This is a weekend for just about anyone. At the coast, take a mellow walk into the past in downtown Wilmington. In the Piedmont, brush up on your bird awareness for the upcoming census. In the mountains, strap on your crampons for a high country winter hike.
Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
Surf while you can, don’t pass up a good shower, and there’s a trail run in the mountains — somewhere.
A regret that needles at me seven years after the fact: Standing on a pier in Kaanapali on Maui watching a beginner surf lesson and not ponying up the $25 or whatever to take the lesson myself. I can still see people far less athletic than I bounding atop the long, spongy beginner boards and riding two-foot swells that went on forever. Looks like fun, I kept telling myself. That bit of melancholy leads to today’s weekend suggestion for the coast …
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.
Much as I love snow, and we’ve had more than our share so far this season, the attendant cold and gray that often accompanies it gets old after a while. I can’t do anything about the cold, rather than bundle up. But there is a place or two where I can battle the gray. One of which is the Little Creek Trail at Raven Rock State Park near Lillington.