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 or slide show 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.
This weekend you can race early through the streets of Asheville or late through downtown Durham. Not a city person? Fret not: there’s a marsh paddle near Wilmington that goes nowhere near concrete or traffic lights.
There are lots of paddling options at the coast. My favorite: riverine and salt marsh habitats. That’s the destination Saturday of a trip sponsored by New Hanover County Parks & Gardens and Hook, Line & Paddle at Riverside Park in Castle Hayne. The 2.5-hour guided trip will explore the flora and fauna of this rich habitat.
Memorial Day offers no shortage of ways to celebrate the free, active life in North Carolina. In Asheville, the Mountain Sports Festival kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday, while the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte starts the day running on Sunday and never slows up.
What better way to celebrate your mom than with the mom to all, Mother Nature.
Renoir’s “Woman in Boat” is one of those classic impressionist paintings that you get lost in for a while before snapping to and thinking, “I should get Mom out in a boat. She’d like that.” OK, maybe that’s not necessarily what you think at the time. But now that the seed has been planted, it’s a good idea, no?
It’s one adventurous weekend in North Carolina, with the Combat Run at the coast, a bike tour in the Piedmont and paddle racing on the French Broad in the mountains.
My friend Jason did the Tough Mudder in Georgia earlier in the month and he did not take it lightly, training for the event by dedicating four months of his life to P90X. Surprisingly, though, not everyone approached the grueling event with the same dedication. “There were people who hadn’t trained at all,” Jason told me. It’s in that spirit of last-minute “What-the-hey” that we draw your attention to Saturday’s Combat Mud Run in Wilmington. The 5K course includes such obstacles as 4′, 6′ and 8′ walls, mud crawls, a mud walk, a swamp run, tire climb, culvert crawl and “fallen trees” (presumably not felled whilst you’re running beneath them) and a “Foot Long Bungee Hall Way Obstacle.”