Tag Archives: CureSearch

GetOut! Your Weekend Nudge — and a call to Ultimate action

We begin our thoughts on weekend adventure with an adventure three weeks out that you can start training for this weekend.

Raleigh/Umstead CureSearch Hike, Saturday, June 1, Umstead State Park, Raleigh. I started leading hikes in 2011 after being contacted by an endeavor called the Ultimate Hike, a new fundraiser benefitting a group out to end childhood cancer. The deal was this: lead at least six training hikes in preparation for a 28.3-mile hike (in one day) on the Foothills Trail straddling the North Carolina/South Carolina line. I’d been telling people where to hike through books and newspaper columns for 15 years, why not actually take them, I thought. So I did.  read more

Ultimate Hike: the journey begins Saturday at Umstead

Two weeks ago, I told you about the Ultimate Hike. I may have written a reminder as well. In either event, here’s another, this one to remind you that the 2013 Ultimate Hike season begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at Umstead State Park.
Ultimate Hike is the chief fundraiser for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. CureSearch is a nonprofit that traces its roots to 1987. Though its name has changed over the years, its mission has not. The nonprofit funds research efforts to fight children’s cancer.  If there’s a more noble effort to support, I’m pressed to think of it.
And if there’s a better way to support the cause — hiking to raise money for children’s cancer research — I’m hard-pressed to think of it, either. Tomorrow marks the start of a 12-week training program that will culminate with us hiking 28.3 miles on the Foothills Trail straddling North and South Carolina. The key component of the training program is a series of every-other-weekend hikes that will grow increasingly longer. Tomorrow at Umstead, will start with a short hike (of 2, 4.5 or 6 miles, hiker’s choice). We’ll be back on Aug. 24 with an 8-mile hike along the Eno River. Subsequent hikes will be at Raven Rock State Park, on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail through the Triangle, at Hanging Rock State Park and in the Uwharrie National Forest. We’ll also do a series of shorter mid-week hikes designed to get hikers used to hiking in the dark. (Why? Because to hike 28.3 miles in one day you have to hit the trail pretty early —  4:30 a.m., to be exact)
Want to find out more? Then come out tomorrow and test-drive the Ultimate Hike. We’ll gather at 9 a.m. at Picnic Shelter #2 at Umstead State Park’s Harrison Avenue entrance (off I-40). We’ll have bagels and coffee, we’ll talk hiking. Then, around 10, we’ll hit the trail.
And if you’re thinking, “I’m not really much of a hiker, this probably isn’t for me,” then cease that line of thinking. This hike and the 12-week training program is exactly for you: that’s what the training is all about. Again, come out and we’ll talk.
And remember: we won’t just be talking, we’ll be hiking.

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Throw water on the heat this weekend

It’s something of a conundrum: It’s the weekend, you want to get out, you ache to get out — yet it’s so debilitatingly hot out! (Lordy, I was heading out for a run this morning and it was already 85 by 9 a.m. I’m usually not one to hide in the air conditioning, but … .)

We have two options to help you beat the heat and a third that doesn’t. (That third one is more than worth the sweat investment.)


In these days of 100 degree heat and matching humidity, is there any other option, really, than something on/in/under the water? I think not. That’s why we’re recommending Sunday’s Bear Island Kayak Tour at Hammocks Beach State Park. Start at the mainland park, then take the 2.6-mile canoe trail out to Bear Island. It’s an easy paddle, navigating marsh and sound. You bring the bug spray, sunscreen, snacks, water and camera, the park supplies the kayaks, paddles and life jackets. It’s free, but space is limited and preregistration is required, by calling the park office at 910.326.4881. Commences at 8:30 a.m., runs about 3 hours.


I’m going to take one last opportunity — because it’s your last opportunity — to plug Ultimate Hike, a fundraiser for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. CureSearch helps kids with cancer — there are currently about 40,000 undergoing treatment currently — ensure that they get hooked up with the best treatment possible, no matter where they live. Ultimate Hike is a new way that CureSearch is raising money to fund itself. And now, about Ultimate Hike: It’s a one-day, 28.3 mile hike on a section of the Foothills Trail straddling the mountainous section of the North Carolina/South Carolina border. The hike is Oct. 1, but you don’t just show up Oct. 1 to hike 28.3 miles.

Ultimate Hike’s coaches — of whom I’m one — have crafted a training schedule intended to take a non-hiker and in 12 weeks make said non-hiker capable of covering 28.3 miles in one day (a day, by the way, that starts with a 3 a.m. wakeup call). The training schedule is graduated to build you up to epic hiker level, in part through a series of increasingly longer hikes every other Saturday.

I mention this today because Saturday is the last day for hikers in the Triangle to sign up. (Charlotte area hikers have two more opportunities: tonight at the Pineville REI at 6:30 p.m. and July 30 at 9 a.m. the U.S. National Whitewater Center). Saturday at 9 a.m. we’ll hold our last information/sign-up at Historic Yates Mill Park in Raleigh. Come, find out more about the hike, then join us for a 2- to 3-mile hike around the park.

More info here and here. Or leave a question below (others may be wondering the same thing).


Nothing cools you off quite like getting flipped out of a whitewater raft bouncing through a Class III rapid on a cold mountain river. Not that that happens. Often. But on most raft trips there’s usually at least one occasion to voluntarily depart the boat and float a calm stretch of cool river (sometimes there’s even a small cliff you can leap from into a deep pool).

If you’ve been thinking about packing the family into the Suburban and heading to the hills for a day of whitewater rafting, this could be the perfect weekend. In part because of the heat, in part because fellow guidebook author and outdoors writer Karen Chavez wrote a most helpful piece in yesterday’s Asheville Citizen-Times about how to chose a whitewater rafting trip.

Read it — when you’re done here, of course — then book a trip.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.

Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host read more