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Showing posts with label That's interesting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label That's interesting. Show all posts

What Is Snowbiking ?

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I was checking out Hoodoo.com ( Oregon's ski resort ) to find some information about airboarding ( something that I'd like to try one day ), but instead, I came across another fun winter activity that they offer - snowbiking ( or as some call it ski-biking ).

Ride In An Underground Mountain Biking Park In Kentucky

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Washington state is a great place to be a mountain biker. With thousands of miles of single track, and numerous mountain bike parks, our state deserves to be called "The Mountain Biking Mecca of Pacific Northwest".

From Stevens Pass mountain bike park ( which is only second after Whistler's ) to a unique urban settings of Colonnade, Washington has a lot to offer to its local riders and the visitors alike.

Yet, Louisville, Kentucky, beat us to something exceptionally extreme and mind blowing - a man-made, underground 320,000 square feet Mega Cavern BMX and mountain biking park !

The Beauty Of Fly Fishing

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In my previous post I wrote about my personal experience learning about fly fishing with Tenkara rod, a simplified Japanese method of fly-fishing where only a rod, line and fly are used.

What Is Bungee Surfing ?

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I was absolutely stoked to find out about river surfing a couple years ago. Whitewater stand up paddleboarding is getting more and more popular. Riverboarding and river bugging is huge in New Zealand.

But not many people heard about bungee surfing yet. And till recently, I had no idea it originated in ...Idaho !

Though thousand miles away from the nearest ocean, Idaho has an abundance of rivers with Snake and Salmon Rivers are among the most famous and popular among whitewater community.

But unlike whitewater rafting or kayaking, bungee surfing takes place on a different kind of water - “Fast Glass”, water that is moving fast, but has a smooth surface.

Comparing to river surfing ( where you "drop into" a standing wave ), I like the concept behind bungee surfing a bit more. It's not easy to explain, so to better understand what bungee surfing is al about, check out the video below:

I learned about bungee surfing from the Man behind this sport, Robert Geier, inventor and CEO of EVEN Surf Company

After watching the video, and reading a few posts on the companies' blog, I got a general idea how bungee surfing works.

But a few things still remain a mystery to me.

While you can find a bungee cord online or at your local skateboard shop, I still have hard time figuring out how the patented release system works.

Also, if you've ever been in fast moving water, you know that it has its dangers :
strainers, sieves, rocks, derbies, bridge pillars, unacceptable river banks, dams...
Not wearing PFD ( life vest ) will increase your chances of drowning. Not wearing a helmet ( and sometimes pads ) might result in sever injuries.

And finally, according to the information provided, bungee surfing is more difficult than ocean surfing.

How hard could it be ? It it just for "young and restless", or for all ages ? Is it going to be a new popular mainstream water sport, or just for a few chosen ones and most dedicated ?

Personally, I can't wait to try it, and may be later, to introduce bungee surfing in Washington...

Add To Your Bucket List : Rafting the Zambezi River in Africa

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Rafting season is coming ! 

Whitewater rafting  was my very first outdoor activity, and the beginning of my quest for adventure ! If you haven't had a chance to try it, add rafting to your Bucket List, and make it a priority ! Trust me, you won't regret !

And if you've been on a rafting trip ( or two ), I strongly recommend to look for a rafting trip on your next vocation.

Rafting is more than just a wild trip. It's a great way to learn about ecology, history, and culture of the place you're visiting, it also makes for an exciting way to explore and immerse deeply in the backcountry.

Almost every whitewater rafting destination has something more to offer other than the ride itself.

Take for example rafting on the  Zambezi River !

Acclaimed as the wildest one-day whitewater run in the World, the Zambezi River is also recognized by rafting and kayaking enthusiasts as one of the top ten paddling rivers on the planet!

The base for whitewater rafting and kayaking ( they also run river boarding on the river ) is located 4 km upstream from Victoria Falls, considered by some to be among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World !

