Amazing Natural Caves To Explore In The United States

There are so many incredible things to see and do in the United States if you’re passionate about the outdoors. Camping, hiking, fishing, you name it! There’s one thing you might not have done yet though, and that’s exploring some of the incredible natural caves scattered throughout the country. There are loads of beautiful and mysterious cave systems in the US that are totally safe to explore. Many of them lead to sights, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and are worth seeing at least once in your life. Here are a few of the best caves worth exploring in the United States.

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Situated in the desert of New Mexico, the caves of this region are filled with various natural features such as cactuses, ancient sea ledges, and deep rocky canyon walls. There are over a hundred caves in this area, which are formed with limestone and sulfuric acid. You can explore the Main Corridor and Big Room on your own or with ranger-guided tours. If you’re attentive, you may see Brazilian free-tailed bats leaving the cave at nighttime.

Niagara Cave, Minnesota

The Niagara Cave, which is located in Minnesota, is one of the largest caves in the Midwest. It was first discovered in 1924 by pig farmers. This natural cave features a 60-foot waterfall and is filled with different types of limestone and unusual formations. Guided tours are available in the cave every day of the year, and they can explore a mile of its underground passageways. It also has various family-friendly attractions, such as a mini golf course and a gemstone mining operation. Since 2015, the cave has been the first place in the world to achieve zero emissions.

Craighead Caverns, Tennessee

Situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Craighead Caves are known for their natural features, such as the Lost Sea. This region was once used by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War as a mining site. The caves were named after Craighead, who was the Cherokee Chief. The caverns have been listed as National Natural Landmarks by the National Park Service since 1974. Various tours are available daily, and they highlight the different crystal formations and waterfalls in the cave. Small groups are also allowed to explore the caves on their own.

Ohio Caverns, Ohio

The Ohio Caves are located in the Bellefontaine Outlier region, which is about a half-hour drive away from Dayton. This natural cave system was first discovered in 1897 and was opened later that year to the public after Robert Noffsinger discovered it. The cave is regarded as one of the most colorful natural caves in the US. It features numerous stalactite and stalagmite formations, and it’s also home to the largest free-standing stalactite in the state. This natural cave system can be explored on its own or with guided tours. Some of the popular attractions within the cave include the Crystal King, Old Town Pump, and Sunken City.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

Great Places To Rock Climb In The United States

Rock climbing was a sport reserved for the most athletic up until recently. Over the last few years, rock climbing gyms have popped up all over the country, making the sport more accessible regardless of athleticism or experience. After spending a lot of time in a rock climbing gym, you might be thinking about taking the next step, which in this case would be going and climbing up an actual rock wall. This takes a lot of hard work and determination, but it’s certainly achievable. A great place to start is by figuring out a few great places across the United States where you can go rock climbing.

Red River Gorge – Slade, Kentucky

Many travelers look at Kentucky and think there’s not much to do there, but the Red River Gorge is more than enough reason to go. This area has plenty of great rock climbing routes that are suitable for everyone. It has a variety of routes within the 5.6 and 5.8 range, and many climbers just call it “The Red.” If you want a guide during your climb, there are loads of great climbing guide companies in the area that will be more than happy to help with all of your needs.

Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Many Midwest climbers are frustrated by the lack of great routes in the region, especially since all of the climbs are out west or along the east coast. Fortunately, Wisconsin has plenty of great cliffs that are accessible on a budget. Experienced climbers shouldn’t have much problem with these cliffs, but lesser experienced climbers have plenty of access to climbing guides. One of the best things about this area is that you can take a dip in the lake below when you’re done to get some relief from your sore muscles.

Leavenworth, Washington’

Although Leavenworth is best known for its location in Washington, it’s also an amazing place to go rock climbing. This region has plenty of routes that are suitable for everyone, and there are plenty of granite crags to choose from. After climbing, head to Leavenworth’s Bavarian-themed village for some German food and brews. This area has plenty of history in the climbing industry, and it’s a great place to relax after a long day.

