Outdoor rec wealth of resources

Cannon Connections photo: Argen Duncan Cannon Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation Technician Dan Church demonstrates how to pull up the trolling motor on the Outdoor Recreation Office’s bass boat. The office has several boats for fishing, water sports and cruising the lake.

By Argen Duncan: Cannon Connections

Weekend whitewater rafting tours, mountain biking, inflatable slides for the kids or catering equipment for the big event — you can catch them all and more at the Cannon Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation Office.

Active duty or retired military personnel, U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees and spouses of any of those groups can rent sporting and recreation equipment or participate in low-cost events through the office.

“We rent a lot of great equipment for all seasons, from skiing equipment to water toys,” said Jeanette Hattan, outdoor recreation manager of the 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron.

Customers can rent tents, camp cookware, softball equipment, tables and chairs, croquet sets, helmets, gardening tools and the list goes on.

“Our skis and snowboards are top of the line,” Hattan said, adding that she expects to get new ones in the fall.

Also, she is expecting two new Coleman pop-up tent trailers with high clearance for off-road situations on an estimated delivery date of May 20. Outdoor Recreation Tech Dan Church said the staff hopes to acquire jet boats, which use the same propulsion system as jet skis and travel very fast.

The office also offers activities such as ski trips, zip line tours, turkey shoots and Ute Lake Days, in which staff drive boats for water skiers and so forth. For tours, the 15-passenger vans feature flatscreen televisions, DVD players and reclining seats.

“We don’t just cram you in a van,” Hattan said. “You travel in style.”

Hattan said inflatable play areas are the No. 1 rentals, and boats and campers are hot, too.

As for local facilities, Liberty Pool, Doc Stewart and Unity parks, and the base trap and skeet range all fall under the jurisdiction of Outdoor Recreation.

For people wanting to buy new recreation equipment such as snow goggles, chapstick, water-proof containers or sunglasses, the office and Liberty Pool offer such equipment at prices lower than in the civilian world. For example, a pair of polarized, floating sunglasses costs $20 from Outdoor Recreation and around three times as much from REI, Hattan said.

“It’s small, but it caters to what our outdoor adventure enthusiasts are looking for,” she said of the sales program.

Hattan said staff consider their office a place for first-timers to get advice, especially on what gear to take on trips.

“From party planning to backpacking, we have a good staff, and we can help you get through it with a smile on your face,” she said.

Cannon AFB Outdoor Recreation Office:

Where: Building 214, 106 West Street

Contact: 784-2773

Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday

7 a.m. to noon Saturday