BEST RUNNING CLUBAtlanta Track ClubThe Atlanta Track Club guides dozens of smaller running clubs and is responsible for the largest road race in the country, the Peachtree Road Race 10K.“The enjoyment of a healthy lifestyle through running drives all that we do. Our signature event is the Peachtree Road Race, with a capped field of 55,000. The running community in Atlanta is very strong and continuing to expand. Our climate makes it easier for the casual and seasoned runner to train year round, especially through the winter months.”—Tracey Russell, executive director of the Atlanta Track Club NEXT BEST2. D.C. Road Runners3. West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners4. Hash House Harriers5. Richmond Road Runners6. Star City Striders7. Mangum Track Club8. Charlottesville Track Club9. Trail Heads – Chapel Hill10. Asheville Track ClubGREENEST RACENew River 50KFries, Va.The inaugural New River 50K, running the length of the New River State Park in Virginia, is one of the first running events to actively curb their waste and resource impact.“We are striving to have 75% of the products, food, and awards, to come from within 100 miles of the race, or to come from companies with demonstrated records of “kind earth” practices. All registration is online to minimize paper use. We are encouraging the use of personal water bottles; disposable products will be used only when necessary; and everything possible will be recycled. Runners are encouraged to bring their own bowls and silverware to use at post race lunch. All proceeds will go to The National Committee for the New River, and we’re collecting Clif Bar and Balance Bar wrappers for the Terracycle Initiative. Being “green” is a flexible term, yet it almost always involves using the resources of the local community.”—Annette Bednosky, race director for the New River 50KBEST RUNNING TRAILArt Loeb TrailThe Art Loeb Trail is a 30-mile footpath traversing Pisgah National Forest from the Davidson River to the high elevations of Shining Rock Wilderness.“Art Loeb has over 9,000 feet in climbing in just under 30 miles. The panoramic vistas at 6,000 feet as the trail approaches the Shining Rock Wilderness are some of the best views in all of the Appalachians. There are plenty of great photo ops while running over Black Balsam and Tennant Mountains. What makes the Art Loeb so special is the wonderland of ancient granite plutons, high-altitude forests and expansive southern balds it traverses. Hardly any adventurer could turn down the lure of a singletrack trail destined for these unforgettable places.”—Matt Kirk, ultrarunnerNEXT BEST2. Three Ridges/The Priest, Lynchburg, Va.3. Moses Cone Trails, Blowing Rock, N.C.4. DuPont State Forest Trails, Brevard, N.C.5. Mountains to Sea Trail, N.C.6. Davidson River Trail, N.C.7. Massanutten Mountain Trail, Va.8. Kennesaw Mountain Trails, Ga.9. Foothills Trail, S.C.10. North Fork Mountain Trail, W.Va.BEST ROAD RACECrazy 8s 8KKingsport, Tenn.One of the fastest and exciting races in the region, Crazy 8s attracts the best professional runners from around the world. It’s a late-night summer race with candle-lit streets and a thrilling stadium finish. NEXT BEST2. Cooper River Bridge 10K, Charleston, S.C.3. Peachtree Road Race 10K, Atlanta, Ga.4. Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K, Richmond, Va.4. Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, Washington, D.C.5. Charlottsville 10-Miler, Charlottesville, Va.6. Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot 8K, Charlotte, N.C.7. Ogden Newspapers Classic 20K, Wheeling, W.Va.8. Shamrock Sports Fest 8K, Virginia Beach, Va.9. Army 10-Miler, Washington, D.C.10. Tennessee Expo 10K, Knoxville, Tenn.BEST RAIL-TRAILSC&O TowpathWashington, D.C.The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath follows the Potomac River for 185 miles from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Md.“On the C&O I can run to places I’ve read about in history books. When I want company, I run the Georgetown to Great Falls section (miles 0 to 15). For a bit of isolation, the section from Great Falls to Whites Ferry (mile 35) is great. The surface of the towpath is mostly clay and crushed stone—great for a nice 185 mile run.”—James Moore, 64-year old ultrarunner NEXT BEST2. Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon, Va.3. Greenbrier River Trail, W.Va.4. Silver Comet Trail, Marietta, Ga.5. W&OD Trail, Arlington, Va.6. New River Trail, Galax, Va.7. New River Gorge National Trail, Fayetteville, W.Va.8. Caperton/Mon River/Deckers Creek Trail, Morgantown, W.Va.9. Huckleberry Trail, Blacksburg, Va.10. Allegheny Highlands Trail, Elkins, W.Va.BEST TRAIL RACEShut-In Ridge Trail RunThe classic Southeastern trail run, Shut-In features 17.8 miles of technical singletrack that climbs 3,000 feet on its way to Mount Pisgah.“Shut-In is one of the toughest trail races in the Southeast. People love it because it’s a test of endurance, agility, and strength. Just completing the Shut-In course is an accomplishment in itself. The race takes place just after the peak of the fall season and offers runners a technically challenging course, while providing great views of fall foliage in the Western North Carolina Mountains.”—Jane Roane, distance running diva and Shut-In Ridge training coachNEXT BEST 2. Springmaid Splash 10K, Spruce Pine, N.C.3. Rock 2 Rock 10K Trail Run, Black Mountain, N.C.4. James River Scramble 10K, Richmond, Va.5. Big South Fork 17-Miler, Oneida, Tenn.6. New River Gorge-ous Trail Run, Minden, W.Va.7. Salem Lakes Trail Race, Greensboro, N.C.8. Mountain Top Half Marathon, Copper Hill, Tenn.9. Dirty Dog 15K, Charleston, W.Va.10. Blue Ridge Burn 10K, Charlottesville, Va.BEST ULTRABarkley Marathon100 miles, 100,000 feet of elevation gain and loss in Frozen Head State Park, Tenn., and only seven finishers since its inception in 1986. Ultra runners love the Barkley because it’s almost impossible to complete.