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

Situated in the Wyoming wilderness, Devil’s Tower features hexagonal columns that are known for their great crack climbing. Some of the routes here are not boltable, so you’ll need to bring various equipment with you, such as cameras and safety devices. The park’s website has the most current information about the closures that are happening in the area due to the nesting of falcons in the area as well as because of a native tribe located there.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

Five Of The Greatest Soccer Players Of All Time

The great sport of soccer, or football as it’s known in most of the world, has been played by thousands of incredible athletes over the years. With so many people playing from locations scattered all over the planet, it can be hard to pin down who the best players are. If you’re a soccer fan, there are probably a few names that come to mind when you think of the greatest soccer players. So who are they? Let’s discuss a few of the greatest soccer players of all time.

Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon is considered one of the greatest goalies to ever live. For over 17 years, he played for one of the most prominent clubs in Italy, Juventus. During this time, he broke various league records and became the only goalkeeper to have 500 clean sheets in the history of professional soccer. Despite playing in a game that’s typically dominated by goal-scorers, he was still able to finish second in the 2006 Ballon d’Or award, an award given to the sport’s most valuable players.

Ronaldo Nazario

One of the best players to ever play the game was Ronaldo Nazario, from Brazil. He was able to win multiple awards and honors, such as the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year. He made a lot of people realize that Brazil was a dominant force in the world of professional soccer. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to knee injuries.

Zinedine Zidan

After helping France win the 1998 FIFA World Cup, which was the country’s first championship in football, Zinedine Zidane became a popular figure in France. He was able to win multiple honors and awards, such as the FIFA Player of the Year. He was also able to come up huge in the FIFA World Cup final games, placing as the all-time scorer for the entire tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the most dominant athletes in the world of professional soccer is Cristiano Ronaldo. He is considered to be one of the best players ever to play the game. He has won multiple awards and honors, such as the Ballon d’Or, which he’s won 5 times, and the FIFA World Player of the Year. He is also known to perform at an incredible level and has shown no signs of slowing down, even while being 36 years old.

Pele

Pele is a Brazilian professional soccer player who is considered to be one of the most popular athletes in the world. Aside from scoring the most goals in the history of Brazil’s soccer league, Pele also holds the record for most goals scored on the planet, of which he’s scored 1279. He was named the FIFA player of the century, and he was recently included in the list of the most important individuals of the 20th century by Time magazine.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.org

Fishing Tips For Beginners

In a previous article, I spoke about some of the best lakes scattered around the United States. Lakes are great due to all of the activities available to you, but one of the most fun activities you can take part in at a lake is fishing. Fishing can be loads of fun, and it can also be extremely relaxing. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may walk away disappointed. In order to help out future fishing gurus, I’ve decided to share a few tips to help you catch a few. Let’s dive in!

Match Your Fishing Lure Color

One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to choosing a lure is the color of the water. Although you may not know what the fish will be drawn to on a given day, it can be wise to switch up your lures when things aren’t going your way. A great rule of thumb is to try and pick a lure that matches the color of the water. For instance, if the water is green, choose a lure that features lime or chartreuse. In clear water, choose a pearl or white. Finally, if the water is tannic, try a root beer.

The Size Of Your Gear Matters

Don’t try to get a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing fishing equipment. Instead, get gear that’s sized for the specific species that you’re targeting. For instance, if you’re planning on using a 12-pound casting reel for bass fishing, it’s probably too heavy for the tiny jigs and spinners that black crappie are typically attracted to. On the other hand, if you’re planning on using a four-pound ultralight, it’s probably not ideal for casting micro-jigs to the largemouth bass that you’re trying to catch.

Choose Your Line

There are a lot of brands and types of fishing lines that are available on the market, so be careful when it comes to choosing the right one. First off, you’ll need to pick the appropriate line for the type of water you’re fishing in, saltwater or fresh. One of the most important factors that you should consider is the sensitivity of the line. Braid lines have a high sensitivity, and they’re ideal for use with lures. On the other hand, monofilament lines have less sensitivity and are ideal for when fish are nibbling on your bait.

The Right Time Of Day

One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to catching some fish is the time of day that you head out. The early morning hours, as well as right before the sun falls, are two of the best times to toss a line, as the fish typically bite the most in that ambient sunlight. If you’re out during the midday hours, a cloudy sky can usually lend to better fishing and if it’s a hot and sunny day, look for a place with shade. Fish tend to seek shade on those hotter days, just like we would.

