Monday, October 6, 2008

Women in the Outdoors

A few months ago, I was contacted regarding teaching a class about geocaching for a Women in the Outdoors event to be held at Camp Clay near Van Wert. Since it's a hobby of ours that we've enjoyed since early 2004, I felt this was a way of giving back to the community by introducing it to others. I asked my partner-in-crime, Marsha, if she would help me and she enthusiastically agreed.

Women in the Outdoors is an outreach program of the National Wild Turkey Federation, centering on women who enjoy outdoors activities. They hold events all over the United States with the purpose of promoting and introducing various activities to women. Saturday's event was the first time it was held in Van Wert County.

In addition to geocaching, there were classes offered in archery, fly-fishing, canoeing, pottery throwing, making a birdhouse from a gourd, wall climbing, outdoor cooking, walk in the wild, hunting, and bird watching. As instructors, we were allowed to sit in on any class when we weren't teaching.

Our class was one of the first of the day, situated near Rotary Lake. Since we'd had a light frost the night before, there was a beautiful mist coming off the lake.

The ducklings were just sure we had food for them and followed us around as we got prepared for our class. When they found we didn't have any, they stuck around and begged from our students. They were so cute and I loved the whistling sounds they made as they waddled about.

We had hidden two sample caches for the day - one in a Tupperware container in the woods there and a microcache inside one of the tractor tires embedded in the ground at the south edge of the property.

Marsha and I hoped we had done a good job of explaining the basics of geocaching as well as how much fun we have as two girlfriends setting out on an adventure. Our students were great, asking good questions, and we were told later that we'd converted at least two of them, judging from conversations that were overheard after the class.

As Marsha and I were walking back to our cars, we noticed someone go flying by to our left, in the treetops. WHAT??? They had a ZIP LINE??? Oh yeah! I turned to Marsha and announced that I was doing that. She had to leave, so we said our goodbyes, then I headed back towards this zip line thing.

The deal was that you had to climb the wall, up to the platform where you took off on the zip line. Piece of cake, right? HA! It would have been a lot easier if every one of the handholds were able to be fully grasped by your fingers, but some of them are merely roundish bumps and some only have holes for you to put your fingers into. I was thankful for the tether, just in case I lost my grip.

Once I made it to the top, then I prepared for the zip line. Not scary really, but it did give a thrill when I leaned forward off the platform and then again when I rebounded upwards after the initial drop. It was a feeling of being completely weightless, but that only lasted an instant and then the ride to the other pole was just as awesome as I'd anticipated. FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Time for lunch. We had homemade vegetable soup, homemade chili made with venison, shaved turkey sandwiches, apples from Adam's Apples orchard across the road, potato chips, homemade cookies and glazed Chex mix. Those who had taken the cooking class brought their cooked dishes to the table as well, so I got to taste the roasted salmon, which was delicious.

I got to chat with Dr. John Perchalski and his wife, who are active in the Upper Maumee Valley Naturalists' Club. We discussed bird sightings and I learned that it is illegal to gather any feathers from most birds, specifically a Great Horned Owl. We've got one of those that frequents the woods near us and quite often the large oaks in our yard. They shared a set of CDs which have owl sounds and warbler bird sounds, and are available from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

What a fun day this was! Hopefully, they'll have another Women in the Outdoors event next year with even more in attendance.

*Photos of me on the climbing wall and zip line were taken by Shannon Babcock.


Meems said...

A couple of years ago we took all of our grown children and their families to the mountains for Thanksgiving. There we climbed a wall much like the one you feature here and we did the zipline through the mountains. You are right ... it is thrilling and adventurous.

I enjoyed your post telling of the fun day you had. I am going to check out that organization to see if they do anything in my area... sounds like a lot of fun.

I still don't understand what geocaching is though...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have been to a couple of these Women in the Outdoors activities. It is great fun. I have learned something at each one. I did a bird walk for one at our local park.

I have a friend that does geocaching. I have never tried it but she loves doing it, especially when they travel. She says it leads them to places they would never see.

Rose said...

Wow, Kylee, I was impressed by your completion of the half-marathon, now you're climbing rock walls and flying through the air! Sounds like a great day outdoors.
I'm like Meems, though; I'm not sure what geocaching is all about.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could have listened to your class.
Been half interested in geocaching for a while.
Waiting for the kids to get a bit older (2, 4,& 6 yrs now). Seems like great fun.

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