PORTLAND, Maine–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Five Vermont schools are among the recipients of donations made by a regional auto dealership. Berlin City Auto Group, a family of dealerships founded in 1980 in New England, and its Drive for Education foundation, a forward-thinking program created by the employees of Berlin City Auto Group, announce the award recipients in its Drive for Education program. Donating $60,000 to 18 K-12 schools spanning across New England, Berlin City Auto Group has met its annual goal of awarding more than $100,000 to local schools. Beginning today, recipient schools will be honored with a check presentation at a Berlin City Auto Group dealership in Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire, Dec. 19-21.‘We believe in giving back to the community and helping our local schools succeed in education.’To be considered for the program, a school official had to submit a short essay to Berlin City Auto Group by Nov. 30, 2011 explaining how their school would use a donation of up to $3,500. Berlin City’s Brand Ambassadors, a group of employees that lead the dealerships’ community involvement campaigns, evaluated the needs of each school and selected the winners accordingly.‘We’re thrilled to have met our goal of $100,000 in donations to New England schools this year,’ said Yegor Malinovskii, vice president at Berlin City Auto Group. ‘We believe in giving back to the community and helping our local schools succeed in education.’Berlin City Auto Group will hold check ceremonies on Monday, Dec. 19 in Maine; Tuesday, Dec. 20 in New Hampshire; and Wednesday, Dec. 21 in Vermont, honoring the winning schools. Awarded schools include:Mackworth Island’Windham/Raymond, MaineLongfellow Elementary School’Portland, MaineCostal Ridge Elementary School’York, MaineMassabesic Middle School’Waterboro, MaineOxford-Cumberland Canal’Westbrook, MaineGreat Falls Elementary’Gorham, MaineCharles A. Snow School’Fryeburg, MaineDurham Community School’Durham, MaineLancaster Elementary’Lancaster, N.H.Milan Village School’Milan, N.H.White Mountains Regional High School’Whitefield, N.H.Gorham Middle/High School’Gorham, N.H.Kennett High School’North Conway, N.H.Colchester Middle School’Colchester, Vt.Mt. St. Joseph Academy’Rutland, Vt.Malletts Bay School’Colchester, Vt.Folsom School’North Hero, Vt.Thetford Academy’Thetford, Vt.From each vehicle sold at its six dealerships throughout New England, Berlin City gives a portion of sales to the Drive for Education program. This year alone, the Drive for Education Foundation has awarded more than $100,000 to New England schools with the first donation of $40,000 made in June of 2011 to twelve recipient schools.For more information about Berlin City Auto Group’s Drive for Education Foundation, visit: http://www.berlincity.com/driveforeducation.htm(link is external)About Berlin City Auto GroupBerlin City Auto Group consists of six dealerships in New England, located in Gorham, N.H., Burlington, Vt. and Portland and S. Portland, Maine. The company sells Toyota, Scion, Lexus, Nissan, Honda, Chevy, GMC, Buick, Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Kia. Berlin City offers a 4-day/200 mile no questions asked return policy and the lowest, most competitive 4-day/200 mile price guarantee, door-to-door delivery service throughout New England and pre-owned protection on Berlin City certified pre-owned vehicles within 60 days or the first 2,000 miles. If it breaks, we’ll fix it. For more information or a list of locations, please visit www.berlincity.com(link is external). You can also find Berlin City on Facebook and Twitter.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Public Radio International:More than half of Florida’s population is estimated to have lost power because of Hurricane Irma. Many of the nearly 7 million Floridians who remained without power Tuesday will likely have to wait weeks before it’s restored.“What we think we’ll see on the west coast [of the state] is a wholesale rebuild of our electric grid,” said Robert Gould, vice president of communications for Florida Power and Light, during an interview with ABC on Sunday.What can the state do to avoid mass blackouts in the future?Build microgrids, says Francis O’Sullivan, director of research for the MIT Energy Initiative.“These microgrids … take a different approach. What you’re doing … is you’re bringing some of the generation and storage to local areas and you’re servicing — in a radial sense — that local area from one central region,” O’Sullivan said.“And what … will happen in an instance like a hurricane is that one region might get damaged, so the generation might be knocked out. That system is going to be able to break away from the others. And those other local systems are going to be able to continue to deliver service to their customers.”How to avoid blackouts in hurricanes? Model power grids after the internet, says one expert. The Hurricane Case for Microgrids
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):After a temporary pause in its purchase of battery storage systems following an April 2019 explosion at one of its early projects, Arizona Public Service Co. plans to add at least 2,500 MW of energy storage capacity in the next decade and as much as 10,550 MW by 2035.The initial fleet will include 750 MW of stand-alone storage and solar-plus-storage plants by the end of 2024 followed by an additional 1,750 MW by 2030. That capacity “will provide the backbone of replacement capacity and energy as we look to exit coal completely by 2031,” the Pinnacle West Capital Corp. utility subsidiary said in its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan filed June 26.The plan is a blueprint for how Arizona Public Service, or APS, intends to plug resource gaps as roughly 1,400 MW of coal capacity retire and another 1,600 MW of natural gas contracts expire over the next 10 years and to position itself to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by midcentury.“Our plan overall is premised on the ability to safely and economically deploy large amounts of energy storage so that we can provide as much of the needed capacity as possible through a combination of renewable resources and storage,” APS said in its resource plan. While the utility has installed only 7.2 MW of storage since 2017, it said, “[W]e believe it is likely feasible and reasonable to reflect in our plans.”Through 2024, Arizona’s largest utility proposes to add 962 MW of large-scale renewable generation, 750 MW of energy storage, 575 MW of demand-side management, 408 MW of distributed energy, 193 MW of demand response, 6 MW of microgrid capacity and no new gas. After that, three pathways to 2035 pivot largely on different mixes of renewable energy, energy storage and new gas generation plants that will be capable of running partially on hydrogen and which could eventually be converted to run on all carbon-free hydrogen.A so-called bridge portfolio would reach 79% zero-carbon power by 2035, fueled by additions of 6,450 MW of renewable energy, 4,850 MW of energy storage and 1,859 MW of new gas plants or purchases from existing merchant gas plants. A more aggressive “accelerate portfolio” is designed to hit 91% carbon-free electricity by 2035, relying on 10,375 MW of new renewable energy, 10,550 MW of additional energy storage and no new gas purchases. A middle path, called the “shift” portfolio and reaching 84% clean energy by 2035, would include 7,950 MW of new renewables, 6,500 MW of energy storage and 1,135 MW of hydrogen-capable gas turbines.[Garrett Hering]More ($): Arizona Public Service sees energy storage as ‘backbone’ of coal exit Arizona utility APS to rely on battery storage, solar to enable 2031 exit from coal generation
Will Harlan runs through an ancient forest of beech and hemlock. Photo: Steven McBrideI am not a runner. I’m a chaser.When I was four years old, I chased my dad each night on his two-mile jog around the neighborhood. In high school, my buddies and I lit fireworks beside a police car, and (barely) got away on foot. In college, I climbed the stadium wall and evaded the pursuit of security guards to watch the final game of the World Series.After my prankish college days, I turned to trail running. I didn’t pay much attention to splits or times; I simply loved the feeling of scampering through the forest eluding a chase pack or reeling in the lead harrier. I ended up winning a few events, but I always viewed races more like a grown-up game of cops and robbers.Then I got a job, got married, and became a dad. Instead of chasing the trail, I was chasing my naked three-year-old son around the living room.I woke up one day and found myself in a 35-year-old body. Gone were the lithe, spring-loaded legs of my youth. It was time to face a hard truth: I would never be as fast as I once was.But I felt like I still had some kick left in me. So I dreamed up one final challenge: an unsupported 72-mile solo run on the Appalachian Trail across Great Smoky Mountains Park, the wildest, tallest, and most rugged terrain in the East. No checkpoints or crew support. No competitors or companions. Just me and the mountains.I woke up at 2 a.m. and drove to Davenport Gap on the eastern edge of the Smokies. In the dark, I shouldered my pack, clicked on my headlamp, and began running up the Appalachian Trail. For my 72-mile journey, I carried only a small pack of food and water, along with a hand-sketched map of springs along the trail.The half-million acres of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 1,500 black bears—roughly two bears per square mile. As I bounded up the moonlit trail, I felt their glowing eyes watching me silently through the rhododendron thickets and rocky hollows. I thanked them for allowing me to pass through their home in the middle of the night.I reached Mount Cammerer around twilight. Giant old-growth hemlocks, yellow poplars, and sugar maples lined the trail, and I brushed my fingers across their furrowed bark. It was intoxicating to exchange my breath with ancient trees.The morning sun crested the peaks and burned a hole through the gauzy clouds. I plunged down to Tri-Corner Knob Shelter and bushwhacked about a quarter-mile to refill my water from a spring. The weight of the full water bottles dug into my back.I checked my watch—ten minutes slower than I had hoped. I hadn’t really trained for this adventure. Work and family commitments had increased, and our organic farm had kept me busy weeding gardens, planting squash, and milking goats, leaving little time for training.But there was no time left for excuses: I was a 35-year-old dad and husband, and this was probably my last chance to chase the Smokies speed record. Regardless of my finishing time, I wanted to pour every ounce of myself into the effort. Whenever I felt my pace slowing, I asked one question: is this the best I can give?The cool, wet, north-facing trail that I had run in the early morning twisted south, becoming a bed of dry rubble underfoot. I rolled through the Sawteeth, a section of jagged, narrow ridgeline trail. Sweat-drenched and thirst-slaked, I refilled my water pack at Icewater Spring near 6,000-foot Mount Kephart.Nearby, I heard a hermit thrush’s gurgled song—which sounded like notes from my son’s bathtub water flute. The thrush’s liquid melody echoed through the deep forest. He could have been courting a female or defending his territory, but he seemed to be singing simply for the joy of it. Could I do the same? Did I always need an ego-enlarging reason—a goal, a race, a finish line? Could I run not to enhance myself, but to lose it in the silence of the forest?Violets and trillium blanketed the trail near the Charlies Bunion overlook. I almost didn’t stop, but I forced myself to enjoy a panoramic pause. For three decades, I had been running too fast to really notice the scenery. It was all just a blurry tunnel of green. But atop the Bunion, I was beginning to glimpse the value of stopping—or at least slowing down slightly—to smell the wildflowers.I nimbly danced down the boulder-strewn trail toward Newfound Gap, but my progress slowed on the eight-mile climb up to 6,643-foot Clingmans Dome, the highest point on the entire Appalachian Trail. For the first time, I began doubting my ability to finish. My wobbly legs buckled, my breathing was raspy, my head cloudy. 1 2
Despite the doomsday prognostications, 2012 is gonna be a good year. It will be, in fact, a great year, with these 100 foolproof, failsafe, airtight, guaranteed, tried-and-tested things for you to do this year, from our calendar to yours.Be sure and log your adventures on the BRO 100 Facebook app here!JANUARY1. Channel your inner animal. Polar bears may be disappearing in the Arctic, but their numbers are growing in the Southeast. Take the Polar Plunge at Lake Lure, N.C., on January 1, or head to Blowing Rock, N.C., on January 29 for a polar bear dip during Winterfest.2. Freeze your paddle off. The 23rd annual Chili Run attracts paddlers from across the region to paddle the class II+ Cartecay River on January 1. Enjoy piping-hot chili afterward.3. New Year, Old Rag. A handful of hardy hikers head up to Shenandoah every New Year’s Day to summit Old Rag Mountain.4. Get tough this year. Train like a SEAL. Former Navy SEAL John McGuire has been helping people get into the best shape of their lives for over 10 years. Training as part of a team, you’ll get worked, you’ll get wet, and you’ll train hard–outside, nonetheless. sealteampt.com5. See Blackwater Falls—in the snow. Whet your winter palate with a visit to Blackwater Falls, W.Va., then enjoy the cold-weather paradise of Canaan Valley area surrounding the falls.6. Explore the South’s newest National Park. Congaree National Park, just south of Columbia, S.C., contains some of the largest old growth trees in the Eastern U.S. They also grow in a massive, swampy floodplain that you can canoe through year-round.FEBRUARY7. Ski Cupp Run. Snowshoe Mountain’s top-to-bottom, two-minute big boy run is downhill racer David Lippucci’s favorite run in Appalachia.8. Train for a marathon or half marathon. Whether you’re training for the Charlottesville Marathon and Half Marathon (April 7), the Charlotte Half Marathon (April 14), the Blue Ridge Marathon and Half Marathon (April 21), or the Kentucky Derby Marathon (April 28), or the legendary Boston Marathon (April 16), February is the month to bulk up on mileage and get serious about training.9. Catch a Bluegrass Show at the Purple Fiddle.10. Skate ski at White Grass. Over in West Virginia near the Canaan Valley area, Chip Chase has carved out the most impressive cross-country ski park in the entire region. Whether you’re cross-country skiing or you want to get some speed going, White Grass will satisfy your thirst.11. Paddle at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The center in Charlotte, N.C., includes an artificial class II-IV whitewater river, along with hiking, mountain biking, and climbing on the 400 surrounding acres.12. Try snowkiting. Dolly Sods and Roan Mountain are ideal spots for wind-powered fun.13. Trek the A.T. in winter across Roan Mountain. The A.T. crosses the 6,285-foot Roan High Knob on Roan Mountain. Keep heading north and the trail covers 10 miles of balds with incredible views–often touted as the best section of the entire A.T. Enjoy this winter wonderland on foot or on skis.MARCH14. Learn to roll a kayak. Visit the Nantahala Outdoor Center or Endless River Adventures in Western North Carolina, D.C.’s Potomac Paddlesports, Richmond’s Adventure Challenge, or join the Georgia Canoeing Association in Atlanta.15. Catch a flick. And get educated while doing so. Since 1993, the D.C. Environmental Film Festival has showcased world-class outdoor documentaries and features.16. Bike the Virginia Creeper Trail. Beautiful countryside, pristine creeks, and old bridges are highlights of this flat 34-mile ride.17. Read the coal history of the New River Gorge, and then hike it. The New River Gorge was once the heart of the Industrial Revolution, supplying staggering amounts of coal to the entire U.S. Mining towns sprang up along the C&O Railroad throughout the gorge. There are still ghost-town remnants of some of them.18. Get tropical at the Snowy Luau Festival. Timberline Resort’s spring Polynesian fest is a must for anyone looking to cap off their ski season in style. The night-time torchlight parade, where skiers descend the mountain in unison carrying torches to form a fiery lava trail, is spectacle all on its own.19. Run an ultra. Terrapin Mountain 50K in late March is an ideal ultra for rookies: it’s a scenic loop trail course in George Washington National Forest with challenging-but-doable climbs and outstanding race support.20. The Cold Mountain Challenge. Hike in the footsteps of Inman. Made famous by the book and movie, Cold Mountain is nestled in the corner of North Carolina’s Shining Rock Wilderness. Take the Art Loeb trail for a strenuous-yet-rewarding ten-mile roundtrip hike to the summit.21. Paddle the Linville Gorge. Massive holes, great rapids, unspoiled canyon.22. Rim to Rim Across the Linville Gorge. Named for William and John Linville, the father-son explorer team who fell to their fate when the area’s Cherokee Indians scalped them in 1766, the gorge is as rugged as its history.23. Bike the Triple Crown of Dirt. Mountain bike three of the most popular fat tire destinations in the East—Tsali Recreation Area, Dupont State Forest, and Pisgah National Forest—over three consecutive days.APRIL24. Run naked. The Fig Leaf 5K at Paradise Valley in Georgia may be the best.25. Team up for an adventure race. Bored of your standard routine? Try mountain biking, running, trekking, kayaking, canoeing, rappelling, orienteering, river crossings, climbing, mystery challenges—all with a team. The Blue Ridge Adventure Race, a 46-mile ordeal in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest, is ideal for beginners and experts alike.26. Ride dirt roads. The Hill Billy Roubaix is a Southern take on a European road cycling tradition. The 70-mile bike race covers 60 percent paved roads, 38 percent gravel roads, and two percent completely trashed roads in northern West Virginia. Do: bring extra tubes. Don’t: bring your road bike.27. Learn to fly-fish. If you’re anxious to get a line in the water but don’t know where or how to start, check out Fly Fishing Adventures in Shenandoah Valley, Va. where you can schedule guided lessons or fishing trips year-round on Buffalo Creek, Back Creek, and the Jackson River.28. Get dirty. The Goodwill Mud Run in Greenville, S.C. offers several race categories, including “Out for Blood” for competitive athletes and “What Were We Thinking?” and “If We’re Not Back in an Hour and a Half, Come Find Us!” divisions for less experienced folk. April 14-15.29. Backcountry camp Dolly Sods. The closest thing to Canada you’ll find in the region, the Dolly Sods Wilderness is truly something unique and spectacular. Explore the sweeping, panoramic vistas from the 4,000-foot plateau.30. See the Southeast’s largest falls. The 411-foot Whitewater Falls in Gorges State Park, N.C., are the largest falls east of the Mississippi. Head downstream to explore more fun falls, including Turtleback Falls, known to locals as “Bust-yer-butt” Falls.31. Hike Cumberland Island Wilderness. Paddle by sea kayak (or catch the ferry) over to Cumberland Island National Seashore and explore its 8,000-acre wilderness, which includes windswept beaches, alligator-filled lakes, and ancient live oaks just begging to be climbed.32. Run barefoot. Barefoot running can offer health benefits that normal running cannot, but there’s more to it than just shedding your shoes and hitting the trail. Step into a pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes or the Merrell Trail Gloves. Start with just a half-mile on grass or soft terrain to allow your body to adjust.33. Take the South Beyond 6000 or the Smokies 900 Hiking Challenge. There are a couple ways you can prove you’re worth your salt around here. Climb all 40 of the 6,000-foot peaks in the Southern Appalachians, or hike the 900 miles of hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Or take it to the next level and create your own challenge.MAY34. Hike Lindy Point. The Lindy Point overlook near Blackwater Falls is a short, family-friendly hike offering stunning views of Appalachia.35. Explore the A.T. Pick a spot anywhere along the 2,180-mile trail and get out there. The 72-mile stretch through Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers the highest and most spectacular vistas. For a less crowded adventure, explore the A.T. near Damascus, Va., then celebrate at the Trail Days Festival afterward.36. Hike through Joyce Kilmer’s old-growth forest. California has their giant redwoods and sequoias. We’ve got our 400-year-old tulip poplars and hemlocks. These old-growth wonders eluded the axe and stand mighty and proud in a secluded corner of North Carolina.37. Bike fishing. Throw your fly-fishing gear in the back seat of the car and your bike atop, grab a backpack, and head to Abington, Va. Here you can visit the Virginia Creeper Fly Shop before picking up the Virginia Creeper Trail where you can bike and fish all day. There are even camping areas on the trail if you decide to make a weekend out of it.38. Experience a music festival in its infancy. A celebration of life every Memorial Day weekend, Rooster Walk remembers Edwin “The Rooster” Penn and Walker Shank, two young friends and music lovers who passed away a few years back. This year they are expanding from two to three days of music and planning to include a 5K run.39. Do the ‘Vous. The New River Rendezvous climbing competition is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the New River Gorge, W.Va. Live music, food, camping, videos, climbing clinics put on by pros, cash prizes, and all the climbing you can ask for.40. Hike in the footsteps of Bartram. Between 1773 and 1777, America’s first naturalist, William Bartram, explored the South. Dive into the past and hike this 100-mile memorial trail from Georgia into North Carolina.41. Fly fish the Upper Chattooga River. The Wild and Scenic River passes Ellicott Rock, the marking point where Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina all come together. From Ellicott Rock to Highway 28 bridge is some of the best trout fishing in the Southeast.42. Climb a Continuous, Vertical Mile in a Day by Trail. The best candidate in our region is Mount LeConte (elevation 6,593’) from Gatlinburg (elevation 1,289’). This hike begins at redlight #5 in Gatlinburg and finishes at the summit of Mt. LeConte gaining 5,302 feet. You start on the sidewalk, pick up the Twin Creek Trail, then Cherokee Orchard Road to Rainbow Falls Trail. 10.7 miles one way.JUNE43. Overnight paddling trip. A canoe is the perfect craft for a summer adventure. Canoe-friendly rivers include the French Broad, Tuckaseegee, New, and James.44. Get your SCUBA license. A few days of bookwork, pool practice, and open water dives and you’ll have yourself a lifelong SCUBA dive license recognized worldwide. The great outdoors below the surface of the great blue seas may just be the final frontier.45. Sleep in a hammock. String up a hammock between two trees and prepare for a night beneath the stars.46. 24-hour bike race. The Dark Mountain trails in Wilkesboro, N.C. are home to the annual Burn 24 Hour Challenge: 24 hours of mountain biking on a seven-mile singletrack circuit. Grab some pals and get a team together or take it on solo.47. Do Bonnaroo. ‘Nuff said.48. Thru-Bike the Blue Ridge Parkway (or Skyline Drive). “Be prepared to be in the saddle for four to seven hours a day, several days in a row, and riding a consistent pace,” says Paul Wood, owner of Black Bear Adventures, who offers guided Parkway thru-rides. “It’s up and down all the time. There are no flats. You climb for two hours and descend for five minutes, then do that again, all day long.”49. Stand up paddleboard on a river. The James and the Nantahala are paddleboard-friendly.50. Wreckdive. The Outer Banks is host to a plethora of historic sunken ships due to its treacherous weather, large shoals, and wars of the past. Dive down and get a closer look at one of these sunken graves; Nags Head Diving offers guided tours.51. Climb Like a Soldier. An elite group of GI mountaineers referred to as ski troopers came to Elkins, W.V., during WWII to train on the dangerous crag that is Seneca Rocks. The elite army Mountain Training Group was set up for low altitude assault training at the base of those powerful rocks that jut out of the Earth in Pendleton County. There’s a reason they were sent here to train. Seneca Rocks ain’t no joke.52. Be Selfish…and Eco at the Same Time. Get to work some way other than your car. It will make your day better.Be sure and log your adventures on the BRO 100 Facebook app here!JULY53. Get your festival on. Floyd Fest 11: July 26-29th, at Milepost 170.