I was even more fascinated by ''Devil's Swimming Pool'' on the edge of Victoria Falls ! During the months of September and December, people can swim as close as possible to the edge of the falls without falling over. These falls are becoming very popular in the adventure travel industry, when more and more people are looking for the ultimate experience.

Urban camping

In my opinion, traveling is not expensive, spending a night at a hotel ( even the cheapest one ) is. There is always an option to stay at a hostel or a camping site, but even there you will have to pay a small fee.

What if you could pitch your tent anywhere you want ? Like this car tent designed to look like a car cover

Well, of course, you'll have to pay those outrageous city parking fees :)

Here is another great idea from Belgian architects - a mobile multi-level tower that allows for tents to be pitched in urban settings.

Looks great, and I'm sure the view from the top tent is amazing ! Though a mid night bathroom trip might be a little inconvenient...

And the last option ? WallMart parking lots ! It was my home for 3 month last year living out of my Subaru...

Check out this video, it's pretty funny!

ExtraHyperActive Bucket List : Hike Preikestolen ( Also Known As Pulpit Rock ) In Norway

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The Most Breathtaking Picture Of Preikestolen, also known as Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen in Norway  is the most famous tourist attraction in the Stavanger region. The mountain plateau hangs 604 meters above sea level, and a destination that simply must be experienced. You follow a well marked trail from the Preikestolen Fjellstue through different mountain landscapes. The plateau is approximately 25 x 25 metres, flat and you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Lysefjord and surrounding mountains !

I've added this hike/destination to my Bucket List ! Have you ?

24 Things To Do Before You Turn 30

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"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." ~ C. S. Lewis 

It doesn't have to be before 30... Many of the things in the video I did after 30... The important thing - never stop looking for inspiration, something to dream about, something new to try, something to look forward to...

Ski-diving in Andorra.

Andorra is an anomaly in Europe, a small independent state of little more than thirty villages and a capital, tucked away in the Pyrenees. Winter tourism is big business for this principality. As you drive north south or east west through Andorra during the months of December, January, February, March and April it is obvious this whole country is one big ski resort with two main ski areas – Grandvalira and Vallnord.

This year, scuba diving at more than 2000 metres altitude is the latest trend in Vallnord. The activity combines skiing down to a frozen lake or pool then scuba diving under the ice.

There are two options: a "baptism" for beginners and technical diving for qualified divers. Once the dive has finished, the descent continues through the mountains of Arcalis.

The diving baptisms are a 12-metre dive in La Canaleta pool (2060m) which is complete with an artificial dam to produce snow and ice. This dive is aimed at beginners over the age of 14 and lasts for 15 to 20 minutes and costs €75 per person.

This beginners' dive consists of a descent via a blue slope, wearing the special equipment provided by the organisation, and a submersion under the waters with the supervision of an instructor.

So, next time you are in southwestern Europe ( that's where the Principality of Andorra ( the official name) is located (bordered by Spain and France )), stop by for a quick deep under the ice, followed by skiing in one of Europe's most picturesque places.

Hive Snowshoes Combine Snowshoeing And Skiing

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If you're new to snowshoeing and are ready to buy your first pair, you might get overwhelmed by all the brands, types, and styles. When I got introduced to this popular winter activity 4 years ago, and figured out what had worked for me, I tried to make it easier for my readers to make a choice by writing a short post on how to chose your snowshoes.

During my last snowshoe outing with EverGreen Escapes I used a pair of MSR Evo Snowshoes

Light, durable, and unisex,they also have good cleats that are equally suited to backcountry travel and groomed trails. Climbing the somewhat steep slopes of the Paradise Valley was easy and enjoyable. But on the way down I really envied skiers and snowboarders blasting past us on their split boards and BC skis.

