Wandering through Old Salem, from which Winston-Salem derives its second half, I was reminded that you needn’t drive deep into the country to enjoy fall color. I was reminded, too, that while the season is always better on foot — more time to linger and enjoy — you don’t necessarily need to walk an unpaved surface.
Last Thursday on a trip down east was my first day on the water and it put me of a mind to spend more time paddling. The quiet, save for the birdsong and the occasional gal-lump of a turtle inelegantly abandoning sunny log for murky water. The wildlife, including an alligator that was even more distracted by the sun and warmth. The emergence of spring, with the pastel buds of green, white and crimson giving the world a soft focus field. The unique calm that only paddling flat water can offer.
The second weekend of summer is perfect for paddling a Carolina Bay, for a taking a high-country hike and for running five races in one.
Summer is ideal for paddling. But it you don’t have your own canoe or kayak, a leisurely day on the water takes on potential hassles. First, you have to find a place to rent a boat (which we’ve made easy with this handy list). Then you have to get the boat to decent place to paddle (again, we’ve got help with that). And you have to watch the clock to make sure you get the boat back on time (sorry, no help there).
We run for various reasons. Over the next few days, we’ll run for Boston.
Memorial runs in support of the victims of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon — a phrase that is still incomprehensible to read or hear — are springing up all over the country. Here are the runs we know about in North Carolina:
There are times when you flat-out need to sleep in a tent but don’t have time to get out of town.
Like when the first warm days of the year present themselves and you realize it’s been … how long since you’ve been camping?
Or when you realize the kids have been hibernating behind their screens all winter and need some fresh air.
Or when you’ve had it with work and need to be as far from any electronic reminders of civilization as possible.
Times that you need to be encased in ripstop nylon but don’t have time to be encased in steel, glass and plastic to get there.
For those times, you have your local campground.
You might be surprised at how close the nearest campground is. In the Triangle, for instance, between Jordan Lake and Falls Lake alone, there are more than 1,300 campsites at six campgrounds. And the Triangle is not unique. Charlotte, Greenville, the Triad and Wilmington all have camping opportunities within their city limits.
In our ongoing collaboration with Great Outdoor Provision Co., we have identified five top campgrounds in each of the outdoor retailer’s seven markets (Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem). We’ve compiled everything you need to know — from location (down to the latitude and longitude) to number and type of campsites to cost to what activities you can do nearby — to plan a quick trip.
You can find the information in one of two places.