Category Archives: Adventure

ALL ABOUT ME

 

Please allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Ray.

Being the youngest of a well-educated family of three children, I was the renegade. My father’s hardest job was keeping me alive. I wasn’t mischievous, but well mannered, however, I had no fear. When bored I needed a touch of an adrenaline rush and my wife was the first and only to be able to contain my craving for adventure.

There appears to be something within my personality which causes people to ask about my childhood. The best description that I can come up with is a cross between the Little Rascals and the Cosby Show. My childhood was filled with laughter and I always felt secure. Both my parents came from humble beginnings to become educators. My father was a school Administrator, my mother was a teacher, my brother and sister entered the education field as well, however, I went into business ADM. This was in spite of my father’s predictions that I would end up in a classroom one way or another; needless to say, I retired from the Education division of the Dept. of Corrections. Dad was a distinguished gentleman with a voice that of Berry White who very seldom laughed out loud. This pushed him almost to hysteria.

My career with corrections led me to teach Cross-Cultural Training throughout the East Coast with a certified teacher. Some of my favorite hobbies are writing short stories and poems, White Water Kayaking, Canoeing, and Cross-Country Skiing. I play the trumpet and I’m a Martial Arts Instructor.

There were two things that were mandatory under my father’s roof. We had to learn to swim and we had to earn a college degree. I got the swimming thing down packed but it took a little prodding on my father’s part to get me through that college thing; Praise the Lord! If you are reading this post the chances are that you have already read “My Master Key Experience” and learned about my childhood challenges with education and such. Therefore, I will not venture toward that subject.

I cannot close without providing my feelings toward the Master Key Experience where one will learn the importance of the Conscious and the Subconscious mind. I have always known how important the subconscious is as well as the play between the Subby and the conscious mind. However, I never truly realized how important it is to watch what one feeds one’s Subby. After “week 3” I began to look back on my life and all of the garbage that went into my Subby. It made me cringe to no end. I then looked back at all of the inmates that I came in contact with and some of which I interviewed. All I can say is WOW! It also makes me wonder about people who are perpetrators of road rage. I thank God for the Master Key Experience.

Successful Expat Tool

Successful expat

My biggest fascination with successful expats is the creative ways in which they earn their income. Expats do this while residing in foreign countries, including those that are considered 3rd world. Timothy Ferriss is the author of a book entitled “The 4-Hour Work Week”. On one of the pages Ferriss explains how he traveled the world and lived like a king. Timothy really caught my attention when he explained how this lifestyle of his cost as about as much as rent in the United States.  How is this possible? Is this possible? There are successful expats who verify that Ferriss is telling the truth.

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I try to pick the brains of these expats. They almost always provide me with some sort of platform of a company that helps people earn via the internet. The least amount of money required by a company to teach you how to earn money online, the stronger that company usually is. This seemed strange to me until I saw the light. It’s very simple. They lower the price as much as they can without shooting themselves in the foot; the cheaper the price, the higher the number of customers. The more successful students that they develop, causes people to talk, and that formula seem never to fail.

 

An expat introduced me to a system that truly impressed me. it’s  called the “Web Wealth System.

 

“Web Wealth System” allows others to plug directly into a proven system where all of the heavy lifting is already done for them.  They get handed sales pages/videos, email swipes, banners and anything that they need to be successful.

As always, I provide information which is passed down to me as well as a link leading to more information. For more information fell free to click the link http://nanacast.com/vp/10002619/781468/

 

 

 

SCUBA

 

Diver and turtle

Within this post I provide information for Scuba Diving and a space for divers to find references to explorations which they may not have known about otherwise.  More information will be added as this is another adventure which I enjoy researching and writing about. Many divers say that there is something magical about Scuba. You will never forget your first dive; the sensation of weightlessness and wonderful scenery will lock into your mind for ever. The ocean provides a universe of curious creatures.

 

DIVE TOUR IDEAS

Viator

Viator diving tour 1

Viator is a trip advisory company which provides information on attractions and recommendations. The company has a great deal of information on Scuba Diving. Viator covers most everything from tours for certified divers, Scuba Diving packages, Adventures and much more. Follow the link, type the word Scuba and enjoy the Buffet of information!

 Travel Green with Eco-Friendy Tours

 

 

SCUBA DIVING INSTRUCTION

HOUSE OF SCUBA

House of Scuba 1

House of Scuba is a Five Star IDC Facility. The company provides affordable classes from snorkeling to instructing.

