Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

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…

Your weekend: More seasonable, more options 

The snow and bitter cold are gone. Time to get back out and explore! Coast | Coastal Plain There’s something extra special about the Coastal Plain in winter. The still air, the open views, the absence of flying biting things. All of which makes it a great time for a hike, to learn, perhaps about the phenomenon known as Carolina Bays. What are Carolina Bays? you inquire. Sorry, you’ll have…

The RDU Solution: Let’s think big

Several years ago, when Keith Nealson was a ranger at Umstead State Park, I nearly had him talked into a canoe trip down Crabtree Creek through the park. Alas, he transferred (he’s now the superintendent of Eno River State Park) and the trip never advanced beyond talk. But the idea has lingered. It’s come to the fore of late with talk of creating a Trails Center on about 600 acres…

Your weekend: Frightful? Delightful! 

Answer the following: The weather forecast for this weekend is: a) Frightful b) Delightful If you answered a), then you’ve already resigned yourself to spending the weekend indoors. Here’s a list of good books. If you answered b), stick with us as we depart from our usual format, which is to recommend planned outdoor activities scheduled for the weekend. Organized bike rides, hikes, runs, that kind of thing. Odds are…

In 2017, don’t just set a goal, set the ‘right’ goal

The following originally ran on Jan. 1, 2012. We rerun it today with minor tweaks. “You know,” Chris said, “there aren’t too many people who could do this.” After catching his breath, he added, “And I don’t mean people our age. I mean people, period.” We were on day three of a four-day, 50-mile backpack trip on a particularly rugged region of the rugged Nantahala National Forest in western North…

A present opened early

We like to ward off the beginning of the work-week blues with a thought about life on the outside. Today, I get to open an early Christmas present, a present that’s been sitting under the tree for three months. Duke Forest. In September, I relocated my office to Durham, to a location based in part on its nearness to our new home in Hillsborough, in part based on the reasonable…

90 Second Escape: The Virtues of Walking in the Rain

Wednesday, Hump Day. The memories of your weekend adventures are too distant to cling to, the prospects of adventure over the weekend ahead too distant to ponder. To help you over these midweek blues, every Wednesday we visually take you to a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. Today’s 90-Second Escape: The…