After the week, and winter, we’ve had, it seems like a dream. More a cruel taunt, really.
Yet that’s the forecast for this weekend, a forecast you can ill-afford to question. Why? Because if Saturday morning breaks clear and warm and you don’t have a plan, you will waste precious minutes of rare decent weather, an extra hour of which gets tacked on to the end of the day Sunday, with the start of Daylight Savings Time. So, in addition to this week’s edition of our Weekend Plans feature, we offer these additional thoughts for the weekend.
The warm weather may put you of a mind to get the canoe or kayak out and go paddling. Keep in mind that while the air may be warm, the water remains chilly — life-threateningly chilly, if it catches you unprepared. As luck would have it, that need not happen.
Saturday, from 1:30 to 4 p.m., the Carolina Canoe Club is sponsoring a Cold Water Safety Workshop at Falls Lake State Recreation Area.
“The whole purpose of this event is to educate paddlers and keep them alive when they venture onto cold water,” says Ginger Travis, CKC program chair.
Here’s how the workshop will unfold, says Travis: a talk indoors for first 50 minutes to an hour, followed by a session on the lake “for those wanting to swim-test their wetsuits and drysuits.” Then back inside for follow-up (and warm-up).
The clinic is at the Rollingview Community Building at Falls Lake, 4201 Baptist Road, Durham. The indoor session is free, there’s a $5 charge (to cover insurance) for non-American Canoe Association members who want to participate in the outdoor session. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t make it to the session, at least remember the five golden rules of paddling, as told by coldwatersafety.org:
- Always Wear Your PFD
- Always Dress For The Water Temperature
- Field-Test Your Gear
- Swim-Test Your Gear Every Time You Go Out
- Imagine The Worst That Could Happen and Plan For It
A reminder that if you’re up for a paddle but don’t have a boat, check out our list of 51 Places to Rent a Canoe, Kayak or Standup Paddleboard in North Carolina. And be sure to call ahead first; not all may be operating this early in the season.
The weekend is perfect for hiking. If you’re in Charlotte, the Triad or the Triangle, your welcome to tag along on one of our scheduled GetHiking! outings this weekend: Charlotte is going to Bakers Mountain near Hickory on Saturday, both the Triad and Triangle are visiting Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area on Sunday. More on our GetHiking! program in general, here.
If you prefer to freelance it, check out Great Outdoor Provision Co’s great guide to 55 hikes statewide. The inspiration, followed by the details to plan and execute a hike.
Alas, though the skies may be bright and the temperatures warm, your local mtb trails may well remain soaked — and thus, closed — for another day or three. To find out the status of your local trails:
Charlotte: TarHeel Trailblazers
Wilmington/SE North Carolina: SirBikesALot.com
Sunny skies, mild temperatures, dry: If you’re an avid climber, you probably already know where you’re headed this weekend. If not, find a rundown of statewide venues and routes at MountainProject.com.
And should the forecast not hold true, despair, but only briefly. You can still climb indoors, at your friendly neighborhood climbing gym. Find one here.