Rod Broadbelt officially retired today from more than two decades of leading hikes, almost exclusively at Umstead State Park. And not just hikes, as anyone whoever tried to tag along on one of his hikes would attest, these were no-holds-barred hiking extravaganza’s: lace up tight, hold on to your Tilley and try to hang on. Even into his mid-80s, Rod was no Sunday stroller — he was an unabashed steamroller, leaving hikers half his age in his dust.
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.
Every year at this time, we get a gift: an extra hour of after-work daylight.
This time next week, after Daylight Saving Time kicks in on Sunday, the sun will set at 7:21 p.m. By month’s end, it will set at 7:36 p.m. That extra afternoon sunshine, friends, opens our evening outdoor opportunities.
My senior year in high school I went to a new school. In football, we went 0-9, in basketball, 0-18. I always wondered how our cheerleaders could muster the enthusiasm, the optimism, to encourage us to push on.
I find myself in a similar situation, facing a rainy weekend, wondering how to encourage y’all to put on a happy face and head out the door for a weekend of adventure. So … well, grab your rain gear and let’s head out! Some options …
Don’t let the weather rain on your weekend adventure parade. Grab a rain jacket (or a big trash bag) and venture out for some good, wet, fun! Such as:
Occoneechee Geology Hike, Saturday, 2 p.m., Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough. One of the reasons we like this hike for this weekend is that the trail is generally high up and less susceptible to standing water (except for portions along the Eno River, which will be under water). Quarrying operations from years ago leave the north face of the mountain exposed, making it ideal for a geological dissection. Also: the hike is lead by a geologist. About 1.5 miles of moderately difficult hiking. Free, but registration required, by calling 919.383.1686. More info here.