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Another voice from the Chicagoland area! At the tender age of... <cough><cough> "a little north of my 40s", I find myself being drawn back to the outdoors after a couple of decades being absent. Growing up, our family camped, hiked, and spent a lot of active time outside. For a number of reasons, I allowed that to fall by the wayside but now that my own kids are growing up, I'm feeling the pull back to nature.
I was soooo looking forward to getting outside with my kids and going camping (my wife steadfastly refuses to go camping with us) but with most facilities (AKA bathrooms) being closed this Summer, that activity is being postponed for now. Until then, hiking, cycling, and walking the neighborhood fills my non-working hours.
Let's see... what else to add... I'm an avid cook and currently trying to develop new dehydrated recipes for camping/backpacking food that my kids will like. The first part (developing recipes) is going well. The second part, "that my kids will like"... let's just say that there's been a very wide array of successes and failures. I'll happily share the recipes with anyone who asks.
I'm also a martial arts instructor and a meditation enthusiast ("enthusiast" not "expert"). Nothing like meditating from a remote campsite at sunset.
Anyway, back to the "returning to nature" stuff - I am really excited to be a part of this community and I am looking forward to learning from all of you as my knowledge and skill set is definitely in its infancy.
See you all on the trail and stay happy, stay healthy, and stay outside!
@Dad_Aint_Hip thanks for the introduction! Where were you hoping/planning to camp this summer? I spent a few years in Chicago and although I never found a favorite place to camp, I did get in a lot of miles running and biking around the city (even in the freezing cold winters and scorching hot summers)!
Thanks for the warm welcome
Just to get the bugs out (both literally and figuratively), I was looking to stay around Northern Illinois. Like you, I have yet to find a "favorite place" here in Illinois (I moved here from the West Coast and I definitely miss my mountains).
From The Chicago Burbs: Like you, I live in the Chicago suburbs. I've found this summer to be rather frustrating. The National Scenic Trails I had planned to hike have been closed. Walks, day hikes and bike riding is the SOP for the summer.
I am also a martial arts instructor. I've done some running and bike races, but not much lately.
Your expirimentation with dehydrated food sounds interesting. I've been cold soaking lately.
Hope you have a great summer!
I'm in the Western burbs (Naperville).
What style of MA do you teach?
I'm not sure my first response made it to you. The software informed me I had too many spelling errors to send the message. Actually, I don't believe it considered phonetic spelling of Japanese and Chinese names. This time I limited my response to words the software would accept. I teach Judo, Jujutsu, Kempo and Escrima. I live in Downers Grove.
I'm pleased to meet you! Another MA instructor and outdoorsy kinda person who lives 15-20 minutes away.
As I mentioned in your post, there are a couple of Meetup groups local to us in the Western suburbs. Hopefully you'll get a chance to join them and our paths will cross.