The Awesome Outdoor Recreation of Boulder, Colorado

One of the most popular attributes that any city can have, both for their residents as well as the visitors that come there, is a well developed area that encourages outdoor recreation.  The city of Boulder, Colorado is consistently ranked in national publications as being one of the better recreational communities in the United States.  Both the city itself, through many urban developments, and the surrounding natural area lend themselves to being attractive to those interested in outdoor recreation.  Anyone interested in outdoor recreation themselves should definitely pay a visit to Boulder, Colorado.For decades, many professional and amateur athletes have called the city of Boulder home, and with very good reason.  The high altitude has a great many advantages that serious athletes can benefit from.  The surrounding landscape lends itself to being used for both training purposes as well as practice and competition sites for actual events themselves.  Boulder is simply an outdoor recreation enthusiasts dream come true.

Golfers will find more than enough sunshine in Boulder to enjoy teeing off at Flatirons Golf Course for the better part of the season.  With an average of more than three hundred days of sunshine every year, it is easy to see why golfers, along with many other athletes, enjoy the Boulder area.Kayakers can experience the type of river floating that can seldom be enjoyed in other larger communities.  In Boulder, kayakers can paddle right through the middle of town, enjoying a trip down the river as well as a unique way of seeing the city itself.Hikers and bikers are blessed by Boulder and the surrounding area’s abundance of well maintained hiking trails.  With more than two hundred miles of trails to explore that zigzag and meander through the city, the surrounding lowlands and hillsides, and into the mountains just a short distance away, it is easy to see why both serious and casual hikers and bikers visit Boulder repeatedly.  When the snow falls and the chill of winter sets in, these very same trails become wonderful locations for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.Boulder is also a popular option as a place to visit and stay for those interested in downhill skiing.  The community is centrally located in a way that someone staying there could visit a number of Colorado’s best and most popular ski resorts by taking a short drive in almost any direction.  After a day on the mountain, the unique nightlife found in Boulder can be a warm welcome and good way to end the day.Over the years, Boulder has developed a reputation for being one of the premier destinations for both serious and casual rock climbers.  There are good rock climbing areas in many different directions from the city, with many that appeal climbers of varying levels of expertise, everything from beginner to expert level.  It takes literally just minutes to drive from the downtown Boulder area into some of the best rock climbing areas the United States has to offer.  Nearby to the city are the Flatirons, Eldorado Canyon, and Boulder Canyon, while further away sits Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness areas.  All of these areas are very popular with rock climbers from around the country.

It almost doesn’t matter what a traveler’s particular interest is in outdoor recreation, there is an opportunity in Boulder to enjoy that activity to its fullest.  The community takes its environmental responsibility very seriously and enjoys preserving the natural resources it has been blessed with.  These resources can then be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike in ways that other communities and areas of the country simply cannot compete with.  Boulder, Colorado has got to be on the top of the list for any traveler looking for an interesting destination with great outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Best Outdoor Games

When you were young, do you remember asking, “Mother, may I walk two giant steps forward?” while playing with friend outside or hopping through a hopscotch board, or listening to the swish of a jump rope as you twirled the ropes for someone or jumped during recess? I do.It seems like these fun outdoor recreations is becoming activities of yesteryear, more frequently replaced with sedentary ones like watching a movie, playing on the Wii or other computer based entertainment.Although the world has changed since my childhood, outdoor play is still important. It helps children develop physical skills, live healthier lives, teaches them to work together with friends or family, to appreciate and take care of their natural environment, and enlarges their imagination. As parents we can help our children learn to enjoy being outside and join them in their adventures. Here are a few activity ideas and games to play together while experiencing the great outdoors.

Play animal charades. Let kids can pick their favorite animal and act it out for others players to guess.Bubble time. Chasing bubbles, as they flit over the grass, can fill a yard with giggles and provide fun exercise. Making homemade blowers adds a touch of creativity to the day. Find your favorite pattern for a blower and homemade bubble recipe by searching online for using the keywords homemade bubbles and blowers.Take a nature walk in your own backyard, a park, or a nearby open area. Watch for animals; as you walk through areas they may live. Discover the different types of plants growing along the path. During the hike parents may choose to bring trash bags, tools, and gloves to help clear litter along the way, teaching children the importance of taking care of their environment.Race paper airplanes. Let kids fold and decorate paper airplanes. Fly them to see whose plane goes the farthest. Using construction paper to fold adds color and makes planes a little heavier helping them fly better.Play freeze tag. This is a twist to the normal game of tag. In freeze tag one or two participants are “it” and whenever they tag someone that person remains frozen in place until they are tagged by another unfrozen player. Once a player is tagged (frozen) three times by the person who is “it” they now become the tagger and the previous person joins the rest of the group.

Give each child a spot in the garden. Children can help plant their own seeds or plants helping to take care of plants as they grow and harvesting when their crop is ready. Although this is not a game it can be fun activity, full of anticipation while kids watch things grow.Outdoor activities provide a breath of fresh air and open a world of possibilities for everyone. So step outside and into new adventures.

