Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Only 2013 Camping Trip

     Last weekend we went on our one and only camping trip for this year. It was a little cold but we still had a lot of fun. It was also close to my birthday so my husband let me have my gifts early so I could try them out. He got me a rod holder for my float tube and a life vest so I didn't have to wear my tubing lifejacket anymore on the tube. I had gotten my waders, wading boots and fins at the end of the summer so I was ready to try out my full set up.

     The rod holder was great for "trolling" and having the life vest that is flat until you need it made sitting in the tube a lot more comfortable. I love fishing from my float tube!

     The water was really cold so I only lasted abut 20 or 25 minutes before I had to get out of the water. Getting in and out of the water is a little different with full gear than it was with my snorkel fins and swimsuit this summer. I didn't fall over into the lake when I was trying to get in and out of the water. See my new fins in the photo below? I was letting my legs float a little to warm my legs in the sun.

     On this trip we found all but 1 of the geocaches located around John Martin Reservoir. The one we couldn't find is missing so hopefully we can go find it once it has been replaced. We have been to this lake many times and have never stopped to look at the signs or walk the trails. Geocaching took us to all of the signs and trails and to a few spots we've explored before.

     My husband took this photo. You have too look really close but you can see we saw a heard of does and instantly his hunter instincts kicked in and he took off to "shoot" the does with my camera. I didn't have time to switch lenses for him so it's a little hard to see them.

          We also enjoyed some great views of the lake from one of the geocache areas.

      I love taking photos of dams. I think they are interesting and am amazed at their construction, but also they usually make for some really pretty pictures.

     We didn't get to drive across the road because the dam road was closed. (That sign makes me laugh every time I see it!)

Since it was so cold outside we had to get creative with drying my waders and float tube. The shower in the new camper is the perfect size to dry one float tube and gear.
     Here is a view of our campsite. We really didn't do much outside at camp because of the temperatures. The new camper worked great! We were able to go exploring and not have to reset once we got back to camp like we did with the motorhome, but we did miss having a bathroom with us while we were exploring.

     The girls love the new camper, too. They especially like having a couch to crash on after a long day of exploring.

We didn't catch any fish during the trip and we didn't see any fish jumping or fish shadows in the water. The pelicans that are usually fish catching machines weren't even trying to catch anything either.

     I took some time to do some fly casting practice and since my husband also got me a case to carry my fly rod and reel in, It was pretty easy to pack it down to the water with us. When I am in my backyard I can cast to the exact spot I want to and make the line do what I want to. Put some water in front of me and nothing goes right. I tied some flies (that post is coming soon) so I had plenty of flies to practice with and surprisingly, I kept the same fly on the entire time! I did lose 1 strike indicator and the 2nd one flew off but I was able to find it on the hill behind me a little later.

     I was pretty proud of my fly casting on that day. I even had to deal with some pretty strong winds, but I only got tangled up in a bush once and I only cracked the whip once. The fly landed close to where I wanted it to almost every time so I was really pleased with that, too.

     I got a little creative with my camera and fly rod during a break. I think once I figure out how to add some red to my fly gear, I'll get more comfortable with it.
          Next summer we are hoping to do a lot more camping, fishing and riding. This was our transition year and now that the transitioning is over, we are ready to play. It has been hard to write posts about the outdoors when I wasn't doing many fun outdoor activities. Next summer hopefully I am having so much fun with outdoor activates and have so much information to share that I will have a hard time narrowing down what to post about and when to post it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Treasure Hunting

     Since we haven't been doing much fishing, riding or camping this year, I had a lot of time to read a lot of other outdoor blogs and social media posts. Because of all of this, I got hooked on geocaching. I have always thought geocaching would be fun, but never had the time to figure it out. I am up to 11 finds right now and after looking at the map, I realize it will be easy to get more finds because a lot of the lakes and riding areas we go to a lot have geocaches either in the area or very close by!
     First, here's some info: Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and finding treasures. One person places a geocache in a location somewhere in the world, pinpoints the location using a GPS unit and then shares the location online. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. A system of satellites works with a GPS receiver you hold to determine your location on the planet. Anybody with a GPS unit can search for the treasure. A geocache (cache for short) is the hidden container. The container contains at least a logbook. If the container is big enough, it can also hold a pencil and treasures to trade.
     One important term you may find in the descriptions or in comments is the word "Muggle." If you are a Harry Potter fan, you know a Muggle is a non-magical person. In geocaching, a Muggle is a non-geocaching person. Muggles may look at you weird while you are looking under rocks, in trees and walking through areas off trail with lots of tall weeds and lots of cactus. They may also accidentally find a cache and either get hooked on geocaching, ignore it or they may take the cache thinking they are cleaning up litter. Muggles get blamed for missing geocaches all of the time.
Here are the steps for Geocaching:
1. Set up an account at You can sign up for a free account or a Premium membership (see the website for details.)
 2. Search for geocaches close to home or in an area you are going to be (lake, atv trail, hiking path, etc.).

