Posted in Requires Travel, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Ride in a Dune Buggy

Every year I head out to a convention for my Active 20-30 International organization (philanthropy & service club). July 2017, I went a few days early and there were some pre-convention options. One was a chance to ride dune buggies. I was so excited to do that for the first time. We got on a bus and headed out to Florence, Oregon and ended up at Sandland Adventures. There we learned that we would be riding in giant dune buggies and get a tour of the sand dunes.

It was fun to be in a group and go along for a ride and look around. The driver would point out interesting spots and talk about the sand dunes and the water table.

It was also interesting to see a bunch of people sliding down a hill. Later learned that they were skiing on the sand. I’m used to skiing on snow but hadn’t thought it for a sand hill.

It would be fun to drive a dune buggy but for now I can say I’ve ridden in one and got to experience going over the sand.

 

 

Have you ridden in a dune buggy or driven one? California, Oregon, or another state/country?

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Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Wiped Out at Aqua Park

Wake Island Water Park, located nearby Sacramento, California,

is home to the largest floating AQUA PARK you have ever seen. The equipment is state-of-the-art and it is easy and fun for kids and adults. There is a great variety of different shapes, sizes and functions making the water park exciting and entertaining for everyone. Bring the whole family and wipe out on our enormous floating obstacle course.

I looked at photos and read reports but still didn’t really know what to expect going. We got there pretty early on a Saturday morning but the first group was already booked up. Headed over to the little beach area to watch as we waited for the next session.

When it was our turn, they give a little safety lesson, that basically went over the rules posted on the signs. Grabbed a life jacket and swam out to the floating obstacle course. With kids bouncing, diving, and crashing around added to the challenge of getting around. Decided it is like being on a crazy bouncing bounce house. Gave up walking as I couldn’t really keep my balance and tried sliding over some of the obstacles that are made just to cause you to fall into the water. The fun part was trying to get back up. I found a couple of spots where the corner helped. Other times, friends were nearby to help pull you up. You definitely couldn’t be self conscious of flopping onto the float.

There was one “hill” where you could pull yourself up by rope or use handholds to be able to jump or slide once you get to the top. I really wanted to do the slide part. I started up fine on the handholds, grabbing tight and placing my feet well. At the same time my friend cautioned me about slipping, I was near the top so made a grab. It was still a little to far up for me and so I missed and slid down. Crashed into her a little, She jumped out of the way. luckily i didn’t crash into anyone else, especially a kid. and fell into the water. I had hit my elbow and got my knee really good on one of the plastic holders. I wasn’t inclined to try again.

Got back on the float and realized it hurt to crawl, so I tried walking a little but found a place to sit for a bit. Bouncing takes a lot out of you! I did get around to a smaller slide. One our our friends started to swing his legs around, but slipped sideways off the side of the slide. it was pretty funny. Another started going down face first but we yelled at her that the rules were feet first. So she tried to sit up but started sliding instead and ended up going in a circle down the slide.

45 minutes seemed like it would be pretty short, but when the time came, it was perfect as I was done and ready to get out.

I would recommend doing a floating obstacle course for a bucket list item. It might be nice to just use a float and float on the water, but bouncing and trying to run and not fall in the water is nice too.

Posted in Festivals/Special Events, Home Town, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures, State of Mind

Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge

I’ve been wanting to do a new year’s day polar bear plunge for a few years now. I would look for ones around the area. They all seemed a bit far away, and the ones talked about on the news that day would be too late to go to.

my first attempt in 2010
In 2010, I tried jumping into the ocean. We happened to stop at Stinston Beach in Northern California and I thought about changing into my swim suit, but there was so many signs warning about sharks that I chickened out. I did stick the lower half of my legs in the water though. Hey, it was a start!

Second attempt in 2011
December 2011, I was looking at the different options, and most seemed to be beach jumps down in southern California. Then I came across a flyer online for a polar bear plunge in a community pool not to far away. The part that made me happy was that it going to happen in the middle of the day, not the morning. I posted to see if anyone else was interested and right away I got comments that I was crazy. Although one of my friends decided to consider it and asked if I really planned on going. I had started to waver with the fact it might be raining and the water was going to be about 48 degrees. Then I told her, you know, I keep looking at these kind of things to do and then it’s becomes too late to do them and I end up regretting not doing it. Plus, it is a jump, not a swim or anything. So why the heck not do it. They said there would warm showers, hot chocolate, and soup to warm back up.

With that response to her inquiry, she decided, why the heck not too. A couple of others did say okay while we were talking about it at a new year’s eve party. And a couple of the guys said that they would jump if I joined in the group drinking car bombs. I thought, that’s easy enough and did drink up. Of course that seemed to be our downfall for the rest of the evening.