Entiat Washington – Gateway to Recreation

Small Central Washington Community at Center of Outdoor RecreationEntiat, Washington has long been known as the “gateway to recreation”. And there’s a very good reason for this moniker… there are so many nearby places to go to enjoy the outdoors, wildlife and recreation. And with the region’s great climate of sunny days and starry nights, there are ample opportunities to enjoy it.For many, though, Entiat has always been “that place you drive through on your way to Lake Chelan”. But surprisingly, Entiat is at the center of the very best the area has to offer. Draw a circle on a map and you’ll be amazed at all the recreation options available within a 15 to 45 minute drive from Entiat.But let’s start with the town itself. Great people, many drawn here for the beauty and recreation opportunities, and some whose families settled here 50 (or even 100%2B) years ago to plant the apple orchards which the area is now famous for. Years ago there was a nice little town center of shops and restaurants, but the creation of Lake Entiat (behind the Rocky Reach dam) forced the re-location of the central business area into the more “spread out” assortment of shops and businesses that you see now. But this is changing. New businesses have been springing up in recent years including Entiat Valley Pastry, Coaster’s Seafood Market and Cafe, and Trader John’s Lake Entiat Fruit Stand each of which provide a bit of character and charm to the area and are likely spots where you’ll meet your neighbors.

TransformationsBut the big buzz is the City’s recent acquisition of a mile long stretch of undeveloped waterfront along Lake Entiat. While some cities might have been interested in expanding their park system, Entiat is taking the long-term approach of developing their new waterfront into a vibrant mixed-use district of shops, marinas and hotels all connected by a continuous trail system with extensive greenway links to the existing downtown areas.The trail system will also link to the existing waterfront park with its dock, boat launching and camping facilities. In fact, the Chelan PUD is now developing plans for a multi-million dollar facelift of this waterfront park and its facilities which will also contribute to the town’s “livability index”. These two projects will help transform this “sleepy” town into a major recreation center and truly a great place to live.Ideal LocationBut the one thing that also makes this small, quiet, rural community such an ideal place to live is its central location. You’re right on 31-mile long Lake Entiat with all it has to offer in the way of fishing, water skiing, boating, sailing and jet-skiing. You’re just 15 minutes from all the shopping, restaurants and entertainment in Wenatchee. Just 15 minutes up to Lake Chelan and its many recreation opportunities and walking town center. Just 15 minutes up to the new golf course at Bear Mountain Ranch. And in just 15 minutes you can be up into the heart of the Entiat River Valley, flanked on one side by the Entiat Mountains and on the other side by the Chelan Mountains with peaks reaching 9000 feet and above. Here there are plenty of places to go hiking, fly-fishing, hunting, bird watching, snow mobiling, bike riding and much more.

In future articles, we’ll explore each of these recreation opportunities in more detail. If you have some favorite recreation spots of your own, please share!

Outdoor Recreation – Traditional Hunting for Small Game Animals

Outdoor hunt sports are experiencing renewed interest today. In the 1960′s there was an awakening and recognition of a need to return to nature and traditional ways of living. Those who left the city, returning to the country, discovered two things. First, a lot of folks still lived in the country where hunting and fishing were a way of life, not just an activity during vacation. Second, there is great aesthetic, even spiritual satisfaction from harvesting what you consume from your own garden, from the woods, and from the lakes and the ocean.Hunting large and small game has been at the core of a natural lifestyle forever. Although it is a classic traditional American recreation, it is much more than that. Each year millions of parents take to the woods with their kids and grandchildren to enjoy the outdoors, to learn about wildlife and to teach them how to hunt and fish, and to appreciate and respect nature and our place in it. If you ask a wide cross section of the population you’ll hear that many of their best memories are of hunting and fishing with dad and grandpa.

Hunting rabbits, ducks and squirrels put food on the table for our great grand-parents and grandparents. It was a way of life then and still is.If you pick up an outdoors or hunting magazine there are a lot of pages devoted to deer hunting. One hunter is likely to ask another, “Did you bag a deer this year?” That’s a little misleading. Today the most widely-hunted game animals in the country, now and for generations, have been rabbits and squirrels. There are a number of good reasons for this. These animals are everywhere, widely distributed, abundant, easy to bag and prepare, and they’re delicious.Rabbits and hares are found virtually everywhere throughout North America and into Central America. Every state has at least one species. Most states have more.Rabbits are highly adaptive. They’re found in most every environment. As a result they are often abundant. While all species eat only vegetable matter, their diet is flexible. What they eat depends on their home territory. They have a deserved reputation for eating just about anything, sometimes everything. When food is plentiful, rabbit populations explode. Hunters can count on finding them near agricultural areas.Rabbits are not true nocturnal feeders. They feed at dawn and dusk when both night and daylight predators have difficulty seeing. That makes those twilight hours the best times for us to hunt them. When food is readily available and predators are few, rabbits become less alert and are fairly easily taken, even by less experienced hunters.Rabbits, like all small game, should be field dressed as soon as possible so the meat doesn’t become tainted. They are fairly easy to prepare for cooking. Skinning them is not a major chore, but is easier before they become cold or frozen.Rabbits, squirrels and some other small game can contract tularemia, a bacterial infection, transmitted from ticks. Gloves should be worn when skinning and preparing them. The meat should always be fully cooked prior to eating it.Squirrels are the second most-hunted game animal in North America, for most of the same reasons as rabbits. Hunters focus almost exclusively on the three dominant species of tree squirrels, of which the eastern and western gray squirrels are the most available.

Like rabbits, squirrels will adapt their diet to what’s available. They can also become pests to farm crops.Most states confine hunting to the Fall season, but a few have a Spring hunting season, as well. Wildlife management departments in those states say that two hunting seasons have no negative effect on the populations.Squirrel is very easy to prepare for cooking. The meat is delicious. There are dozens of traditional recipes, many with distinctly regional accents and ingredients.Much has been said and written to praise the many merits of small game hunting. It emphasizes a close relationship with and appreciation of the natural world in which we live, It teaches responsibility, tradition and strengthens family bonds. One of it’s greatest rewards is the simple pleasure of sitting down to a meal of food you’ve grown and game you’ve brought home and cooked.