The statewide forecast for the weekend: Sunny with highs in the low 60s, which makes this an ideal weekend for just about every outdoor adventure. We offer three options especially well-suited to the forecast.
Right now is about the time it’s comfortable — and sane — to start venturing into a coastal forest. (Between April and November, exploring coastal forests is tantamount to offering room service to any bug that sucks blood for a livelihood.) That makes it the ideal time for “The Forest of Goose Creek: Past, Present and Future” at Goose Creek State Park near Washington (North Carolina’s Washington, the pleasant one). A ranger leads you on a hike of the Ivy Gut Trail and fills you in on the natural and cultural history of this park, located along the mighty Pamlico River just before it becomes the mighty Pamlico Sound.read more
Tuesday, I had one of the more exhausting times I’ve had in 20 years of covering outdoor adventure — and I was in an air-conditioned building. At a catered affair.
The affair was a media event sponsored by the North Carolina Division of Tourism, a gathering of tourism promotion types from around the state and the people they hoped would write about them. People such as myself.
Immediately upon walking in the door of the Contemporary Art Museum — CAM for short — in downtown Raleigh I was met by my old buddy, Suzanne Brown. Suzanne and I worked together for years in the Features Department of The News & Observer, Suz overseeing everything entertainment, me doing my outdoors thing. In 2008, we were both part of a massive newsroom exodus. I landed here, Suz at Tourism, a job that suits her as she wasted little time getting my attention.
“Do you know about the Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddle Trail?” she asked.
I didn’t, but I didn’t feel too bad upon learning that the trail is a work in progress, a proposed — though some of it exists — paddle trail running from Virginia south through the Carolinas and Georgia, where it will meet with the existing 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. A kind of Appalachian Trail for paddlers.
“Cool!” I said.
“What about Jetpacks?” she wanted to know.
“And what about telephones with TV screens and flying cars?” I said.
No, she said, you can now rent a JetPak on the Outer Banks.
Then, in a Graduatesque nod to the Next Big Thing, she leaned in and whispered “Zip Lines.”read more