It started as a mellow saunter, progressed to an up-tempo hike, then, on a modest downhill, evolved into a trot. It was one of my first hikes at the Triangle Land Conservancy’s new Brumley Forest property near Hillsborough, and the absence of rocks and tree roots coupled with the gentle flow reminded me of my bygone days of being able to run a 10-minute mile on trail.
We head into the wayback machine again to revisit the timely topic of trail etiquette. The following first appeared here on March 19, 2010. It reappears today, with minor revisions.
Sunday, I was running the bike and bridle trail at Umstead when I came upon a sizable obstacle: a phalanx of hikers bearing backpacks spanned the width of the trail, spilling over onto the shoulders. The trail is quiet generous, a converted fire road that should be capable of handling boatloads of trail users without conflict. Provided those trail users are cognizant of other trail users. Which brings us to today’s topic:
It’s little surprise that there’s lots going on in the great outdoors this Earth Day weekend. Saturday alone (the actual Earth Day), the N.C. Office of Environmental Education lists more than 50 events on its calendar. Lots to choose from; here are some we especially like.
Weird weather (Friday snow in the mountains?) precedes a mellow, springlike weekend. A weekend good for so many adventures, from heeding the advice of Edgar Winter and taking a free ride to gazing into the night sky.
A satellite view of the eastern seaboard at night is startling not so much for the artificial light that illuminates the region, but for the one spot that remains dark: far eastern North Carolina. A blink here and there, but mostly darkness. One night around 11, lying on a gravel road just outside Columbia, we saw the Milky Way with nearly the clarity I’d seen it years earlier camping at 9,000 feet in the Rockies.
Sunny skies, temperatures in the 50s! By gum, that’s the way winter is supposed to be! And that’s how it will be this weekend, perfect weather for a 5K, a family nature hike and more.
It’s early in the season, you want to start logging races, but PRs aren’t a concern. Sure, you want a decent time — as a baseline for 2017, if nothing else — but really, you want to get back into the groove of the 5K. The camaraderie, the pageantry, the fun. And if you happen to score a podium in your age group … .