Category Archives: Hiking

Cool! Time to start hiking

About 12:30 I stepped outside for a quick run and —

Wow! I thought I was back in Colorado, from where I had returned the evening before with the itch to hike. There, the overnight lows were already dipping into the upper 40s, the daytime highs in the 70s. Coupled with the state’s trademark dry weather it was perfect hiking weather — much like what I felt when I stepped outside today around 12:30 for a run: High in the low 80s, light breeze, dry air … . read more

When mellow beats medal

Yesterday, I went for mellow instead of a medal.

Originally, during my quick visit to Colorado, my plan was to climb two of Colorado’s 52 14ers, 14,264-foot Mt. Evans and its little brother, 14,060-foot Mt. Bierstadt. A 10-mile loop connects the two from a trailhead at Guanella Pass. With a minimal total elevation gain of 3,900 feet (albeit all above 11,000 feet) it seemed a doable accomplishment for a flat lander in reasonable shape. Besides, I was looking for new conquests, new goals. Last Sunday I ran my first half marathon, in July I’d done my first mountain century ride. Adding a couple of 14,000-foot peaks to my summer resume would put me in the gold star category. read more

The peak of peer pressure

I’m going to Colorado next week to play. I wasn’t planning to play hard: some nice day hikes, a road ride or two. At least that was the plan until I started hearing about my friends’ recent epic adventures in the Centennial State.

My cycling compagno Alan Nechemias went to Colorado two weeks ago and did the 27-mile ride from Idaho Springs, elevation 7,600 feet, to the top of Mt. Evans, elevation 14,130 feet (that’s 6,530 feet of vertical climbing, for the subtraction challenged). Alan is a mountain goat: he’s been doing all the major Southeast mountain centuries — Assault on Mount Mitchell, Six Gaps, Blue Ridge Brutal, Blood, Sweat and Gears, to name a few — for the last 15 years. And while those rides all have 10,000-plus feet of vertical climbing, the ride up Mt. Evans started 916 feet below the highest finish of his Southeast rides (Mount Mitchell, at 6,684 feet). Alan lives in Chapel Hill, elevation 510 feet: to go from 510 feet to 7,600 feet, then climb another 6,530 feet on a bike and only get “a little light-headed at one point” boggles my hypoxic mind. read more

This weekend: Spike, amble, dance

This weekend, there’s competitive beach volleyball at the coast, dancing in the Piedmont and a EuroHike in the mountains.


Think you’re a pretty good volleyball player? Or at least enjoy some good competition? Get your spike on Saturday at the 2 v 2 Beach Volleyball Tournament at Emerald Isle. This is open competition (two guys can be on a team, two gals, a guy and a gal … I think that covers the potential combinations) in a round robin format — “unless,” says Brittany Wood, recreation coordinator with the sponsoring Emerald Isle Parks & Rec Dept., “the number of teams exceeds 10, at which time the tournament will be set up in pool play.” Winners advance to the championship round, and the ultimate winners get to split the registration fee pool, with 70 percent to first place, 30 percent to second. Participants must be 16 or older. read more

This weekend: surf, night hike give a Hoot

We’re down to our last month of summer before the ceremonial start of fall come Labor Day. Get out and make the most of what’s left of the season.


Two weeks ago we suggested you check out the 6th Annual Reef/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest at Wrightsville Beach. If you did, we’re guessing you were intrigued by the thought of riding the waves on a long board. Intrigued, but perhaps at a loss as to how to take the first step toward participating in 7th Annual Reef/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest. Step 1: Enroll in surf camp, specifically the “Get Stoked Surf Camp” offered by Hot Wax Surf Shop in Emerald Isle. The 2-hour class begins at 8 a.m. and includes surfboard rental; all you need to bring are some cool surfing shorts (and water and sunscreen and a rash guard). $70. read more