, thermos of water, and go to the beach.

I would start the day walking. It was ¼ mile from lifeguard tower 1 to tower 2, and a struggle to make the walk to and back. But soon, I was jogging the entire length of beach 6 times to make a daily run of 6 miles.

I had gone to school with most of the life guards on that beach, and one day, Art and Eric, taught me to body surf on their break. I spent the remainder of that summer body surfing, boogie boarding, and free diving up to 35 feet for clams, abalone, rocks, whatever was available down there.

Time marches on, and between the demands of family and work, my days at the beach came less and less often as my husband and daughter were not water babies. Soon, the glorious days of summer, and the love of the water were replaced by other activities.
Life also changes, and as that marriage ended, I was delighted to meet the love on my life. He was one of the surfers from that old beach I used to surf the summer of '74. We got married, and I finally had someone in my life who understood my call to water. He was a career military man, and not long into our marriage took a 1 year unaccompanied overseas assignment on Okinawa. We spoke almost every day, usually after he returned from scuba diving or surfing with his buddies after work. I mentioned one day I would like to learn to dive and he said…”what’s stopping you”? By the end of the week I was enrolled in a NAUI class and 6 weeks later I was diving for the first time. Upon his return from Okinawa, we spent several weekends traveling to Catalina Island for boat diving, or beach diving from San Clemente to Laguna Beach at places like Divers Cove, 1000 Steps and others. For my birthday that year, my husband gave me sailing lessons and we began to alternate our weekends between sailing and diving. But soon, work and family took priority again as my parents were getting older and required more care.

Winter 2006

I got a call from my now grown daughter. She said my grandsons had something to ask me. “Grandma…Mom told us you used to surf…would you teach us”? they asked. Good grief was my first response. I haven’t surfed in 20 years or more. But I understand the draw and I said yes…then I enrolled in a gym with a pool and spent 6 agonizing weeks getting my 50+ year old, 50+ extra lb body back into some semblance of fitness.

I bought us all boogie boards and shorties (short wetsuits) and we planned our first trip to the beach. While I didn’t get much board time in that day, we spend a wonderful day in the water with the boys sharing something we love. It’s now a regular family outing. We incorporate safety training into each trip, reviewing what they have already learned about reading the water, and adding something new to the training. Last trip it was prevailing and rip currents; how to spot them, what to do if you get caught in a current. The boys have become quite comfortable with the boogie boards, and we’ll soon present them with their own surf boards and start lessons.

Last trip out, my oldest grandson said “Grandma…Mom said you used to dive…will you teach me?”

I’ll save the answer for another blog, another day.

June 18, 2008

Cattails for Lunch?

I like food adventures so you'll probably see a lot of items like this in the future.

For today, go on over to Slashfood and learn how to indulge your craving for the slender green beauty of fresh cattails.

Updated 1/2/2012

Roller Coasters: Another Way to Fly

Classic wooden or modern; seated, hanging or standing; looping in total darkness or rocketing above the heads of hundreds of onlookers. No matter what your personal preferences, a good roller coaster is a perfect blend of bliss and terror. When was the last time YOU flew?

Here's a list of the Best Roller Coasters Across the USA from CBS Minnesota.

Coaster Critic list's the Top 10 New Roller Coasters of 2011.

Theme Park Insider gives you ratings and reviews for theme parks (and their roller coasters) around the US and around the globe. Click here.

Business Insider lists the Most Extreme Roller Coasters on the Planet.

Updated 1/2/2012

June 13, 2008

Women's Adventure Magazine

Woo Hoo! A magazine devoted to adventurous women!! EVEN BETTER, Women's Adventure will give free (yes, FREE) issues to groups. Get your adventure club together and contact the magazine here to request issues for your adventurous friends.

January 2, 2012 update: Sorry ladies. Women's Adventure no longer offers free copies to groups.

June 12, 2008

New York Apartment Full of Hidden Adventure

The New York Times tells the amazing tale of an architectural designer, Eric Clough, who created a scavenger hunt within the walls of a Fifth Avenue apartment. The Klinsky-Sherry family, who lives in the mysterious flat, found clues hidden behind secret panels, codes etched into radiators, and so so so much more. You have to read the story and see the photos to believe it. Read the story here. See slide show here.

June 11, 2008

More Adventures in Eating

If you grew up eating hamburgers and fries you may have missed out on a lot. The New York Times tells the story of two American kids living in Beijing who chomp down on scorpions and Tibetan yak jerky and ask for more. Read the full story here.

Road Trip! Bizarre Food Festivals

Knives and forks at the ready! ForbesTraveler.com has located some of this country's finest food fests and then organized them into three catagories: foods sooo far out of the ordinary that they're perfect for the most adventurous eaters (read "bugs"), ethnic or regional foods that are common to some but may be completely unique in your neighborhood (Rocky Mountain "Oysters"), and finally, festivals so obsessed with one common item that they've taken it to a new and unusual realm (garlic, garlic, garlic).

updated 1/2/2012

June 10, 2008

Take a Segway Tour

So motorcycles aren't your cup of tea but you still want to try something new on two wheels. How about a Segway?

