Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Hikes from a road trip

Today, a slideshow. At the end of May, I helped my daughter move from North Carolina to Salt Lake City for her first job. Along the way, we managed to work in a hike or four. All were spontaneous, there was no planning. These were pretty much of the, ‘Hey! We’re in the Ozarks! Let’s pull over and hike” variety. Roadside hikes that were pretty dang awesome. We started in…

Trail etiquette: play nice

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…

Good or bad? A lesson in perspective

Grr, another creek crossing, or Yippee! Another creek crossing! Thinking recently about the difference between a good experience and a not-so-good experience, I was reminded of a scouting trip I’d taken in December 2009. Here’s a brief reflection from that trip that originally appeared around the same time. Sometimes, to keep a challenge from becoming an ordeal you have to try and balance the bad with a good. Take my ordeal…

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…

Hiking diplomacy

In attempting to explain his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump told ABC News last year, “I haven’t spent time with him. I didn’t meet him, I haven’t had dinner with him. I didn’t go hiking with him.” Of the latter, we wonder: If not, why not? Hiking, whether in the Appalachians or Urals, could be the key to achieving detente, to getting past some of the pesky issues…

I miss winter

I miss winter. I realized just how much on Sunday when I found myself in need of a second layer. Light gloves wouldn’t have been bad, either. Or a hat. There’d been snow a ways back, I recalled, and it was cold for a couple days after. But since? I couldn’t recall the last time a hike had started in 30-degree weather. I couldn’t recall the last time I couldn’t…

Hiking: Oh, yeah, it’s healthy, too

News that the company that designs crash-test dummies has bulked up its replicas to better reflect a … growing America — creating a dummy that weighs 273 pounds compared to the previous 167-pounder — immediately made me think, of course, of hiking. If these crash-test dummies had been out hiking instead of parked behind the wheel, they no doubt could retain their svelte, under-35 BMI physiques of just 20 years ago. The…

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…

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…

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…