GetOut! Your Weekend Nudge — and a call to Ultimate action

We begin our thoughts on weekend adventure with an adventure three weeks out that you can start training for this weekend.

Raleigh/Umstead CureSearch Hike, Saturday, June 1, Umstead State Park, Raleigh. I started leading hikes in 2011 after being contacted by an endeavor called the Ultimate Hike, a new fundraiser benefitting a group out to end childhood cancer. The deal was this: lead at least six training hikes in preparation for a 28.3-mile hike (in one day) on the Foothills Trail straddling the North Carolina/South Carolina line. I’d been telling people where to hike through books and newspaper columns for 15 years, why not actually take them, I thought. So I did. 

I did five Ultimate Hikes, often starting with newbies who’d never set foot on the trail. Yet whipping them into shape in 12 weeks for the Foothills hike was a walk in the woods compared to the more daunting challenge they faced: raising $2,500 for CureSearch in their battle against pediatric cancer. For those five hikes I only had one hiker who failed to meet the goal — and had to cover what he didn’t raise.

Face it, not all of us are good at asking people for money. And with a fundraising goal of $2,500, that’s a lot of asking. That requirement, I’m afraid, kept a lot of aspiring Ultimate Hikers away.

But what if you only had to raise $500? Seems a lot less intimidating, no?

A couple weeks ago, my buddy Mike Owen, called saying he’d succeeded in getting CureSearch to sponsor a mini Ultimate Hike at Umstead State Park. (Mike, I’m proud to say, was in the second group of hikers I coached; he has now hiked a total of 10 Ultimate Hikes, and is one of their top ambassadors.)

Here’s the deal: 

Distance. Rather than 28.3 miles, the Umstead hike has options of 5, 6.25, 9.25 and 13.3 miles.

Cost. $20 to register. That goes against your ultimate fundraising goal for this event, which is …

Fundraising goal: $500.

Family plan: There’s still a registration fee of $20 per person, but the overall fundraising goal is reduced: $500 for the first hiker, $100 for each additional hiker. 

Pretty doable, even for the fundraising averse, right? And it’s a great excuse to get some hikes in over the next three weeks.

Learn more about the Umstead mini-hike and sign up here.

Wildflower Walk, Sunday, 1 p.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. Spring wildflowers are coming into bloom at 5,000 feet; this hike will check out the action on the first mile of the 2-mile Summit Trail, one of the prettiest trails in the state, with a rugged, but somehow tamed, feel. At the end of the program, continue to the summit for great views, especially to the north, from Elk Knob. Learn more and sign up here.

Basin Hike, Saturday, 11:30 a.m., Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. A very cool hike, starting on the beach and passing through a maritime forest, and back dune and salt marsh habitats. Pays a visit to a World War II bunker that housed munitions in the 1940s and the First Fisher Hermit in the 1960s. Learn more and sign up here.

GetHiking! this weekend

What are we up to this weekend? Lots!

GetHiking! Charlottesville: Wilderness First Aid, Saturday, May 11, 8:30 a.m. to Sunday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. Mountaintop Montessori, Charlottesville. Hands-on training to survive injuries in the wilderness. Learn more here.

GetHiking! Triad: Townsend Trail, Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m. 6100 Southshore Road, Browns Summit. Easy to Moderate. 7-mile hike leading to Lake Townsend. Learn more here.

GetHiking! Charlottesville: Chessie Trail, Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m. Fontaine Research Park, Charlottesville. Moderate. 7-mile hike through flat terrain along the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Learn more here.

Live the video

This week’s video covers a lot of ground, including the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake, at Jones Lake State Park, and on Mount Mitchell. Discover how you can discover these stretches of the MST by going here.

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