The next day, we woke up with headaches and seeing that ground was wet from a rain shower and more grey clouds in the sky. But my friend and I were still determined to do this adventure. We got on our swim suits and sweats and blankets and headed out to the pool. As soon as we got into the parking lot, we were wondering if we would be the only adults as we were seeing lots of kids walk by with towels. But there were lots of friendly smiles and encouragement from others and there were other adults in the pool area.

Two other friends from the night before showed up and we started getting ready to plunge in the water. Lots of joking and wondering this really was a good idea. The sun came out and the day felt a little warmer. We got out of our sweats and lined up along the pool sides. There were almost enough people to line up on 3 sides. We counted down and took a huge jump and deep breathes and under the water we went. It definitely was a shock and right away was trying to find the top of the water. Then swimming for the edge of the pool and hopping out. Actually it did seem after the initial cold shock that it wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t really feel like staying in too long. One dad had said that his daughter had to be told to get out of the pool last year, she stayed in so long. Most of the other people jumped in and out just as fast as us. The two guys that jumped with me were saying that swimming a lap wouldn’t be too bad, but they were just as fast, if not faster on getting back out of the pool.

Here we are all excited to be doing this polar bear plunge

3, 2, 1…JUMP!

Thanks again Aaron Craig, Erica Scoggins, and Marty Crossley Jr. for joining me

There was also a slide that was open for people to use. A few kids decided they had to slide down. Marty and I decided to brave the water again and go on the slide. It was a very slow slide down into the water but fun. The outside air was quite warm after being in the pool.

We changed and found out that there were buttons to get saying we survived. We definitely wanted proof, besides photos, that we did a polar bear plunge. The other nice thing about this event was that it was a fundraiser for a youth scholarship.

We couldn’t find any hot showers, but we changed as fast as our cold hands would let us and headed out for a celebratory hot lunch. As we left, the clouds came back with sprinkles. I was glad to have gone and even more glad that I had some crazy friends to join me. I’m already looking forward to doing this again with more people.

Are you a Polar Bear Plunge survivor? Pool, lake, river, or ocean?

Posted in Requires Travel, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Go Skiing

I was lucky in that my family was able to use cabins from family friends & relatives, so we went skiing quite a bit. When I was old enough, I joined a program with a friend and we would go every Saturday for the winter season. We met way early in the morning at a parking lot, got onto a bus and went to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows (half the season at each resort). First there was the group lessons, then lunch break, after that we had our own time to go ski.

At the end of the season, they would host a family ski day. All the kids in the program got to race down a solemn course and compete in age groups for trophies. The families get to come and ski and have lunch. It was sooo much fun.

Now that I would have to pay for myself, I’ve only been able to go a few times for the last decade. Every season, I say I’ll get up to ski and then its over way too fast. One of these days…

Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Ice-Skating (take 1)

We have a couple of indoor ice rinks, and during a few months in the winter, there is a small rink outside in the downtown area of Sacramento. I have been wanting to go ice skating but just haven’t gotten my butt out to the rinks. In 2015, they added a huge ice rink over at the baseball field. It was “The Biggest Show on Snow!” the rink was large enough that they had a hockey game from 2 nearby teams.

A friend and I went and bought the full ticket that included 3 slides down their man-made hill and 1 hour of skating.

Went to the slides first. Got our tubes, got up there, and the helpers asked if we signed a waiver. At first we thought they were kidding, nope, so we had to go back down and were pointed the way to the table to sign and get a wristband saying we are aware we are taking a risk to our lives.

Back to the tube, back up the stairs, and then a quick bounce down the hill. The first time I went face toward the bottom. The second time was away and going backwards. The third time, the guy pushed me off in a way that caused me to spin in circles on the way down. It was fun!

Then onto the skating. Thought I got the correct size skates, but later saw a sign saying to go one size down from your normal size. whoops. Got on the skates and started walking to the rink. Well, tried walking, it was more like wobbling and realizing I need to work on my balance. We stepped on the ice and I was already preparing to fall down. Like many of the others there, I kept close to the wall to help with the balance. I was hoping to get out to more the middle of the ice, because I knew it probably would be smoother ice to skate on. That wasn’t gonna happen this time. I did push away a few times and skated, but then my ankles turned on me, my feet cramped up, and I started wobbling again. I fell a couple of times. One of the times a girl was close by, skating in circles. I put out my hand toward her because she was coming my way and I didn’t want her to fall on me. She took that as needing help, as she she first asked if I was okay, and then helped pull me up. That was a little humbling, but very nice of her to treat her elders so well.

