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July 11, 2010

The name of the game

The challenge at St. Mary's River State Park is to find the signpost with letters on them and unscramble them to create a phrase.

Early on, Team Bay Bougheys spy a sign in the woods with two blaze-orange letters: S H.

"Oh oh," says Mackenzie Boughey, 8. "This Quest is a naughty word."

Not even close.

It's nice to be Questing with the Boughey family of Anne Arundel County.

Heather Boughey is the daughter of the late Bill Burton, for more than 50 years Maryland's senior outdoors writer. Mackenzie is Bill's granddaughter.

With husband/father Jon, the family was there when I hatched the concept of Park Quest 24/7 while camping at Cunningham Falls State Park on Memorial Day weekend.

Mackenzie is wearing a T-shirt with homemade lettering to cheer me on and proclaim herself the successor to this Outdoors Girl.

parkquest1.jpg

quest1.jpg

Mackenzie Boughey, 8

Solving the puzzle, I bag park No. 16. The Bay Bougheys knock off No. 3.

Off to St. Clement's Island via water taxi.

Park Quest 24/7 tracker

Posted by Candus Thomson at 12:47 PM |
Categories: Park Quest 2010
        
About Candus Thomson
In a world of paper vs. plastic and candy mint vs. breath mint, my early memories involved a debate about the merits of freshwater vs. saltwater.

On the one hand, a great uncle’s fishing cabin on the Susquehanna River beckoned, but so did family gatherings on the Jersey Shore.

The correct answer, thankfully, was, “both.”

As The Sun’s outdoors writer for more than a decade, I’ve fished across Maryland in one day, hiked the width of the state in one hour, camped overnight in the median of I-95 to experience the wildlife between the fast lanes and chased mountain bikers in a 24-hour marathon race.

Those are some of the highlights. I’ve also fallen in a raging Gunpowder River during a trout survey (photo available upon request), had a shark spill its guts on my clothes and been stuck in a sub-freezing Vermont wilderness with men armed with flintlocks and hatchets, shuffling along on ancient wooden snowshoes.

And, in my travels I’ve met lots of you, who share a love of the outdoors and the good times and mishaps that go along with it.
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