Finally, some fall-like weather! The weather unpleasantness that blew through late in the week has been replaced by seasonable temperatures. Meaning if you head out for a hike early Saturday, you better be packing fleece — it could be in the upper 40s.
The first time I went to Umstead State Park in Raleigh was in January 1992. It was a bluebird day, the temperature around 30. I’d intended to hike for about an hour; I was there for four. I was smitten.
I’ve hiked, biked or run at Umstead more than 2,000 times since. While I have flash memories of several of those visits, it’s that first day in the park that bubbles to the top. That sense of discovery, the notion that a playground so vast could be right in my own backyard still makes me smile.
Saturday is National Trails Day, a day set aside for us to appreciate the more than 200,000 miles of trail in the U.S. Officially, National Trails Day dates back to 1991, when the American Hiking Society deemed that one day a year be set aside to honor our trails; the first NTD, however, didn’t occur until June 5, 1993.
Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of 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: Winter Water.
One thing I’ll miss about being in the woods in winter as the season starts packing to leave: Winter water. While the rest of the forest throttles down — the trees stop photosynthesizing and drop their leaves, critters spend more time in their dens, birds head elsewhere — for creeks, streams, rivers its business as usual. Even more so during the typically wetter winter months here in the Piedmont. And what great companions these waterways prove to be in the otherwise quiet forest, carrying on a constant chatter.