Let’s look at getting outdoors in the country. Now last outdoor post I made was about being outdoors in the city. I talked about different activities you could do when you are outside. It is now to go look at the country mouses way of enjoying the outdoors.
Where My Love for the Outdoors started
I would call myself a country mouse. I grew up in a small town in the Texas Panhandle. It was a good size town 2000 souls live within the city limits. I was a part of at the time one of the largest graduating classes. We had 42 students and 3 of them were foreign exchange students so we weren’t out of touch. Yet we were outside a lot.
In all fairness, I was a town kid. My best friend was a country kid. He was bussed to school. I walked 2 blocks to school. Yet, when you are 1 block away from a wheat field so all you have to do is walk maybe 200 paces you are country. At the most, you were a half mile from the countryside. So there was no excuse for not being outdoors. If it was too hot during the summer you walked the 2 miles to the pool.
Man, did I spend time outside out in the country. My friends and I would ride our bikes roughly a mile outside of town to some bar ditches that had been used as a sacred man proving obstacle course for at least 10 if not more 8th-grade classes. The three different “courses” varied in steepness. There was the easy middle all the way to the one everybody tried, Hells Bells (We thought it sounded cool at the time so shut up). That one was a near verticle drop of 4 feet. Then you had to make a hard right hand turn to avoid the Chunk of Concrete then power your way up the other side. More than one kid went flying into the side of the drainage ditch wall. We would sit dazed for a second get up and do it again. This time with the full knowledge that we were going to make it.
Then in the Fall I would go to the family farm and I would hunt rabbit, Then after I got a shotgun it was dove and pheasant. Though I was better at hitting a bunny who was sunning themselves than I was a dove on the wing. I would often go hunting with a cousin or a friend who had access to a lake.
There was always something for a person to do when they lived in a small town. There were many times my best friends would go out camping. We would be scared solid when we heard the coyotes howl. Yet so many defining memories were made either in Jakes barn or somewhere else out on his parent’s property.
Now I tell you all of this as an experienced man. So what can a person who is used to being in a city do in the country? The Answer, whole heaping lots. We all have that one relative who lives in a small town.
Then again maybe you are tired of living in the hustle and bustle of the big city and it is time to slow thing down a lot. Then there is the country. where the houses are inexpensive and often have held several generations or people.
So enough jawin’ let’s look at what you can do in the country.Share with your community what you are learningClick To Tweet
Let’s start slow. When I was young I would go to a small town in the hill country of Texas, right outside of Hamilton, TX and this town had maybe 150 people if you counted all the dogs and cats too. My great grandparents lived there and as an energetic teenager, I had to get out from time to time or you got put to work. Which was good for the character, but not something you really wanted to do.
So what was a guy to do other than put one foot in front of the other? I would walk out to the cemetery then turn around. You can also go out and explore the Farm to Market roads where you are meet an endless array of people who want to know if you would like a ride somewhere.
There is the opportunity to go exploring, but be careful. You never know whose land you will be trespassing on. For instance, there was a lady who’s property was on the other side of the creek. So I was walking the creek one day and took a little tributary that ran south into this ladies land. I was on her property no more than 10 minutes when I heard her 4 wheeler drive up with a shotgun in hand telling me I best just turn around and go back home. Which I did without any lip.
There is so much you can do while walking. Besides the health benefits of being outdoors. You also you the joy of witnessing a lot more of the local Plants and wildlife. This is actually what I love about walking in the country. From spotting an armadillo rooting around or turkeys early in the morning. Then when you stop and look at nature you find that those times hang around a bit more. Especially if you take the kids with you. Letting them witness a coyote as he pounces on a rabbit, helps them understand what life actually means. Even those hard lesson in life can be meaningful when presented by the side of the understanding guidance of dad.
Take walking, and speed it up. Allow yourself to feel that burn in your thighs. That is biking. This is another outdoor activity that is enjoyable and allows you to see much more of the countryside. It is more difficult when you have little kids because their bikes are often single speeds. Yet they are able to build a love for two-wheeling it as they bike around town with you.
There are different biking styles to fit your riding style. There is the Road bike or as I called them as a kid 10 speeds. Then there are the mountain bikes. There are the BMX bikes which is like a mountain bike without the 21 different gears. Then there is the hybrid bike that has a little fatter tires but not as wide as a mountain bike. These work pretty well for light trail rides.
I haven’t really done much in the way of riding for a good 10 years I had an old Mongoose bike that I rode around while till I ruined a wheel and I just never got back on a bike since. Though used to love doing short 10 mile runs. There were so many fun places you can go often with mountain bikes. You can take a dirt road a lot better than you can on a road bike. Yet in that same instance, you can go further with greater ease with the thin tires of a road bike than you can with a mountain bike.
So find a bike that fits you and cruises the countryside each weekend. Not only will you get your heart rate up and you will have more fresh air that you can handle. You may get some extra protein when that grasshopper flies into your mouth.
Go To The Lake
Now if you want some fun and excitement along with a very healthy dose of sunshine. Then get to the lake. Now it helps if you or someone you know has a boat but it isn’t a requirement. There is a whole subset of small-town folks who are called lake people.
