Saturday, August 5, 2017

2017 World Rowing Championships Come to Florida

Not often does Florida host a world championship that will bring thousands athletes from 60 countries to the Sunshine State.

Starting on September 23 through October 1 the World Rowing Championship will come to the Sarasota-Bradenton to the newly developed Nathan Benderson Park.  This park was especially design to host FISA (World Rowing Federation) international rowing competitions.  The park has a 2,000 meter course that meets all FISA criteria.  In fact the Nathan Benderson Park is first FISA-Certified course in America.

FISA has 151 National Federation members, as well as National and International Olympic Committees.  In addition to rowing events, the park can be configured to host kayaking and running events.  

The week of international rowing competitions start on September 23 with the Opening Ceremony at 5:30 PM.  The opening event ends with a great fireworks show.  The Opening Ceremony is free but you will need a ticket to attend the actual competition.  Click Here to visit the 2017 World Rowing Championship web page to purchase tickets.  

Depending where you live, it may be worth while to make hotel reservations right now.  Taking into account the long driving distances from major Florida cities, it will be a very long day for some event visitors who drive from home. Knowing how driving I-75, I-4 and I-95 can be dangerous at times, staying over night at any of Florida's west coast hotels will make one's visit to the 2017  World Rowing Championship a pleasurable event.  If you are planning to stay in the Sarasota-Bradenton area for the whole week, click Here the Visit Sarasota web page and Here for information on vacationing in Bradenton and the Gulf Isles.  With 49 days to go, you do not have much time to plan to attend the 2017  World Rowing Championship.  Hope to see you there.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Ice Mule Cooler Backpack at 2017 ICAST

As my anticipation for the start of ICAST nears each year, I try to imagine what new updates I will see.  This year Ice Mule exceeded my expectation because for the past two years, other than new colors and their Pro Cooler with straps, there were no, what I would call a big change.  At this year's ICAST Ice Mule rolled out a backpack cooler.  The new cooler design has thick insulation on all four side of the cooling chamber. The backpack closure is the same design as on all the other Ice Mule Coolers. This cooler has been tested extensively and will keep items cold for an extended period of time.

There are three pockets that have zippers that allow contents to be cooled.  The backpack has a padded waist strap with comfortable backpack straps.  When I tried on the empty backpack cooler it was comfortable to wear. I did have a problem with the waist strap.  I could not close it. I needed  about 6 more inches. That should not be a problem for average sized people. You can see below that the waist strap should fit perfectly. You see my pants belt is more than 6 inches longer than the waist strap on the backpack.

My bad, not a Ice Mule design issue.  I recommended that a waist belt extension be added as an accessory for people with large waste lines like me.  The new Ice Mule Backpack Cooler will be available next year.

I have been using my Ice Mule Cooler for over two years.  I take it everywhere. It works great when I take it into hotels.  It can easily be filled at the ice machine and it rolls up tightly and can fit into your luggage.

A great travel buddy. You can find Ice Mule Coolers on Amazon or other online outdoor recreation outfitters.  Get yours today.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Soft Science Rocks at 2017 ICAST

When I can, I like to test the outdoor recreation products I blog about.  I have been lucky enough to have tested two different styles of Soft Science outdoor recreation footwear, the Fin and the Durango.  I got my Fins a month or two after the 2016 ICAST from Soft Science.  I have been comparing them to my extended collection of standard Crocs. After testing the Fin along side my Crocs I found that the Fin traction was much better than the Crocs.  I also noticed that the  Trileon sole of the Fin did not seem to wear as fast as my Crocs.  The Fin Trileon sole maintained  its sharp edges where the Crocs started to wear round fairly fast.

While covering a kayak tournament in 2015, I slipped and fell when my Crocs lost traction as I was walking along a canal shooting kayak anglers from the bank.  Now I have not been able to test the Fin in the same environment as my Crocs but next kayak season in 2018 I plan to do that.  Just two week ago, I took a trip to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where I wore my Fins with socks all day long.  The reason I wore socks is that I have very flat feet with not much arch.  If I plan to walk long distances I need a tighter fitting shoe.  With out socks, the Fin would have been too lose.  The reason for the looseness is that Soft Science footwear are designed to fit with room around one's foot.  Click Here to read about Soft Science.  When on their website, click the Fit Guide to read about their shoe design. It explains about the roomy lose fit.