  1. Open Water Diver Course
    1. Home Online Study
    2. One Classroom Session
    3. Two Pool Sessions
    4. Four Ocean Dives
  2. PADI Courses
    1. Enriched Air
    2. Deep Diver
    3. Wreck Diver

House of Scuba

 

SPORT ACCESSORIES

This escape Bivy is unique as a sleeping unit, the Bivy holds about 90% of your body heat and allows the moisture to escape. It’s very light and easy to carry. The bright color can act as a signal in an emergency situation. The Bivy is water proof as well as wind proof, and it’s very durable.

 

Black Diamond #1 Micro Stopper

 

Black Diamond #1 Offset Micro Stopper

SEE THROUGH KAYAKS!!!

Crystal Kayak


One day I was reading magazines and searching the net for information concerning kayaks, canoes and just about anything dealing with the outdoors.  I stumbled upon a Crystal Kayak Company; this must be the most unique thing ever seen in the water.

CLEARth

The company is the #1 manufacturer and distributor of transparent kayaks. They claim the kayak provides excellent performance on the water. The hull is made with GE brand Lexan. It only weighs 45lbs and can be used as a one or two man kayak.  The Crystal Kayak Company is based in Deerfield Beach Florida; they sell at factory-direct prices, and ship outside of the USA.

http://bit.ly/1lMhPBl

Stay tuned for feedback; I’m determined to find an owner of one of these kayaks for a first hand opinion.

PADDLE BOARD ACCESSORIES AND SUPPLY

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My father learned canoeing as part of a lifeguard course. I was born many years later and he taught me the sport. The skill became very useful during the late 1980s. I worked at a training school for boys and girls where we did river trips often. A few of the staff and I would do weekend river trips to develop and improve our technique. It’s very hard, if at all possible to teach, and observe a group of kids who know nothing of danger and practice at the same time.

River sports were not as popular on the east coast back then and there weren’t as many people on the river as there are now.

There’s even more of a variety. Back then we had canoeing; white water or flat water and white water kayaking. Now we have paddle boarding (White water or flat water) as well.

There weren’t as many people and there weren’t as many accidents. Therefore now days it pays to have top notch equipment. As far as I am concerned a good supplier is the COLORADO KAYAK SUPPLY. Don’t let the name fool you. They supply EVERYTHING needed for river sports, kayaks and paddle boards; for white water and flat water.

MAINE CALLS YOU

Friendly State Parks, Art trails and more; If you are an outdoors person who is family oriented, you’ve just got to see the State of Maine. The state has 48 family friendly state parks, which offer various activities. During the winter seasons Maine offers Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing, and more. There is hiking from the mountains to the sea; many trails with many spectacular views. And then there are my favorites; the fishing, the canoeing, the kayaking, I just can’t wait!!  Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself:  VisitMaine.com

Maine trail

Maine is A1 for hiking. There are trails to suite almost everyone’s taste. You may be looking for a mountainous island type hike, or a rugged coastal trail. http://www.greaterfranklin.com/maine-high-peaks

Maine trail2

There are trails for those who love an afternoon walk, or even an all day walk, Maine is calling!  mltn.org

Hiking isn’t the only way to explore Maine. Some prefer to bike their way along.

Maine biking4

Maine’s bike friendly roads and paths make the state just right for biking. There is a downloadable map for each bike tour.

Maine biking 3

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Get more information at: exploremaine.org

 

CAMPING

Camping in Maine provides for many choices.

maine camping3

There’s simple tent camping.

Maine RV resort

There are full service RV resorts.

Maine cabin

And there are cabin rentals.

Learn more at CampingMaine.com

Beach Front Lodging!

Maine beach

This is amazing. The only thing that I can say is visit http://www.ogunquitbeach.com/

Family Friendly Parks

Maine Park

As I mentioned, Maine has 48 family friendly parks. The acreage of these beautiful lands range from 1873 to 42818 acres. Remember that many of these lands are closed during the winter seasons.

For more information call (207) 287-3821 or visit

www.parksandlands.com

Alpine and Nordic Skiing!

Maine cross country skiing_z

www.skimaine.com

Maine skiingS

IN closing I would like to acknowledge that I had no idea as to how much Maine has to offer. Within this post, I was only able to scratch the surface, so do your research. I am positive that you will find something in Maine that will please your appetite.  For more information visit  www.mainetourism.com

MOUNTAIN BIKING (AN Interesting Sport)

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The next sport that I would like adopt is mountain biking. I am not interested in the crazy trails that I see the younger fellows attacking. The intermediate trails seem just enough to sooth my interest without breaking my back.

