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An evening of Peak Experiences

Sometimes we listen to the tales of others for inspiration, sometimes for same flat-out vicarious living. Thursday evening, you’ll get both at Peak Panel: a Night of Stories at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. Four North Carolina climbers will share their individual stories of conquering four of the world’s most captivating peaks: Everest, Denali, Rainier and Patagonia. On the panel are: Chip Popoviciu – On May…

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Hiking: Better late than never

The following originally appeared in October of 2013. We re-run it today, updated, with a tweak or two “Uh!” Kathy groaned about three quarters of the way up the grinding march up to Moore’s Knob at Hanging Rock State Park. “I wish I’d started doing this when I was younger.” “Better late than never,” her sister Judy offered. “Yeah,” I added, “and hiking is something you can do for another…

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This weekend: Polar Plunge, History Hike, Nature Hike

Is this the weekend you take your first dip of 2017 in the Atlantic? Perhaps you’re more interested in a hike into history. Or maybe it’s when you take a class and learn not to bark up the wrong tree (so to speak). Coast Did you miss the chance to jump into an icy pool — the classic polar plunge — on New Year’s Day? Do you feel your year…

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Spring: the first sign

It’s about this time of year that I begin getting distracted on the trail. I stumble over tree roots and rocks more, my attention diverted from the trail itself to three, five, 10 feet into the neighboring terrain. Scanning, constantly. I grow quieter on group hikes; my responses to fellow hikers limited to a delayed “right” or “sure,” wondering later if I offered to bring a main course to a…

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This weekend: Learn, churn 

Winter is a great time for learning a new skill (map and compass), marveling over mother nature (learning her mountaintop secrets), or testing your intestinal fortitude (the Krispy Kreme Challenge). Coast | coastal plain One of the most popular courses we offer through our Get! programs is GetOriented!, a three-hour class that gets explorers comfortable with map and compass and thus, more comfortable exploring the outdoors, especially on their own….

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The campfire: the Algonquin Round Table of the Outdoors

We love a good campfire after a long day on the trail. We love it for the light, which extends the day into night (especially welcome when the sun sets at 5 p.m.). We love it for the heat, without which we would be forced into our bags all the earlier. We love it for its s’more-making potential. Mostly, though, we love it for the stimulating conversation staring at flames tends…

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This weekend: Winter returns 

More seasonal temps descend this weekend. It will still be nice for a hike at the coast, and you’ll be able to hit the slopes in the mountains. Meanwhile, in the Piedmont, you can take it inside for a chance to try a cool sport associated with the cold. Coast You stand on shore, you look out to any number of islands and think, “I wonder what’s out there?” Saturday…

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Winter woods: Sounds in Silence

A dull, distant whirring, an intrusion of industrial origin that should have been distracting at the least. Instead, it was curiously reassuring. I was walking a stretch of the Eno River upstream from Durham, downstream from my home in Hillsborough. More rural than urban, but not entirely detached. I’d been faintly aware of the thrum of tires rolling down I-85 a half mile distant, fading in and out, of the…

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Your weekend: Paddle, run, learn 

The standup paddlers takes to the chilly waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, runners take to the trails of the National Whitewater Center, and nature lovers learn a thing or two at Grandfather Mountain. There may be a little rain in the forecast, but that’s no reason to stay inside on an active North Carolina weekend. Coast Think of it as a race and go for the cash prizes, think of…

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The Uwharries, and other forgotten mountains

“These mountains are killing me.” I was glad to hear my new trail friend echo my thoughts. Glad as well to hear him refer to the Uwharries as “these mountains.” The Uwharries are typically referred to as mountains, though the “mountains” part is often uttered with an implied snicker. As in, They may be mountains in name, but they certainly aren’t the Appalachians. And they aren’t. But they are surprisingly…

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