The day after the final clash at Gettysburg, Pa., on July 4th, 1863, far away and down the snaky Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Miss., an army of the Confederate States of America made a signal surrender to Ulysses S. Grant after a long siege. It was one of the final big blows to the Confederacy and opened the southern part of the Confederacy to Union depredation—the first step in William Tecumseh Sherman’s fiery march to the sea. Today, Vicksburg is a beautiful but somber National Civil War Battlefield park, with lovely hills and high bluffs, stunning views of the river and hundreds of stone monuments to the lives lost and the history made. It’s also a very good place to take a hike.
If you’ve signed up to run a marathon this fall, then you’re probably deep into the training program that will hopefully carry you to your 26.2-mile goal. At this point, you wouldn’t want to make any major changes to your diet or workout schedule, and you certainly wouldn’t want to try anything different on the day of the race, be it new shoes, shorts, or drinks.
Still, you’ve got time to test a few products that could enhance your training, or that you may even want to include on your next Big Run, whether it’s a half-marathon, a triathalon, or even a Thanksgiving Day turkey trot. Here are a couple worth considering:
Is it just me, or does it seem like memberships at gyms have quadrupled since, well, just last fall? Chock it up to sneaking in a few too many chocolate bars for Valentine’s Day or hibernating during this winter, but it seems like everyone’s trying to work it all off double time at the gym before bathing suit season gets here. Whatever the case, it sure makes it hard to find a treadmill easily. (Surely I can’t be the only one frustrated with fighting the crowds at the gyms now, can I?)
Our national parks are full of wonderful hiking opportunities. The Adventures with the Parkers series, which features a fictitious family of four—a mom and dad and their two children, twins Morgan and James who are going into 5th grade—follows this family as it spends a week or so in a famous national park and has adventures derived from trails, campgrounds, tours, or other experiences our best national parks have to offer.
Featured here is one of the hikes from “Harrowing Ascent of Half Dome,” which takes place in Yosemite National Park.
Fly fishing is one of the oldest forms of angling in America. Put simply, this form of angling is a way to deliver a virtually weightless lure, a fly, to a fish by using a weighted line and a rod that flings that line. Most people think immediately of trout when they think of fly fishing--and that's sensible, as the origins of fly fishing are found in the effort to cast imitations of various insects to feeding trout--but nowadays people fly fish for everything from smallmouth bass to sailfish. Here are the essentials that you'll need to get started fly fishing:
To the uninitiated, kayaking—as demonstrated by the graceful, smooth strokes of the seasoned kayaker—may seem like an activity that could take months or years to learn. Not so, says Dennis Stuhaug, a lifelong paddler and author of Falcon’s Kayaking Made Easy 3rd: A Manual for Beginners with Tips for the Experienced. “Anyone can learn to paddle in 10 minutes or less,” he says. “That’s how easy it is.” And once you’ve grasped the basic maneuvers and safety tips, the key to pushing off in this popular sport is to pick the right gear. Here are a few essentials: