Monday, November 16, 2009

Too many (expensive) hobbies

It seems I have an outdoor hobby for every season. September 1st always brings hunting season, the spring is fishing and gardening, canoeing and trail running can be done any time. My latest obsession is rock climbing. I started getting an interest in climbing at A&M because they have a huge 50 foot indoor wall. I never climbed there because you had to pay to climb and rent equipment and go through a safety course. It was just too much hassle. At Baylor though, they built a 53 foot rock wall, to outdoor A&M of course, and it is free to climb there, so naturally, with the hassle removed I started climbing there. I bought the basic climbing gear, a harness, shoes, belay device, and chalk bag (about $150) and fell in love. As the title implies, all of my hobbies seem to be expensive. I just bought a rope with birthday gift cards ($100) and now I want all the outdoor climbing gear available but that will take several years to buy up that stuff ($1,000 easily). A new indoor gym just opened here in Amarillo and Matthew and I went climbing this weekend. It was a blast and it just added to fuel to my climbing fire. I can't wait to get into outdoor climbing more but until I can I will settle for some indoor training. I am excited because climbing is something the whole family can enjoy and we can do it all together.

This weekend I also got to go goose and duck hunting for the first time. We didnt' get to shoot any geese, but my friend and his cousin (they run a hunting guide service here in the panhandle) and I shot 11 ducks in about 10 minutes and had a blast. They let me take home all the birds so no Marie and I get to try some duck meat for the first time ever. Yet another expensive hobby, but luckily I already had almost everything I needed. I already had a shotgun and hunting license, but to hunt duck and geese you have to have a federal duck stamp ($17) and special shotgun shells ($13) that shoot steel shot instead of lead.

Outdoor adventure can be expensive, but to me it is well worth the time and investment. I just hope I don't take up too many more expensive hobbies as they interfere with each other. If only I could pick one and stick with it, I could focus my extra time and money into one thing. There are just too many things to do outside that I love.