On the last day of the 2017 ICAST I met Tubby Madden.  He sent me the Fins I got last year.  This year we talked about the Fin he gave me last year and their social media sites.  He gave me a pair of Durangos to test out.  I have been wearing them all weekend.

They fit just like my pair of Fins.  Before I got these, I have been wearing a pair of Vans Slip-On shoes I got for a gift last year almost every day.  Looks like with my Durangos I will be able split the load between these slip-on shoes.

In addition to Fin 2.0 and the Durango, Soft Science came out with the Cruise Canvas pictured above.  Love this style.  If I were to get another pair of Soft Science shoes, it would be a toss up between the Fin 2.0 and the Cruise Canvas.  So the next time you are out shopping and you see Soft Science on display check them out.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have gave a great day in the great outdoors.

Platypus Fishing Lines at 2017 ICAST

At the 2017 ICAST I got to meet my old friend Jason Schall and his new bride Jennifer.  Jason is the USA Distributor for Platypus Fishing Lines.  For those who do not know Jason, he is a world renowned angler who has caught over 600 different species of fish.  He was the IGFA awardee in 2014 of the Chester H. Wolf Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.  As of  2015, Jason reached 50 IGFA records with a goal of reaching 100 IGFA world records in his lifetime.

That being said, the reason you might want to know a little history about Jason's record quests is that he only uses a line that can stand up to the IGFA testing. If you submit a catch to IGFA for line class record consideration, you have to send in samples of the line you caught the fish on.  IGFA will test the line first to see if it qualified before your catch is even considered as a record.  That is why Jason uses Platypus Pre-Test Braid and Monofilament fishing lines. It increases his chance at another IGFA Line Class Record. The braid is tested throughout the manufacturing process and each spool of monofilament line is tested three time. Click HERE to read more about the Platypus Pre-Test fishing lines and HERE to watch a video of Jason talking about Platypus Fishing Lines at ICAST.  Platypus fishing lines have been used to set over 600 IGFA and ANSA records.   Even if you are not going after IGFA world records, the entire line up of Platypus fishing lines will give you the performance you need to catch big fish.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Platypus Fishing Lines at 2017 ICAST

Florida Cracker Trading Post Great Watering Hole

 When visiting Florida one will notice that a majority of the population lives withing 10 - 20 miles from the coast line.  Being the sunshine state, Florida is all about its beaches.  But to get from one side of the state to the other you have to drive through the central part of the state.  Along the many state highways, when you venture off Interstates 4 , 10, 75 and 95, you will find many interesting eating place, road houses and juke joints and an assortment of mom and pop establishments offering great food and drink.  During a return trip last month from Springhill on the west coast of Florida to back home in Melbourne, Kathi and I happened upon one of these interesting watering holes called the Florida Cracker Trading Post.  The Florida Cracker is located at 966 E. Jefferson Street, Brooksville, Florida 34601. Click HERE for their website.

The Florida Cracker Trading Post is made up of the Florida Cracker Kitchen, Tap Room and Store.

The Florida Cracker Kitchen was jamb packed when we arrived so we ate at the counter.  The breakfast menu had a big selection of scrambles, omelettes, pancakes and waffles.  I had the Cowboy Burrito with slow cooked brisket, eggs, onions, bell peppers, with jack and cheddar cheese.  Garnished with tomatoes and green onions.  Kathi ordered a meat-less omelette which had mushrooms, peppers and onions.  All the other breakfast dishes look amazing as we watched the food coming out of the kitchen being served to other guests.

After we ate, we toured the tap room next door.  It was way too early for a beer.  The Tap Room is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4:00 - 11:00 PM.  The doors were open this Sunday so we took the opportunity to look it over and grab a few photos.

Beside the Tap Room is the Florida Cracker Store.  I was surprised, after entering the store, to see three of the mainstay brands I see each year at Surf Expo.  Yeti Coolers, Freaker beverage insulators and Howler Brothers.