I made it about halfway and I knew I wasn’t going to make it a full hour of skating time. My friend had lapped me twice already. By the time I made it back around to the entrance gate, I was done. My feet cramped and my ankles and lower calves were hurting. Not to mention the knees I fell on. I believe my friend lasted four or five go-arounds. We were done.

My friend suggested that before trying to skate again, I should work on strengthening my ankles and my balance. So, that’s my new plan. I can cross off ice skating but I really want to do a better job and get a little videoing of it. If I did video this time, it would have been perfect to send to America’s Funniest Videos.

Have you gone ice skating? indoors or outdoors? funny experience or able to do twirls and jumps like a professional?

Posted in Generic Ones, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures, Super Duper Easy

See How High You Can Swing

During a weekend in April of 2014, I was at my cousin’s kid’s 3rd birthday party. It was such a beautiful day and they decided it would be nice to have it at a park for the kids to play around. There was a playground nearby with swings. I decided to go ahead and get a video of me for this item.

1) I need to make sure the operator of the camera (this time being my mom) knows how to work it. She wasn’t sure it was recording so she kept pushing the button and I ended up getting a few short video clips.

2) It seemed I got a lot higher on a swing as a kid. It was pointed out that this observation is probably due to myself being smaller and less weight on the body.

3) I had forgotten how to be able to land well. My dismount had me crashing down into the sand and bending my ankle. I had an instant fear of being that person that broke her ankle doing a simple stupid thing. luckily it’s just sore.

I wouldn’t mind going swinging again, it’s oddly calming and fun for a short bit. This item is definitely super duper easy and can be repeated as many times throughout your life as you wish. Don’t you agree?

Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Break the Tape at a Triathlon (Phase 1)

I did not get to break the tape at the finish line, but this was my first time doing a triathlon, so I’m counting this as phase 1. Phase 2 will be breaking the tape or at least coming in first in my age group.

I raced a triathlon for the 1st time in June 2012.  This is something I’ve been wanting to for a while now.  I just needed to get enough workouts in to be able to finish it.  I mostly worked out, but there were also a lot of lazy days.  I felt very out of shape, but overall so glad I did it.  It was a lot of fun.  Here is a race report I wrote up for beginnertriathlete.com where I found a plan to follow and people to chat with in their forums.

 TRI for FUN Triathlon #1

Sprint (0.5 mile swim / 16 mile bike / 3 mile run)

June 2, 2012 in Herald, California

Weather was sunny about 70 degrees / high of the day was 97 degrees

Total Time = 2h 37m 47s

Overall Rank = 398/421

Age Group = 30-34

Age Group Rank = 24/25

Pre-race routine

racing site was less than an hour away. Woke up and had cereal, toasted wheat bread with peanut butter, and on the drive there had a small bottle of Gatorade.

Got to the site just as the transition opened. set up my spot and then found a couple of people to talk to from a tri club I am thinking of joining. Moved my stuff to their rack. A lady that has done triathlons for a year was very friendly and nice, and a guy that was his first time too. Talking to them calmed my nerves.

I walked around making sure to see where we were coming in from the swim and where to leave, come in on bike, and run. small enough of transition area (421 total people) so it was easy to find my bike.

Swim

Course: U shape course starting on the west side of the swim beach and ending on the east side of the beach

Started off in the water. I was going to be in the back, but no one wanted to tread water on one side of the start line, so I tread water and had hoped that it would help loosen up my muscles.

Took off fast at the start to try to stay away from the pack. swam to the outside the whole way. I think it was because i had a crick on my left side of the neck so ended up doing a shorter stroke with my left arm. felt like a decent enough pace. swam until my hand touched mud, stood up easily enough and ran up grassy area to transition.

I forgot to start the watch at the start and completely forgot to tap it for splits.  So I have no idea what my time was for each leg of the race.

T1

(Transition from swim to bike) sat down and dried off feet, put on sock and then shoes.

re-applied sunscreen to face and arms, put on t-shirt. headband, sunglasses, and helmet. grabbed bike and was off to the next part.

Bike

Course: Out and back from Rancho Seco park onto State Route 104. SR 104 is relatively flat with a couple of rollers thrown in. Had to deal with drivers coming from both directions

Heard a lot of “on your left” as bikers rode pass me. that was frustrating, but I knew I had to just ride since I haven’t done this before. it felt like a good pace to me, but guess it was a bit slow with the number of passerbys. I did have to move to the left once to avoid a pothole and a biker yelled at me to stay on my left. Sorry wasn’t going to ride through that pothole. but i didn’t waste my breath yelling at her back. most bikers were nice, a few added encouragements as they passed. Wasn’t used to the slopes up and down. toward the end, I was really hating even the slight incline.

