Dreaming of the Adirondacks 

It’s filled with rolling hills of trees and snow caps. It blesses you with peace and clarity. Let’s you know God is closer than we realize. Its’ 5 million acres humbles you with appreciation! I am dreaming. Dreaming of the Adirondacks! It’s not a famous getaway place, nor have many people heard of it, but it’s my dream vacation. The New York we dream about isn’t the city lights, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, or China town. The New York We dream about is filled with forests, stars, waterfalls, and peace. It isn’t filled with noise; it’s filled with clarity. Just 200 miles north of Manhattan is a place worlds apart.

Just a few hours north of New York City, the Adirondack Mountains offer an outdoor paradise. These mountains lie within the Adirondack Park, and contain millions of acres of protected land. Pristine and expansive, the Adirondacks’ mountains and rivers have inspired generations to hike, paddle and play in nature. Representing the largest protected area in the contiguous United States, the Adirondack Mountains boast more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails, over 3,000 lakes and ponds, and 1,200 miles of rivers.


America’s 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt, was quite fond of the Adirondack Mountains! He was known to go exploring there often. The history of the Adirondacks is as diverse as its geography. A battleground through three wars, the turf of loggers and miners, the vacation destination of Gilded Age magnates and home to two Winter Olympic Games, the depth and breadth of the region’s heritage is only matched by its glorious scenery. You’ll find forts, museums, historic homes and “Great Camps,” excursion railroads and even sunken wrecks in the Adirondacks. Events ranging from Woodsmen’s Field Days to the No-Octane Regatta to a French and Indian War Encampment bring history to life.

Every June Americade Bike Rally takes over Lake George! This event attracts people from parts of Canada and the USA. Thousands of people come for music, motorcycles, and beer. With this and all of the other amentities Lake George has to offer you will have a great time.


Oh yes, dreaming of the Adirondacks is what I love to do! We haven’t even been there yet, and somehow it’s managed to inspire me to live life as if I’m already there. Gods creations are perfection!

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.

Dr. Seuss

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Think Outside the GYM * How exercising outside is better for you

I have never been a fan of gyms. The only gym I have ever been addicted to was the one I couldn’t afford because it was more like a country club. You know the gyms, the ones that have the incredible locker rooms, child care and showers. The plush towels, saunas, and hot tubs. The gym that has the Olympic size swimming pools with amazing spas and cafes, yeah those gyms. I wasn’t going for the exercise, I was going for the atmosphere! Even though all of that was amazing, it still at the core was a gym. Gyms historically are not beneficial but they get your monthly dues every time. They know it because they study this. They know how to make a fortune off you not even coming…. lol. Exercising outside is way more beneficial and less expensive! 

  • Exercising outside allows your terrain to constantly be changing, increasing the difficult in your workouts resulting in more calories burned!
  • Wind gusts can cause great resistance while walking, jogging, or hiking causing your muscles to contract more with your exercise.
  • The sun not only provides vitamin d while working out, but it also helps burn more calories by causing the skin temperature to heat up. This allows your body to burn calories for longer periods of time even after your workout is done!
  • Outdoor workouts allow your mind to workout as well. Being outside increases mental clarity which allows your muscles to work for longer periods at time. So while you can be jogging for 15 minutes at a gym, you can double it easily by just going outside!
  • It’s easy on the pocket book! You can do an amazing full body workout with no equipment. Just doing simple things like push-ups, burpees, lunges, squats, and planks are amazing exercises that can help you stay in shape.

We have built a small garage gym over the course of a year. My husband found a weight set with barbells and bench at a garage sale for $125. We purchased the Schwinn Exercise bike for less than $800 on amazon, have purchased some clearance kettle bells & bought a variety of inexpensive resistance bands. With all of that we have started working out together by doing 20 minutes every evening in our garage! It’s a small step in a life changing habit. This way we can be outside as a family and while Caidon and ADDA play in the front yard, Brandon & I can use our garage gym that include all of the benefits of exercising outside.
If you don’t have the time or resources for a garage gym, there are some amazing fitness programs around the globe that take this concept outside. In Tulsa, the number 1 outdoor fitness program is BOOTCAMP TULSA! It has 6 area locations including Owasso, Broken Arrow, and jenks. Founded by nationally recognized conditioning coach Jonathan Conneely, Bootcamp Tulsa takes fitness to a whole new level! All boot camps are held outside(weather permitting), with 1-2 coaches per location motivating you to do your best! Men and women are seeing dramatic results even after being stuck in a gym for years! Studies have shown that working out in groups creates better results, so if you cant find an accountability partner to workout with you, Bootcamp Tulsa is the perfect combination of outside exercise with accountability. For more information got to Boot camp Tulsa’s website.