The Florida Cracker had their Florida Cowboy Boot logo printed on Freaker beverage insulators. You could buy pint beer glasses glasses and other items with the Florida Cracker logo imprinted on them.  Because I am a big Howler Brother fan and follower, I purchased a new baseball cap with their Howler Monkey logo on the front of the cap.  All and all  this was a great way to spend a Sunday morning breakfast stop.   So if you are planning a Florida east to west or west to east coast trip and want to slow it down a bit,  do what bikers do and take the back roads and stay off the Interstates 4 , 10, 75 and 95 highways.  There you will find more places like the Florida  Cracker Trading Post.  Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great out doors.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sealime Lures at 2017 ICAST on the Water Demo Day

Another interesting tackle brand at the 2017 ICAST on the Water Demo Day was Sealime Lures.  The Sealime lure design is really innovative.  The lure head is rectangle shaped and hollow that allows the water to flow through the lure causing the mylar lure body and tail to flutter as the water passes over the body and tail.  I will have more to report on this when I get to the show later in the week.  Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great time in the great outdoors.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Trapper Tackle at the ICAST on the Water Demo Day

One of the many brands that had tents at the 2017 ICAST on the Water demo day was Trapper Tackle.  They were demonstrating their unique fish hook with the  configuration where the hook incorporated a expanded box at the hook. The box feature allows the fish, once it bites, to be locked onto the fish hook.  The box keeps the fish from rolling off the hook when being reeled in.  Their hook design won the Best in show in 2016 in the fish hook category.  I have never used these hooks before. I did speak with an angler at their tent who just finished a trip where they loaded up the boat with Mahi Mahi using these hooks.  He swore by them.  I cannot wait to try them out to see if they work for me because I need all the help I can get to catch fish from my kayak.  I am going to check out Trapper Tackle hooks later in the week at their booth.  Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Popticals Pop-Out Sunglasses at 2017 ICAST

ICAST is in full swing today but yesterday on July 11, 2017 ICAST held it first ever on the water demo day on the grounds of the Orange County Convention Center.  One of the brands on display was the Popticals Pop-Out Sunglasses.

The Pop-Out Sunglasses has a very unique feature that allows the sunglasses to be folded up to be stored in a very small portable protective case. The case is small enough to go into your pocket or clip onto your backpack or tackle box.  The lenses are made by Carl Zeiss.  These lens are very different. These lens are nylon.  They are lighter and have more clarity than the typical polycarbonate lens found in most fishing sunglasses. Click HERE to read more about their lens technology.  So if you are in the market for a new pair of sunglasses that will not get scratched or broken trying to store them, you should give the Popticals Pop-Out Sunglasses a good look.

I will be visiting their booth at ICAST later in the week to get a real close look that these interesting sunglasses.
Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

2017 ICAST on the Water Demo

2017 ICAST on the Water Slideshow

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Over the 4th of July Holiday I took a trip to the northwest side of the Florida coast to the "Nature Coast" with my wife Kathi.  One of our stops was Homosassa Springs.  During the winter here in Florida, Homosassa Springs is one of the great locations where manatee hold up because of the warmer water.

The park has a visitor's center located on west side of State Highway 98.  Inside the visitors center is the start of your park visit.  All park visitors travel to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park entry point by pontoon boat.  The boat ride is a mile long guided tour along pepper creek to the park entry point where the entry fee is $13.00 per person.  If you are a frequent visitor to Florida State Parks, you  might look into an annual pass. Click HERE for more information on annual passes.
If you happen to be a honorably discharged veteran with a connected disability, you can get a free lifetime pass where you and your family members can get in for free.

Located at the park entry building is a snack bar and a gift shop.  During the summer it is wise to stock up on water from the snack bar before venturing out into the park.  Click HERE to watch my video of the boat ride to the park entry.

Once inside the park you can stroll under the tree canopy to see the wildlife exhibits.   All the wildlife inside the park must be indigenous to Florida.  But there is one exception.  The park has one hippo named Lou.  He is 57 years old and became part of the state park when the park was purchased from  Citrus County during the 80s. In order for Lou to remain in the park, then Governor Lawton Chiles made Lou a Florida resident. Click  HERE for the history of how the park became a state park.

