It’s another diverse weekend in North Carolina: Take a preseason plunge into the chilly Atlantic, run up a quartzite monadnock, or spy on your feathered friends (in the name of science).
Here’s a good opportunity to see just how sturdy your cardio is: The 8th Annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge Saturday at Carolina Beach. Picture yourself at the Le Mans-style start, you in your fetching bathing suit making a mad dash for the 51.3 degree waters of the Atlantic — all in support of Special Olympics. Related festivities — live entertainment, costume contest, auction, food, drawings for prizes — start at 11 a.m., the plunge takes place during the heat of the day, at 3 p.m. (air temperatures around 60 are forecast).read more
Sunday, Marcy and I headed over to Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary after roadside flashes of sourwood red and dogwood peach suggested the fall color show was just getting underway. Roadside trees — stressed by the heat of automotive exhaust — are often the first to show their chromatic hand. When they start to go, we grab the camera and head for woods.read more
I realized a few weeks back when I went to find a picture of Hanging Rock State Park in my computer archive that it had been a while since I’d paid a visit. The reason: I didn’t have a Hanging Rock file, let alone a single photo of the photogenic state park north of the Triad. Because I always take my camera when I hit the trail, that meant I hadn’t been to Hanging Rock since my dark PC days — at least five years ago. (Re: “the dark PC days” — The first/last PC I’ve had ate my photo library not long after my “100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina” came out in 2007. Shame on me, yes, for not backing up. But shame on the PC for having such a convoluted and vulnerable system. Rant over; moving on … .)read more