“I have been running for 32 years (including over 230 marathons and ultramarathons), and the Barkley was easily the most rewarding running experience of all. It has everything that I love in a challenge: roller coaster trails, obstacles to jump over or crawl through, big rocks and high walls to jump off, lots of slick and deep mud, flesh-tearing briers, insanely steep climbs where one cries for mommy, and insanely steep descents where idiots risk breaking their fool necks. Runners spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to find all 11 books hidden along the trail. Delivering the pages back to the race director at the end of each 20-mile loop is worth any discomfort we might suffer out there.”—Byron Backer, ultrarunner and 60-mile fun run finisherNEXT BEST2. Mountain Masochist 50-Miler, Va.3. Mount Mitchell 40-Mile Challenge, Black Mtn., N.C.4. Stump Jump 50K, Chattanooga, Tenn.5. Highlands Sky 40-Miler, Canaan Valley, W.Va.6. Iron Mountain 50-Miler, Damascus, Va.7. Massanutten Mountain 100-Miler, Massanutten, Va.8. Bull Run Run 50-Miler, Manassas, Va.9. Grindstone 100-Miler, Swoope, Va.10. Uwharrie 40-Mile Trail Run, Troy, N.C.BEST MARATHONRichmond MarathonScenic course, friendly volunteers, a downhill finish, and junk-food rest stops.“The course is challenging but fair, and let’s face it, how often do you get to race downhill to the finish line? The race is big enough so you won’t run alone, but small enough that you’re not slowed down by masses of runners. In times of increased entry fees, Richmond offers great value for your money, a quality t-shirt, and one of the best medals you’re likely to receive. And the fantastic crowd support and enthusiastic volunteers keep me motivated throughout the course.”—Steve Speirs, veteran marathoner NEXT BEST2. Baltimore Marathon, Md.3. DuPont Forest Trail Marathon, Brevard, N.C.4. Twisted Ankle Trail Marathon, Summerville, Ga.5. Rocket City Marathon, Huntsville, Ala.6. Hatfield McCoy Marathon, Goody, Ky.7. Outer Banks Marathon, N.C.8. Georgia Marathon, Atlanta, Ga.9. Knoxville Marathon, Tenn.10. Black Mountain Trail Marathon, N.C.BEST URBAN RUNNING TRAILKennesaw Mountain National Battlefield ParkJust north of Atlanta, Kennesaw Mountain boasts over 18 miles of trails that traverse the surprisingly steep grades of the mountain and its surrounding hills.“The park offers an oasis of green in the city. It has rolling hills with a mix of pine-hardwood forest and the grassy expanses of the battlefields. Other than around the park headquarters or the major historic sites, there is never a feeling of heavy use, and on weekdays you can run for miles without seeing anyone else. For those looking for some technical trail the section from Burnt Hickory Road to the top of Kennesaw Mountain meets this need.”—Richard Schick, ultrarunner, Marietta, Ga. NEXT BEST2. Rock Creek Park, D.C.3. Bull Run/Occoquan Trail, Manassas, Va.4. Crowders Mountain, Charlotte, N.C.5. Chattahoochee River NRA, Atlanta, Ga.6. Buttermilk Trail, Richmond, Va.7. Carvins Cove, Roanoke, Va.8. North Ridge Trail, Knoxville, Tenn.9. McAfee Knob/A.T., Roanoke, Va.10. Mullens Cove Trail, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Powered by Flash MP3 Player Winter has come a little early to the mountains of the Mid-Atlantic. As this November Trail Mix goes live, the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains are blanketed with an early – and heavy – snow. Time to hit the slopes or strap on the snowshoes, get outside and head into the whiteness!Make sure you take this month’s fantastic Trail Mix with you!We kick off November with “Bilgewater Blues,” a funky blues jam from Jimmy Herring, one of the South’s living guitar legends. Herring has played with Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Phil Lesh, and more, and has spent much of the latter part of 2012 supporting his second solo release, Subject To Change Without Notice.Trail Mix is also thrilled to present a track from Grammy winning artist Kathy Mattea. Mattea, a West Virginia native, has become a leading voice in the struggle mountain top removal. Her latest record on the Sugar Hill label, Calling Me Home, speaks to her deep Appalachian roots.True to form, Trail Mix is all over the musical map this month. We have Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly, Irish folkie Luka Bloom, rockabilly queen Rosie Flores, and some great regional artists in Antique Firearms, The Mason Brothers, The Bloody Angle, The Last Bison, Aaron Burdett, and Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts.We are also happy to have tracks from Ari Hest, Jim Byrnes, Forest Sun, The Coal Porters, The Trishas, and many more for you. Make sure to give Trail Mix a spin this month. Download or stream at home, work, or on your intelligent device of choice. Spread the word. Help us share the music these fantastic artists have so willingly shared with us. And if you take a notion, grab a disc from one or two or these great bands or catch them live if they are coming through your neck of the woods.Download Trail Mix November 2012 here.Click here to open the player in a new window.Download more music from month’s past here! They never go out of style.No flash player!It looks like you don’t have flash player installed. Click here to go to Macromedia download page.
