I was driving north from Chapel Hill to Hillsborough on Old NC 86 late one afternoon in early December, a time of fading light known as the gloaming. The sun hadn’t officially set, but with a mostly cloudy sky it might as well have. Little light remained, but just enough that, passing by at 55 miles per hour, I thought I glimpsed what appeared to be dirt road guarded by a familiar gate, a chalk-white chain-link iron bar suspended between two forest green posts. I made a mental note of the location, and a Post-It Note to return and check it out.read more
It’s looking like a pretty nice weekend to be out in the woods, with daytime highs into the low 60s both Saturday and Sunday. There’s a chance of rain Sunday; otherwise, a good-looking December weekend is on tap.
First, a couple of off-trail adventures, both intended to keep you off pandemic-popular trails.read more
It was a cloudless 50-degree late fall day, a day that was intended only for being outdoors. We dream of days like this, days when every minute of sunlight — and there were 607 and change on this particular day — should be spent outside. Alas, I was bushed: low biorhythms, iron-poor blood, ennui? I didn’t know and it didn’t matter, because I barely had 60 minutes in me., let alone 600. And if I could only get in a couple miles on a day meant for 10, what was the point. Which brings me to the point.read more
Wednesday morning I was 10 minutes down the trail, passing through a clearing about to reenter the woods when I was struck by an odd mix of discovery and deja vu. The trail through this rolling hardwood forest and this clearing was both familiar and foreign. I’d hiked here before, plenty of times. At one point, I probably hiked here two or three times a month. And I had some vivid memories, including one visit in a light snow. But there was one thing I couldn’t remember.read more
I just returned from a five-day retreat of sorts, a portion of which was spent thinking about trails. All kinds of trails, and the role they play in our lives. It was something I didn’t realize I’d been thinking about for so long: all the way back, it seems, to the first time I looked into the sky and saw a contrail streaking across the sky, the sign of a journey being taken from unknown Point A to unknown Point B. The initial joy of that journey? Imagining where those two points might be.read more