This blog is primarily dedicated to outdoor athletics and the various places in the world that one can trek to discover natural beauty. However, we also like to take the time to appreciate those men and women who have adventured in said natural beauty and forged their own path for others to admire and glean inspiration. Today, we would like to focus on the works of Jacques Cousteau.
Jacques Cousteau has had a myriad of accomplishments, including co-inventing the Aqua-Lung, earning the Legion of Honor from the French government after World War II, and producing many movies on the mysteries of the expansive ocean depth.
Personally, I remember him from the documentaries I used to watch when I was young and bored. I recall being mesmerized by the intricate waves of green strung through the deep blue of the ocean, and the strange scales, textures, body shapes, and eyes of the fish that Cousteau would point out. Cousteau had an infinite curiosity for what the ocean kept hidden underneath the innocuous waves that twinkled in the sunlight, and he had an impressive dedication to discovery and understanding.
Jacques Cousteau presented us with a fresh look into an aspect of the great wide natural beauty that the world owns. I recommend taking a peek at one of his documentaries sometime. Or even better, grabbing a pair of goggles and taking a trip this summer to an ocean. In between sunbathing and splashing your friends, check out the fish and the ocean floor, and just how impossibly blue the water can be!
As you consider this trip, be sure to grab an Adayak shirt to put over your swimsuit as you head to the beach!
Check out our website for more cool shirts on the outdoors: http://www.adayak.com/
Have a great day, guys, and get out there and satiate your own curiosity of the outdoors! Jacques Cousteau’s was of the ocean – what’s yours?
As a Michigan based company, we have a great deal of pride in what Michigan has to offer in terms of natural beauty and exploration of the outdoors. If you love to kayak, canoe, paddle board, raft, or any other sort of water sport, consider heading out to Michigan’s beautiful shoreline this summer.
The Adayak family can speak from experience in saying that a trip to the northern peninsula of Michigan is well worth the time. We recommend taking a day to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes, an icon in the nature of Michigan. Spend hours hiking along the sandy dunes, running down the hilly plains, and taking photos of a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan. While you’re there, be sure to visit Glen Arbor, a little piece of Lake Michigan that is open to the public. The water is crystal clear and blue as the sky, and very cold. Glen Arbor is a perfect spot for kayakers as the waters are tranquil in the summer, but we wouldn’t advise swimming unless the day is absolutely sweltering!
The Crystal River and the Platte River are both perfect locations to paddle the day away. Bring your own boats, or travel lightly in knowing that there are many rental shops in the area.
For the Adayak hikers, there are plenty of trails to explore. Check out a full list of hiking trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes on the website of the National Park Service.
How many of you spend your days outdoors in the Pacific Northwest? That part of the country is arguably the best place to live if you love hiking, climbing, kayaking and other outdoor sports. I, on the other hand, live in a part of the country many people call ‘Heavens Waiting Room’ … Florida.
Yes we have miles and miles of pristine beaches, but I would trade sand and waves for rocks and snow any day of the week. I do enjoy living in Florida most of the time, but when you get that “call of the wild” there is only so much you can do. We can still go hiking, kayaking and skiing … it’s just our versions have no stunning views, no whitewater, and skiing is done behind a boat.
I thought it would be fun to write a guest post on Just Northwest about what some of the major differences are between hiking in the Northwest and hiking in the Southeast. For the sake of this post I will mostly be referring to hiking in Florida – the exact opposite corner of Washington, where I believe most of the Just Northwest readers live.
The weather differences are the first thing that come to mind when thinking about hiking in Florida vs. hiking in the Northwest. It may get to 90 degrees on a hot summer day in Seattle … but your 90 degrees is like our 70. It’s hot here. Really hot. And we have 100% humidity every day during the summer. It makes hiking outdoors brutal. With staggering heat comes afternoon storms – the type of storms that bring lightning and heavy rains. You can set your watch the these storms — 3:00 pm every day. You do not want to be caught in the outdoors when an afternoon storm rolls in. They don’t usually last long, but they are fierce.
Or lack there of… hiking in Florida means you’re walking on a level path the entire way. It’s easier on your legs, but makes for a boring trip when all you can see to the front, back, right and left of you are trees. Hikers in the Pacific Northwest have easy access to mountains at 14,000+ ft – Florida’s highest elevation above sea level is 345 ft.
For the most part, the wildlife from the Pacific Northwest is somewhat similar to the wildlife in Florida. Florida has black bears, deer, panthers (our version of the mountain lion), lots of birds, squirrels, rabbits, etc. One of the major differences in wildlife is the Pacific Northwest is home to Bigfoot! Just kidding … I’m talking about alligators! And they are everywhere down here. No joke – we have alligators here that walk across the street. They live in the swampy outdoor areas, which happened to be the same areas Florida hikers venture in to.
Not all of Florida is in the “tropics” but our ecosystem and vegetation down here varies greatly from what hikers in the Northwest are used to. In Florida, we have a lot of sawgrass marshes and palm trees – I’ll admit that hikes along the beaches and marsh areas are actually pretty nice. Florida also has a lot of pine trees, cypress trees and mangroves. We have vegetation that thrives in wetlands. We have swamps and creeks, but our creeks are not the same as yours. We don’t have snow melt in Florida so our creeks aren’t the swift running, crystal clear type – they are the slow moving, muddy, snake infested type.
I may have painted Florida as an awful place to go hiking and spend time in the outdoors, but that’s not really the case. I guess when you’re pointing out the differences it sometimes can seem like a negative thing. We do have a lot of amazing hikes here, like The Florida Trail… which starts near the Everglades National Park and works its way up through the panhandle.
If you don’t live in the Northwest, where do you live? What are some of the major differences in hiking from your area? Post a comment and let us know.
About the Author: David DuPont is a hiker, climber and outdoor enthusiast who writes for Adayak, a designer and seller of hiking shirts. Get more from David and Adayak on twitter.
It is officially spring – but don’t hang up your ice axe just yet. March 21st marks the first day of spring on our calendars, but around here you would hardly notice. I associate spring time with blooming flowers, green grass, melting snow and warm weather. However, here in Michigan we aren’t experiencing any of those yet and I’m sure those of you further up north and out west aren’t either.
Just because the calendar hits March 21 doesn’t mean we have to abandon our love for outdoor winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and ice climbing. You will definitely have to be more careful as you enter warmer days and the snow begins to loosen up, but there is still plenty of time to have fun and enjoy the cold outdoors. I’m seeing ski resorts out west running at 100% and some mountains on the east coast extending their operating days to accommodate everyone.
If you love outdoor winter sports, definitely take advantage of these last few days. Don’t let anyone scare you off about it being spring already. Spring just means cheaper deals and less people on the slopes! While at it, check out Adayak’s snow sports t-shirts.
The Smoky Mountains offers an incredible range of diverse activities for visitors to take advantage of. Hiking, cycling, fishing, and the exploration of wildlife and historical sites are available for all people; whether you are brand-new to the tangled wildlife of a national park or an expert, there are opportunities for everyone. Shorter trails are available for those who are more inexperienced, and there are even specially designated child-friendly trails are offered.
A basic understanding of what to do in a dangerous situation involving black bears should be maintained before a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Black bears are often unpredictable and violent animals, and one should not approach them or allow them to approach. In order to not encourage problems between humans and bears, do not throw away food into the wilderness, and certainly do not offer food to the bears.
However, black bears and other forms of wildlife is always a pleasure to view from a distance with a camera or telescope, and should definitely be done. Just remember that safety is first!