Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
You know how in the NCAA Tournament you’re always rooting for the little guy (provided the little guy isn’t playing your guy)?
That’s the situation the Triangle currently faces in its battle for Outside Magazine/Toad&Co.’s #BestTown2015 crown. Dubbed Raleigh-Durham for recognition reasons (but really encompassing all the great recreational assets of the Triangle), RDU, a No. 8 seed in the South regionals, handily beat No. 9 seed Bentonville, Ark., in first-round action. Now, in Round 2 we find ourselves up against No. 1 seed Chattanooga, Tenn. Chattanooga: been to the dance before, known as a top-notch player not only regionally, but nationwide. It’s got whitewater paddling, it’s got climbing, it’s got hiking and mountain biking.
Just like you’ll find in the Triangle. But does it have scuba diving? Miles of flatwater paddling? More than 280 miles of greenway?
RDU deserves your support as #BestTown2015. And it needs it: currently the Triangle trails Chattanooga by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin. And time is running out: voting ends at midnight Wednesday.
Check out our brief slideshow campaign for RDU’s candidacy. If you need more convincing, read Raleigh-Durham’s complete position paper here. Then, let the country know what a great place this is to explore — vote!
This way to the ballot box …
The timing of the Triangle Land Conservancy’s “Wild Ideas for Getting Outside” symposium on Tuesday couldn’t be much better. If ever there were an audience receptive to the notion of discovering new ways and places to to get outside and explore, the frozen Triangle would be it. After two straight weeks of cold, snow, ice and no school, who isn’t ready to bust down the door and go a little wild?
TLC hatched its Wild Ideas concept last fall, with its inaugural “Feeding the Triangle: Increasing Access to Fresh Farms and Food.” The goal of Wild Ideas, according to TLC, is to provide “a dynamic, interactive venue for the community to share their innovative ideas for safeguarding clean water, protecting natural habitats, supporting local farms and food, and connecting people with nature.”
It’s the “connecting people with nature” goal that’s the impetus for Tuesday’s gathering. It’s a goal that dovetails with the mission of GetGoingNC, which is why they asked us to play a role. The event begins with GGNC’s Joe Miller offering an overview of the myriad ways you can connect with nature in the Triangle. Then, representatives from disciplines including hiking, mountain biking and paddling will discuss their areas of play in greater detail. But not too much, which is one of several great things about this program: the introductory speaker has 10 minutes to talk, the other speakers five. The emphasis is on sharing ideas, which will occur in a follow-up Q&A, and afterward, where at least 20 local groups will participate in an Outdoor Expo where you can learn more about connecting with nature in the Triangle.
And while you’re learning about connecting, enjoy free food by Parizade and beer donated by Lonerider Brewing Company. (We should note, too, that the event is supported by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina and Great Outdoor Provision Co., both of which are major supporters of GetGoingNC.com.)
Then, once you get all excited about getting outside, TLC isn’t going to just let you loose to your own devices. On Saturday, March 7, there’s a follow-up: Wild Ideas Goes Outside, a series of outings intended to actually connect you with nature. There are bird walks, trail runs, a bike ride, paddle trips and hikes (we’re especially keen on the GetHiking! Triangle hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail). Find a complete rundown of Wild Ideas Goes Outside events here.
Again, the timing for Wild Ideas for Getting Outside couldn’t be better. While the forecast calls for cold with light rain Tuesday, the thaw, and our return to connecting with nature, begins in earnest the following day. Forecast high high for Wednesday?
Triangle voters showed once again they love their greenways and are willing to pay for them.
Bond packages in Raleigh and in Wake Forest both passed yesterday by landslide margins, providing funding for two key greenways.
- In Raleigh, 68 percent of voters approved $92 million in parks bonds that include $4.4 million for a 3-mile stretch of greenway linking the Crabtree Creek Trail with Umstead State Park.
- In Wake Forest, two-thirds of voters said yes to $4.6 million for greenway construction.
Here’s why both projects are significant:
The Carolina Thread Trail reflects the textile industry for which it is named: Currently, the 7-year-old project is a series of random and scattered threads of trail that, someday, will be woven into a 1,500-mile trail network draping a 15-county area with 2.3 million people.