What's a Segway? Imagine you're standing on a small platform with a wheel next to each foot and bar with hand grips in front of you. That's about it. Happily, the Segway is self balancing, using computers and motors to stay upright. It's also very easy to control: to go forward, you lean forward. To go backward, lean backward. To go left or right you lean the steering bar...yep...left or right. Segways can cruise along at about 12 miles per hours making them a hot trend in law enforcement and, of course, the tourist industry.

To see the Segway in action, click here. To take a guided tour on a Segway, click here then click "guided tours" at the top of the page.

P.S. My adventure club took a Segway tour of Washington, DC in October 2008 and we loved every second of it!

updated 1/2/12

June 8, 2008

Get Your Motorcycle License

Have you always wanted to hit the road on two wheels? Experience the joy and the freedom of sun and wind and power? Then it's time to get your license, baby!

I just spent four days in a course sponsored by a local community college. I have to say I expected to be the only woman in a group of twenty-something guys but I was very wrong. There were 12 of us in the class, six men and six women. The oldest was a woman in her sixties and the youngest was a girl of 16.

The first two days were spent in the classroom learning motorcycle basics: parts of the bike, what to wear, safety rules, etc. The second two days were spent on the range (a.k.a. parking lot) on a Honda Nighthawk. We started VERY slowly. In fact, we sat on the bikes, turned them on then "walked" them across the parking lot. Over the next two days we gained speed, learned to control the clutch & throttle (in the handgrips), learned to shift gears (left foot), mastered turns (NOT like turning on a bicycle), and stopping. At the end, we took the written and driving tests and earned a certificate for an new "M class" license. I'll admit that there were times when this class pushed my comfort zone - a lot. I'd just get used to weaving through cones and suddenly we were gearing up (literally) for swerving around an obstacle. But isn't expanding your comfort zone what adventure is all about?

To find a motorcycle class in your neck of the woods, contact a dealership in your area. You can find a local dealer here: Honda, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Yamaha.

Photo courtesy of American Honda

updated 1/14/2012

June 6, 2008

Water Tubing

White water rafting not your speed? Try tubing. You and your friends can take a leisurely float down one of many rivers around this country and beyond. Google "tubing trips" or you can start your search here.

With any guided trip, you want to make sure the company you choose has a strong safety record, well trained guides, good equipment and a solid reputation. Do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Photo courtesy of River & Trail Outfitters, www.rivertrail.com

updated 1/12/2012

White Water Rafting

White water rafting is perfect for those hot sticky summer days. You can use Google to find a host of guided trips in your area or you can start here at Rafting America. Trips can range from a few hours to overnight. The guided trip my group took was about 4 hours of raft time and included a picnic lunch.

New to rafting? Many of your questions will be answered here but one extra note: don't forget a change of clothes for the drive home.

Remember: When you find a rafting company, make sure they have a strong reputation and a strong safety record before you commit.

Updated 1/14/2012

Follow Roz Savage as She Rows Across the Pacific

"Roz admits that she is an unlikely adventurer. An office-bound salary slave for most of her adult life, it wasn’t until her mid-thirties that she decided that there had to be more to life than four grey walls." -- from RozSavage.com

What's she doing now? Roz is attempting to be the first woman to row across the Pacific. You can follow her adventure from dry land by visiting her website. You can read her blog and get daily updates sent to your cell phone.

Photo courtesy of Roz Savage.

Updated January 1, 2012

June 5, 2008

Start an Adventure Club!

I was a Girl Scout leader for years. I took Scouts on dozens of fun trips but my part was counting heads and applying Band-Aids and filling in paperwork. A few years ago, 2005 to be exact, I decided that it was time for the adults to have fun too. So, I e-mailed some friends explaining that I wanted to start an adventure club and asking them to respond if they were interested. Personally, I was surprised by the number of women who told me that they were too old for "that sort of thing"!

When I had about a dozen women I had a meeting -- involving a lot of wine and appetizers -- and proposed that we pick four adventures for the year. I told everyone that participation wasn't a requirement. Every activity should be an opportunity not an obligation so there shouldn't be any stress. We all agreed that we would limit the group to women -- no kids, no husbands, no significant others.

That was years ago and these days the League of Adventurous Women has more than 50 members representing a variety of ages and backgrounds.  We have single 30-somethings and grandmothers, research scientists, teachers, federal workers and stay-at-home moms. Friends invite friends, I still invite women that I meet along the way. I keep a master list of adventures but I don't limit our adventure list in any way. An adventure to one woman may be ordinary or scary to another so it's good to have a variety of choices. I do keep all of the suggestions anonymous (I'll never tell who wants to learn pole dancing!).

FYI, some of the women who told me they were too old are now the ones who lead the most adventurous trips.


June 5, 2008 marks the birth date of the Adventurous Women Blog. Each week you will find information about a wide variety of adventures for the very brave and the more timid. Get ready to expand your horizons!