What's In Outdoors Calendar
|July 14-17||I CAST Orlando, Florida---- Fishing's Future What's in Outdoors Radio|
|Aug 15||TARC benefit, WIBW-TV Chris Fisher, Ravenwood|
Brewers and Broadcasters Golf Tournament
Bluestem Farm and Ranch Conservation Days first Friday and Saturday in September
Joyful Noise, Camp Wood
Kansas Hunt/Fish Expo--Beau Arndt Appreciation Day. Peter Pan Park
State Seeks National Designation for Arkansas River
National water trail status would benefit the public, the river and local communities
Topeka, Kan. – Following on the success of the Kansas River being named a national water trail by the National Park Service (NPS) in July 2012, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) wants the same designation for a portion of the Arkansas River in Kansas. That goal is a little closer thanks to technical assistance KDWPT will receive from the NPS Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program to develop the designation application. The goal is national water trail recognition for the Arkansas River Water Trail from Great Bend downstream to the Oklahoma border, a network of public river access points providing recreational and conservation opportunities, as well as enhancing the prospects for communities and businesses to attract enthusiastic river-goers and boost local revenues.
The Arkansas River is classified as a “navigable water,” so the right of the public to travel on the water is protected by law. The river provides over 180 miles of publicly navigable water and riparian wildlife habitat in Kansas. The public may use the waterway between the ordinary high-water marks on each bank, but people aren’t allowed to trespass on private property adjacent to the river. As a result, it is important to establish reasonably-spaced public access points at suitable locations. Currently, the Arkansas River Water Trail includes more than 15 public access sites established in partnership with cities, counties and private landowners. KDWPT will work with the NPS to engage additional partners and stakeholders, set priorities to analyze issues and opportunities, improve public information resources, and achieve the national water trail designation.
“Designating the Arkansas River as a national water trail will help draw tourists who enjoy leisurely excursions and want to experience Kansas in a unique way,” said KDWPT Secretary Robin Jennison. “Many people might not think of our state as a place to take a river trip, but the Arkansas and Kansas rivers offer some really great opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy parts of the state that are often overlooked.”
Snow Skiing for Us Naturals! March.... Many years ago.
Webster defines skiing as the act or sport of traveling or gliding on skis. It does not say anything about the wide-eyed feeling of terror I had the first time my so-called friends turned me loose on the mountain slopes of Colorado.
Downhill skiing is actually simple. It’s the turning before you travel/glide off a mountain or getting stopped before you become a permanent tree implant that creates the problems. Been there, done that! And to think I would be a natural. I actually boasted I would be ready for ski jumps and somersaults by the second day.
I was lucky to be walking the second day.
This short chapter on skiing was added to my mental book of outdoor adventures early in March over twenty years ago. My wife and I were invited to join several other couples for a skiing vacation. Reservations were made, clothes were scotch-guarded and away we went. It was awfully tough to leave Kansas to go skiing. The sun was shining, spring was in the air, the groundhog never saw his shadow, and fantastic fishing reports were beginning to circulate. Pond fishing was really heating up. Bass were on a feeding frenzy, gobbling up just about anything thrown to them and I was going to Colorado to play in the ice and snow? What's wrong with this picture? It didn’t make sense. I never really liked to make a snowman when I was a kid, and now I was going to drive over six hundred miles just to travel or glide down a snow-covered hillside.
The thought never really occurred to me until we were well down Interstate 70 that skiing involved sliding with the possibility of being out of control. WHERE’S MY SIGN? Would I experience that same feeling of despair and uneasiness a driver feels when trying to brake his car during icy road conditions? You know the feeling. Your teeth are clenched, toes curled and you have a death grip on the steering wheel while all the time wondering if the car will stop before sliding into the intersection, curb, or car just ahead of you. Doubt began to creep into my mind. Would it really be possible to crash into a tree, or soar off a cliff and join the eagles because you traveled or glided onto an unmarked slope and couldn’t stop in time? Well, so what, Columbus took a chance and besides I would be a natural.
Our plan was to drive to Denver the first day and enjoy a delicious Mexican food fiesta at the Casa Bonita. We stayed the night and made it to Winter Park by midmorning the next day. Once our reservations were confirmed and the ski rental equipment checked out, it was time to challenge the slopes. Too late to get lessons, but who needed them anyway. I was going to be a natural.
The ski lift ride up the mountain was breath taking and offered a panoramic picture perfect postcard view of beautiful Colorado. Everything was going great until my wife told me to stand up and push away from the lift. I discovered in no time there is nothing natural about snow skiing. I lost my balance and crashed into friends who were awaiting our arrival, taking four or five of them down with me. The rest of the afternoon was all “downhill,” no pun intended. I felt like a baby bird just learning to spread its wings, but was fortunate to have an audience along who offered encouragement, dusted me off and collected all my skiing apparatus every time I wiped out. I finally asked my friends to leave me alone, take off and enjoy their skiing time the rest of the afternoon.
My wife, being the unnatural that she is, picked up skiing in no time and deserted me also.
One method of reducing speed and gaining control while skiing is to point the tips of your skis across the slope and up the mountain. By skiing uphill you will gradually come to a stop and once you learn to turn, you can weave your way back and forth across the slope and down the mountain. That is skiing in a nutshell. I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I mastered this maneuver for the first time. My only problem was that when I stopped, my back was facing downhill and I slowly began slipping backwards down the hill. I wasn’t a natural at skiing backwards either-- so the only way I could remedy the situation was to fall down, turn around and start over.
I finally made my way down the slope to what I’ll call a T in the road and stopped for a rest. Actually a safety net at the intersection stopped me from going into the trees and allowed me this break in the action. I hadn’t taken such a beating since the third grade picnic! A decision had to be made. I could either go to the left on a slope called the Turnpike which would gradually get me to the lodge or go to the right, down Practice Hill and zoom into the lodge in grand style.
A couple of kids landed at my feet while I was making this crucial decision and asked for directions. I guess I looked like a skier anyway. After watching several people crash on Practice Hill, I told them I would show them the way to the lodge down the Turnpike. They both replied in unison, “The Turnpike’s for sissies,” and off they went. Well, my ego got the best of me and I decided to help them conquer the mountain.
This steep practice slope is situated right in front of the lodge. I really got to “cookin,” and was soon out of control. Something had to be done before I crashed through the doors and joined someone in their broccoli and noodle soup. I was frozen in terror, teeth clenched, toes curled and wondering if I could ever get stopped when I heard a big chorus of “sit down,” from all my friends who had been watching me all along. Well I sat down, and when I finally stopped and looked up the slope, there was a forty-yard streak of blue dye the snow had sucked out of my Levis.
I was first in line for lessons the next morning. Once I learned to snow plow and to shift my weight the wrong way for us naturals, skiing became a breeze.
Good luck to all the families about to embark on their first skiing adventure this spring. Enjoy the food, scenery, and get a big breath of cool fresh Colorado mountain air for me.