When spring is halfway over and it has hit at least 80’s once these people are found at their favorite lake each and every weekend. If they are able to find a reason to be out at the lake in the middle of the week they are there too. Lake life is a special group of fun-loving people. Often there is a good deal of drinking involved but also a lot of fishing or other activities that involve water, like Water skiing, jet skiing, it usually involves being pulled by a boat at a good click. By the end of the weekend, you are tired. Your body has a good ache about it, and memories about those glorious days.
many times like life helps form lifelong friends because often you and your dock mates get to talking. This is because you already have a lot in common with you like being on the water. You may also like to fish. so You have that to talk about or just you have a lot in life that is familiar. Making friends while on the lake is what make lake people so special. Often families become lifelong friends, and the power of networking pays in more than experience.
You don’t have to have a boat to be on the lake there are those who camp on the shore. So you get the joy of camping and the sun, air and the questionable benefits of lake water. There is the time spent with the family and lessons learned by taking care of each other. Try it out you just may find that lake life is contagious.
Grow a Garden
If you ever want to feel more balanced and centered. Try gardening. There is something, dare I say, magical when you work the earth with your bare hands. The sense of calm often involves a person who has taken seed and nurtured it to the point it produces. You fall in love with the bees and other beneficial insects you see. You no longer are afraid of that huge Garden spider. Instead, you may find yourself look at her in wonderment as she catches a squash bug in her web.
Gardens, this is something that sadly looks like it is disappearing. Growing up I use to go to Dumas and on the square, every Saturday in the summer was a farmer market. Now over here in Okielandlahoma, I have yet to see a farmers market. Yet people are paying an outrageous amount of money for food they could have easily if you just take the time, make an effort. You can have a traditional in the ground garden but then there are several other more nouveau ways of gardening. There is the hay bale garden. There is a pallet garden. Many of these are supposed to make it easier to garden because you don’t have to weed and tend to the plants as much.
In reality, you still have to tend to your plants. You will have fights on your hand. Like a Squash bug infestations. All the different leaf eaters attacking your lettuce heads. This is part of the connection with nature that gardening provides. You have a set of plants you have to protect them so that they are able to provide for you. Maybe you find that you would like to have a beehive for your garden. or who knows maybe you decide to grow your garden for a half lot size to a full acre of vegetables and tubers.
There is an amazing sense of accomplishment when you take your produce to work for your coworkers to take with them. Then again maybe you want to make some extra money. Then there is the farmers market. you can set up a table and sell what you don’t need.
You also have the opportunity to store your produce and learn the art of canning. Learn that you can make your own spaghetti sauce and save it for the rest of the year. It will taste better than anything that Prego or Newmans Own could ever concoct. I remember we use to make homemade salsa and that was a welcomed Christmas gift. Some of the best-tasting chip condiment you could ever find. The biggest reason is that the produce was picked at the height of ripeness. The tomatoes were the sweetest with just the right amount of acidic taste. I may just have to start a group for gardening.Let The Relaxed Male know you are interested in a gardening clubClick To Tweet
Now many people miss understanding hunting. They complain that people are being mean and unjust to the animals. When in fact if there is anybody who helps nature out more with conservation it is the hunting community.
You would be surprised that many times hunters watch and see more of what goes on in nature. Outdoorsman like a hunter often is more attuned to nature. They understand the different effects that man has on the environment and people who tout their knowledge from a university but doesn’t spend time outdoors.
Hunting provides first the ability to manage the population of wildlife. Yeah, this sounds mean and overbearing. Yet Hunting isn’t hurting the deer population that is growing and spreading to places deer have not been before. The Texas panhandle for instance. Growing up I never saw a deer close to my hometown, Now I see them stepping out of cornfields like they have been there for years.
Now think of what that population would be without hunters trying to thin the herds. The same with waterfowl and other animals that are often hunted. Hunters also provide their own meat. When hunters take down a deer or a rabbit. They are able to feed themselves leaner healthier meat. Hunting allows for people to be self-reliant. Because if they don’t hunt they don’t eat, or they have to go to town and buy groceries.
Now, this is often associated with the lake people but they do not hold an exclusive to this past time. Most often than not if there is a body of water around people are going to fish it. For a while, I had a stock tank in my backyard when I was growing up. It was originally meant to be a swimming pool and it was for several years. Then after a while, We stopped using it but the water stayed and it got murky.
One day we found a tailwater pit that was drying up and in the small pools of water were bay catfish. So, my cousin and I ran home scooped some of the pool water into a bucket and hiked it back out to the tailwater pit. We picked sever catfish up and took them back to the stock tank. where For several years I was able to raise them. Even would fish out of the tank from time to time.
Fishing forces you to slow down. You can try to be n a hurry all you want, but you can’t rush a fish as he decides if your bait is going to be delicious or not. Fishing has other benefits other than bringing home some food. It allows you to focus on yourself. If you are with your kids it allows them time unfettered time with dad and if mom fishes too then that is an added bonus.
Living out in the country has many benefits. Especially if you are wanting to be outdoors. Most activities are outside and require you to spend time getting the needed sun and fresh air one requires to be happy. Have you ever had the pleasure of experiencing country life? Was there a point that I missed? If so comment down below. Would you be interested in a group for gardening? I really am entertaining this possibility. So share your thoughts and opinions about gardening down below.