I remember where I was on the very first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970: Standing mid-thigh in central Pennsylvania’s Buffalo Creek, ostensibly taking measurements of stream flow but instead watching the very expensive stream-flow measuring device break its cable and disappear quickly downstream. I remember this more than a half century later because our usually mild-mannered science teacher, Mr. Morris, became wildly animated as he told just how expensive the device, which he’d borrowed, was.
The following post first appeared in November 2019 following a particularly crowded and frustrating hike at popular — especially in fall — Umstead State Park. We rerun it again because the trails have become even more crowded since then and the message even more appropriate.
Summer officially cedes to fall on Saturday (at 2:50 a.m.). So where’s a good place to take your first fall hike? We have 10 thoughts on the subject, based on two things:
- The temperature. Hike in the mountains and you could be starting out in temperatures in the 40s!
- Fall color. Hike in the mountains, and high enough in the mountains (above 5,500 feet), and you could see the start of some pretty good color.
Based on those two criteria, most of our recommendations are all in the mountains. Enjoy!
My latest goal: Have a Pop-Tart instant coffee breakfast in the woods before work.
As goals go, it my not be the loftiest.
Or is it?
For a good 5 years this simple ambition has been on my to-do list. Yet it remains undone. Why?
Because until now I’ve simply viewed it as “a thing to do.” A thing I really want to do, but, in the pecking order of life, simply a thing to do; it never occurred to me to elevate it to “goal” status. Goals, after all, are things you work at: a million in sales through Q2, discovering a cure for the doldrums. Showing up for work on time. Goals usually take the form of resolutions you set on New Year’s Day, like fitting into your high school Speedo by Memorial Day. Having a processed pastry and Sanka while sitting on a tree stump isn’t exactly an achievement you’d include in the Christmas newsletter.
I have so looked forward to the Dog Days of August*, that period of summer when the heat, exacerbated by the humidity, is at its worst.
If you’re thinking, “How could August be any hotter than it’s already been?” you’d be justified. Meteorologists say this has been the hottest summer on record. I’d venture that it’s also been the muggiest. Of course, I’ll take 90-degree/80-percent humidity days over the 31 days of temperatures 110 or greater that Phoenix endured.