Sunset today is at 8:19 p.m., with lingering light until 8:48 p.m. Come June 21—the Summer Solstice, the start of summer, the “longest” day of the year—sunset is at 8:34 p.m. Daylight starts diminishing after that, but by a quirk of Earth’s orbit, the sun continues to stay up longer until June 28, when sunset is at about 8:35, with light lingering until after 9 p.m.
Throughout most of GetGoingNC land, there’s a chance of rain this weekend. A real good chance.
Normally, that discourages folks from heading out into the wild. Instead, it should encourage you. OK, maybe not if the weather people are talking Noah-type rain, or rain accompanied by lightening bolts zapping down from above. But hiking in a light rain, if you’re equipped, can be exceptionally rewarding.
So many adventures, so few weekends.
That’s the story of summer, the 13-week run between Memorial Day and Labor Day when we pack in most of our adventures for the year. So we set out to pick some destinations that seem most worthy of summer fun. Here are a few places we’re headed this summer, and why:
Last weekend, we hiked more of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake and saw our first mountain laurel bloom of the season — a lone bloom, but an impressively full and vibrant (if white can be vibrant) bloom about midway between the Shinleaf Recreation Area and NC 98. We also spent a little time exploring all the Eno River in Orange County and planning a trip next weekend to the Curtis Creek area of the Pisgah National Forest. It was a busy weekend on the trail.
We’ve made the transfer from cool and budding to warm and lush. The weather is great for hiking — the associated annoyances we face along the way, specifically ticks and mosquitoes, and poison ivy.
Here’s a quick look at prevention and treatment for both.