This park is a rehabilitation center for injured or orphaned manatees before being released back into the wild.  The park is also the home of other injured wildlife who cannot survive in the wild on their own.  During our tour of the park we saw many injured birds of prey with damaged wings and a blind pelican.

At the headwaters of the Homosassa Springs is a viewing structure where one can go under water to see the manatees and fish through the viewing glass.  On the day we were there there were three manatee playing around viewing station which gave the visitors a close up view of a manatee swimming around the glass windows.  In addition to the manatee, there were 1,000s of fish.

Sheepshead, snook, red fish and mullet could be seen through the glass.  The sheepshead were following the manatees eating whatever was dropping for their hide.  You could spend hours just watching all the underwater activity at the Homosassa Springs viewing station. Click HERE for my video of manatees in Homosassa Springs.

At the west end of the park where the park boundary boarders the Homosassa River, there were what looked like 50 or so boats having a grand old time playing loud music, eating, drinking and snorkeling in the clear water.  From the shore it looked like everyone was having fun. Click HERE for my boat party video. 

All and all, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State park is well worth the trip.  We enjoyed our visit.  We hope to plan a winter trip to see all the manatees who come to the warm waters of Homosassa Springs during the winter months.  Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great time in the great outdoors.

Homosassa River Boat Party

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Outdoor Cooking on the Trail or Campsite

Outdoor cooking on the trail or campsite has gotten really sophisticated.  Backpacking food back in the 1970s when I hit the trail is nothing like it is today.  Mountain House, the mainstay of backpacking freeze dried foods, has really taken their whole product line up a notch or two.  If you do not like to eat freeze dried foods, then you can always pack fresh food as long as your backpacking trip is not an extended one.  With all the new technology hitting the trail these days, your culinary choices just might amaze you.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Granite Gear Grounds Keepers Keeping Your Trails Clean

If you follow me you will know that I love to share stories about outdoor brands that do their part to keep public lands public and to keep our recreation lands clean for current and future generations for outdoor enthusiast.  While reading Inside Outdoor Magazine updates on LinkedIn I read about how Granite Gear was going to  unveil a line of Minnesota Made bags. When I went to their website I found their page about their "Grounds Keepers" program.  Now I wanted to learn more so back to Inside Outdoor Magazine I went to find their article on the "Grounds Keepers" Click HERE to read this article.  I think that this is a great program.
 I have always been a considerate hiker.  I pack out all the trash I created while hiking.  Back in 1974, during America's BiCentennial year, I attempted to hike the AT with a group of boy scouts from Florida.  We made raised the money and made a heroic effort but crashed and burned the first week in Maine when the bad winter had caused most of the lakes and streams to overflowed washing out most of the AT trail from Mt Katahdin south.  Even though we never got really far, it was important for all of us to keep the trail clean. We tried to keep our camp site cleaner when we left than when we arrived.

The idea to have a team of dedicated hikers whose purpose it is to clean up the trail as they hike is amazing.  When reading about the "Grounds Keepers" I did not see the Florida Trail mentioned.  The Florida Trail is 1,300 miles long and starts at the Oasis Visitors Center at the Big Cyprus National Preserve and ends at the Gulf Islands National Seashore in the Florida Panhandle.  It would be a great idea to have  Florida Trail "Grounds Keepers".  So if you are interested just click HERE to contact Granite Gear to show your interest.  Being a "Grounds Keepers"would be a great accomplishment for any avid Florida hiker and a great way to keep the Florida Trail clean for others.

June 27, 2017 Update from Granite Gear. Shelly Smith, Granite Gear PR & Marketing informed me that DirtyBeezy 27 out of Spokane, Washington, hiked the entire Florida Trail and packed out 30 pounds of trash. Click HERE for her website. I wounder what is her next challenge being that she has conquered the FT, AT and Pacific Crest Trail?

