When you dream of a summer weekend in the dead of winter, you dream of a summer weekend like the one forecast for this Saturday and Sunday: high around 90 (in the Piedmont, at least), slight chance of thunderstorms. A weekend, in other words, made for dreamy adventure.
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.
So, there’s a bit of rain in the forecast this weekend, which means you just might have to strike while the sky is dry. Thus, flexibility and spontaneity may be the keys to adventure this weekend. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a plan …
Canoe the Scuppernong, Saturday, 9 a.m. – noon, Pettigrew State Park, Creswell (which is just down the road from Plymouth, which is east Williamston … it’s a ways out of U.S. 64). Years ago we paddled five miles on the coastal Scuppernong River, one of the most intimate paddles we can recall. A lush canopy overhead made the summer paddle less steamy, the dense vegetation crowding both banks giving the impression of a journey in the tropics. Saturday, sample a stretch of the very same Scuppernong with a park ranger on this 3-hour float. What’s provided, where to meet, what to bring, what not to wear — it’s all here.
Haiku Hike, Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Eno River State Park, Durham. Literary hike / along the gorgeous Eno / read some, compose some. Learn more here.
Occoneechee Geology Hike, Saturday, 2 p.m. Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough. The massive slash on the north face of mighty Occoneechee, at 867 feet the high point of the Triangle, means the pyrophyllite peak has few secrets to keep. But despite begin an open book, what does it all mean? Geologist Jean-Michel Margot has studied the mountain for decades, and shares his findings in this monthly gathering. Learn more here.
And then, it was summer.
After a week of overnight lows, at least in our next of the Piedmont, in the low 40s and long-sleeve shirts reappearing during the day, we’re suddenly looking at temperatures as high as the low 90s in parts of our exploring area.