T2

(Transition from bike to run) got off bike, feet felt like cushioned tops. got the bike racked, helmet off, hat on. made sure to grab a gu. I didn’t have bike shoes, so didn’t have to change that. put on race belt and took off for the run, volunteers all around to point the way.

Run

Course: Grass exit from the transition area and then an out and back on a dirt road. A little bit hilly, but not too high. lots of rocks. had water stations as you left for the run, and at mile 1 / mile 2 marker

by this time, was just doing what i could to finish. I was going run/walk but ended up walking a lot of it. my left foot and lower leg became completely numb. people later said it might have been because the shoelace was too tight. it felt better running for a little bit, then the inside part of my knees cramped up. first time that happened. easily out of breath.  very warm out by this time

Post race

walked around some, ate a banana & some pasta they had there.  was sooo glad that a guy gave the tip to freeze the water bottles the night before so the water was still cold for the bike and run

Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore, Festivals/Special Events, Requires Travel, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

I went to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany around 2002. I thought I’d write up a condensed list of some of stories/memories/experiences I had. I would LOVE to go to Oktoberfest again sometime, especially since I only was there one evening.

What I learned from my First Oktoberfest adventure in Germany:

  • Don’t wait until the day before to decide to go. You’ll only be able to get a room at a B & B outside of Munich in the middle of no-where.
  • Learned that Dachau is a little town outside of Munich, not just a concentration camp. Did you know that?
  • Don’t forget how you got to the B & B, you’ll need that information later
  • Learned they had carnival type rides there. Whoa, is that really a good idea?
  • Don’t be with people that decide to bring a little baby. They won’t let you in the tents/halls where there is beer, food, and fun music and dancing because of all the smoking that fills the air.
  • Beer and some food are available outside, and tables, but it looked more fun inside
  • If you are with people with a baby, you can sneak some free beersteins out, maybe. otherwise you have to buy them
  • Be careful handing your phone off to friends as a precaution to getting split up. Your dad might call to say hi and that friend will have a conversation with him, who has no idea who the person is. Luckily, I was nearby to grab the phone.
  • Do not lean against walls, ever! If you wonder why they are wet, just wait, you will see why lines to the guys bathrooms are so short.
  • You make all kinds of friends sitting at the long tables, sometimes you can understand each other and other times you just smile, laugh, and go along with what each of you are saying even though you have no clue.
  • Shepherding drunk friends back to the train station requires more than one sober person to help, depending on the group
  • You might think Dachau was small in the daylight and easy to navigate the roads, but at night the roads all become circles.
  • It’s spooky driving right past the remains of the concentration camp, especially when you realize that’s what it is and had never seen it. Don’t let your drunk friends convince you to stop to check it out. Don’t worry I didn’t let them.
  • Once you finally get on the road to the B & B in the middle of no-where, try not to get stuck with a train going through. The drunk friends in their wife beaters will try to speak to the occupants in another car for directions. Whether they understood the slurred English or attempts at German are unknown.
  • Make sure you can get into the B & B in the late evening. It took a while for someone to unlock the door
  • Make sure the couple with the baby have diapers. There are no places to buy some in Germany as everything is closed on Sundays.
  • Don’t forget a camera to take photos of all these antics, especially if you need proof when telling some one what they did
only photo I have, this is Dachu’s concentration camp ruins

Have you been to the Oktoberfest in Germany?  Or other big Oktoberfests? Crazy adventures to share? Been to Dachau?

Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

5k Mud Run

borrowed from the facebook page

When I started paying attention to all the different kind of running events out there, one of the ones that sounded fun to try was a mud run. This is a 5k (3.1 miles) through mud and different kind of obstacles.

This last Saturday (April 6, 2013) I got to go to my 1st mud run with 3 other friends. We had signed up a few months ago and didn’t think about it until 2 weeks before the event. No training and preparing for it; we weren’t sure what to expect. A friend drove us and looked after our stuff so we didn’t have to put them in gear check. Added bonus was that he took photos and we didn’t have to worry about getting our cameras dirty.

The day of, the weather was overcast, but not too cold. So, it was in fact perfect for a run in the middle of the day. The race had different wave times throughout the day. I saw a post they had over 10,000 participants. that would have been super crazy to have them go all at one time.

I hadn’t paid attention to the website recommending not to wear shorts but capris or long pants. Learned the reason soon enough for that statement. my legs and knees got all scraped and bruised.