Always keep in mind that it doesn’t take a lot of change to make a BIG DIFFERENCE . It just takes small steps one day at a  time. You can start by taking walks outside, involve your kids, let them see you active and enjoying nature. Build on that and expand your exercise on that small step and you will be AMAZED at how different your physical health will look like in a couple of short months. Go have some fun!

– CAITIE

Tulsa’s Hidden Paradise 

It’s one of the most scenic lakes around Tulsa! Nestled in the middle of Leonard Mountain you will find clear waters, an ancient hiking trail, and a beautiful waterfall run off. It’s called Lake Bixhoma. Located 8 miles southeast of Bixby, ok.


It’s a quiet lake that is peaceful and serene. Not a ton of traffic but just enough activity to let you know others are near by. You are allowed to have motor boats on the water (low wake) and there are 2 boats ramps located on the north and south side of the lake. Kayaks are a lot of fun to have at Bixhoma! Stand up paddling also takes place with a group on Wednesday evenings for a sunset paddle, and Saturday Mornings. Go to Sup Oklahoma‘s website for more details on rentals and start times.

On the northwest side of the lake holds the Ichabod Crane Trail. This trail is filled with what’s estimated to be 300-400 year old trees that were documented by the Indian Natives. Rumors have spread that there is an ancient gravesite located off the trail. It’s about a 3 mile loop with moderate inclination and difficult surface terrain. Although there isn’t swimming allowed, you can catch a break from the heat as you hike down the spillway just off the NE side of the dam. 

This hidden wonder is located 30 miles south of Tulsa, and with all the city of Bixby has to offer, you are sure to make many memories with your friends and family! The city of Bixby will be making improvements to the surrounding areas of the lake to make it better accommodating. They recently added some new grill and picnic tables, as well as a new jungle gym by the north side boat ramp. So grab a day pack and go enjoy this adventure! You’ll forget your’re only 30 minutes from home!

Click Here to go to the Hidden Paradise 

Oklahoma is Awesome 

Check out these amazing hiking trails in Oklahoma! Get outside today! 
https://bestthingsok.com/hiking/

The Great Outdoors Makes You Healthier

National_Mall_-_walking_path

You’ve heard everybody say  “get some fresh air”, “get your vitamin D”, etc. It is actually true that the great outdoors can prevent illness and aid in the healing of diseases.

According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. The study took an objective look at 345,143 Dutch people’s medical records, assessing health status for 24 conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological diseases. The records were then correlated with how much green space was located within 1 kilometer and 3 kilometers of a person’s postal code. And what did researchers find? People who lived within 1 kilometer of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space. – Source

This concept does not have to be complicated, and you don’t have to be super adventurous to enjoy the benefits of nature. Simply walking outside instead of on a treadmill does numerous things for your body. According to Everyday Health walking just one hour a day reduces women’s risk of breast cancer by 14%, reduces osteoarthritis by reducing swelling and inflammation, and reduces Knee injuries by strengthening cartilage. Walking helps in reducing your risk for diabetes by lowering your blood sugar by 24%,  lowers you blood pressure, and cholesterol! Being outside was actually more effective (in some cases) in combating depression  than the leading anti-depressants. This reduces stress which allows your brain chemistry to stay balanced. Walking outside has also shown to decrease brain degeneration, lowering your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Check out this awesome article published by Age Matters for more details!Before there was technology and healthcare advances, people used sunlight to cure certain types of diseases. In the 1800’s tuberculosis was cured by a process called Heliotherapy. This used sunlight to fight bad bacteria and increase vitamin D. Heliotherapy was used to cure common infections and skin diseases, but when penicillin was discovered in the late 1920’s, heliotherapy was forgotten.

