There’s a profound grace to California’s waterways: something I always knew was beautiful and grand, yet something I didn’t know how fortunate I was to have until later when we’d have traveling photographers say, “Wait, so this is where you ride all the time? Not just on special occasions?” This was in reference to Lake Oroville, where I spent most of my wakeboarding training days growing up. Lake Oroville, like Shasta, Bullards Bar, or Clementine, is a popular hotspot for wakeboarding, fishing, houseboating, and all other sorts of fun. These California reservoirs ignite particular senses in a magical way.
There’s the smell of manzanita, the sound of water falling from mountain streams into the lake, the sight of deer or a bear swimming at a bank, the mesmerising glow of glassy water at sunset, and the echoing cries of joy after some wakeboarder lands her first flip behind a boat. This is what’s kept me coming back to NorCal after several moves. I’ve tried the Orlando thing (wakeboarding’s Hollywood), I’ve tried the San Diego thing (great in it’s own way, but still not home). The California Delta is This place, these lakes, these waters… it’s what motivates me to wake up before dawn, it’s what has always attributed to my love of nature, it’s what I see when I close my eyes at contests while trying to calm my nerves before competing… and it’s the best home I could imagine.
There are various contributing factors as to why I’m able to enjoy these beautiful nature scenes, but today I’m going to thank the men and women who hunt and fish (that includes myself too, so I’ll refer to all of us). When we buy our licences, our stamps, our tags and applications thereof, our ammunition, our guns, the expenses and taxes can put a big dent in the wallet. But I like to remind myself that this money goes to efforts which conserve wildlife, preserve the waterways we love, preserve the habitats of so many wildlife species, protect populations both hunted and non-hunted, it prevents poaching, and funds the resources that allow us to use these lands and the glories they offer.
Our duck stamps alone have purchased more than five million acres of habitat for the refuge system (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service). Girls With Guns Clothing works to promote this awareness, and they also make gorgeous swimsuits and boardshorts to enjoy in these outdoor destinations! The boardshorts are incredible for wakeboarding as they dry out quickly, they’re flexible as I do my tricks, and they’re extremely comfortable! Thanks for reading this blog and supporting Girls With Guns!
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(n.d.). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Fish and Wildlife Service.Retrieved from http://www.fws.gov/hunting/whatdo.html