Set The Reel Drag Properly

If you want to become a true fishing pro, it’s important you set your reel drag properly. This is because it allows the fish to take the line without having to pull against it until it breaks. Unfortunately, most people tend to give a tug on the line until it feels right, which is not ideal. Setting the drag to one-third of the line’s rated breaking strength is generally considered to be the ideal way to go.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

The Best Lakes In The United States

There are hundreds of beautiful lakes scattered around the United States. From the Great Lakes to Lake Tahoe and so much more, you’ll find it hard to visit every one of our country’s stunning bodies of fresh water. These lakes are home to a number of activities and can be great for those who want to take a swim, do some fishing, or just enjoy the views. With so many lakes, you probably want to figure out the ones most worth visiting. Well, look no further, as these are some of the best lakes in the United States.

Crater Lake, Oregon

One of the most significant lakes in the country is Crater Lake, located in Oregon. At a depth of over 1,500 feet, it’s known as the deepest lake in the country and it was formed during an eruption that happened around 8,000 years ago. Since it doesn’t have any streams or rivers, it’s considered to be the cleanest lake in the world. Due to its clean and crystal-clear waters, Crater Lake is known as one of the best places to see and explore. It’s also a popular spot for divers, as it offers a variety of interesting underwater features, such as lava formations and the various underwater fields of moss. Although it’s a popular spot for people to fish, the only way to get good access to the lake is through a 700-foot descent off the Cleetwood Cove Trail.

Lake Michigan, Michigan//Wisconsin/Illinois/Indiana

The US and Canada are home to The Great Lakes, which are some of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Each of these lakes is near or directly on the border with Canada, and they all connect to the Atlantic Ocean by the St. Lawrence River. The third largest lake in the Great Lakes is Lake Michigan, which spans four states. Chicago is a major city on this lake, but most people visit the southern portion of it, which is located in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. There are a number of great attractions in this area, such as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, featuring sand dunes that rise up to 450 feet.

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

The Lake of the Ozarks is a manmade lake that was created by the Osage River in Missouri. It’s a popular summer vacation spot, and it has a variety of activities that are available, including hiking and biking. One of the most popular attractions is boat tours, as this lake doesn’t have any speed restrictions. It also has good fishing, with most of the species being bass and catfish. If you’re looking for a place to stay, the Old Kinderhook resort is a great choice. The resort is known for its golf course, and all of its rooms are spacious and have full kitchens.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Located in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the country. It spans around 21 miles long, and it has varying widths and heights depending on where you are at the shoreline. This lake is also known for its numerous beaches. Swimming is extremely popular here during the summer season. One of the best places to swim in the area is the Ellacoya State Park. This is a long, sandy swimming area that also has campsites. If you’re planning on visiting the entire lake, take a drive along an 80-mile loop road. This allows you to experience all of the different regions that the lake has to offer.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

Some Of The Best Soccer Video Games Ever Made

Soccer, or football in most parts of the world, is an incredible sport with a storied history. It’s the most popular sport in the world, and while it’s not the most popular in the United States, it’s still well-loved. Like most sports, there have been some incredible soccer video games made over the years that expertly capture the fun and competition that comes with playing soccer with your friends, from the older arcade-style games to today’s modern versions that simulate what it’s like to manage a team and take them to stardom. So what are the best soccer games ever made? Let’s take a look.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017

The rivalry between FIFA and PES has been one of the most popular in the world of professional soccer. In 2017, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 was able to finally beat out the fabled Fifa franchise with what was a legitimately great game. While many of the teams featured in the game weren’t licensed, it was still able to get the necessary licenses to feature major soccer competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. It was a huge victory for the developers of the series and the game’s gameplay and graphics were incredibly well-designed, making this a must-play for soccer fans that year.

Super Mario Strikers

Although it’s not likely that people think about soccer when they think about Super Mario, Nintendo was able to bring the world of Super Mario into a soccer-inspired game. While it’s not overly serious, it’s still a great game to play. The characters from the series are well-known and are able to bring a unique sense of excitement to the table. Super Mario Strikers is a great choice for children who love soccer and want to play something fun, energetic, and easy to understand.

Football Manager 2012

The Football Manager series has been one of the most popular sports series of all time. It allows players to take on the role of a professional soccer manager and manage their teams. The game features a variety of features that allow players to dive into making strategic decisions in order to lead their teams to victory. Unlike most sports games, Football Manager focuses on the players’ control over the game, allowing them to make effective decisions and manage their teams. Out of all the Football Manager series entries, Football Manager 12 is by far the best.