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Bonz Carver has new carving to share

From time to time I like to revisit old friends.  Captain Steve Bowman is a Space Coast legend when it comes to creating Polynesian and marine sea life  carvings from deer antler, bone, wood and acrylic material.  He goes by the handle "The Bonz Carver".  You can find Steve hocking his carvings at almost any Space Coast / Brevard County surfing related event.  He takes special orders by calling him or sending him an email.  Steve is a master at what he does.  I have two of this fish hooks and have had him create special carving to give as gifts.  He has sold his carving all over the world. I would lover to see a world map that shows all the countries where he has shipped his carvings.  Click HERE for his Facebook page with his contact information.

Steve is also a certified fishing guide.  You can schedule an inshore trip by calling his cell phone to make a reservation.  So the next time your are looking for a great accessory for your Hawaiian or fishing shirt give one of The Bonz Carver's many carving a look see.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mobile Bike Shop Comes To The Space Coast

While driving to work today I happened upon a Velofix mobile-repair bike shop van. I had never seen one of these before so I took a few photos with my Iphone.

Velofix Holdings Ltd. is a Canadian company expanding into the United States.  There is a Space Coast franchise where Craig is the owner and mechanic.  He covers Brevard County from Mims to the north to Grant in the south.  HERE to send him an email.  You can make a service reservation on the Velofix website. Click HERE to make a service reservation.  Velofix has goal to be the biggest cycle-repair service on North America.  Get your franchise today.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great doors.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

ICAST 2017 Open July 11th

ICAST is now just a few short weeks away.  If you have not already made your hotel reservation you may not get a room close to the show. The main show will be in the west concourse with the on-water exhibit being held the first time this year in the north side of the north/south concourse. Buses will be used to transport attendees from the west to the south concourse. Next year ICAST will move from the west concourse to the north/south concourse.

Keep in mind that ICAST, the world's largest sport fishing trade show, at the Orlando, Orange County Convention Center on I-Drive is a closed show.  It is not open to the general public. Click HERE for the ICAST show schedule.

Each year over 13,000 sport fishing buyers, store owner,  media and sport fishing celebrities gather for the three-day sport fishing experience.  The ICAST Cup will still be held on Lake Toho.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Monday, May 29, 2017

2017 America's Cup Day 2

 The second day of the 2017 Louis Vuitton America's Cup Series went off without a hitch. The racing was just as exciting as on day 1.  The collision during the last race of the day between Land Rover BAR and Softbank Team Japan on the first day did not hamper Land Rover BAR after their boat was repaired overnight.  The Land Rover BAR team was assessed a penalty for initiating the collision. At the end of day 2, Land Rover BAR had lost two races putting them tied for second along with the Emirates Team New Zealand with three points each.  Oracle Team USA remains in first place with 5 points after winning two out of three races.  They were defeated and blown out by Artemis Racing in the second race.  On day three Oracle Team USA has the day off.  The other five teams will be racing. Groupama  Team France is the only team on day three to race twice.  Like the first two days of racing, NBC Sports Network will be carrying the broadcast.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017 America's Cup Day 1

The first full day of racing is finally one for the record books after high winds on May 26 caused the first race day to be cancelled.  You might ask why cancel the race because of high winds because sail boats need wind to race.  Well the reason is the fact that these racing boats were designed for a specific wind speed range.  On Friday, the wind speed exceeded the design criteria of these racing sail boats.  Racing them in these high winds would have been very unsafe.  

One amazing fact that helps allow these high tech racing sail boats to perform at the level they do is the Internet of Things (IoT).  Take the Oracle Team USA boat.  This racing boat has hundreds of sensors collecting data from 1,000 data points using Blue Tooth, WiFi and fiber optic cable. The data is collected in real time.  After the data is collected it is analyzed to adjust the boat and to better prepare the crew for each race.  Click HERE to read more about how Oracle Team USA use the IoT.

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series (LVACWS) started in July 2015 and will end at the end of June 2017.  The series is made up of nine (9) races. These races were held in Portsmouth, GBR - Gothenberg, SWE - Bermuda, BAR - Muscat, OMA - New York, USA - Chicago, USA - Portsmouth, GBR - Toulon, FR and Fukuoka, JPN.  Following the 9 race series, the six teams gather back in Bermuda for the qualifier and challenger playoffs which started yesterday on May 27.  When the qualifier and challenger playoffs are completed the  America's Cup Match between the two top teams will end the 2017 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series with a new America's Cup champion being crowned.  This year, Team USA is defending the Cup it won back in 2013.