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The hardest part is going to be convincing the Mrs.. She has gotten used to watching me maneuver the white waters in my kayak; she has watched me take part in a few judo competitions and has observed my karate and Tae Kwon Do competitions, vowing never to watch them again. Also, the Mrs. had gotten wind of a mountain climbing incident that could have ended my life many years ago. Needless to say, she put a stop to my mountain climbing career. Now, my dilemma is how to break the news to her gently.
To add to the dilemma, I have put the cart before the horse, by finding an answer as to how to get started in the sport. I have discovered an Essential Bike Buying Guide. This book seems to be the perfect step by step foundation to building the knowledge needed to find the, most suitable mountain bike. It cuts through the mountain biker jargon and concepts that may be confusing to a beginner. See for yourself…click the following URL.

http://bit.ly/1RgeRUh

 

 

JUST HER AND ME

We truly enjoy the V-Eight styled PFD life jacket, although our original plan was to use them for kayaking. The freedom of movement is outstanding. And the life jacket allows your body to breath more due to ventilating ports. This is perfect for hot days, less heat buildup.

Ray canoe_n

One of our all day trips; twenty miles up stream, and twenty down stream. Just me and the Mrs. What a team!

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I Was Compelled to Write My Story and View of the Outdoors

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I was born to southern parents who enjoyed fishing, hiking and picking wild berries. During the summer my father would call home from his office to my mother and remind her to get the fishing poles ready. My job was to search the backyard for worms and night crawlers as my mother mixed her concoction of cornmeal, dough and some other ingredient that fish seemed to be very attracted to. Dinner was prepared after organizing the equipment. My dad was so very organized! He came home, kissed my mom, went upstairs to their room, got out of his suite, took a shower, (as a kid I never understood and still do not understand what the shower had to do with going into the woods to get dirty again. LoL) dressed and ate. All of this took about 20 minutes or less.

 

My parents very seldom fished at fishing holes that were easily accessible, and they could tell where a fishing hole was simply by looking at the sky. We trudged through the woods for about ten to fifteen minutes before arriving at a location that seemed to be untouched by man and we fished until sun down. My mom was enjoyable to watch. She fished with a bamboo pole. Mom always sat in her lawn chair with a huge straw hat. No one would be safe if they were less than ten feet of her. Mom got so excited, that when she got a bite, she would whip that pole out of the water very fast!! I’ve gotten hit in the face a few times by a fish at the end of her pole; LOL! My dad was a master; very patient. He would sit on the bank with a grey cap on his head, just gazing into the water; his mind was miles away. Legs half crossed, the reel and rod in his right hand and a cigarette in his left hand. All of a sudden, the silence is broken by the rapid clicking of his reel and out comes the BIGGEST bull head catfish that I had ever seen in my young life.

 

At times we would just hike when the fish stopped biting. In the wilderness, my parents seemed to know where they were at all times.

 

My dad started out as a teacher and a summertime instructor for what was informally called “Youth in Danger”. He used the outdoors to get the attention of these kids. Few educators were interested in being in the wilderness nor the classroom with kids whom they had to mind unremittingly. My father had a completely different outlook. First of all he enjoyed the challenge, and knew that in the wilderness these kids would be like fish out of water with the need to rely on him to get back to civilization safely.

 

Dad and a few other educators took a group of these kids on a hike one year, which took six days to complete. I have no recollections as to whether they used the Appalachians trail or not, but I’ll never forget the day that he came home. My eyes were wide open as the whole family sat at the dinner table and listened to his recap of every moment; a group of stereotyped city boys; some of them street thugs, out in the wilderness; what an adventure! Little did I know that that day would be the beginning of my interest of the outdoors.

 

Dad was promoted to principal one year, that meant the end of the classroom adventures and the beginning a whole new group of responsibilities, which he handled very well. Little did either of us know that it was at that time that he would begin pouring the enjoyment of teaching the wonders of the outdoors onto me. I have two older siblings. One sister who feels that fishing is the most boring thing that she had ever seen, and a brother who enjoyed fishing but discovered the social advantages of being in his twenties during the late sixties.

 

I am the youngest. A few years after college, during the eighties I transferred from the business world into the education sector of the department of corrections. The Education area is one which my family traditionally gravitated toward. I was the renegade and determined to break that tradition.  Needless to say; my dad with his Barry White, bass like voice and who very seldom laughed out loud, filled the house with laughter.

 

Starting out working in a residential setting, I eventually moved to an experimental residential/institutional type setting. A correctional institution where the Juveniles were allowed to attend trips out in society based on their behavior.

