Were you the kid who was always climbing trees, scraping and bruising yourself from head to toe in the unpredictable outdoors? Bet your Band-aid bills were astronomical. But who says you need to grow up? There's a club just for you in Boca Raton. Florida Atlantic University's L.I.F.T. Program and Rock Climbing Club meets at 4 p.m. every other Thursday at the school's main campus (777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton).
They practice on a 50-foot-high climbing wall, ropes obstacle course, and boulder hut, which is akin to a makeshift low-incline mountain face. Participants are encouraged to wear exercise clothing and sneakers. Helmets and pads are also recommended and can be supplied for those in need. Every now and then, the club even goes off campus for adventures. Its last trip was to Miami's Extreme Rock, a seriously high-tech climbing complex. Not your average pastime organization, to say the least.
Weekly meetings are free and open to both FAU students and nonstudents. The bisemester adventure trips are free for students, with nonstudents paying their own way. You'll need an increased level of adrenaline to qualify for admission. You'll also need to complete the proper insurance forms and release-of-liability waivers before you participate. Call Keven Franks at 931-529-2915. -- Russ Evans
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Happy trails for you
Do you lament the fact that our state has pancake-flat terrain? Quit being a Gloomy Gus and become a Happy Hoofer. The artfully named local chapter of the Florida Trail Association proves that you don't need altitude to be a modern adventurer. There are plenty of formidable obstacles to confront all over our backyard (or the part of it that hasn't been buried by strip malls yet). The Happy Hoofers meet at Fern Forest Nature Center (201 Lyons Rd., Coconut Creek) the second Thursday of every month. Note that the FTA persuaded the ecoterrorist in the governor's mansion to renew February's designation as "Florida Hiking Trails Month" for the 13th year. If that doesn't motivate you to bust free from your air-conditioned cubicle, peruse the club calendar at www.florida-trail.org, or call 561-364-1597. -- Deirdra Funcheon