firstname.lastname@example.org) or even hit me up on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. I'd love to connect with you as your journey through the pages of this blog. I've got even more stories on those sites that I hope will inspire you to not only get outdoors but to get your kids outdoors as well and work toward living your best life possible.
Since this is the first Monday of My Journey, I'll share a little story here to give you a taste of what is to come. Check back next week for some more great reads.
Growing up, fishing was my life. My dad didn't insist we fish, but rather let us decide how much we wanted to learn and embrace. He loved fishing and his passion for it clearly rubbed off on my brother and I. Every spring, usually around the first or second weekend of April was the opening day of trout in Pennsylvania. This tradition still exists to this day and is something that I am working on getting my kids excited about. I absolutely loved the first day of trout and always envied my brother as he always got to go to camp with my dad for the first day, at least until I was a bit older. When my time finally came though, I embraced every moment of it.
Everything about the day was incredible. First, our camp was in the mountains of north central PA. I absolutely loved going to camp and spending long weekends there making fires, hiking in the woods, and of course fishing. We'd wake up fairly early in the morning and eat a giant breakfast. Sausage, eggs, bacon, the works before heading to the stream. We'd try to get to the stream about an hour before the opener started so we could make sure we had everything ready to go. I remember several times waiting on the stream and the Game Warden would come down with a bullhorn and announce the start of trout season. Obviously this isn't something that happens everywhere in PA, but it was something unique to where we started off our fishing weekends. Usually around mid day, we'd head to another spot that was only accessible by dirt roads and walking. We'd drive for a while then head deep into the woods until we could find the stream. The rest of the day was spent walking the stream trying to find a hungry trout or two along the way. Miles of stream always left me worried about how far we'd wandered away from the truck and how bad the walk would be at the end of the day. The great thing about streams though is you can walk a mile of winding stream and only end up 250 yds down the road from where you parked.
At the end of the day, we'd haul our load of trout home and clean them while waiting for dinner. Dinner usually consisted of some sort of wild game. Usually venison cooked on the cast iron with fried potatoes. Something about food at camp made it taste 1000x better than at home. After dinner, there was always time for a fire and then lights out before doing it all over again the next day. Rain or shine, the memories were always good. I can't wait to share these journeys with my little ones.
What are your favorite outdoor memories growing up?
Fishing was not a priority for us, although we did spend some time at it. Since we lived near the Loyalhanna Creek near Latrobe, our time was spent swimming and foraging for blackberries and treasure. For several summers, as soon as school was out, we would go to a spot that had a natural rock formation three-quarters of the way across the creek. We would gather rocks and dam up the open end, creating a pool of water on the bend of the creek for swimming and inner-tube races. We always had to be on the look out for snakes, either under the rocks we were gathering or swimming across the top of the creek. At this time, in the 1960's, the water was not what you would say clean. Because of mine run-off and industrial locations, the water was somewhat polluted. But we can say we never saw two headed fish or any other mutant animals.ReplyDelete
I will say that every time I see clean water running in a river, creek or forest brook, I thank the people who had the forethought to create the Clean Water Act of 1972, and continue to this day to enforce the laws and regulations. No one should take for granted the clean environment we have today, although there is still room for plenty of improvement.