The weather people said a cold front was coming. They said the air would be drier. They said the daytime highs would drop into the mid-70s and that it cool off to 60 overnight. After weeks of soggy, sweaty days in the low 90s, it was easy to be skeptical. But when front finally hit it was easy to drop whatever and reunite with the outdoors.
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.
When I get lost on a hike, the first thing I like to do when I get home is dig out the appropriate USGS map and figure where I went wrong. I call the exercise a topopsy. Similarly, after a race I like to take a few minutes to figure out what went right and what didn’t. Thus, a few minutes looking back at Saturday’s River Bound 15K at the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.
Here’s an exchange I find myself having surprisingly often.
Other Person: I’ve been trying to find a local hiking [slash-paddling-slash-cycling-slash-climbing-slash-other-favorite-activity-here] club but haven’t had any luck. Are there any?
Me: Have you tried Meetup?
Yes, even today, after 12 years, 14.1 million members, 131,119 Meetup groups and 2.65 million monthly RSVPS (members indicating they plan to attend a Meetup activity) there are still people out there unfamiliar with Meetup.com. In short: Meetup is how people gather to play in the internet age. You want to go on a group hike in Charlotte, you join Outdoor Club South: Charlotte. You want to go kayaking in the Carolinas? Simply join Simply Kayaking. You want to do just about anything and you live in the Triangle? Become one of the 5,392 members of the Triangle Hiking & Outdoors Group: they’ve got 20 events currently scheduled and odds are at least one will tickle your adventure fancy.
Finding a group is easy. Go to Meetup.com, click “Find a Meetup Group,” click on your interest and how far you’re willing to drive, and options will appear. If they don’t, if there’s not a group that does what you want to do, start one.
To give you an idea of what’s out there, here’s a list of the 17 Meetup groups I belong to. Click, see what they do, where they go and who they are. Like what they’re about? Click one more time and become a member.
It’s that easy.
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 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.