NBC Sports Network is doing a great job covering the 2017 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series.  Click HERE to watch the 2nd day of race online at 1:00 PM EST.

At the end of the first day of the qualifier and challenger playoffs, Oracle Team USA and Land Rover BAR were tied with 3 point each.  This is because even  though Land Rover BAR lost one race, they came into the qualifier and challenger playoffs with 2 points for winning the 9 race series where Oracle Team USA had 1 point for coming in second.  The second day of racing should be just as exciting as Day 1.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great out doors.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Paddle Sports Retailer 2017

There is a new outdoor recreation trade show that debuts this year that paddlers have been waiting for. It is the Paddle Sports Retailer.  This new trade show focuses solely on paddle sports.  It is all about paddling.

This is a closed show. It is not open to the public.  This show is for Retail Buyers, Independent Reps, Manufacturer Reps, Working Media, and Industry non-profit. Registration is free.  The show is being held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI August 29 - September 1, 2017.  At this time, if you are a buyer, you can get a three night lodging credit of $129.00 per night if you register and attend.  This is limited to one credit per store.  This sounds like a deal that is too good to miss.

The Paddle Sports Retailer is the perfect show where buyers can see everything about paddling under one roof.  I especially like this.  When attending ICAST or Surf Expo  the paddle sports booths are scattered among surfing and fishing gear booths.  At Paddle Sports Retailer one gets to see kayaks, canoes and SUPs side by side.  

I am not going to be able to attend this year but I have added it to my bucket list along with the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.  Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

America's Cup World Series Bermuda 2017

The 2017 America's Cup World Series will be held in Bermuda. This great sailing race begins on May 26th, 2017.  The American team sponsored by ORACLE won the 2010 and the 2013 races.  Jimmy Spithill and the America team will be defending the cup they have won two times.  The challenger teams are Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Groupama Team Frasnce, Land Rover Bar, and Softbank Team Japan.  The television coverage of the race spans 8 days and will be provided by NBC Sports Network & App.  The first day's coverage starts on Friday at 6:00 PM and runs to 8:00 PM.  The rest of the coverage starts at 1:00 PM daily.   With the new catamaran design with hydrofoils this year's racing is going to be great.  Click HERE for a America's Cup report from May 18, 2017 to see these racing yachts sailing at 40+ knots.  That's just nuts!  I cannot wait to see videos from the race recorded by using drones.  

Over the years the design of of America's Cup racing yachts have changed dramatically.  The typical America's Cup racing yacht of the 1980s was the 12 Meter Racing Yacht pictured on the left.  The race in 2010 was the last race where this type of design was sailed. In 2013 the race rules were changed to allow winged-sail catamarans.  In 2013 the America team won.

This year ORACLE Team USA on behalf of the Golden Gate Yacht Club will defend its title sailing their magnificent winged-sail catamaran.  The first America's Cup race is held 1851. Since that day there have been 35 races. The American team has defended the cup 30 time.  Only five times have the American team lost.  If you love sailing and have deep pockets, I recommend the book America Cup Yacht Designs. Click HERE to see the book on Amazon.  The boat artwork is very impressive.  So make your calendar for the start of the 2017 America's Cup Yacht race from Bermuda starting on May 26th, 2017.  Do not miss daily updates on the race by visiting the official America's Cup Yacht race webpage.  Click HERE for their webpage.  Until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chaco Supports Protecting Bears Ears

Chaco, a major outdoor recreation footwear brand, has stepped up to the plate doing their part to support blocking the Trump Administration's effort to explore and drill for oil and gas in 27 National Monuments. Bears Ears in Utah is the poster child for the effort to "Keep Public Land Public".

Chaco is one of the leading brands of outdoor rugged footwear that is really hard to wear out.  I have been wearing Chaco footwear for about four years and I love my Chaco shoes and Z sandals.   Currently Chaco has a special offering of Bears Ears theme products where Chaco will donate 100% of the net proceeds to those groups battling to keep our public lands public especially Bears Ears.   Click HERE to link to the Chaco webpage where you can support "Keep Public Land Public" by purchasing one of their new Bears Ears Z Sandals, graphic tee shirt and/or the really cool wrist wrap.