Rocket League

The creators of Rocket League took the concepts of soccer and made it into a game that’s incredibly fun. You essentially play soccer, but with cars. It features a variety of vehicles that can be used to launch rockets into the sky. The game has become a huge hit, making it an ideal choice for people who are passionate about soccer but want something less serious and more focused on fun. The goal of the game is to score as many goals as possible in order to beat the other team. Although it doesn’t feature any Lionel Messis, this is still a great choice for people who are passionate about soccer.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.org

The Best Hikes On The West Coast of the U.S

In a previous blog post, I wrote about some of the best hikes located on the east coast of the United States. In this post, I’ll be going over some of the best hikes on the west coast of the country. The west coast is home to not only some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country but the entire world. From stunning mountains in Yosemite to the towering trees of the Redwoods to the Pacific coast, here are some of the best hikes on the west coast.

Hidden Valley Trail – California

If you’re looking for a simpler hike that anyone in the family can enjoy, look no further than the Hidden Valley Trail at Joshua Tree National Park. You’ll get to not only enjoy the awesome boulder formations and arid landscape of this desert canyon but also be able to learn about the history of the area via the various plaques littered throughout the trail. You can even learn about homesteader Bill Keys, and how he opened up the land in the area so his cattle would have a place to graze.

East Anacapa Island Trail – California

If you’re a lover of the ocean, you’ve just got to take this hike. It starts by taking a fairy to the island itself, and then immediately has you climb stairs up a cliff in order to get to Anacapa Island’s flat, figure-eight hike. The entire hike features a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, which means you’ll have stunning views as you learn about the island’s history through a self-guided tour. There are also other great sites to see during the hike, such as the island’s lighthouse, and the bluffs at Pinniped Point and Cathedral Cove.

Freeman Homestead Nature Trail – Arizona

This trail is located in Saguaro National Park, which was established as a national monument way back in 1933 in order to protect the park’s massive cacti that only grow in that area. If you want to check out these extremely rare plants, you’ve just got to check out this hike. While a rather easy hike overall, it’s littered with incredible plants and wildlife, as well as signs that will teach you more about everything you might find during your hike.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

The Best Hikes On The East Coast of the U.S

If you’re a lover of the outdoors, you’re probably constantly looking for new hiking trails to experience. There are so many incredible places around the United States to take a hike, and the east coast is home to some of the best, even if they may be often overlooked. From New York all the way down to Georgia and Tennesee, here are some of the best hikes to take on the east coast of the United States.

Jacks River Trail – Georgia

If you’ve never heard of the Cohutta Wilderness in Georgia, then you’re in good company. This region, which is located in the northern part of the state, is known for its beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife. One of the best ways to experience this area is by taking the Jacks River Trail, which follows the river through a beautiful valley. If you’re planning on hiking this trail for a longer time, you can take the 9.3 miles hike to Jacks River Falls.

Mt. Colden Via Avalanche Pass Trail – New York

The Adirondacks features some of the most incredible hiking trails not only on the east coast but in the country overall. One of these is the Mt. Colden, which takes you through the Avalanche Pass. This is a beautiful hike that features some more difficult sections, such as the infamous “Misery Mile,” but those difficult sections are arguably some of the most scenic, passing through Avalanche Pass before climbing Mt. Colden via Colden Lake. Staircases are included during the steeper sections of the hike, so be prepared for a climb.

Rocky Top Trail – Tennessee

If you’re a fan of collegiate folklore, then the Rocky Top Trail is the trail for you. This is a beautiful, long-distance hike that features a stunning backdrop and a 360-degree view of the summit. Although this trail can be very crowded, it’s worth it for the views, as it offers a great elevation gain.

