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Running, walking, hiking, biking, paddling, climbing

Living the active life in North Carolina

A Muddy Good Time

I wrote the following for both the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer; it appeared in both papers on Tuesday, April 23. It appears here in updated form, with links. A story on Big Muddy participants Dave Case and his son, Owen, appeared in this space yesterday. Adam Spisak thinks a good way to spend time with your kids is covered in mud. Last fall, nearly 1,100 parents and…

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Big Muddy, big fun

In today’s North Carolina Observers (Charlotte and Raleigh) I have a story about the Big Muddy Challenge, an obstacle race for families started last year by Adam Spisak of Raleigh. Spisak started the race after looking around for an obstacle race he could someday do with his newborn daughter — and finding there were none. You can read that story here. As is the case with most stories that need…

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90 Second Escape: Spring Rains

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…

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‘Miserable’? Depends upon your perspective

Two days ago, the weekend forecast for across the land (“the land” being North Carolina) called for mostly sunny skies and highs in the low 70s. Perfect weather for just about every outdoor pursuit. Today, the word “miserable” is in the forecast for Saturday. (WRAL.com: “ … We should have a miserable day with wind and rain playing a prominent role in the forecast. .. .” It’s a meteorologist’s prerogative,…

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This weekend: Forecast for fun

Test a kayak, try a new wildlife refuge, tread (quickly) some stellar trail. There’s lots to do in North Carolina this coming spring weekend. Coast Been thinking about getting into flatwater paddling but confounded by the various boat options? Rec kayaks, touring kayaks, sea kayaks, sit-on-tops, inflatables … . Where’s a budding paddler to start? If you’re in Wilmington Saturday you can start at Smith Creek Park, where from 10…

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90 Second Escape: Mount Rogers

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…

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Hike into a season in bloom

Through March in the Piedmont we’d seen only scant evidence of spring: first-responder wildflowers including trout lilies (which can appear as early as late February), bluets and a sorrel or two. Spring was kept in the deep freeze in March, was good news if you were otherwise occupied during the month and couldn’t get out. Finally, though, come April the situation is changing. Sunny skies, warm weather and spring are…

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This weekend: Walk/Run/Bike (and Hike/Paddle)

Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70s — that’s the statewide forecast for this weekend. Our forecast? You’ll be out making the most of it. Coast You’ve got some paddling experience under your belt, on lakes, maybe a local river or two with a minimal current. You like the idea of paddling bigger water — the sounds and inlets — and while you’re confident in your skills, you’d still…

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Ten places for a spring paddle

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…

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90 Second Escape: Paddling Milltail Creek

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…

Continue Reading +