Five outdoors things to do indoors this weekend
I can't in good conscience send anyone outdoors this weekend. Conditions are, as my good friend Arthur Hirsch likes to say, "like standing in the mouth of a dog."
Hot, humid and air foul enough to knock a buzzard off a honey wagon. Land of pleasant living? Not quite.
So what to do? Try one of these indoor activities that will keep your outdoors chops in working order:
1) Watch a movie about the outdoors. "A River Runs Through It," will make you think of clean, clear Montana. "Jeremiah Johnson" has Robert Redford, gorgeous scenery and snow. "The Great Outdoors" has Dan Ackroyd, John Candy and Annette Benning. "Into the Wild" is Alaska--nuff said. "127 Hours," the story of Aron Ralston's amazing self-rescue, will take your mind off our weather and give you something to be thankful for.
2) Start reading a book about the outdoors. My favorite fishing books are "The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass," "On the Run: An Angler's Journey Down the Striper Coast," and "Sowbelly: The Obsessive Quest for the World-Record Largemouth Bass." Mark Jenkins, whose work has appeared in Outside magazine, has a terrific compilation of tales of all kinds in, "The Hard Way." For comedy, try Bill Heavey's, "If You Didn't Bring the Jerky, What Did I Just Eat?" Hunters will like the writing of Pete Bodo in, "Whitetail Nation."
3) It's almost mid-season in the world of summer fun, so take stock. Clean out the tackle box. Wash down the kayak or jon boat. Patch pin holes and tears in the tent and un-stick the zipper. Reapply waterproofing to your boots. Do a little maintenence on the fishing rod and reel.
4) Plan the next couple of outings. For ideas, try my favorite online hiking clearinghouse, MidAtlantichikes.com. Or go on the Department of Natural Resources website and see if one of the 66 state parks looks interesting. If you need something a little more structured, choose one of the 24 challenges that are part of the Maryland Park Service's Park Quest summer adventure; you'll have to pay a nominal fee, but it's worth it.
5) Just chill.