GetOut! And be grateful for our gorgeous weather

This morning I went out for an early hike. The air was crisp and clear, not a cloud in the sky. The trees were just beginning to show color. And it was brisk: I could have used a long-sleeve shirt.

After a moment of blissful basking, I remembered a map I’d seen the day before showing the extent of the smoke from the western wildfires that so far have burned more than 3.7 million acres. The haze from the fires extended from coast-to-coast, blanketing most of the West and following the jet stream into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Much of the country is affected by these fires (there are 26 major wildfires burning in California alone). Fortunately, we are not.

We always feel fortunate when a fall weekend rolls around and graces us with sunshine and cloudless skies. It’s even better when the fall color display has gotten off to one of its earliest starts in years. Even before the first day of October, sourwoods, dogwoods, redbuds and others are flashing good color, especially in edge forests and along lakes. If you’re up for a bit of a drive, the color is already nearing peak hues in the highest of the high country. Check out this fall color map from

Keep in mind that fall color brings everyone out, so seeking the trails less traveled will be even more important during October. Check out our tips for finding those trails in this blog post from May. Keep in mind, too, that the weekend forecast calls for temperatures reaching only into the upper 60s, with only a cloud or two in the sky.

We’re fortunate. In parts of the country, people are advised not to go outdoors because of the smoke. They might not go out anyway because of the blazing heat. Here, things couldn’t be better. 


Today’s Video …

… visits the 4.9-mile Day-Hike Section S of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail adjoining Falls Lake in Durham. Download our eguide to the hike here. Order by Monday, enter the code 8DZFHV4R, and we’ll waive the $0.99 feet.

Camping, anyone?

Are you a spur-of-the-moment type? The type who reads the weekend forecast on Friday and says, “Man! I should go camping!” Even though you don’t have any camping gear? Don’t let a lack of gear keep you from following through on your impulse, not when our new GetCamping! program lets you rent the key pieces of gear you need, from a tent and sleeping pads to rockin’ camp chairs, to a camp kitchen. Learn more about the program and how you can rent a GetCamping! Kit here.

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