This information is vital when raising children. With technology being such a profound aspect in all of our lives, children need to learn how to disconnect, and go enjoy the great outdoors! It is very important that kids know how to leverage technology and  stay educated/ up to date with it, however being able to go outside and disconnect from a loud world is important as well.  Students that played outside for 30 minutes before school sessions reportedly tested higher than students who didn’t. This study showed that these same children decreased their risk for ADHD and anxiety disorders as well! Kids that play in the dirt and in trees build natural antibodies which aids in the prevention of certain allergies and builds their immune systems. The younger this takes place the healthier they will be as adults. Help your kiddos stay healthy by giving them play time outside!

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks – John Muir

 

*Oklahoma City HOT Spots for 2017*

I was born and Raised in Mustang, Ok just about 15 miles southwest of OKC, Ok. It’s a great place to live, and many underestimate all of what Oklahoma City has to offer. Here are 4 places that make Oklahoma City Great! 

  • Riversport Adventures Parks Adventure awaits at Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner  and Downtown OKC along the Arkansas River. At each park you can experience kayaking, zip lines, white water rapids, & several other thrill rides. With day passes and season passes available you can find something fun for the whole family. Check it out here

    • Arcadia lake and trails In the north Oklahoma metro area in a town called Edmond holds Arcadia Lake. This is home to amazing bike trails, historical Route 66, and the Landmark Round Barn! You can also catch some food and beverages at the world famous POPS off of Route 66! This restaurant has a drink selection of over 700 different soda pops. Some flavors including butter popcorn, and dill pickle are just a couple a flavors you have to choose from. People from all walks of life traveling through can come here to experience one of the great places of OKC.

     

    • Red Rock Canyon State Park- this park is located 1 hour west of Oklahoma City in a town called Hinton. Many adventurers seek out this park for its beautiful scenery, rappelling , and moderate hiking trails! This was home to the Native Americans during their winter camps, and nothing screams Oklahoma Red Dirt louder than Red rock canyon. Click here to book your next stay!

    • Bricktown Water Canal – This amazing water taxi takes you on a guided boat ride throughout the heart of downtown OKC! In this entertainment district you will find fun for the entire family, Including a putt putt course, bowling alley, movie theater, and of course the OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER. This is truly a one of kind treasure to OKC that has been named the  Greatest Rebirth in state history. Click Here to see everything Bricktown has to offer! 

    Oklahoma City is an amazing place  to make memories! Make 2017 your most memorable year yet. 

      #makepositivitylouder
      -Caitie Brown

      Exciting New Things

      With the growth of the Think Outside blog there are some exciting new things in the works! We are developing a Facebook page where you will have better access to daily adventures and video content including Facebook live. I will be interviewing some cool people who have created a great life of adventure and will have some insight on how being adventurous has helped many aspects of their life. In the first 5 weeks we have reached over 63 countries and continue to reach more and more new readers! Thank you to everyone following our journey. Living a passionate life is truly contagious. We can’t wait to take you along for the ride. 

      Let Them Be Wild at Heart • Raising a Good Man 

      Being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the greatest thing I’ll ever do. The only thing I’ll never get right, and the one thing I will inevitably screw up! With all the uncertainties parenthood gives you, it does give you one certainty you can not ignore. 

      You’re raising the future. 

      You’re raising the future student to a teacher, the future tax payer to America, the future husband to a woman, and God willing, the future father to a child. It’s not an easy task and it can be quite intimidating! Don’t let it stop you from raising a good man. 

      Sometimes as a mom I overthink this process which is mistake # 1! Men don’t think as much as women, it’s proven, go look it up! So when my son does something I’m worried about him doing…. I THINK. I think about what could go wrong, how he could get hurt, what are other people going to think of this, or how this will turn him into a heartless serial killer… STOP ! Yes you need to be safe and use common sense, however, boys need to have reckless freedom that will make them courageous men! Let them be wild at heart. Allow them to dream while they are boys, fight the bad guys, and love their mommas. Don’t stop their imaginations. It’s just dress rehearsal for the real show. A little boy who does this is going to grow into a good man!  I’ve stopped analyzing all the toys he plays with, and I have stopped worrying about him idolizing Darth Vader. Darth Vader has an awesome voice and a cool light saber. If I were a four year old boy that would get my attention too! 

      Men need 3 things in life. 