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd, Va. Headlining: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Brandi Carlile, Leftover Salmon, Matisyahu and many others.54. Cliff jump. Head up to St. Mary’s Wilderness in George Washington National Forest. Drive right up St. Mary’s Road, park, and take the St. Mary’s Falls Trail for a mile to a refreshing and remote dip. You can get your cliff jumping jollies out here too.55. Hitchhike. Here’s some advice from Virginia native Benjamin Jenks of AdventureSauce.com: “Be confident in yourself and in the goodness of people. The odds of you having trouble are small, especially if you say no to any rides that are fishy and are willing to let things roll off your back.”56. Swim the hole at White Oak Canyon.57. Climb Red River Gorge. Hit the road, head to Kentucky and take your pick of climbs—Red River Gorge is a climber’s playground. The area is riddled with great cliffs and bolted routes that attract people from all over the world whether they seek out challenge or child’s play. Grab a slice at Miguel’s afterward.58. Skydive.59. Explore Hungry Mother and other unusually named places you’ve always been curious about. Hungry Mother in southwest Virginia is one of the best places for a chill, laid-back weekend with the family, with lakes, hikes, camping, and cabins.60. Skinny dip.AUGUST61. Stargaze. Bring a bit of strong drink, a pair of binoculars, and somebody close to you. North Carolina’s Max Patch bald mountain provides 350 acres of open 360-degree views perched up 4,600+ feet. The views are spectacular. Lie on your back looking at the stars; soak it in and contemplate complexity.62. Canoe Lake Jocasse.63. Take a Brewery tour. Drive through the George Washington National Forest section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, south to north, and arrive in Alcohol Valley. Beautiful wineries spread across the hills, along with a few breweries:Wild Wolf Brewing Company: Fantastic beers and a brand new location just opening. I recommend the Fresh Hop Alpha Ale. Their draft root beer is something to speak of as well.Blue Mountain Brewery: This place has a great patio and a handful of beers to match the quality of the view. I recommend the Steel Wheels ESB.Devils Backbone Brewery: The lodge-style brewery is nestled against the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers fantastic views of the valley. Enjoy their classic Gold Leaf Lager.64. Swim across Lake Fontana or Summersville Lake.65. Howl at the moon. Run the Cheat Mountain Moonshine Madness 50-miler in West Virginia. Follow a moonlit trail along the spine of 4,000-foot ridges on this 50-mile loop.66. Bike the C&O Canal. The canal runs 180 miles between Cumberland, Md., and Washington D.C., roughly parallel to the Potomac River. The canal was built in the mid 19th century and its industrial livelihood now lies dormant, offering a long, flat straightaway for bike enthusiasts who want to do some long distance open trail riding.67. Hike Old Rag. Old Rag is one of the better-known summits in Shenandoah, yet it’s no Sunday-with-grandma day hike. Be ready for a strenuous rock-scramble climb towards the peak.68. Ride Canaan Valley.69. New River Gorge Expedition. The New River Gorge has got it all: hiking, top-notch climbing and whitewater, mountain biking, even canopy tours.70. Bike the Shenandoah Mountain 100. If you’re only going to ride in one mountain bike race your entire life, make it Shenandoah. For 12 years, this has been the quintessential endurance bike event in the South. The forest road climbs, technical singletrack descents, lively crowds, and ridiculously fast pros at the front of the pack make this a must.SEPTEMBER71. Hike the other A.T. The 288-mile Benton Mackaye Trail runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You could refer to this trail as the sister trail to the Appalachian Trail–it was even conceived by the same man who inspired the Appalachian Trail. This trail crosses through some of the most secluded wilderness areas in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.72. A paddler’s wet dream. After derailing a dam project that would have changed the face of the Gauley River in West Virginia forever, a festival was started in 1983, and it was called Gauley Fest. Today it attracts thousands of people, offers top-notch whitewater adventure, and live entertainment.73. Build a Trail. Join your local trail advocacy group and get involved in trail maintenance on your favorite trails.74. Try a tri. And how about helping others while you’re at it! The Nation’s Triathlon held on September 9 benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You’ll swim the Potomac River, bike past the White House, and run past the Jefferson Memorial.75. Explore the South’s newest wilderness. Stone Mountain Wilderness lies in Virginia’s Lee County and offers 3,270 acres of remote wilderness to enjoy and explore.76. Run the oldest ultra in the country. In 1963 President John F. Kennedy wanted to get the country back into shape and challenge his military officers to meet the very fitness prerequisites Teddy Roosevelt had set for his military officers at the beginning of the decade. Along with a handful of other 50-mile events, this Washington County, Md., ultra-marathon was created. Later that year the president was assassinated and the race was changed from the JFK 50 Mile Challenge to the JFK 50 Mile Memorial. Most others shut down, but this one remains as a test of posterity and ultra fitness. Run it November 17.77. Backpack the Jack. The 16.3-mile trail in north Georgia’s Cohutta Wilderness includes the Jacks River Falls and over 40 river crossings.78. Hang glide from Lookout Mountain. Unleash your inner raptor at Tennessee’s Lookout Mountain, which offers a world-class hang gliding aviation school where you can get one step closer to the heavens.OCTOBER79. Tackle the Triple Crown. Three of the country’s best bouldering competitions raise cash for the Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition and The Carolina Climbers’ Coalition, both of which have been big players in developing the climbing sport in the region.Hound Ears: Boone, N.C. – Oct. 1Stone Fort: Chattanooga, Tenn. – Oct. 8Horse Pens-40: – Steele, Ala. – Nov. 580. Swim the Suck. This organized 10-mile open swim takes place in the Tennessee River Gorge outside of Chattanooga. In 2009, thirty-three volunteers paced 21 swimmers in 71-degree water for up to five hours.81. Building. Antenna. Span. Earth. (BASE). Last year 800 people BASE jumped from the New River Gorge Bridge, W.Va. in one day. This is, of course, thanks to the massive Bridge Day celebration that takes place there every October.82. Lord of the Fork. Nestled between Haysi, Va., and Elkhorn City, Ky., the Russell Fork River hosts an annual race held October 22-23. Named Lord of the Fork for Jon Lord who passed away in 2004, this race is a hardcore Class V downriver race in a wild gorge.83. The Festy: One of the South’s toughest 10K trail races is followed by one of the South’s best festivals on October 5-7th, 2012 at Devils Backbone in Nelson County, Virginia. The Infamous String Dusters are among the headliners.84. Winin’ and Dinin’ What better time to sit in the countryside sipping a glass of wine than when the fall foliage is at its best? Take a gorgeous drive out to Barboursville Winery in Barboursville, Va. Head up to Three Fox Vineyards in Delaplane, Va. Or visit Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, Va.85. Surf Road Trip in Outer Banks. The Outer Banks begins to get bigger swells in the fall, and the surfing gets serious. Load the boards atop the car, throw in a few tents and hit the road to hang ten.86. Tough Mudder. Two English chaps created this 10-mile “run” dubbed as the toughest race on the planet. It includes barbed wire, huge logs, tiny confined tubes and hardcore camaraderie. Wintergreen Resort Oct. 6-7.87. Boycott the interstate. Drive back roads only for a month straight.88. Run the Blue Ridge Burn. This annual 5K/10K trail run not only features a scenic run up old logging roads and singletrack trails heading up Horseshoe Mountain, with a ridiculously fast finish at the bottom. The Festy Experience is the perfect post-race celebration.89. Squirrel-approved adventure. Navitat’s zip lines, just 20 minutes north of Asheville, N.C., span over 1,000 feet of fall foliage canopy. For added thrill, try zipping at night.90. Witness the weird.The best time to view the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights is in the fall, so make it a Halloween experience.91. Haunted hike. The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club hosts 38 cabins that can be rented out, including the Jones Mountain Cabin. Legend has it that a local moonshiner’s wife died there. Stop in Wolftown, Va., and pick up some local moonshine for a midnight toast to old man Nichols himself.NOVEMBER92. Watch raptors migrate. Hawk Mountain in Kempton, Penn., is one of the best places to see golden eagles, goshawks, and other birds of prey passing through.93. Night rides. The edginess of night is often the best way to amplify any experience. And that applies to mountain biking as well. You’ll want a headlamp with at least 200-300 lumens.94. Ski at Snowflex. This world-class skiing facility at Liberty University will get you out on the slopes and hitting the jumps–without snow.95. Explore the swamp. Canoe-camp the Okefenoke. The winter season means fewer crowds (and snakes), but you’re still likely to see alligators in November.96. New River Gorge Expedition. The Gorge has it all: top-notch hiking, climbing, whitewater paddling, mountain biking, even canopy tours.DECEMBER97. Holiday hiking. Choose your favorite day hike trail and try it out in the winter.98. Get a gym membership — At a climbing gym.99. Winter Camp Shenandoah. During the winter, the naked beauty of the forest reveals views previously covered by foliage and iced-over waterfalls, seemingly frozen in time.100. Spelunk. The geographic quadrant formed by Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia (TAG) has the highest concentration of caves in the country, while the Virginias and Carolinas have their own fissures and caves. Join a club or hire a guide and go deep. Just make sure you follow protocol to avoid spreading White Nose Syndrome among bat populations.BONUS!101. Try cyclocross. It’s high-intensity biking with obstacles and usually a bit of running on a spectator-friendly course. It’s adrenaline and anaerobic threshold packed into an hour or less.Be sure and log your adventures on the BRO 100 Facebook app here!
Right about this time every year, hundreds of thru-hiker hopefuls make their way down south to begin their journeys along the Appalachian Trail. To celebrate these admirable adventurers, Mountain Crossings in Blairsville, Ga., is hosting a Thru-Hiker Kickoff Party in their honor this Saturday, February 28. Whether you’re trail-bound or not, this bash is for you — anyone can join in on the fun of thru-hiker season. Live music, local food, Mountain Crossings gear, exclusive raffles, kids’ activities, and plenty more to give spring a worthy welcome. The fun begins at 1 p.m., Saturday afternoon, with activities running through the evening.While each one of the afternoon’s events will make your day at the Thru-Hiker Kickoff a blast, this raffle might top the list. For just $10 a ticket, you could walk away with quality gear from Big Agnes, Granite Gear, American Backcountry, Salewa, Mountain Hardwear, and other brands. All proceeds will go toward a project commemorating the Appalachian Trail and Civil Conservation Corps – a donation perfectly suited to this celebration! Tickets can be purchased either at the Blairsville-Union County Chambers of Commerce or through the mail to Mountain Crossings (12471 Gainesville Hwy, Blairsville GA, 30512).From the raffle to the food or the sales to the face-painting, the Thru-Hiker Kickoff has something for every outdoor enthusiast. Mountain Crossings is also excited to host the Nashville band Raven and Red to pump out the best bluegrass tunes to accompany the fun. Let this big spring celebration help you ring in the season, for backyard explorers and hikers alike!
