September 2007 Issue
From NASCAR and ATV exhibits and demonstrations to an appearance by the Columbus Zoo's Jack Hanna, Hocking College's Great Outdoor Adventure offers fun for everyone.
For those who love the outdoors and are seeking an adventure, the ideal place to be the first full weekend in October is Nelsonville, in the heart of Southeastern Ohio, where Hocking College hosts the Great Outdoor Adventure October 5–7.
Many activities relate to programs at Hocking College offered by the School of Natural Resources, the nation's number-one source of natural resources graduates. Other activities are simply for the pleasure of visitors. There are familiar sights and some that are brand-spanking new, but all are aimed at creating a fun-filled weekend.
They're poised in wait, these dogs in the big air competition. There's no hesitation, they can't wait to jump into the water in pursuit of whatever their handler tosses.
At the other end of the spectrum are the novices, those that cannot or will not under any circumstances be coaxed beyond the edge of the platform. They want to jump, and in some cases have spent hours on the diving board of a backyard pool hoping someone will toss a favored toy simply to give them a reason to take the plunge. But, at the last second and, almost cartoon-like, they scratch at the air and skid to a stop as close to the edge as possible to avoid going in.
This is the Dock Dogs competition, when dogs and handlers try for the longest big air jump off the platform and into the water. Spectators line the tank three and four deep, risking the chance they might get splashed, but it's all in the name of fun and the opportunity to witness what might be a winning jump.
Some dogs and their handlers follow the circuit, while others, like Nelsonville resident Steve Cox and his faithful Golden Retriever Sam, join in because it's fun and Sam loves to swim. Sam proudly took home a medal in the novice class last year.
A TV crew from the Outdoor Channel will be on hand to catch the antics of Sam and others for a later broadcast.
Jungle Jack Hanna
He's on TV and he travels the world, but the first full weekend in October, Jungle Jack Hanna will be at Hocking College.
Educating the public about animals is the life work of Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and Jungle Jack, as he is known, will bring several of his favorite friends — perhaps a dingo, a legless lizard, a big cat, an African turtle, a macaw or a penguin — when he makes an appearance at the Great Outdoor Adventure on Sunday at 1 p.m. He is America's favorite animal advocate, so don't miss this chance to be up close and personal with Jack and his friends.
"Visiting a college campus is always something we enjoy, but to be at Hocking College where the importance of ecology and wildlife education is directly tied into the mission of several programs within the School of Natural Resources gives the visit more significance," says Hanna, who will meet with Hocking's Natural Resources students prior to his stage appearance.
There will be additional shows by Columbus Zoo personnel at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday and at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Jack Hanna's only appearance is at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Ever wonder how an alternative-fuels vehicle differs from a traditionally powered gasoline engine? Visit the Sustainability Area of the Great Outdoor Adventure and learn some of the answers.
A variety of alternative-energy-fueled vehicles leaves Nationwide Plaza in Columbus on Friday, October 5, for a 60-mile journey to Hocking College. Ethanol, compressed natural gas, electric and bio-diesel fuel are just a few of the energy sources powering about 20 vehicles that will be on display throughout the weekend.
Visitors will also find other demonstrations and activities such as the Marc Thomas drag race car display and Lowe's alternative-energy-powered tractor that was converted by students in Hocking College's alternative-fuels program.
See how a bio-digester turns animal waste into fuel and marvel at the quiet, clean way energy is produced by wind and solar. Dovetail's Wind and Solar trailer will provide power to several exhibits in the Sustainability area. Haydocy Pontiac will be bringing the Marc Thomas ethanol-powered drag racer, which will also be on display.
Take a Journey, a Clean-Energy Journey
Tour buses will take participants to energy installations and renewable-energy sites in Athens and Hocking counties on Saturday, October 6, as the Southeast Ohio portion of the Annual Ohio Solar Tour kicks off. Two separate tours through Hocking and Athens counties begin at 10 a.m., when participants leave the Green Energy Ohio exhibit area. Tours are free and open to the public and end at 3 p.m.
Each year Green Energy Ohio provides a unique opportunity for Ohioans to tour a growing list of clean-energy installations across the state at homes, businesses, schools, parks and other sites featuring solar electric, solar thermal and wind technologies, as well as healthy building techniques, green design and more.
The GEO Annual Ohio Solar Tour is held across the state during the first weekend in October in conjunction with the National Solar Tour and is sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). As the ASES chapter in Ohio, GEO organizes the statewide event into regional guided tours, giving the public a glimpse into the lives of local home and business owners living and working with clean energy technologies every day. For more information and regular updates, visit www.GreenEnergyOhio.org
There won't be a racetrack, but NASCAR will be well represented at Great Outdoor Adventure!
Bill Davis Racing's Nextel Cup #22, the Caterpillar show car for Ohio's NASCAR driver Dave Blaney, will be exhibited alongside the $250,000 Orange County Chopper, a motorcycle custom-built for Caterpillar. The Orange County Chopper is completing its last U.S. tour. Don't miss the chance to see this unique specimen.
