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This weekend: Adventure from sea level to 6,000 feet

Learn about the salt marsh on a paddle at the coast, watch the sun set on the weekend from the Art Loeb Trail, or discover a “new” gorge where the Piedmont and coastal plain meet. Coast The Bald Head Island Conservancy does an exemplary job of promoting the environment through public education. This weekend, for instance, there’s Birding BHI, Touch Tank Time and Reptile Roundup on Saturday, and Island Nature…

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Eating MREs so you don’t have to

When I started writing about trails in the early’90s, my motto quickly became, “Getting lost, so you don’t have to.” It’s a philosophy I’ve stuck with as my scope has widened to encompass trying all kinds of things so you don’t have to. A year ago, I had a backpacking class that included three vets, a rarity because most ex-military I encounter have zero interest in voluntarily spending another night…

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This weekend: Sunny days ahead 

After a long spell of rain, you owe it to yourself to spend the weekend outdoors. The opportunities for doing so abound. Coast How many chances do you get to run a 5K through a swamp? Not too many. Saturday, though, you have the chance at the Millpond Day 5K Family Fun Run/Walk at Merchants Millpond State Park. The run is on park trail that winds through bottomland coastal forest…

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Spring wildflowers, spring bees

New Hope Creek was at its burbling best: the hardwoods nearly leafed out, the air warm but not summer warm, the wildflowers in abundance: spring beauties, bluets, chickweed, violets, periwinkle and a particularly stunning dwarf iris. My hikers will love this! I thought, thinking ahead to the Sunday GetHiking! trip I was scouting. Then I heard a distinctive hum, with more volume than I was accustomed to. I looked down…

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This weekend: A Day to Get Out and Celebrate Mother Earth 

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. Coast One way to approach Earth Day is to use it as an opportunity to visit a place you’ve yet to explore. Lake Waccamaw State…

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10,000 steps a day? Try 30,000

Jim Emmons was happy to talk about his 30,000-step-a-day habit, under one condition: the interview had to be in motion. Yes, Emmons confirmed as we walked the Durham campus of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina where he’s Vice President of Corporate Planning, he does average 30,000 steps a day—three times the daily recommendation and twice the much-discussed increase recently suggested by a study of Scottish mailmen. As…

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This weekend: Hop like a bunny — there’s lots going on

Hey, like the headline says: find your adventure (below) and hop to it. Coast Fess up: how many plastic bags of shells to you have from beach foraging sessions past? Lots, no doubt. Did you know there are things you can do with those shells? Crafty things, things you might not have thought possible that you could use to spruce up your home or office? Better still, for those long week…

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Take the picture, then record the memory

“You could take a picture of all this, but you’d lose the pictures. You look at it with your eyes instead, and it’s in your head forever. There’s not that many people can understand that.” The sentiment was expressed by a hobo named Pete to apprentice hobo/author Ted Conover in Conover’s 1984 book, “Rolling Nowhere.” Pete made the observation as the boxcar livingroom they shared rolled through the northern planes…

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This weekend: Free ride? 

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. Coast 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….

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Help for the first-time hiker

Spring is the season of rebirth. Wildflowers have been popping up for more than a month now, the trees are a day or two from being in full leaf. With temperatures in the 70s and skies more blue than not, it’s no wonder that a young man (and woman’s) thoughts turn to one thing: Being out on the trail. For many of us, it’s like baseball season. We started limbering…

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