“Give up?” the woman asked as I headed back to my truck after walking past her a few minutes earlier. I was parked aside Green River Cove Road in Saluda, North Carolina for the Green Race, the well-known kayak race on a section of whitewater called the Green River Narrows. The Narrows include the “Gorilla”, a Class V rapid that is the centerpiece of the 23 year-old race.I’d walked up to the trailhead, heard that the two-mile hike-in to the race was four miles, and doubled back to see if I could find a water bottle (unlikely) or an old Clif Bar (possible). I found instead three lacrosse balls, Downy wrinkle remover, a tarp, and a dog blanket. I turned back around.Pat Keller finished second at the 2018 Green Race. Photo by Marc Hunt“Need a map?” asked the woman joined now by someone else, her daughter perhaps, who also was interested in the passing stranger and had pulled up a camping chair next to her.“Sure, I’ll take a map. Thanks.” She hands me a black and white copy of a map with a pink highlight indicating the route to the race.“You up for this? It’s four miles in there. Then you have to come out,” said her daughter. “I went in there the other day and I ended up all over the place.” She shows me another map that highlighted her own recent hike. I was impressed by how well she documented what, to appearances, looked like a wayward drift into delirium.“I’m in better shape than I look,” I said.“You look alright,” she said. The flatness to ‘alright’ suggested that I’d cut bait two miles in.With that, I hiked in, and ultimately joined 1,000 others to watch the Green Race some four and a half miles into the woods. The last part of the trail to get down to the race is an interesting thing. Along with a throng of spectators you snake down a steep hillside grasping rocks, roots and a rope line. By rock climbing standards a modest descent, by spectating standards, a good effort.2018 Green Race champion Dane Jackson hangs with some fans. Photo by Marc HuntAt the bottom, there’s immediate payoff. Spectators line the right side of the river and the racing kayaks break up a backdrop of autumn browns and yellows with an abrupt flash of pink or a blue as they plummet through the whitewater. The crowd whoops and hollers and the echo merges and lifts up and out of the gorge as a single roar that temporarily supplants the roar of the river.I drift up the sometimes slippery rocks on the river’s right side, ascending a slow half-mile upward to the heart of the race. En route, I step to the side as a stretcher takes out an injured spectator who to appearances is unconscious.Once on a rock perch, I take in the race. It’s my first visit to the Green Race, and to get a better feel for it I talk with a few nearby racers who have completed their afternoon’s runs.“It’s about my 15th time. I come back every year because not only is this one of the best deep creeks in the whole world, but it’s an amazing group of talented, top-notch whitewater paddlers,” said Clay Wright, 50, of Rock Island, Tennessee. “We race together and then we hang out together in just an amazing scene.”‘Queen of the Green’ Adriene Levknecht won the Green Race for the tenth time. Photo by Marc HuntWhen prompted as to whether anything stands out about this year’s event, Wright doesn’t hesitate. “I feel like the average age of the race just dropped 10 or 20 years this year. It’s the most amazing thing,” he says with a broad smile. “There are a lot of racers under 20, and there are a lot of racers under 18 and it’s awesome to see the next generation stepping up and riding the lightning.”To his right is Heidi Walsh, who is visiting the States from her native England and participated in the race for the first time.“I’m on an exchange with the University of Colorado. So I’ve come to America and instead of going to University, I’ve just gone kayaking,” said Walsh, 20. In her travels she’s fallen in with a group of fellow kayakers who encouraged her to attend the race.Colin Hunt drops through a chute on the Green. Photo by Marc Hunt“They were like ‘Why don’t you come? The Green Race is huge.’ I naturally assumed they meant ‘Why don’t you race?’ not ‘Why don’t you watch?’ so I bought a bib,” said Walsh. “The next thing you know they were like, ‘Oh no, we meant sit on the side and watch.’ So I had to train up and I don’t regret it at all.”Walsh sports the remnants of a fresh scrape on her upper lip. “For me personally, I’ve had a rough time training. I didn’t always have good lines and today the top section was my best run that I’ve done so far here,” she said. “I’m really pleased that when I feel sick with nerves and I’m really scared, I know that I can still bring it.”The Green Race is held annually on the first weekend of November. For the full 2018 results, click here.
Sign up for a chance to win WIN THE ULTIMATE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE GETAWAY in MOUNTAINEER COUNTRY, WV! EXPERIENCEPRIVATE NATURE TOUR OF WV BOTANIC GARDENPRIVATE ROCK CLIMBING LESSON with CHEAT RIVER OUTFITTERSCUSTOM WOOD UTENSIL CRAFTING DEMO with ALLEGHENY TREENWARE FLOAT:ONE PERCEPTION RAMBLER 13.5 TANDEM KAYAK WITH TWO PADDLES from PATHFINDER WVLAZY RIVER RIDE DOWN TYGART RIVER with TAYLOR COUNTY ADVENTURE CLUB (transportation back to vehicle is provided). This contest is over. Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on June 30, 2019 – date subject to change. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before June 30, 2019 – date and time subject to change. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. One entry per person or two entries per person if partnership opt-in box above is checked. SLEEP + DINERELAXING THREE NIGHTS ACCOMMODATIONS at HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS, MORGANTOWN WVTHREE $50 DINING GIFT CARDSYETI COOLER
Conserving Carolina has temporarily closed four trails in the Hickory Nut Gorge, due to overcrowding. The extremely high levels of visitors pose an increased risk of transmission of the coranavirus, at a time when public health must be our first priority. In addition, overcrowding damages the trails and surrounding natural areas, which are treasures to be safeguarded for people to enjoy long after the current public health crisis has passed. The trail areas that are now closed include: Bearwallow Mountain Trail, Trombatore Trail, the Florence Nature Preserve trail system, and Wildcat Rock Trail. These trails and their parking areas will remain closed until further notice. Trails Director Peter Barr says, “It is with the greatest reluctance that we have decided to close our trails in the Hickory Nut Gorge, in order to protect public health and the trails themselves. We appreciate that people are turning to nature in order to get through a challenging time. However, with so many other activities closed to the public, we were seeing highly unsafe levels of crowding at our trails. We look forward to reopening the trails as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so.” Conserving Carolina’s executive director, Kieran Roe, says, “One thing that this public health crisis has made very clear is that people love our trails and natural areas—and we need to provide more places for people to get outside. People turn to nature for peace of mind, for exercise, as a place to connect with loved ones, and a place to experience beauty and wonder. While we are temporarily closing these trails, we are also actively working to provide more parks, trails, and greenways for our communities.” Conserving Carolina’s decision follows the closure of other public lands, including DuPont State Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Conserving Carolina is a local land trust that has protected over 45,000 acres, primarily in Henderson, Polk, Transylvania, and Rutherford Counties in N.C. and the Landrum, S.C. area. The mission of Conserving Carolina is to protect, restore, and inspire appreciation of nature. Learn more and become a member at conservingcarolina.org. Conserving Carolina is currently building 7.5 miles of new trails as part of an ambitious vision of a 130-mile trail network in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Conserving Carolina is also working to advance five potential new greenways, including the proposed 18-mile Ecusta Trail between Hendersonville and Brevard.