Recently, I read about one German company that had designed a unique pair of snowshoes that double as a sort of short ski or glider.
This product is a new type of winter sports products - a reinterpretation and development of the traditional snowshoe.It combines hiking on a mountain with the subsequent “drive-down” in one product. Link
While this snowshoes won't exactly tackle the same range of terrain that a pair of big mountain skis would, they will allow you to hike uphill and then glide back down rather than stumbling your way down step by step.

Our Amazing World - 20 Places You'd Rather See With Your Own Eyes

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"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" ~ St. Augustine

                                                       Ta Prohm Temple - Cambodia

                                                                  Mt Huashan, China

The Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore

                                                               Blue lagoon in Iceland

Senegal's Lake Retba
Grand Canal, Venice
The Krubera Cave
Japan’s hidden tropical island: Aogashima
Batu Caves
 Hanging infinity pools in the Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali
Heaven's Gate, China
Elephant Foot Glacier-An astonishing geographical location on the east coast of Greenland
Cape Point, South Africa Where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet.

                                                                 Lake Baikal, Russia

 Lion's Head, Cape Town, South Africa
Popocatepetl Volcano Mexico
Queensland, Australia

                                                         Castle Swallow's Nest, Ukraine

Japan, Yokohama-City and Mt.-Fuji

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Simple Life: 23 Feet Movie Trailer

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This is how it all started for me... I don't remember who, when or even why somebody recommended me this movie trailer. I was nothing like any of those people: I didn't really have any passion for anything, I loved comfort, I didn't want to sacrifice it for anything else, and I'd never considered myself to be a dirtbag ( I always thought it was just another name for "homeless" ) ...

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. Living a simple life is nothing new.The practice of voluntary simplicity is advocated in the teachings of Jesus, it also has its roots in the teachings of other world religions, the teachings of Gandhi, and the writings of Thoreau. The American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) define simple living as a "non-consumerist lifestyle based on being and becoming, not having."

For me, it means spending my time doing what’s important to me, getting rid of many of the things I do so I can spend time with people I love and do the things I love.

The "23 Feet" movie trailer is a film about a community of people who make the conscious choice to live simply to do what they love in the great outdoors. Three women set out across the west in their 23 foot, 1970 Airstream to search for the stories of people who have turned their backs on the creature comforts of society to live in school buses, vans, and other small spaces. From an inspiring campfire chat with legendary Yosemite climber Ron Kauk, to hearing the powerful story of a woman who changed her whole life for surfing, 23 Feet gives an intimate look at the ups and downs of dedicating your life to your outdoor passion.

Snowscooting - Winter Fun For Kids And Adults !

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Being a (extra) hyperactive father to an even more hyperactive son means coming up with more fun as much as possible as often as possible. Skiing, snowboarding, snowskating, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing... are not enough for my kid. We are always on a lookout for more thrills, fun and adventures !

Browsing Craigslist for more gear, I came across a pretty interesting find - a snowscooter ! My son has already been having fun riding his push and electric scooters, and I thought the snowscooter would be a great addition to his own outdoor gear collection.

We took the snow scooter to our favorite ski area in Washington - Alpental. Its steep slopes were ideal for this fun little snow toy. Light, maneuverable, and durable the scooter worked great for both of us !

NOTE: During ski season sledding of any type is not allowed around the area. Just like our training snowboard, the snowscooter doesn't have metal edges and a leash, the safety feature required for (any) snow gear to be used on the slopes. 

That's why, you can only use it during off hours/season or away from crowds in specifically designated areas ( like sledding slopes ).

More Family Adventures In A More Family-Friendly 2014 Toyota Highlander

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What makes an SUV an ultimate family adventure-mobile ? When it comes to your most precious cargo ( no, not your golf clubs, your kids are :)) the right vehicle is a must-have.

For families on the go, the car has become an extension of the home. Finding a car that's comfortable, safe, reliable and has the features that make life easier can be tough.

Nowadays, more families have shifted from traditional station wagons and minivans to crossover SUVs, and Toyota set out to create a vehicle without compromise for families who are going places and they want to get there in style.

