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Monthly Archives: August 2015


Fall Activities!

 

By Michela “Songbird” Miller

 

Fall is just around the corner! While we mourn the passing of another summer, we must remember all the awesome things we can look forward to with the coming of autumn. While Ohio winter is always the harbinger of “the white death”, spring feels like a great flood, and summer resembles the surface of Mercury, fall is when Ohio really nails it in terms of weather. My favorite aspect of autumn in Ohio is that the air feels clean and crispy instead of swampy and sticky. It makes me want to be outside ALL THE TIME. Plus I look great in fall colors.

Fortunately, there are a ton of amazing outdoor activities to do in the fall.

Here is a list of some of the fun and family friendly adventures I love most:

Apple Picking– You can’t go wrong with a family apple picking adventure. You can pick as many apples as you want and pay by the pound at prices and qualities that are way, way better than anything you’ll find at a grocery store. Then, you get to go home and make every delicious apple concoction that Pinterest has to offea&morchardsr: apple dumplings, apple strudel, apple pie, caramel apples, apple sauce, apple cider….. Also, take the opportunity to put on some coordinating flannel shirts and take adorable family photos while you’re there. What’s cuter than a little kid sitting on a pumpkin with a barrel full of apples on their lap? Nothing, unless you include a puppy. One of my favorite local apple picking locations is A&M Farm and Orchard in Midland, Ohio.

Hiking– Fall is my favorite time to hike because the temperature is pleasant and because I love the colors of fall leaves. If you are willing to make a drive, the Buzzard’s Roost Hike in Adam’s County, Ohio will offer excellent panoramic fall foliage views from the lookout at the top. The trail is 4.4 miles total and offers a mix of easy hiking and steepbuzzardsrooster climbs. Older children should have no problem making the trek and the viewpoint is truly one of Ohio’s hidden gems. The trail is technically called The Buzzard’s Roost Rock Trail. Trailhead information can be found at www.nature.org.

The Cincinnati Zoo- Fall is one of my favorite times to visit the zoo because the crowds have thinned a little, the blacktop is less scorching, and the animals tend to be a little more active in the cooler weather. The Zoo has a lot of special activities in the fall for families. One of the most fun is Hallzooween, where kids can come dressed up and trick or treat in special spots around the zoo. Hallzooween starts on October 4th this year and takes place each weekend in October. If you’re looking for a fun event at the zoo that does not involve children, maybe ZooBrew is for you. It takes place on the evening of October 8th and tickets go on sale September 1.

Camping- Fall is a great time to camp in Ohio because you actually have an opportunity to sleep INSIDE your sleeping bag. In summer camping, I rarely ever unpack mine. It sits lonely in the corner of my tent in its little compression sack, while I lay on my sleeping pad, sweating and trying not to touch anything. Fall camping is cozy. There is nothing better than huddling around a campfire when there is a chill in the air. My favorite fall camping spot is the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. It is only about a two hour drive from Cincinnati and there are a lot of great campsites to choose from. Once you’re there, take a family friendly hike up to the Natural Bridge for some amazing scenery. Hocking Hills State Park is another amazing and scenic place for fall camping

Geocaching- I am late to the game in geocaching but I’ve recently discovered how much fun it can be, regardless of your age. There are caches EVERYWHERE if you know where and how to look. Odds are, a cache will lead you to a new and interesting place that you’d never have stumbled upon otherwise. Be warned, caching seems to be addictive. To learn more about caching and to create you own account, visit www.geocaching.com . Happy hunting.

Gear Review: Ahnu Montara Boot

Gear Review: Ahnu Montara Boot

By: Kayla “Clover” McKinney

I love my Ahnu Montaras.

I was immediately attracted to their style and found them feminine yet rugged looking. I got the chocolate chip color, as pictured, but they also come in a variety of other colors. I first got my boots in October of 2014 only two days before embarking on a 3 day, ~30 mile backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  I was nervous at first as to whether or not the boots would be comfortably broken in before the trip, but to my relief they were very comfortable right away. They have an EVA cushion mid-sole which breaks in easily compared to other hiking boots. If you’re unfamiliar with Shenandoah National Park, it’s a beautiful, mountainous park with peaks rising as high as 4,000 feet along the Appalachian Mountains. So basically, there were a lot of ups and downs on this trip which  made it the perfect place to test out my new boots.

My Montaras were very good to me. They fit securely (I got fitted at RRT before purchasing!), with enough room in the toe box to wiggle my toes, but not so much room that my feet were moving around. I normally wear a woman’s size 6.5, but went up to a size 7 for these boots to allow room for thicker socks and potential swelling from hiking. The Montaras have a narrow cut to them, which works well for me because I have small, narrow feet. My favorite part about the boot’s fit is the ankle support. The Montaras have a flexible, bendable ankle which provides stability without too much rigidity.  After some time, the ankle has become accustomed to my foot and moves perfectly with me when I hike. The boots are also very lightweight, which is perfect for me as I am light on my feet and prefer the bare foot, minimalist running style.

Anyway, back to Shenandoah – it rained the entire time we were there. I mean it rained all day, every day. But this made it great for testing how waterproof my boots really were! With eVent water proofing, my feet remained dry despite days of tromping along a wet trail and some stream crossings as well. The eVent waterproofing is very breathable, which I personally experienced the benefits of when I took my Montaras down and up the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon over spring break this year. The Bright Angel Trail is notoriously hot and finishes with a vertical mile from the center of the Grand Canyon back up to the rim. Definitely not a hike you want to do in just any type of boot and I was glad I had my breathable, comfortable Montaras.

After almost a year and several backpacking and hiking trips with my Montaras, they have held up great and are my go-to boot for most trips I take. I have not experienced any issues or unexpected wear from the boot, but if you do, they do have a one year manufactures’ warranty just in case. Overall, I would say the best aspects of the Ahnu Montara boot are their comfort, durability, breathability and waterproofing. I recommend them as a great all-around boot for women!

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