 

I was introduced to the gentleman who would be responsible for my training; I will refer to him from time to time as “Kevin”. I generally take a strict head to toe observation when meeting a person who may have my future in his or her hands, and later discover that I had read this guy perfectly. Irish Catholic, very knowledgeable, plays by the rules, etc. But as I stared into his eyes I read something else, as well; Tired but not yet defeated, hopeful but uncertain as to where to turn for answers. To provide more information; this teacher was an innovative thinker in a traditional world.  The only difference between this gentleman’s approach and my dad’s was that my dad wasn’t a minority in the school system where he worked. This made it easier for people to understand and trust his strategies.

 

On the other hand, this gentleman who was to be my guide was Irish American in a setting of predominantly African American professionals who saw no need to expose inner city kids to an environment (the outdoors) which they would never see again. Although this theory may seem narrow minded, it had some validly. The African American teachers, as well as some others, were more interested in training these kids to operate within the environment from which they came, in order to keep as many of them as possible from falling back into the system.

 

At lunch time all the younger teachers, both African American and Caucasian played basketball in the gym, which was where I was sitting at the time. I looked up to see Kevin walking toward the pool with a kayak on his shoulder. This took me back to 1966 when my dad was watching the football game on TV with is eyes closed, (sleeping but always woke up when I turned the channel), “The Wide World of Sports” came on during halftime. I saw a man in what I called a white boat. He was in rough water when his boat rolled. I woke my father up and told him what had happened. Dad said “oh yeah, that’s called a kayak” and went back to sleep. More than twenty-eight years later, here comes my chance, and I jumped at it. Kevin’s eyes grew to the size of silver dollars (I was one of, if not the first African American in NJ to take up whitewater kayaking as a hobby)  as he explained that he and the superintendent kayaked on the Delaware river every Saturday at 7am and I was welcome to join them if I wanted to learn the sport; I was there at 6 am and waiting.

 

After a summer of many river trips, Kevin finally developed the heart to discuss what had been on his mind ever since he discovered that my parents had exposed me to a good portion of the outdoor life at a very young age. Kevin turned red in the face and explained that he takes the kids into the woods and on river trips because it gives them a different perspective on life. They get to see what a lot of them have never seen before.  He hired another outdoors person (I will refer to him as Andy) who taught and took the kids mountain climbing as well as hiking. Kevin explained that it would really be helpful if these kids and staff were to see an African American taking part in the program. I knew where he was taking the conversation and could see how unnerving it was to him, choosing his words carefully (when crossing cultural lines, it can be very hard to understand were respect ends and disrespect begins; at least during those times, anyway). Therefore I put him out of his misery by accepting before he had chance to formally ask. There was a GREAT relief in his eyes as he explained that he did not want me to feel that he was using me. I laughed and said “USE ME!! Anything to get out of that classroom” (being trapped in a classroom has always been very hard for me, ever since first grade).

 

I was quick to explain that this was not going to change the staff’s outlook on his program, but I welcomed the challenge. He listened with open ears as I enlightened him on our culture.  First of all I said, “You must understand that although many truths come out in a joke, there is a group of us African Americans who just love it when we ridicule a person and they come back with a humorous but strong and factual response. That is how you begin to gain your respect”.

 

Needless to say, as I helped Kevin loosen up a little and think as well as play outside of the rule book, I received great opposition from not all, but a great deal of my African American colleagues.

 

One day a friend (teacher) asked me why I wanted to be involved in THAT type of sport. I knew exactly what he was getting at and stopped his question with a question. I asked him if he thought that we should only play basketball, and football. Then I explained that even basketball and football was once THAT type of sport. That one statement caused his intellectual wheels to work in a direction where they had never gone before. The statement also put a complete end to any opposition of the outdoor education program. That program was where I learned to make maple syrup, rock climb, kayak, improve my canoeing skills and many other skills that I was later able to teach.

 

Eventually I retired and was hired to provide my skills for inner city kids; one of the best summers in my adult life. The staff that I worked with was amazing; it was as if we could read each other’s minds. The following summer was a disaster. One that cannot be blamed on any one person, however, I take responsibility.  Unlike the first summer where I was given the van keys, a group of kids and told to do what I do best. There was a different staff and different rules. I was operating on the previous summer’s rules. Needless to say, I was not rehired by that company the next summer.

 

However I was hired by a private outfit with more organization, more money, as well as cut and dry rules that did not change. I had my specialty (canoeing & Fishing), two really good assistants and a supervisor who understood me very well and whom I understood very well. The whole camp was amazing; I had never seen so many positive people in one area. However… I am now servicing a more affluent area of youth, but as long as I am providing for the youth, my time on this planet will not be wasted. They are our future.

My Inspiration

 

This is my story and explanation for the love of the outdoors and the people who enjoy the outdoors.