Farewell Summer of 2011

It’s been an epic sports weekend. I’ll get to all that later this week. I’ve been meaning to get this posted for a few days.

I started this blog with the intention of talking about sports that are popular, trend on twitter, and get big TV contracts. However, I have a huge interest in the outdoors and outdoor activities. Mostly muscle powered sports; cycling, swimming, hiking, running, camping, geocaching, and I’d like to get into rock climbing but being in the middle of Kansas limits those opportunities. Why am I talking about them on a web site named sportsdrenched? Because the gear used in facilitating these activities is sold in sporting goods. Which is why I feel compelled to discuss the Summer of 2011.

Despite a myriad of dates that signify the end of summer. I have my own date that says: “No Really, it’s not summer any more”. It’s the day I wash and put way our sleeping bags for the season. That day was today. Our final camping trip of the year was last weekend. There is a dark five months between now and our next camping trip in late March.

The sun setting on the 2011 Camping Season

None of us have control over the passage of time. But we do control what we do with our time. Locally the summer of 2011 will go down as one of the hottest on record. Despite the adverse weather conditions I head into this winter feeling that I made the most of this summer. As I look at the calendar I count that my family and I logged 21 nights in a tent. That’s three weeks! That is the most in my post college life. Those 21 nights were spread over five states from Utah to Arkansas. The highlight was our ten-day trip through several National Parks and Monuments in Colorado and Utah. It was a camping experience to behold.

Camping gear to acquire this off-season: Dutch Oven

In addition to all the camping I ran in three 10K Races. My favorite was at night, through a forest, on a trail. I cycled quite a bit on the dirt roads around my house. I didn’t keep track of mileage but I should have. And of course there was the swimming. Swimming is always a summer staple in my family, but when there are 52 days over 100 degrees it becomes a life-saver. In fact, when the high temperatures got back into the 90’s it was almost too cold to swim. On top of all the adventures I made it to a Royals game which doesn’t happen every summer since moving away from Kansas City. I played softball, coached t-ball, and I saw a tornado. The only thing I didn’t get to on my usual summer bucket list was a float trip. But don’t worry we’re already working on a few for 2012.

I was witness to a rare Kyle Davies victory in my one trip to Kauffman this season

This tornado in early June interrupted a t-ball game.

Of course, I didn’t do all this stuff by myself. Several of you reading this did them with me. I won’t name you individually because I’ll leave some one out. But just know that I enjoyed you being a part of a summer I’ll likely remember the rest of my life. I look for to planning new excursions for next year. But before that…

The daylight is dwindling swiftly. A week from today there will be no more baseball, no more daylight savings time, and for some kids, no more high school football. The finale of the summer; September & October are almost over and on the other side is darkness and cold. This January when I’m cowering under a blanket, and rationalizing my seasonal-affective-disorder I’ll have to remember how the Summer of 2011 made me sweat in a good way, and left me with a smile that will last me until the Summer of 2012.

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