Last weekend, we explored the longest uninterrupted stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake in Raleigh: the 7 miles from NC 98 to Creedmoor Road. We were struck by how, seemingly overnight, the woods had gone from a hint of green to full-blown leaf-out. We caught glimpses of the lake; mostly, though, we were enveloped in green.
Sometimes you’re intrigued by an ambitious goal — a marathon, for instance, or triathlon — but are hesitant to commit. If only you could see it in action first … . Well, if you’ve been intrigued by the idea of an ultra — a footrace longer than a marathon — then head to Bald Island this weekend and check out the Third Annual Badwater Cape Fear, where runners will be doing either a 50K or 51.4-mile run, most of it along the lonely coastline between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher.
When I first started writing about fitness and the outdoors back in the early 1990s, there were a handful of ways you could welcome the New Year in most communities. There was usually a 5K run, a bike shop sponsored a casual ride, canoe clubs held members-only paddles, there was a hike or two, and some oddball group was jumping into a local lake (and jumping right back out again). You had options for welcoming the new year, but not a lot.
A polar bear plunge, a 5K, a hike, a kayak tour, a clinic — all good ways to end 2012 and usher in 2013.
Looking for a good reason to make one last trip to the coast in 2012? Try the five-day Crystal Coast Countdown, which begins Friday and runs through New Year’s Day (Tuesday). A range of activities are scheduled for North Carolina’s mid-coast area; those of most interest to active types include: Friday, 9 a.m.: Guided Kayak Tour in the Pine Knoll Shores area; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.: Resolution Run (1-mile fun run and 5K) in Beaufort; Tuesday, 10 a.m.: Guided hike at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach; Tuesday, 1 p.m.: Penguin Plunge, in the Atlantic, from Atlantic Beach.
There’s no time like Thanksgiving break to get moving. So … get moving!
This sounds pretty awesome. Head out to Jockey’s Ridge on Saturday, hike, cavort in the sand, explore. Then, at 4 p.m. get out your kite, get out those extra Christmas lights and that super long extension cord, and participate in Kitty Hawk Kites’ Kites with Lights celebration. Watch folks experienced in doing this kind of thing — including someone with a 19-foot delta kite — light up the night in zig-zag fashion. Extra enticement: Free hot cider, free cookies.