All-Power Equipment of Athens and Gil Elmore are bringing the Cub Cadet NASCAR simulator for those who want to see what it's like to drive 180 miles per hour around a NASCAR track. Greg Biffle's #37 Cub Cadet Ford Fusion is part of the display, and visitors are invited to test their high-speed skills on a Cub Cadet racing simulator.
ATVs, Toy Haulers and More
A variety of ATV demonstrations and exhibits will give the public an opportunity to test their skill behind the wheel on an off-road obstacle course, compliments of All-Power Equipment of Athens.
Athens Sport Cycles will bring Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Yahama/Suzuki dirt bikes for visitors to try.
Ricart Ford Fleet Division brings toy haulers, motor homes, pull-behind campers and other favorites to the Great Outdoor Adventure. According to John Hurd, who is coordinating a number of vendors, it's the right place and the right time. "We're accustomed to seeing people bring these things into our area — why not bring the products here for people to see and try before they buy?"
Chain Saw Carving
Expert carvers will compete for prize money in the Chain Saw Carving competition held over the three days of the Great Outdoor Adventure. An auction of the carvers' work will be held on Sunday afternoon and will benefit the Hocking College Scholarship Fund. The carvers will also compete in a Quick Carve competition on Saturday.
Kids in Action
Previously a stand-alone event, this special activity geared toward kids — from toddler age to those who still enjoy doing the things kids do — has joined the Great Outdoor Adventure. With features such as Little People's Hospital, Star Lab and an inflatable playground as attractions, Kids in Action delivers on its promise of fun-time activities. The event shares an area with Ohio State Parks, the Army's Laser Tag unit, the National Guard's climbing wall and animal shows by the Wilds and Columbus Zoo personnel on Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m..
Hocking Woods Nature Center coordinator Dave Sagan will be around with his snakes, so look for him at either the Kids in Action site or wandering across the grounds accompanied by his animal friends.
National Archery in Schools Program (NASP)
Teams and individuals representing schools in the Southeast Ohio Wildlife District will take part in the local competition that is part of the National Archery in Schools Program on Saturday. Shooting a bow and arrow develops skills that can carry over into the classroom, according to Jim Marshall, District Manager with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
"Concentration, dedication, focus and repetition are characteristics that help kids be productive in school, as well as in society. These are also skills that enable shooters to successfully hit the target at which they're aiming. We're proving that for some students who get involved in archery, the sport helps keep them in school. Archery also helps develop concentration and mental skills," Marshall says.
National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) is a nationwide program teaming education, departments of wildlife, and archery equipment manufacturers to promote lifelong participation in archery. Marshall says area students have been invited to take part in this first Hocking College NASP Invitational as they compete for awards and Hocking College scholarships.
"This is a nonhunting archery event where shooters aim at competitive targets. We believe young people who get involved in hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports will continue with that sport at a competitive level, and those who develop an interest in archery at a early age might continue with the sport as bow hunters," Marshall adds.
Lumberjack Demos,Water Show Antics
In the early days of logging, lumberjacks moved logs on the river from the harvest site to locations where they could be more easily loaded and transported. When logjams slowed the flow, the lumberjacks climbed on and with fancy footwork broke the jam apart, freeing the blockages. Today, log birling is fun and entertaining and can be quite informative. Catch the Hank Peters Lumberjack Water Show for top-notch log birling, canoe jousting and fine entertainment by Canadian lumberjack champions Roger MacPhee and Zack Isaac. The pair will also demonstrate chopping, sawing and axe-throwing techniques, and will give mini-lessons to those who want to give it a try.
Let the little ones pump or pedal vintage, restored self-propelled handcars that travel along a narrow track at the Trains-on-Time display. The experience gives youngsters the thrill of riding a real railroad handcar while they bask in the accomplishment of making the handcar move as they pedal or pump the self-propelled units. This unique attraction will be set in the Kids in Action area; a fee will be charged.
Guinness Book of Records Bike Parade
Bring your bike, join the parade and help celebrate the 10th anniversary of Southeastern Ohio's premier bike path, the scenic 17-mile Hockhocking Adena Bikeway that winds its way between Nelsonville and Athens. The Bikeway Advisory Committee is finalizing plans to set a world record for the longest bike parade; currently the record is 800 riders. Participants must register (8:30 a.m.) and ride the two-mile parade loop at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 6. Helmets are required and will be available from the Brain Injury Foundation. For details, visit www.athensohio.com
and enter "bike path" in the search box.
Archery enthusiasts are in for a treat and an opportunity to meet one of archery's finest competitors. Jeff Hopkins of Delaware is a Matthews Pro-Shooter who holds 55 national titles, nine world championships, and 10 Shooter of the Year titles, all accomplished in the Professional Men's Division. Visitors can talk with Jeff — he's located in the hunting and fishing area of the Great Outdoor Adventure — and watch him shoot. You'll be amazed at his skill.
