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The weather dance continues

Had great weather today hiking a 13.2-mile loop up Deep Creek in the Smokies, but by the time I got back to the car, a gauze of white clouds was forming, tipping off the next storm system moving into the region. Rain is expected to begin in the middle of the night and last into Thursday morning. That’s rain in Bryson City, elevation 1,752 feet. It occurred to me, with…

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Knowing when to fold ’em

The key to continuing to enjoy an activity? Don’t intentionally put yourself in a position to dislike the activity. I left Cary early this morning for a week of backpacking in the Smokies. In the throes of trying to wrap up a book on backcountry exploring in North Carolina, the trip was both pleasure and work – work under a rapidly approaching deadline. I was doubly motivated to hit the…

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Healthy holidays? Take a class

So you like the idea of starting a fitness program during the holidays rather than waiting until the holidays are over and the damage done, but you need something with structure? Starting a walking program, as we’ve discussed, is good, but if you need something to hold your feet to the fire (or treadmill, as the case may be), then you may be surprised by the number of fitness classes…

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Hikes You Can Do: Jones Lake State Park

Initially, I planned to do these Hikes You Can Do through Thanksgiving. But since I’ve been pushing hiking and walking as a good way to stay fit and sane over the holidays, I’ve decided to extend them through year’s end. So what’s a Hike You Can Do? It’s not a long hike (though we may throw in a recommendation for going long), it’s not a strenuous hike (though there could…

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Recommended reading: the biggest losers (really)

If you’re debating whether to go the extreme, quick-results road with your New Year’s Resolution (which started yesterday, remember) or adopt a healthy, lifelong lifestyle, check out a New York Times story this week on past contestants on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” As you might expect, the long-term impact for many of the contestants over the past eight years has not been good, starting with first season winner Ryan C….

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Happy New Year!

OK, so today isn’t the start of the new year, traditionally the time when we vow to change our slothful ways. It may not be the start of a new year, but you should think of it that way. Starting today and continuing through the end of the year, our lives tend to change. This afternoon around 2, there’s the turkey, the dressing, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the…

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An up and down day in the Blacks

Getting to the top of the mountain is great. Getting back down even better. I realized that, again, today after finally conquering — after two unsuccessful tries — the Woody Ridge Trail in the Black Mountains, then starting back down the east-facing flank I’d come up. Coming up, pristine blue sky above, clouds in the distant distance. But when I headed back over the crest of the Black Mountains, the…

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A wily sales pitch

It was billed as a mountain bike race. It was actually a shrewd bit of marketing. Officially, Saturday’s 6 BC was billed as the second in a series of four, 6-hour endurance mountain bike races sponsored by the Triangle Off-Road Cyclists. And while there was indeed a race (these results prove it), it was also a cleverly crafted sales pitch by the venue host: C’mon out and race — and…

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6 BC by the numbers

Here’s a numerical look at yesterday’s 6 BC endurance mountain bike race sponsored by the Triangle Off-Road Cyclists. First, the basics: 6 — Course length, in miles. 6:00:00 — Number of hours to complete as many laps as possible 73 — Number of racers. 8 — Age of the youngest rider, Cedric Clyburn. 5 / 5:09:46 — Number of laps and the elapsed time for Cedric, who was riding a…

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Live, from Briar Chapel …

A reminder that I’ll be tweeting live today from 6 BC, the second in the Triangle Off-Road Cyclists’ four-race, six-hour endurance mountain bike series.  (Whew! Hope I’ve got more lungs for the race than I had for that sentence.) The race is a coming out of sorts for the new trail network at Briar Chapel, a green community emerging south of Chapel Hill. Word has it the trail has good…

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