The Smiley Faces Are Geocaches I Have Found
 3. In this step I have to write down the coordinates, clues and GC number. If you have a nicer GPS unit (which is on my list to Santa this year) you can send the coordinates to your GPS unit.

 Each geocache has a GC code assigned to it (you can see the GC code on the right side of the screen below). The code starts with the letters "GC" and is followed by other letters and numbers. After you find the geocache, you can use this code to easily find the geocache on the website to log your find.

There are a lot of acronyms you need to know because they are used a lot in the comments and descriptions left by other geocachers:
  • FTF: First To Find a new geocache
  • BYOP: Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil - let's you know you need to bring your own writing utensil to sing the log
  • DNF: Did Not Find - A log type to let the owner of the cache know that there could be an issue with their cache.
 4. Next, search for the geocache. Before you start your search, make sure you are prepared. Wear appropriate clothing (hiking books/shoes, long pants and jacket if the weather looks like it is going to get cold). ALWAYS bring water, too! I almost always forget water because I think we aren't going to be away from the car for very long and then we end up away from the car for a lot longer than we thought and wishing we had at least 1 bottle of water with us. Also, don't forget bug spray and sunscreen.

Sasha & Kaos enjoy Geocaching, Sasha even found one for me this past weekend!
    The nicer GPS units help you find the geocache by telling you which direction to go and they catch up to your coordinates pretty fast. (I can't wait for that feature! We end up off course a lot because we walk faster than our receiver can update.) Look in trees, under rocks, attached to something metal with a magnet or pretty much anywhere. Geocachers are getting more and more creative with their hides.
     When you find the cache, sign the logbook (or log sheet) and check out the SWAG (acronym for "Stuff We All Get"). If you take some SWAG, be sure to leave something. In the cache below, I took the Scooby Doo SWAG and left the bobber. If you take something, you HAVE to leave something!

     The above picture is of a traditional cache because it contains a log sheet, pencil, and SWAG. There are many different types of caches. Some blend in to the area so well you can step on it 10 times before you realize it is the cache. Nanos and Micros are tiny and only big enough for a log sheet. Nanos and Micros are hard and I don't usually search for them because I get frustrated.
5. Enjoy the area. A lot of geocaches are hidden in areas with a lot of history, beautiful scenery or lots of fun things to do. One of our favorite lakes to fish and camp at has a lot of areas with historical signs and we have never stopped to look at them. On this trip, we stopped and checked out the signs while we were looking for the geocaches.

     Also, enjoy the views. Most geocaches are hiden in areas that are meant for you to explore the outdoors. Parks, lakes, trails and historical overlooks are some of the popular areas geocahes are hidden.
John Martin Reservoir & Dam
6. The final step is to relax. You probably did a lot of hiking while you were searching for the geocache so when you get back to camp be sure to relax, rehydrate and make sure your notes are organized for the caches you found to make logging them on the computer easier.

Kaos and Sasha relaxing after a day of Geocaching
     When you get home (or back to computer access) log back into your account and log your find. If you want to share pictures, make sure they don't giveaway the location of the cache.

When logging a find, you can use these as comments:
  • TFTC: Thanks For The Cache
  • TFTH: Thanks For The Hide
  • TNLN: Took Nothing Left Nothing
  • TNLNSL: Took Nothing Left Nothing Signed Log
  • TNSL: Took Nothing Signed Log
     Those are the basics of Geocaching. There are some Girls In The Outdoors geocaches in the works and will be hidden near Cañon City, Colorado so that we can take care of them. In those geocaches, there is a good possibility you might find some of the smaller items we sell on our website. Be sure to follow our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst and/or Google+ pages to monitor our geocaches.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Fall or Winter Drive?

We decided to load up my dad and our dogs and go look at the fall colors yesterday.

 This summer we have been busy working on our house and haven't been doing much fishing and we haven't done any camping or atving so we really needed a full day of fun.

 We drove to Bueña Vista, CO and drove over Cottonwood Pass. On the way up we noticed some snow but then... got icy!

The snow was beautiful!

I can't remember if I've ever been to Taylor Park Reservoir and after this trip, I think I want to come back when it is a little warmer.

I love doing these exploring day trips. We spend most of the day in the truck or car, but we find places we want to explore more with the camper, atvs and/or fishing poles.

We found some more fall colors without snow.
 We decided since there were signs saying there could be a 30 minute delay on Monarch right now and would probably find more snow instead of fall colors, we would try another road. We decided when we travel to areas over the Continental Divide, this way will add a little time to our trip, but we won't have to pull the camper over Monarch! Very excited about this find!

We definitely had a fun trip and I took so many photos, it took me forever to decide which ones to post. If you have any fall photos you would like to share, email them to