When Rod Broadbelt began leading hikes at Umstead State Park more than two decades ago, they were events not for the feint of foot. Rod had just retired to Cary, moving from the Philadelphia area where he was a member of a competitive hiking club.
A little rain in the forecast for Saturday, a lot of sun in the forecast for Sunday. And temperatures in the 50s and low 60s along the way. Sounds like a great weekend to get out and explore.
Flatty Creek Paddle, Saturday, 9 a.m., Goose Creek State Park, Washington. Flatty Creek is a great example of not having to paddle far to see a lot. Good thing, because Flatty Creek doesn’t run very far. But oh what you’ll see on this waterway that pinches to the point where you can touch the branches of the wax myrtle, red bay and groundsel tree along the banks. A great place to paddle with someone — in this case a park ranger — who can show you which is the wax myrtle, which is the red bay. It’s free, but space is limited and reservations are required, by calling the park office at 252.923.2191. Learn more about Goose Creek State Park here. read more
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.read more
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. read more
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.read more