A Year of Firsts: Review of my Outdoor Adventures

I have had a crazy year. I brought it onto myself, I know, but in all of that craziness I have experienced more outdoor adventure than ever. Moving west and immersing myself into the Rocky Mountain mentality has been reinvigorating for my passion for outdoor recreation. In addition, I have discovered that I have a passion for content creation through this blog, the podcast and hopefully coming up in the next year developing the 12 Hike YouTube channel. So I just wanted to take a moment to recap what I have done, the lessons I have learned and some things I truly miss about Southern Ohio.

I was not ready for the physical fitness required for recreating in the Rocky Mountains. Everything is extreme. There are crazy altitude changes, the weather goes from hot to cold in an instant and the sheer amount of activities to choose from is dizzying. I started off pretty basic with hikes that were within 20 minutes of the house. I took my boys out thinking it would be nothing. However, the weather changed and it got super hot. Unfortunately I pushed the boys a little too far and I paid the price. I had to alternately pack children off a hill for about a mile. Lesson number one I had to learn: I needed to pace myself. I live here now and don't have to cram every experience into a 2 week period. My whole family needed time to acclimate and build ourselves up to outside activities here.

I did not spend nearly enough time getting out and researching areas. This showed in two distinct ways. I really had no idea where to hunt and fill my mule deer tag (even though I saw mule deer and had a great time hunting) and my fishing suffered from lack of knowledge. I don't want to brag, but I was a proficient angler in Southern Ohio and had warm water fishing pretty well dialed in. I new where to go and when, I new what lures to use and had no trouble catching fish. That is not the case now. The warm fishing season is much shorter, the lakes are different and my beloved creek fishing is not the same here as it was in Ohio. I am starting from square one and it does not feel good. I have had the opportunity to ice fish and it has been a blast. I have more gear to buy, but I will most definitely be doing much more of that in the years to come.

The biggest hardship that I've had to overcome (other than missing family members) was, in a sense, losing all of my outdoor friends. I didn't lose them so much as move away from them but the effect is the same. I miss lazy paddles down the Scioto River in my Wilderness Systems kayak and helping a friend plan benefit paddle trips. I miss standing on the bank of the Ohio River bouncing jigs along the rocky bottom in search of Sauger. I miss early spring days slaying large panfish with my cohost Sean. I miss the annual "guy trip" with Brad and the Penix clan.

In a sense though, moving has brought me a little closer to Brad and Sean. We have really worked hard with 12 Hike. I have talked more to Brad and Sean since starting the podcast and blog than ever. We have big plans for the coming year too. The podcast is going strong (thank you for the support everyone) and we are looking to improve it and make it grow even more. With any luck we will start bringing some good YouTube tutorials, product reviews and trip reports we will be taking. I'm excited for what 2021 will bring and we are open to suggestions. Remember, if you ever want to chat with us you can message us on Facebook or email us at the12hikepodcast@gmail.com. We would love to hear suggestions about content you would like us to cover, ideas to improve the podcast and your own personal outdoor stories. Since next week is Christmas, there won't be another blog post before the New Year. So, from all of us here at 12 Hike, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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