The weekend upon us is one tailor-made for outdoor adventure, marrying the best of summer (which officially ends Monday) with the best of fall. Meaning? We’re looking at cool temperatures (around 60 throughout much of our area) to start the day, rising into the low to mid 80s — all under dry, clear skies. With that in mind, we give you three options.
Today, we present our 10 favorite mountain watering holes, places where you are guaranteed to escape the death-grip of summer’s 90/90 (heat/humidity) doldrums. Some are just off the road, some you have to work for. All are worth a visit. Links for more information follow.
It’s the first official weekend of summer (it punches in/punched in at 11:54 a.m.), so let us go in search of summer like things to do. But first …
The naysayers have a way of twisting the good news of summer: It may be the start of summer, but the days start getting shorter now. Technically, yes. But only incrementally. And, in fact, official sunset continues to extend until a week from today: Tonight, official sunset is at 8:34:06 p.m., on June 28 it won’t set until 8:45:50 p.m.! (You know what that also means: if actual daylight begins to decrease, but the sun is staying up longer, then the difference must be absorbed by sunrise! The sun is getting up later — more time to sleep in.) Through July 30, the sun won’t set before 8:20, and it’s still up past 8 well into mid-August.
On Monday evening, our GetHiking! Triangle group celebrated the start of Daylight Saving Time with an after-work hike at Eno River State Park. We had some new people on the hike, and it was clear that they were a bit tentative.
But, a mile down the trail, I noticed the steady buzz of happy hiker chatter. Our more experienced hikers had adopted the newcomers and were making them feel at home. When we finished our four miles and returned to the trailhead, it was near dark and the temperature was rapidly dropping, yet no one was in a hurry to leave. The conversation continued another 10 minutes or so until we had trouble seeing one another. I knew the newcomers would be back.
Even if you’re a dedicated couch surfer, that springlike weather we had last week, when the temperature reached 80 in some spots, got you thinking, didn’t it? Maybe the outdoors isn’t such a bad place. Maybe I should plan to spend more time outside.