It is here: the summer. Warmer weather. Longer night. Superhero movies. This is a very special time for East Coasters to come out and reacquaint themselves with the sun, and to make commitments to soak it all in while they can, since, as year and year again they are forced to remember: the summer is a quick, fickle beast, and as suddenly as it arrives, it disappears.
So the best thing one can do is to make the most of it. We are here to help!
Because everybody likes apps, and everybody likes summer, let us combine the two. Geocaching is like the largest game of hide-and-seek or treasure hunt you have ever played. Folks from all over the area use GPS to hide a variety of items.
Utilizing an app that one would download for a mobile unit, the geocacher can use GPS to locate and discover these geocache treasures. Typically, this might contain a logbook in a waterproof container that would allow you to indicate the date and time that you located the find.
I hear there are various geocache apps, and this is becoming quite the trendy thing to do. What makes this interesting is that you can pick this game up wherever you go, as long as there happen to have been geocachers that have passed through before you. It will also connect you to a wealth of folks that you may never know, doing the same thing as you.
CLIMB SOME ROCKS
I am fortunate enough to live in Connecticut, which has an ample amount of rockface spread throughout the state. On a sunny Saturday, I was surprised at the number of folks I saw mounting one of these rocks. I did not realize this, but there is a closet community of climbers who are probably shimmying their way up a mountain near you.
Rock climbing can of course be a tad dangerous, so you want to make sure you know what you are doing. Equipment can be a bit expensive as well. You are going to want to make sure you know how to tie your knots!
What I would recommend is to try some indoor climbing, if you are lucky enough to have a rock gym near you. The staff there will show you the ropes (pun intended) and how to properly scale the walls. Then, either through the gym or through a group such as “Meet Up,” you can likely find a group of climbers near you that will be embarking on weekend adventures.
I would strongly recommend going with a learned group for your first several outings. They will know the best spots and be able to give you pointers. Also, if you go on coordinated trips, you can likely share equipment. This way you can see how much you really enjoy rock climbing before you invest beaucoup dollars on the equipment to do it on your own.
This one is for me. A lot of golf courses are elitist and classist, and its members have no tolerance for something as tawdry as casual fun. Yet the game of golf in and of itself can be fun!
What would I recommend for the non-golfer? Golf! Gather three of your friends who are the least experienced in the game, borrow some clubs, and hit the links. It will be frustrating when you don’t hit the ball, or hit it a couple of feet, but you can take solace in the anger and agitation brewing in the group behind you, as they watch you dub all your shots, impatiently waiting to play the hole themselves.
If you happen to be good at golf, then simply go golfing. But, please, don’t get a golf cart. Let’s at least get a minimum of physical exertion going, okay?
Another interesting alternative to golf is Frisbee golf, or disc golf. It has the same basic principles, except instead of a golf ball and a hole in the ground, you have a Frisbee and a metal receptacle at the end of the hole. It can be fun, and also a lot more casual than your local country club.
For me, there is nothing quite like being out on the water. For relaxation, I might paddle out on in a canoe and just let the water dip me to and fro. In a world where everything moves a mile a minute, there is a liberating feeling in paddling yourself out to the middle of a body of water where you can just be. You can sit back, and relax. There’s not much else to do on a boat in the middle of the ocean.
If you want a little more adventure, you can always step it up to the kayak and hit some rapids. There is a thrill as the currents guide you and jerk you, as well as a humbling feeling when the paddle work you are doing is to no avail. You may be strong and all, but you are no competition for the rapid that insists you are going along with it.
TAKE A JOURNEY
I do not care if this happens to be in a car, on your feet, on a bicycle, or by any other means. The warm weather brings out a sense and an urgency to get on the move, and see the world—so do just that!
Take a hike! Find a bike trail and see where it goes. Pack up your car that gets reasonable gas mileage and take an extended weekend! Embrace getting lost!
How’s this: Drive all night to a location you have never been to, then boot up your phone. Utilizing your handy geocache app, find out what locals and travelers alike have left behind for you, and remember to sign the logbook, making yourself part of the adventure.
Then, using your GPS, find a nice woodsy location with a lake, some kind of park or something. Rent a canoe and spend the morning fishing or just becoming one with nature. Then, with the afternoon, see if you can’t find a rock wall in that location and tame it!
What you might want to do here is camp out, if allowable. It just seems like you have a had nice rugged and relaxing day, and what a better way to finish it than by sleeping under the stars?
When you wake up, you can drive back towards the real world, perhaps stopping by some local country club and playing a quick nine holes.
That doesn’t sound like a bad summer weekend to me!