By Tom Cervenak, Marketing Manager
When the dog days of summer arrive, there is no time to let the heat make me lazy. Instead, planning for upcoming events, living out of a suitcase and shaking a lot of hands is the order of the day.
One of my recent trips took mefrom one of our great parks to another great park for Virginia State Parks Night at the Bristol Sox. Despite some of the problems in the major leagues, attending a minor league baseball game is still a great night out with the family. With a full complement of staff from surroundingstate parks, we had a blast and gave away prizes throughout the game.Believe it or not, we even had a campfire going at the ballpark and invited visitors tomake s'mores. I was in our raccoon suit doing my part to entertain and the kids justloved it. Working a game as a mascot is a hot job, but so much fun; from throwing shirts up in the stands, to catching rubber chickens in a basket on the field and of course, my favorite, dancing with the kids to imaginary music.
Yeah that's me in the raccoon outfit!
While in the area I stayed at our beautiful rental cottage at Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park. If traveling near Big Stone Gap and looking for a place to stay, I strongly recommend a stop and a tour through the museum.
I also went down to one of my favorite parks, Grayson Highlands State Park to attend the grand opening of Split Rock Trail/Haw Flats Trail. The unspoiled beauty of this park that reaches above 5,000 feet in elevation, just got a little better with this trail. This isn't just a great hiking trail, but I was introduced to a sport called "Bouldering." It includes challenging yourself by climbing over boulders, sometimes upside down, which is why you see people in the park with small mattresses attached to their backs.
Bouldering is pretty fun (this is just me goofing off though)
I'll be heading back out to Southwest Virginia on more than one trip over the next two weeks. I will get to stay at beautiful Bristol on the 22nd. These are great shows whether you like NASCAR racing or not and there are a lot of giveaways.
On the way back to Richmond from this trip, I'll make a stop at New River Trail Challenge triathlon just over a month away. Which now brings us to the part about a "Man Named Rouse."
Getting ready for the challenge!
Gaston Rouse is one of my colleagues with New RiverTrail State Park and will actually run the 12 mile stretch for the race for practice.
So, THANK YOU Gaston for a friendly nudge!
My New River Trail Challenge triathlon workout update:
Since the last Episode:
4,000sit ups, 40 miles of kayaking, 2miles of hiking, 2 miles of canoeing
TOTALsince May 20th:
10,000 sit ups, 16 miles of hiking, 1 mile of biking, 62 miles of kayaking/canoeing and countless hours of my mind telling my body it doesn't hurt!
Until our paths crossat a Virginia State Park, hang onto your pants!