Usually it’s mid-June before we’re forced to address the issue of summer heat. Before, that is, we’re forced to issue our annual plea to stay on the trail during the summer months ahead.
In some parts of the U.S. — the Northeast, the Pacific Coast, the mountain states — hikers live for the summer and its warm days. Not here, where Summer is equated with still air, sticky clothes and sweat-stung eyes.read more
I’ve been leading hikes and backpack trips for more than a decade, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that most of my hikers were older than I’d expected. We’d have a few people in their 20s, then a big gap, then a whole lot of people in their 50s. And 60s. And 70s. It eventually dawned on me why: people in their 20s have fewer commitments and more time to play. Same with people who are done raising kids and are reaching retirement age.read more
Back in January I got to thinking about where I haven’t been in too long and thus, where I would love to explore this summer.
I didn’t have to think long: the mountain portion of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
Now, I hike the MST nearly every day, since I can pick it up a couple blocks from my front door in Hillsborough. And while I never tire of this stretch, nor of the other 120 miles I hike with some frequency through the Triangle, there’s something about the MST’s nearly 350-mile run through the mountains that’s especially enchanting — and diverse, capturing both the rugged beauty of the Southern Appalachians and its moments of intimate calm. Here’s a look at three favorite sections, all along the Blue Ridge Parkway.read more
For much of the winter, the sun set long before we had a chance to enjoy it after getting off work. Now, it stays out later and later, and so do we. Sometimes later than we anticipated.
When we become drunk on sunlight and it leaves the party before we were expecting, it’s good to know a thing or two about navigating in the dark, and near dark. Today, we share some tips based on our experience of leading night hikes for the past 10 years.read more
Spring comes, so come the hikers, the seasonal hikers. The, dare we say it, the “fair weather” hikers?
Sure we dare, because they’re probably the first to admit that unless there’s not a cloud in the sky, unless the temperatures not 66 degrees (plus or minus 4 degrees), and unless there’s some pretty flower blooming or some tree putting on a color show, they’ll be doing things indoors, thank you.read more