I had such a blast, it’s definitely not for time, and you would benefit having friends doing it with you. Good for helping each other get over obstacles. There is one major one where the front side was just wood panel set at a 70 degree angle and you have to somehow get yourself up and over. People ended up having to make chains to pull their friends over. I got on the side where I could step up halfway on a beam, and then a bit of the wood paneling was a bit caved in, so there was a lip there, then I could get to the top and over. I have a HUGE bruise on my arm that I think I got from this obstacle.

borrowed from the Facebook page

Any of the other obstacles I was able to pull myself a little, of get help pushing/pulling me up. Except one, the rope climb. I was able to pull myself up most of the way, but then I could tell if I tried to moved my hand up to grab higher, it would probably slip and I’d fall. That or I got too scared to try, so went back down and then around. Definitely will work on my upper arms strength for next time.

I was the only only that got mostly covered in mud because I slipped and fell in one of the mud pits. I did try to push one of my friends down when crawling under wire, but she was strong enough to stay up.

We crossed the finish line and got a finisher’s medal. Then over to get a celebratory beer. Almost forgot, we of course gave our friend watching all our stuff a muddy hug. Lastly was time to get under the shower of water they had to wash off and changed out of a bit of the muddy clothes and shoes and then headed home.

thanks Mike!

I would recommend trying a mud run, totally fun. Especially trying a 5k one before attempting a Tough Mudder, if you are thinking of doing that one. This was a very tame obstacle course from overheard comments.

Posted in Requires Travel, Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures, State of Mind

Kiss the Blarney Stone

Can’t believe it’s been 6 years since my mom, sis, and I went on an adventure to Ireland. (year 2010) It had always been a dream of my mom to visit the land of her ancestors. All three of us were able to find time to get away together and go for about 2 weeks traveling all around the lower half of Ireland. Seeing as much of the different sites as we could cram in. One of our stops was visiting the city of Cork and the Blarney Stone.

I hadn’t realized that the Blarney Stone was located in a tower in a park. We were very fortunate to have a gps device that helped us find it on the outskirts of Cork. It was very beautiful. We walked up to the tower and found out that there lots of steps in a narrow staircase to get to the top. My mom wasn’t sure if she wanted to go up, but we convinced her to give it a try.Ireland Blarney Stone 4Then it was a walk along the wall to the other side to get to the stone. That’s when I learned another thing about the stone. In order to kiss it, one had to get on their back, lean over an empty space that had no safety net, and lean backward to kiss the stone. There were hand rails to hold onto and a guy that helped hold onto you and that was all for stopping one from falling through the hole.Ireland Blarney Stone 5But, we were there and it was a “bucket list thing to do” so I gathered up my courage and got a good hold on those rails. I scooted further and further until only my legs were on the walkway and had to lean further backward than I thought to kiss it. I touched my lips to the stone very lightly and quickly so I can get back upright and away from the empty space as soon as possible.

Ireland Blarney Stone 6
me
my sis
my sis

It was scary, but fun. I don’t know if i received the gift of gab that the legend says you’d get for kissing the stone. But I have become more outspoken and do try to talk to people I don’t really know, so maybe it worked.

Ireland Blarney Stone 3If you’ve kissed the Blarney Stone, what was your experience? And have you become more chatty?

 

Posted in Sporty Chance/Heart Stopping Adventures

First Half Marathon

I always thought that people were crazy doing half and full marathons, that I would never be able to go that distance running.  In 2010, I learned from a friend that she would run/walk these 13.1 mile races.  It stunned me.  I never considered that someone could  walk it.  Guess I always pictured running because that’s what you see on the news when they talk about these events.  The more I thought about it, the more it made sense that one could indeed run and walk marathons.  So, I signed up for the half marathon in March celebrating St. Patrick’s day.  It’s also one of the starting half’s in the area for the running season.  I thought, perfect, this gives me a couple of months to train.  And a great way to kick start my goal of getting back in shape and living a healthy lifestyle again.

Well, I didn’t really get off my butt for training, but I was still determined to do the race.  Quick enough race day came, and we met up at the start.  I remember walking most of it, and was probably pretty slow going for my friend.  She was very nice in staying with me and my other friend who joined in for her first half marathon.

24603_1313923461289_7237747_n

Half way through the race!
Half way through the race!

I loved the atmosphere and the attitude of all the racers.  They were so happy (most of them) and a lot dressed up for St. Patrick’s day.  That’s when I learned how often there were themes to races that people would dress for (especially wearing tutus).  I hadn’t realized how much I missed being around athletes, like I used to be with swimming, until I was surrounded by them again.  That’s what got me hook on racing again.  I am not much for running, but I definitely am for doing more races.

shamrockn marathon 2010-M

My goal is to properly train for a half marathon and see what kind of time I could do running the whole thing.