 The all-new 2014 Highlander is a dynamic, stylish SUV that offers form and function that will keep your entire crew protected—no matter what road you’re on.

 2014 new Highlander features

  • All-new exterior with three-row seating for up to eight,
  • Increased cargo capacity,
  • Three power train choices: a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, a powerful V-6 with a new six-speed transmission, and a V-6-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive,
  • Entune Audio with Bluetooth phone and streaming music and touch-screen display,
  • Integrated backup camera,
  • STAR Safety System, includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Brake System, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Brake assist and Smart Stop Technology,
  • Adjustable height power rear liftgate and flip-up rear hatch window, and
  • Eight-way power driver seat.

"For families’ sake" Toyota added a range of safety options, including parking aids, blind-spot detection, a lane departure warning system with automatic high beam headlights, and a radar-based pre-collision detecting system.

Toyota has also made a number of improvements to the Highlander's interior, including increased spaciousness along with a number of comfort and convenience features:

  • Heated and ventilated front seats 
  • Panoramic moonroof 
  • Soft-touch materials throughout the interior  
  • Seating for up to eight  
  • Increased cargo capacity behind the third-row by 34 percent  
  • Smart storage compartments
  • In-dash shelf with easy cable management -  
  • Oversized 24.5L center console

Build on Toyota’s tradition of QDR (Quality, Durability, Reliability) and Safety, you will enjoy everyday adventures or once-in-a-lifetime trips in this  upscale, sophisticated, and luxurious SUV ( that will also get you up to 28 mpg on highways ).

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Living In Your Car Like A Bohemian ( Or A Bum )

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For me, the word "adventure" has always been associated with something that presents a challenge, something that offers an unbelievable, firsthand experience,   and creates unforgettable, vivid, self-defining memories.

Since I started this blog I've been blessed with meeting, reading and writing about people who push their physical, mental and spiritual limits, who challenge orthodox social viewpoints, who possess a burning desire to expand their knowledge through firsthand experiences to test the limits of their own strength and endurance, and in doing so, discover their true self.

There are many names for people like this :  adventurers, wanderers, vagabonders, nomads, minimalists, bohemians... One thing they have in common - living the life on their own terms.

The choice to live an adventurous lifestyle is not an easy one. It is very difficult to break free of the monotonous routine of daily life when you have been repeating it for years on end. There is only one way to break the routine, and that is to just do it. And that's exactly what I did...

Living off-grid in a trailer/RV/van like a traveling nomad enjoying life, going on adventures, and writing inspiring stories has been on my Bucket List for quite a while. I talked to people who lived "RV life style" full time, read and followed the blogs of those who went off-grid in tiny houses , wrote about fellow adventurers who perused their passion full time while living in vans and camp sites, and even created a visual aid to help me try this new exciting way of living. Until one day, I just decided to go for it....

Since I'd been traveling for quite some time, at that time I didn't have too many possessions. Everything I had fitted in  a  5x10 storage. It just took me a matter of two days to rig up my faithful Subaru, and "hit the road".  Because of my family circumstances I didn't go too far, and spent the next 3 months living in my car.

Unlike many unfortunate folks out there, my experience wasn't created by a financial situation. It was a pure adventurous and social experiment. Inspired by people I read and write about, I wanted to see if I had the guts to walk away from the convenience of every day life, challenge a few social norms, and to see what I'd be capable of physically and emotionally. 

As you might know, many stories that I write about I experience myself firsthand.  Surviving and off-grid living haven't been the topics of this blog... not till now.

Today I'm starting a new category " Survival/Off-Grid Living ".

Looking back at my adventures living in a car, traveling cross country, spending majority of my time playing in the backcountry, and coming from former USSR with nothing but $50 in my pocket ( and surviving the first 7 years as an "undocumented alien" ), I think I've deserved the right to share my knowledge and experience to help people prepare for times when SHTF or/if they fall into harsh financial times.

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