AceNET's Showcase of Regional Flavors
Regional foods from the ACEnet kitchens can be tasted and purchased in the Outdoor Cookery area, where ACEnet hosts the Outdoor Cooking Expo: a Showcase of Regional Flavors. Browse familiar products that are regionally produced, watch cooking demonstrations and catch a competition or two when grills donated by Lowe's are fired up and contestants try recipe favorites in this first-ever competition.
There will also be a segment of "Wild Ohio" hosted by Vicki Mountz, taped on Saturday afternoon from the Outdoor Cookery area. Stop by to see what is being prepared and get some tips from a pro. Stick around and watch for a while to see what goes on behind the scenes of a TV program taping.
Rocky Outdoor Gear
Small-town America encountered a world-class business when Rocky Boots got its start in Nelsonville more than 50 years ago. Today, the company's headquarters remains in Nelsonville, and the Rocky Outdoor Gear Store — located in the three-story factory building where boots and shoes were once made — attracts thousands of tourists and shoppers into the region.
Rocky Outdoor Gear Store will bring two different displays to the Great Outdoor Adventure. One can be found in the hunting and fishing area, where appropriate outdoor clothing, boots and gear will be displayed.
Rocky's second display features not only Rocky footwear but also products related to the outdoor cookery area where it is located. There will be rubs and seasonings for wild and domestic game preparation. A beautiful gun cabinet will be easy for the buyer to take apart for transport and then reassemble. Visitors will also find buck knives from Ron Valerius, something no outdoorsman should be without. Don't forget to shop the outdoor wear and Rocky Boots!
Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest encourages safe utilization of the only national forest in Ohio, particularly by those who enjoy the 120 miles of motorized trails for two- and four-wheel fun. The goal of Wayne personnel is to make sure that the sport is available for future riders who visit the forest by promoting safe and responsible riding now.
Thousands of riders — families, clubs and individual riders — share the motorized trails on the Wayne annually. The sport is among the fastest-growing forms of recreation in the country, and the Wayne actively promotes responsible riding that will help safeguard the forest's future.
Following rules is important and riders must not only stay on the trails but practice safe riding habits. Environmental damage to the natural resources and damage to the sport result when riders wander off the designated trails.
Visit the Wayne National Forest display to find out more about the latest in safe riding techniques and how to safety inspect machines, and get help in teaching children and other first-time riders how to ride for their own safety and enjoyment, and for the preservation of the natural resources.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife offers fishing for fun as well as instruction on basic skills to youth who take part in the Fishing Derby throughout the weekend. A pond will be stocked with catfish, and the Division will supply cane fishing rods to those 16 years of age and younger who want to try their luck. "For some, this will be their first fishing experience, but for others it might be the first fish they catch. We look at it as a good opportunity to teach youngsters some of the basic skills of fishing," says ODNR's Jim Marshall.
Great Outdoor Adventure Games
Bragging rights are at stake for Hocking College students who have honed their competitive skills just in time for the Great Outdoor Adventure Games, with practice on Friday and competition on Saturday. Teams are sponsored by a staff person, and students compete in events such as the pulp throw, Jack & Jill crosscut and log roll. Some fun contests have been added such as the Stack Race, Log Drag (human skidder), Dizzy Horse Bucket, Stump Stand and Greased Fish Catch.
Horse Log Skidding and Obstacle Course
Commands come with a shake of the wrist controlling the reins or a simple click of the tongue, but the horses in the log skidding and obstacle competition understand what their handler is asking of them and respond accordingly. Teams of draft horses (with names like Polly, Beck and Belle) and sometimes a pair of oxen strive to keep the penalties to a minimum and finish the event with the fewest deductions.
Antique Steam and Logging Equipment
Piles of sawdust grow deeper with each toot or whistle as sawmills, planers and veneer mills operate and entertain. Shovelfuls of coal are fed into the hungry boilers that run the equipment, and curious onlookers watch until they can claim a piece of veneer to take home. Follow their unmistakable sounds to find the machines of a bygone era.
Arts and Crafts Tent
Talent and creativity are deeply rooted in Southeastern Ohio, and some 50 of the area's finest artists and craftsmen have reserved space and are stockpiling items for the arts and craft tent. Wood-turned bowls and bottle stoppers, handmade baskets, pottery and colorful birdhouses are a small sampling of tempting wares visitors will find. ...and More
There will be big ol' burgers cooked over an open flame, timber cruising by Future Farmers of America students from high schools across Ohio, demonstrations of canoe and kayak safety and trail activities to enjoy. Bass Pro will offer tips on how to fish and proper casting techniques. Students and staff from Hocking College's School of Natural Resources will be found across show grounds involved in all sorts of activities, including skills and maneuverability competitions for those in the Environmental Restoration technology program; they will give tips to visitors, who can then try their hand at these skills. Students from the School of Health and Nursing will be on hand to share health-care information, and the School of Arts and Sciences will host an outdoor reading room where books on nature and the outdoors can be purchased and enjoyed.
Come to the Great Outdoor Adventure at Hocking College and enjoy a host of fun and informative activities, demonstrations and exhibits. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. For more information, call 877/HOCKING or visit www.hocking.edu/goa