I will be ordering my wrist wrap today. I am sure that Chaco will sell out so order yours today.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Cocoa Beach VW Classic Car Show 2017

This Cinco de Mayo weekend along the Space Coast had more fun things to do beside going to your favorite Mexican restaurant to eat and drink Mexican beer.

On Saturday May 6th, in Cocoa Beach the 2017 Cocoa Beach VW Classic car show was held.  All the classic VW cars and  vans were there.  There were beetles, Karmann Ghias, 411s, Things, micro-buses and dune buggies.  Along with classic cars there were a few food vendors lining the main thoroughfare.  Most of the cars on display were more than 30 years old and exhibited a Florida Antique license plate.
I fell in love with VWs back during the 1970s when I purchased my first VW a Karmann Ghia in Charleston, SC. She was a British racing green coupe.  What a sweet car.  My second VW was a modified micro-bus converted into a surf wagon.  Purchased her when I was stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida.  After the micro-bus came the VW Thing (Type 181). An updated version of the WWII VW Kubelwagen.  Did not keep our Thing long because the USAF transferred my family to Alaska.  During the first winter the plastic windows froze.  With a small child we need a care with glass windows and a good heater.
The VW Thing was not that car.  My last VW was a 1980s Westfalia Camper.  I purchased it in Germany from a Canadian soldier.  This VW had U.S. specifications so I was able to ship it home when I was transferred to Norton, AFB in San Bernardino, CA in 1984.  We lost the camper  in 1986 when it caught fire when the fuel lines ruptured leaking fuel on to the top of the hot engine.  You see the fuel tank was mounted directly above the motor. I later bound out that many VW camper owners had replace the rubber / paper fuel lines with stainless steel to avoid such a problem.  After that fire, I never purchased another VW again.  But today, I have fond memories of all the VWs my wife and I owned.

The Cocoa Beach VW Classic was a big hit.  There were loads of VW fans checking out all the different VWs on display.  At this show, the VW Beetles seem to steal the show.   Click HERE for my video of the VW Classic.  And click HERE for my slide show of my VW car and van photos.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Wilderness Society Fights For Pubic Lands

As the Trump Administration expands its influence over oil and gas exploration on America's public lands, Trump has asked Department of Interior to start the process of allowing oil and gas exploration on many of our great National Monuments.

The Wilderness Society has reported that the Department of Interior has started the review of the Antiquities Act, the law that protects National Monuments from commercialization encroachment, and to reduce the protection of National Monuments from development by oil and gas companies.  Click HERE to read The Wilderness Society's blog article on this crazy move by the Trump Administration and to see the list of endangered National Monuments, especially Bears Ears.

The Wilderness Society is just one of many environmental organizations and major outdoor retail brands like REI, North Face and Patagonia and the Outdoor Retailer (OR) trade show that support keeping public lands public. Click HERE for a Washington Post article on Bears Ears and the Outdoor Retailer trade show pulling out of Utah. This summer's OR is the last one to be held in Utah.  On July 27, 2017 there will be a "This Land is Our Land" public march from the OR location in Salt Lake City to the State Capital to show support of keeping U.S. Public Lands public.  The entire outdoor sports and recreation industry is invited to join in the march.  Click HERE to learn more about the march and how you can participate.

There are many environment organization that support keeping public land public.  The Conservation Alliance (CA) is one such organization along with The Wilderness Society.  CA has as its mission to engage business in providing funds to organizations like the Appalachian Trail Conservancy or the National Wildlife Federation to protect wild places.  CA has support from more outdoor retail brands than one can name.  Click HERE to see the entire CA membership.  When you buy their gear and apparel you are supporting the Conservation Alliance without knowing that you are a supporting keeping wild places wild.

As we continue to fight against a commercial takeover of public lands, do not be fooled by stated from Washington that appear to support public land.  Behind the scenes there is a public land takeover in the works.  Stand up and fight and be heard.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great out doors.