Weekend plans? Learn something new

It’s a great weekend to learn something new.

Coast

Here’s a race I wish I’d known about three months ago: the Kure Beach Double Sprint Triathlon, billed as the “very first Formula 1 or super sprint style triathlon in the U.S.”

Double Sprint? Formula 1?

It’s basically this: start with a 375-meter ocean swim, run 1.5 miles to a transition area, do a 10K bike ride on a closed course — then ride the 10K course again, back to the transition area where you’ll run the 1.5 miles back to the beach, where you’ll swim the 375-meter course, again.  Great concept. And again, I wish I’d heard about it earlier because a) I could have trained for and perhaps enjoyed the event, and b) registration is closed, so even if I — or you — was in shape, it would be for naught.

Still, if you’re in the area it promises good spectacle and a chance to see a rare Double Sprint Formula 1 tri(x2)athlon.

More about the event, which begins at 7 a.m., here.

Big Lake, big fish?

Piedmont

I didn’t grown up in a hunting or fishing family, which likely explains why I don’t hunt and why it took me so long to figure out how to fish. Expedite your own learning curve when it comes to fishing this Friday (we’re observing summertime three-day weekend hours here at GGNC) at 10 a.m. at Umstead State Park.

Join a ranger at Big Lake (off the U.S. 70/Glenwood entrance to the park), learn the basics of fresh water fishing, learn about the fish you will be fishing for, then fish. Rods and reels provided in this free event. Free, but because room is limited, registration is required, by calling 919.571.4170.

More about Umstead here.

Mountains

I didn’t grow up in a camping family, either. That explains why my initial forays into camping … well, they didn’t result in 911 calls (hadn’t been invented yet), but I doubt my recollections around the water cooler the following Monday caused my coworkers to think, “Man, I’ve gotta try that!”

Again, streamline your own camping learning curve this weekend as Elk Knob State Natural Area observes the Great American Backyard Campout.

The purpose of the the Great American Backyard Campout is to introduce folks to the joy of camping without having to buy all the equipment. A test drive, if you will, before deciding if this is something you want to work into your lifestyle. The only camping-type thing you need to bring is a sleeping bag, or blanket, or bedroll, as we used to call them during my days driving cattle in the West. (You’ll also need to bring snacks and breakfast; s’mores are provided.)

The event begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Elk Knob State Natural Area, a place, btw, that doesn’t otherwise allow camping. It’s free, but again, because space is required, you’ll need to register beforehand, by calling 828.297.7261.

Learn more about Elk Knob — the peak to the far right in the photo at top — here.

* * *

Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

NCCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).

Mountains

Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times
From the main page, click on “Calendars,” then Main Events.

Todd’s Calendar

Piedmont

Charlotte

Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Triad

GoTriad.com
Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Triangle

Triangle.com
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Statewide

Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

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