The Presidential Traverse – New Hampshire

An extremely intense hike in New Hampshire, the Presidential Traverse is not for the faint of heart. If you’re looking to complete the whole trail in a single day, you’ll want to be sure that your physical ability is up to snuff, as this trail is considered essential for many hardcore hikers on the east coast. The trail is 23 miles long with a whopping 9,000 feet of elevation gain and is typically begun at Mt. Madison and concluded with Mt. Jackson. You’ll want to be prepared for anything on this hike, as weather can be extremely detrimental to your progress. It can also be a good idea to be aware of where the various bailout points of the Traverse are, incase an accident occurs or you decide you can’t keep going.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

The Best Books For Outdoors Lovers In 2022

If you’re a lover of the outdoors, you probably enjoy taking any opportunity to get out there and experience nature. While that’s a wonderful lifestyle to have, the fact of the matter is that sometimes we just can’t experience the outdoors as much as we’d like. Perhaps it’s due to inclement weather, or maybe we have other obligations we have to take care of first. Whatever the case, it can be frustrating when we look forward to having outdoor adventures and can’t due to unforeseen circumstances. Luckily we have ways of transporting ourselves to awesome outdoor environments even when we’re trapped in our homes. One of these options is to read a great book about the outdoors. Here are a few great books on the outdoors to check out in 2022.

National Geographic: The National Parks, An Illustrated History – Kim Heacox

This book is an inspired tribute to America’s national parks. The author takes you on a magical journey through the parks, where she learns about the history of the country’s cultural and natural treasures. She also shares the stories of an amateur diver who came across a Civil War treasure and the first female park ranger.

The book showcases the most amazing natural and cultural treasures of the country, including the Gettysburg battlefield, the Great Lakes, and coral reefs. It also features a variety of photographs from National Geographic. The combination of these images and the author’s knowledge of the parks make this book an ideal read for anyone who’s passionate about the outdoors.

No Shortcuts To The Top – Ed Viesturs

The story of the main character, who is a renowned mountaineer, is told in a triumphant and captivating manner. In the opening scene of the book, the protagonist is on his way to becoming the first American to climb all 14 of the world’s highest mountains. He nearly gets thrown off the mountain when he and his friend get caught in an avalanche.

Throughout the book, Viesturs talks about the sacrifices he made in order to achieve his dream. He also talked about the experiences he had during his career, such as his first climb up the Pacific Northwest’s peaks, and his final climb up the Himalayas’ Annapurna mountain.

Rising: Becoming the First North American Woman On Everest – Sharon Wood

In this memoir, the author talks about her experiences climbing Mount Everest, and she shares her journey of overcoming her limitations. She was part of a team that tried to reach the summit of the mountain in 1986. The goal of the team was to try and reach the summit and help Sharon become the first North American woman to do so.

During this time, there was also a team on the mountain that had the same plan, but with Annie Whitehouse, another North American woman. This fast-paced memoir is an ideal read for anyone who enjoys reading about the outdoors.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

The Best Beaches In The United States In 2022

With summer pretty much here, many people have started thinking about the beach. However, not all sandy sections are created equal. There are several criteria that can help determine the ideal beach. These include the amount of seclusion, the waves, the public transportation, the parking area, the activities, and the tree-lined areas.

In the U.S., there are many beautiful beaches that are not only affordable but also have unique features that appeal to people of all ages. From California to New York, these are some of the best beaches in the United States.

Ocean City, Maryland

One of the most popular beaches in Maryland is Ocean City Beach, which features a 10-mile-long white-sand beach and a three-mile-long boardwalk. There are several restaurants, hotels, and attractions on this area’s boardwalk. Besides surf fishing and jet skiing, this area also offers other activities such as fishing charters and music festivals.

Santa Monica Beach, California

This area is known for its vibrant beach activities, such as swimming, surfing, and watching the sunset. However, it’s the Santa Monica Pier that draws the most people. This amusement park features a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and various games and food. The nearby Heal the Bay Aquarium offers hands-on educational activities for kids. You can also take a walk or bike along the path that leads to Venice Beach.

Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey

Located along New Jersey’s Atlantic coast, the town of Asbury Park Beach is known for its clean white-sand beach. It’s also full of activities, such as swimming, surfing, and people-watching. This area is also surrounded by a historic beachfront that features restaurants, bars, and stores.

The town is also known for its attractions, such as the Silverball Museum, which features over 600 working pinball machines from the 1930s. Another popular establishment is The Stone Pony, which is a local establishment that’s frequented by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.

Carlsmith Beach, Hilo, Hawaii

Situated on the island of Hawaii, Carlsmith Beach is a park that features a variety of tree-filled areas and a beautiful turquoise sea. This area is also known for its excellent snorkeling. Aside from the sea turtles, this park also has a picnic table that overlooks the ocean.

This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net

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