Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Introducing Adrianna, a friend to new hikers!

Parks Ranger/Parks Interpreter, Adrianna Weickhardt, of Texas
Parks and Wildlife's Franklin Mountains State Park
Sometimes, when you try something new, it helps to have a guide or a coach or someone to encourage you to get the most out of an experience.  Our state and national parks have some great rangers and interpreters who can help you become a hiker, and one of the best is El Paso's Franklin Mountains State Park, Adrianna Weickhardt.  New to Texas, Adrianna joined the park staff in October, and she's been encouraging new hikers ever since.

This week, Adrianna begins a new series of women's beginner hikes!
Adrianna leads a group of hikers up the mountain!
We visited with her recently....here's the basic info!                           "Thursday (3/22) is the first ALL WOMEN'S HIKE that we've had at the park: This hike is for the females out there who are new to the recreational activity of hiking, would like guidance in getting started, and by having a group of other first time hikers the experience will be easy going and enjoyable - you'll have the support of other females, feel empowered as you start mastering your own skills in hiking, and learn about Chihuahuan desert flora and fauna along the way.For more information on the hikes, call headquarters at (915) 566-6441."

Adrianna, tell us more about the "women's hikes!" 

"This is going to be a great opportunity for females of all ages who may feel some apprehension or fear about starting this new activity.  They will learn all of the fundamentals of hiking, taking a slower pace, starting with beginner level trails, and have an experienced guide along for the entire hike to lead them, assist, and answer any questions.  The support that comes from having an all women’s hike is unmatched; you’ll be surrounded by fellow first time female hikers all trying something new, and the comfortable environment created from setting up a newbies hike like this can really allow each woman to take the experience at her own pace, enjoy the learning process, and ease her into the fantastic world of hiking!"

How did Adrianna learn to be an "outdoors person?" 

"Thanks to my family being health conscious and nature loving people, I was introduced to the outdoors from day one.  I can’t thank them enough for “raisin’ me right” in the sense that they instilled in me an appreciation for the outdoors, initially through horseback riding in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California.  But, I spent a majority of my life hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas, with lush rolling hills, flowing creeks and rivers, and a LOT of trees.  I’d have to say a comparison of the Franklin Mountains and the Ozark Mountains would be comparing apples to oranges.  I love them both, and each ecosystem has some incredible aspects to appreciate.  The Franklin Mountains have so many unique qualities beginning with the hidden wonders found in the caves and mines to the surprise of finding the springs that flow continuously in this Chihuahuan Desert mountain range.   There are incredible hiking and biking trails that unveil sprawling vistas (not to mention jaw dropping sunrise and sunset viewing), and there's such an easy access to opportunities to explore the geology and wildlife all within the city limits of El Paso.  Hiking and biking in the Franklin Mountains is nothing like doing the same in the Ozarks; in the desert you get views as far as the eye can see, literally you could watch your dog run away for 3 days out here."

Thanks, Adrianna, we look forward to hearing from you again soon about a joint project the Texas Mountain Trail is undertaking with GeoBetty.com, Franklin Mountains State Park, and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Far West Texas!  We know the women in your all-women's beginner hikes will have a great experience!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm a Runner

One of our favorite parts of Runner's World magazine is their back page feature, "I'm a Runner."  Every month they feature a "celebrity" in a mini-interview about their own running practice.  Some of them will surprise you...

Jon Cryer (says Matthew McConaughey "runs like a girl")
Sir James Dyson (inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner...who knew?)
Susan Orlean

There are LOTS of other stories of runners linked on these pages, and there are some neat videos at the links too!