Other spas and healing centers are located on streets surrounding the park lending credence to claims that there are three times as many massage therapists as lawyers in town. All use the famed spring water as they offer menus of facials, massage, steams, scrubs and other bodywork treatment. George Washington who wrote that “the waters will make a cure of me” would be amazed at what experiences are available three centuries later. For travelers in the metro area, Berkeley Springs’ proximity to the city lets families avoid air travel, and enjoy outdoor activities that allow for social distancing amid lush mountain scenery. Centuries of visitors coming to take the famed healing warm spring waters provide a well-earned aura of health and wellness; all local attractions and businesses are committed to uphold that tradition with appropriate safety precautions. Cacapon has also been ramping up its mountain biking terrain, recently becoming the first destination east of the Mississippi River to receive a Trail Accelerator grant from the International Mountain Biking Association. The park now offers about 20 miles of single-track mountain biking trails, as well as a three-mile course aimed at beginners, but with some technical features for moderate-level riders. Coolfont Resort, located about 10 minutes from Cacapon State Park, reopened in fall 2019 with renovated buildings and new amenities. New suites look out over Coolfont Lake, where Craft’s Adventures offer a slew of new water sports this summer, including kayaking, canoeing, fishing and stand-up paddleboarding. Wooded hiking trails and picnic areas create an altogether serene resort experience. This resort experience at Coolfont also includes a rustic themed restaurant overlooking the lake and a legendary bar keep. Cross the road and discover Berkeley Springs Brewery and Cold Run Valley Winery. Discover everything you need to know at berkeleysprings.com or call 800-447-8797. Other outdoor activities at Cacapon include a sand beach lake, wobble clay shooting, horseback riding, fishing and an excellent 18-hole golf course. Classic cabins at Cacapon State Park, newly renovated with Gat Creek furniture. Photo courtesy Travel Berkeley Springs. All of this eating, bathing and playing outside requires more than a quick drive through. Berkeley Springs encourages visitors to stay for the night or two or longer. There are numerous cabins, cottages and fully equipped vacation homes from which to choose, many handled by Berkeley Springs Cottage Rentals. The historic Country Inn adjacent to the springs has spa and lodging packages, a chef-operated restaurant and live entertainment on weekends. Visitors to Cacapon State Park can enjoy a stay in the recently-renovated historic park cabins outfitted with local Gat Creek furniture and impressive new kitchens. By summer’s-end, Cacapon opens a new 78-room lodge with swimming pool and indoor/outdoor dining area with a fire pit. Set in the ridge and valley section of the Appalachians, Berkeley Springs offers easy access to two rivers and two state parks with ample hiking trails, peaceful lakes and historic springs. Come summer, urban families in need of some fresh air will find more activities available than ever before. Soak up the healing waters in the historic Roman Baths. Photo by Robert Peak One of the best ways to see all that the area has to offer in natural and historic wonders is to drive the 85-mile Washington Heritage Trail through the county. One of the most splendid sights along the trail is Panorama Overlook just three miles west of town. Upstairs in the Roman Bath House is the Museum of the Berkeley Springs open daily in summer and highlighting the geology and extraordinary social history generated by the springs. Local historian and Museum President, Jeanne Mozier says that “throughout its long history, Berkeley Springs has experienced periods of boom and decline. With new places opening and reopening, we’re booming and looking forward to a most memorable summer.” Panorama Overlook Along the Washington Heritage Trail. Photo by Robert Peak. Quilt Show and Sale at Ice House Art Center All Summer Long. Photo courtesy Travel Berkeley Springs Cover photo courtesy Travel Berkeley Springs Historic streets are also lined with distinctive shops and eateries for every taste from gourmet to country. Tasty shops offer everything from cheese and vintage candies to gourmet oils not to mention a dazzling array of art, antiques, a century-old hardware store and even a year ‘round Christmas boutique. This summer the Ice House Gallery is filled with the annual Quilt Show and Sale and a Yard Square Quilt display that spills out into store windows throughout the town. An auction of the yard squares will be held during Labor Day weekend. Riding mountain trails at Cacapon State Park. Photo courtesy Travel Berkeley Springs Craft’s Adventures also offers two-to-four-hour tubing trips down the nearby Cacapon and Potomac Rivers, where guests can spot deer, abundant waterfowl and the occasional shoreline bear. A different view of outdoor fun is pursued in the historic town. Berkeley Springs State Park has the largest public array of thermal spring waters in the Blue Ridge and the springpools and channel are open 24/7 for toe dabbling and child-scale paddling. There is also a more traditional public swimming pool. Most unique are the spa attractions. Tubs in the 200-year-old Roman Bath House have been newly updated to meet accessibility standards, and historically-accurate white octagonal tile has been installed. The water in all tubs is heated to between 102 and 104 degrees. It’s easy to feel the water exert its healing powers in these tubs. Cacapon State Park is a 6,000-acre haven located about 20 minutes from town, with a variety of options for outdoor adventure. Visitors can walk or hike along 23 miles of mountain trails, ranging from easygoing Piney Ridge to the more strenuous Ziler Loop. Berkeley Springs has been a choice summer destination since George Washington started visiting in the 18th century. But this summer in particular, the area is gearing up for the season with new outdoor adventures, from paddleboarding to mountain biking, as well as new lodging. Several new restaurants and a new brewery join longtime favorites.