I woke up earlier than usual Tuesday morning and didn’t realize it until later. I was well into my morning routine before I happened to notice a clock.
6:10? Why am I awake at 6:10?
I looked out the living room window and saw why: the sky was already light, a glowing light even though sunrise was a good 45 minutes off. Even official twilight was a few minutes away. Yet it was already light out.read more
Never has there been more incentive to be outside than there is for the winter that lies ahead. We’ve always known that being outside is good for us; now we’re being told that it’s vital for our well-being.
For late fall we have three backpack trips suited to people who may have burned through their vacation, for the winter, we have three weekend trips to our most iconic locations. Here’s the lineup:read more
We had just crawled into our tents Friday night when the rain started: a gentle patter at first, the kind known for lulling you to sleep. Then it got down to business.
I drifted off to sleep realizing that the weekend of cavorting in the pools and cascades of Wilson Creek that we had planned might not come to pass. We’d been waiting weeks, in 90-degree-plus weather, for the chance to jump into these chill mountain pools, then sun off on the adjoining granite slabs, and repeat. Oh well, I thought, good thing we have a Plan B.read more
Some workweeks last longer than others. We’re guessing this will be a long one, even though for us it’s only four days. Friday, we’re turning on the “out of office” reply and slipping out the door for a wild weekend in Wilson Creek.
Wilson Creek, Linville Gorge’s little brother. It may not have the gaping chasm of its better-known neighbor, but it does have numerous smaller ones that offer intimate, less crowded and more accessible (somewhat) access to the bracing waters that drain from Grandfather Mountain’s southeast flank. Cascades and their resulting pools, where relief from an onslaught of 90-degree summer heat is found in so many spots, not just in the main gorge. And many of these pools are rimmed by polished granite, ideal for sunbathing. Take a dip, sunbathe until dry. Repeat. Imaging spending an afternoon — or the entire weekend doing — just that.read more
We’d both been quiet for a while, too hot, sweatyand drained for chit chat. In two and a half days we’d hiked 25 miles, most in full pack, most in 90-degree heat. We were nearing the end — hopefully, of just the hike.
I looked over my shoulder and saw a rare downcast look on Alison’s face. “They aren’t gonna like this,” she said.read more