      1. A battle to fight 

      2. An adventure to live

      3. A beauty to rescue 

      Boys need to climb trees, build fires, shoot guns (with adults supervision of course), and break bones. We are raising the future, and where there are strong men, there are strong marriages, strong families, and strong children. Let them be wild at heart.

      Resources 

      Click here to get your copy of Wild at Heart by John Eldridge 



      Caitie 

      •OKC Riversport Adventure Parks•

      Oklahoma City, Ok just got a lot cooler! Riversport Adventure Parks are now open on the weekends, & the locations include Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner, & Downtown OKC. We traveled to Lake Overholser and paid $29 for all day unlimited kayak, paddle boards, zip lining, rock walls, & bike rentals. With no wait on any of the excursions, our family had the time of our lives!


      Paddling in our kayaks surrounded by the beautiful scenery on a peaceful canal was really amazing! Caidon loved being on the water. We  got to see several turtles, snakes, and ducks while kayaking, and we had complete freedom on our pace and destination. It made a perfect day! After the kayaks, we headed to the rock wall & zip line where several activities were available for the whole family.


      It was great to get outside and try some new and challenging experiences. I loved that Caidon got to see his parents and “MIMI” (grandma) be adventurous. He can’t wait until he is big enough to try all the fun things we did.

       


      Getting to go out and enjoy life is something I take for granted! I’m so blessed I discovered my passion, and even more blessed I get to go & live it. Sharing these moments with my family means the world. Oklahoma City has grown exponentially since I have moved! It’s become one of my favorite places to create lifelong memories with my little boy. To have the Riversport Adventure Park at all 3 city Lakes is really remarkable! For a reasonable price and various packages you are sure to have an adventure of a lifetime! I encourage everyone to go outside and start making memories today. Be sure to go to the Riversport webpage for all the details. Adventure awaits in OKC!

      ❤ Discovering Purpose

      One of the best things in my life is that I have 5 little people who call me Aunt Caitie. It’s a huge blessing in my life. I want to give them joy and wisdom like my aunts have given me! Sharing my passion with these kiddos has been amazing and I hope I can keep doing it as along as I can. From the time they were little till now, we have shared a bond through the great outdoors.


      This past weekend I got to share my passion of hiking and my newest hobby Morel Mushroom hunting! Dressed in their newest hunting apparel and a backpack full of their favorite junk food we hit the trails.


      Greenleaf State Park is beautiful! Just 1 hour SOUTHEAST of Tulsa is the home of a quiet lake and a massive 17 mile hiking trail. With beautiful views of Greenleaf Lake and the Arkansas river, these kids were entertained the whole time. Their imagination took over as they climbed the rocks, played hide & seek, and raced to find the lake! First one to find the mushrooms was the lucky winner of $20. Luckily for me the day was a bust so I got to keep my $20 haha! Seeing Caidon play with his cousins is always a joy. Watching them find animal holes, catch tadpoles and run after frogs is the coolest thing. Hearing my nephew get excited about telling his friends about our adventures puts a smile on my heart. Knowing that these little people are going to carry a memory of me throughout their lives is a great motivator for me to do all the things I’ve ever dreamed of doing. I want them to see me as the awesome aunt who went on crazy adventures and was a fantastic storyteller. I want Caidon to see his mom as courageous and passionate about life. This is why I will take them on as many adventures as I can! Teaching them to love God and his creations is the single most important thing I will teach them. Taking them on these hikes helps them become brave. Climbing the hills, walking through the dirt paths not knowing what’s on the other side is a great lesson in taking risks. In life they are constantly going to question if they are on the right path, but if we teach them faith and create confident decision makers,  life will be more of a fun adventure rather than a survival course.

      Greenleaf state park was a BLAST! Take the family today. I cant wait to take them on our next adventure. My newest nephew just turned 1 so He and I are going to have many years of bonding over a camp fire ahead of us! Companionship is an important element of adventure, and being with people you love is a great way to experience any adventure. My heart is happy knowing I will have an impact as a Mom and an Aunt. Showing them how I lived my passion will help show them how to live theirs. Helping them become self-aware of what they are passionate about will help change our family tree and shift the family dynamic in positive light. When you live your life doing what you love you will inspire people in ways you never thought possible. You are not just an Aunt/Uncle, parent or friend. You are a life changing inspiration waiting to fulfill a God Given purpose! Start discovering your passion and go live your life.

       

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