Americans spend a huge portion of our time indoors and miss the majesty and mystery of the natural world. Places throughout the country, and apps available anywhere, are trying to fix this problem.
By Mark Harris
Spring break, which used to be called Easter vacation, provides a few days away from school, and often work. Nancy, Sarah, and I went to visit old friends, the Creason family, this year. The biggest highlight of any such journey is building relationships, but two destinations stood out. Since Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors, and since I love the outdoors, we made sure to visit both on our trip. Since then, we have travelled many other natural places, and technology helped improve our experience.
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The first food and drink ever consumed on the moon was bread and wine in a Christian communion
By Mark D. Harris
No matter the opposition, the testimony of the Lord will not be denied. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins on Apollo 11 on 20 July 1969. He was the second human to walk on the surface of the moon. The following recounts the personal communion he took on the moon:
Almost 50 years ago (July 20, 1969), two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon.
But what happened before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps even more amazing, if only because so few people know about it. I’m talking about the fact that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon. Some months after his return, he wrote about it in Guideposts magazine.
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The Kansas Underground Salt Museum is a family friendly salt mine and museum to explore near Hutchinson, Kansas.
By Mark D. Harris
When Emerson Carey founded the Carey Salt Company to mine rock salt in Hutchinson KS in 1923, he could never have imagined that his mines would also turn into a popular tourist attraction and a storage vault for irreplaceable documents and films. Nonetheless, they did. The 650-foot-deep mines are now owned by the Hutchinson Salt Company, and produce up to 500,000 tons of rock salt for deicing roads, livestock feeding, and other uses per year.
Strataca leases space in the Hutchinson mines to provide an interactive place for adults and children to explore the mine, and to teach them about salt mining past and present. Visitors begin by descending 650 feet in a mining elevator. A mine guide greets guests as they exit and gives them an overview of the mine and mining.
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How to move in a natural environment while staying quiet and hard to track.
My family loves the movie trilogy Lord of the Rings (LOTR), even though it has many unlikely moments. One of my favorite unlikely moments is in The Two Towers, when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are tracking the orc pack carrying the Hobbits Merry and Pippin to a gruesome fate in Isengard. Gimli complained, “Three day’s and night’s pursuit… no food, no rest, and no sign of our quarry but what bare rock can tell.” Aragorn’s tracking is masterful to the point of unbelievable, as he pieces together the orcs’ movement, their midnight battle with the Rohirim, and the escape of Merry and Pippin. Experts can track people with remarkable accuracy, but Aragorn’s feat fits Hollywood better than it does the real world.
As a combat veteran, outdoorsman, and martial artist, I have moved more than once while trying to avoid being seen, heard or tracked. While hiking in the Poconos of Pennsylvania this month, I thought of what I had learned over the years from scout to soldier, and decided to write some of it down. People have been tracked by predatory animals and by other people. Before beginning, let me be clear that it is impossible to be completely silent, invisible, and untrackable. Readers also need to remember that not being seen, not being heard, and not being tracked are three different objectives; doing one can make it harder to do the others. The goal of this article is to help readers make themselves harder to see, to hear, and to track. We will focus on the natural world but say a little about indoors as well.
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