Earth Day 2007

Legal Andrew's recent post: "Get Your Motivation Going With Small Steps" was particularly timely. Now that the sun is finally returning and getting out of bed doesn't feel like being resurrected from the dead anymore, both hubby and I have been itching to be more active. To this end I volunteered to go on the Spring Migration Paddle with my University's outdoor adventures group on Earth Day. My husband loves the outdoors. He is an Eagle Scout and considers trees a mandatory part of the landscape at any future home we may have. So I am trying to humor him and become more outdoorsy. We've been together for 6 years and this is the 1st real outdoor trip we've been on together.

Now for anybody who knows me well, they'll know I'm generally not an outdoorsy person. I blame this on the fact that I came from a family of 7 and camping made for some cheap vacations. Most of things we did together as a family were outdoors, camping, rafting and hiking. Most of these were also less than enjoyable. I am always cold and I much prefer the Ramada to a tent with no air pad. At the age of 12 I would have much rather been left home and allowed to just read all weekend than be dragged out of doors. Before we moved to Alaska I was actually quite outdoorsy, but from the moment I walked off the plane that fall of 1990 it has been a chore to get me outside to do more than walk to the car. It's just too cold, buggy and not fun. Hubby says that we were camping wrong and has made it his mission to show me fun camping. I'm trying to keep an open mind.

So, back to the Spring Migration Paddle. Every year in Alaska the birds come back in the Spring by the thousands. This year I guess they are being lazy birds because we barely saw any. On our 5 hours of canoing we did see 5 moose, a zillion fish, little baby Salmon which were less than 3 inches long and other assorted wildlife. The moose were particularly impressive. 3 of them were wading in the river as we canoed by. They were just out there munching on a branch that was stuck in the river. When we went by they scurried off to shore, but for awhile there they were very VERY close. Scary close. I took a bunch of pictures and I'll have to see how good they are. If I got any good shots I'll post them.

All in all it was a great trip. We got out in the outdoors on Earth Day and it was beautiful. I blogged about going to the Ice Art Competition March 28th which was less than a month ago. We have gone from -40F to 60F, a difference of 100 degrees in less than a month. Wow! We are now inspired to do more things together and develop some more active hobbies. We are looking at buying bikes so that we can commute to work in a more environmentally friendly way and so we can do trips on the weekends.

Bikes are expensive. The last time I bought a bike the big decision was wether I should get the one with a basket or the one with pom-poms on the handles. Now we have disc brakes, shocks, hard tails vs. soft tails and a myriad of other options. Bikes range from $99.99 Walmart specials, which are unrepairable to $700.00 mountain bikes and up and up and up. I am not going to grow again so I don't mind spending a little more on a bike that will last me a long time. And if it is uncomfortable I know I won't use it as much. I am tempted to spend a bit more on something that I will enjoy using because I know that I will use it more. Anybody have a recommendation for a good bike path and trail bike? It needs to work on both gravel and pavement and preferably have a step through frame. I'm still a little girly in my bike needs.