When it came to thinking about stories for this outdoors-oriented issue of Waco Today, thankfully we didn’t have to look far to find somebody with loads of knowledge and experience.

Longtime Tribune-Herald sports writer John Werner, who loves to hike throughout the United States, was the perfect choice to share his memorable hiking trips. The question was whether he’d have the time to type up the story as he was about to get busy with postseason action for the Baylor men’s basketball team.

But because hiking is one of his passions, John was willing. His wife, Karen, accompanies him on these excursions and as you can see in his story that begins on page 26, they have truly encountered the beauty of nature on their trips.

The photos with this feature are all from John and Karen (or the person they asked to take a shot of them together). John says it’s hard to get a poor photograph when nature presents such gorgeous backdrops and I think you’ll agree when flipping though the pages.

It was equally a no-brainer to tap Trib outdoors writer Todd Nafe to author a piece on fishing spots in the Central Texas. Todd knows much about the subject and he even reeled in a few area fishing guides to share their expertise in case you’re looking to hit the lakes, rivers or stock ponds. That story begins on page 44.

If camping is something you’ve often considered, but figured it probably involved a hefty outlay of cash to get started, you’re in luck. We asked veteran camper Jeff McNew to share from his years of setting up campsites what items are essential for a stay outdoors. With four kids, Jeff has found his trips to enjoy nature as a great — and inexpensive — way to bond with his family.

Jeff admits a camper can easily catch themselves loading up more gear than needed. Natalie Underwood presents Jeff’s suggestions for camping basics beginning on page 38.

Beyond those expanding outdoor activities, May also includes Mother’s Day, so if you’re looking at having the kids really impress their mom, we have that covered.

We went to chef Mike Osborne, or Chef Oz as he also is known, and he showed two young siblings how to make an absolutely tasty breakfast for mom. Amanda Rush shares the recipes and the directions for Eggs Benedict and a spectacular French toast. We have plenty of photos showing how it’s done, beginning on page 54.

Proms got under way in April but there’s plenty more ahead for this month. Tamika Johnson, the wife of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson, is helping a group of Waco High girls who might otherwise not get to enjoy prom. Her concept, the Prom Xperience, makes for some very happy seniors. Amanda Rush provides the details beginning on page 62.

As the school year winds down, we visit with Lorena and China Spring girls who are active at some of the highest levels with the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. Seeing the involvement of young women like Karina Wilson and Emily Holt, you have to feel good about the future. The story begins on page 50.

Don’t forget to check Julie Campbell-Carson’s Around Town column on page 8 and our Calendar listings on page 91 for a glimpse at the great events happening this month.

And surely somewhere you’ll find time to enjoy the outdoors, right?

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Waco Today Editor Ken Sury has been at the Tribune-Herald since 1998. Contact him at 757-5750 or email ksury@wacotrib.com.

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