Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day - Take a Hike or Boat Trip with your Dad

Take a hike with dad for Father's Day By GLENN SAPIR SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL NEWS (Original publication: June 8, 2005) If Hallmark were tuned into the outdoor industry, it could make a fortune. For example, last Saturday was National Trails Day, this week is National Fishing and Boating Week and, by proclamation of President Bush, June is Great Outdoors Month. You'll have trouble finding greeting cards to celebrate these events, but one occasion this month for which every card shop in the nation will be well-stocked is Father's Day, June 19. That also happens to fall on the second day, and first weekend, of the black bass season. Hint, hint! For those wondering what to give Dad this year, forget about shirts and shorts, books and jewelry. As I get older, and my children too, I realize that time together is the greatest gift I can receive, and I hope my father feels the same way. If I could pick my gift, I think it would be a hike through some of my favorite woods, so I could share these treasures with my children. Solitude is valued during many of my outings, but the company of my family would be treasured. Or perhaps we would row out on one of my favorite ponds, casting spinnerbaits and topwater lures as we welcome the new bass fishing season. Connecting with fish would be our mission, but catching up on a semester at the University of Colorado with my son and upcoming wedding plans with my daughter would be our catch. The fish we would release; the time together I'd like to hold on to forever. However, those gifts will have to remain on the shelf or be given on another occasion, for attending the Outdoor Writers Association of America's annual conference in Wisconsin will keep me from home on that special day. Of course, my wish for Father's Day can come true at any time, but for those fathers and offspring who would like to spend their day together in a more customized outdoor arena, opportunities do present themselves. For example, Kittatinny Canoes, the popular canoe and kayak livery on both the Pennsylvania and New York sides of the Delaware River, is offering its Father's Day Special. Dads paddle for free on their choice of a calm or whitewater canoeing or rafting trip, when accompanied by their families. For more information, call 800-FLOAT-KC. In distant Auburn upstate, the museum-like Bass Pro Shops sportsmen's department store continues its steady array of programs with some especially targeted at Dad. In fact, the whole weekend will feature special events, including a trolling seminar by one of the best charter captains on Lake Ontario on Friday evening, outdoor skill classes on Saturday and Sunday and a barbecue for Dad from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., with bratwurst and Coca-Cola going for $1 each. A rock-climbing wall will test all family members, and a drawing for a father/son-or-daughter fishing charter on Oneida Lake or Lake Ontario with Capt. Tony Buffa, a $500 value, will be awarded. For more information, call 315-258-2700. Spend the Saturday before Father's Day at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor to see Allan Podell demonstrate trout fly tying, then sleep over into Sunday, when together you can fish legendary Catskill streams. Call 845-439-4810 or e-mail for more information. Closer to home, most events are also scheduled for the day before Father's Day. Minnewaska State Park Preserve in New Paltz offers a guided hike at 9 a.m., and Sterling Forest State Park in Tuxedo has one planned for 11 a.m. Call 845-255-2011 and 845-351-5907, respectively, to reserve your spots and get additional details. In Westchester on that Saturday, you can learn to bird by ear with naturalist Jeanne Wafl from 8-10 a.m.; call Muscoot Farm, 914-864-7282. That day you can take an organized walk at Read Sanctuary in Rye at 1 p.m.; call 914-967-8720 for more information. On both Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., you can join others in seining the Hudson River at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson (914-862-5297). Or on Father's Day, you can take a walking tour of the Lasdon Perennial Gardens in Somers from 2-3 p.m.; call 914-864-7267 for details. But what a dad really would want most needn't be part of an organized outing, nor need it be on the Delaware, the Catskills or farther upstate. If he is like I am, he merely wishes for time in the outdoors in the company of his children. Happy Fathers Day!!!!  

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