Canyoneering the steep canyons and boulder-strewn creeks of the Blue Ridge mountains around the Pisgah National Forest isn’t the way most people choose to go fishing. Well, Blue Ridge Outdoors contributor Graham Averill, BRO’s Dusty Allison and Tenkara USA‘s Daniel Galhardo aren’t your typical fishermen.They teamed up with Pura Vida Adventures and braved temps in the 30s and pouring rain to catch North Carolina native brook trout from tiny pools this weekend. Look for Averill’s full report in the July issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors, but here’s a sneak preview of their awesome adventure.
Davis is perhaps the region’s best year-round adventure hub, in the heart of Tucker County, West Va. During the winter, the town and surrounding Canaan Valley receives around 150 inches of snowfall, making it one of the top snowsports destinations in the South. Two of Appalachia’s best resorts are within striking distance of Davis.During the warmer months, Davis is a world-class mountain biking and hiking destination, with epic singletrack in Canaan Valley, Blackwater Falls State Park, and Monongahela National Forest.At an elevation of 3,200 feet, the small mountain town of Davis, West Virginia, was once home to a bustling logging industry. Today outdoor recreation and tourism drives Davis’s economy and attracts visitors from around the world. It’s also an up-and-coming microbrew scene.DID YOU KNOW? The Dolly Sods Wilderness area, a crown jewel of the Monongahela National Forest, affords hikers entrance into a remote wilderness setting where elevations vary from 2,700 to over 4,500 feet, and the ecosystems are more reminiscent of those found in southern Canada.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!
Holly River State Park- July 25Twin Falls Resort State Park, “Pioneer Farm Traditional” – August 16Hawks Nest State Park, “A Taste of Hawks Nest”- August 17North Bend State Park- August 22Chief Logan Lodge, “How Down” – August 23Cass Scenic Railroad State Park- August 29Cacapon Resort State Park, The Old Inn, “Family Style”- September 10Canaan Valley Resort State Park, with Blackwater Falls State Park- September 12 For the second year in a row, West Virginia state parks are partnering with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the West Virginia Farmers Market Association to promote locally produced food in their restaurants. Eight farm-to-table dinners are on the calendar this summer and reservations can be made at wvstateparks.com. Upcoming dinners are as follows: The Nose is one of the original technical climbing routes up El Capital. It has 31 pitches of both aid and free climbing. “I was scared just sometimes,” Schneiter told Outside from the top of the mountain. “I thought it was really fun.” Selah Schneiter, a 55-pound 10-year-old from Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is the youngest person in history to climb the Nose, a 3,000-foot route on Yosemite’s El Capitan. She made the historic climb in five days and completed it with her Dad, Mike, and his friend. Climbing comes naturally to Schneiter. Her parents met and fell in love while climbing El Capitan. She made her first trip to Yosemite at just eight weeks old, staying at Yosemite’s historic climbing camp, Camp 4. 26-year-old dies of cardiac arrest while running two weeks after returning from Mt. Everest base camp A 10-year old is the youngest person to climb Nose route on El Capitan Farm-to-table dinners return on WV state parks A 26-year-old Iowa man collapsed while sprinting to the finish line of a 12.4-mile race just two weeks after returning from a hike to Everest base camp in Nepal. Paramedics on the scene rushed to his side but the man died of cardiac arrest, the cause of which has not yet been determined, though the medical examiner has ruled out medications the man took to prepare for his trip to Nepal. The runner, Chase Flack, had been clocking six miles a day since his return from Everest to prepare for his race. At this time it is not clear if there is a correlation between the altitude and effort required to reach Everest base camp and the cardiac arrest that ended Flack’s life.
If passed, the Restore Our Parks Act would address the nearly $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at the National Park Service. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act would permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was reauthorized as part of a public lands package back in March. Matt McDonald, 26, a chemical engineer and five-year member of the elite Atlanta Track Club, is heading to the Olympic Marathon Trials in February. McDonald graduated from Princeton University where he won the Ivy League Championship 10,000 meters as a senior. He moved to Atlanta to pursue his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech University. “The FWS’s Red Wolf Recovery Program has been a global model for successful reintroductions, but changes in management strategies over the last several years have diminished the wild population to a dangerous level,” Cooper said in his letter. “This population decline has occurred despite the availability of proven conservation strategies, such as coyote sterilization and captive wolf reintroductions.” The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted in mid-November to advance two bills that would create new trails and ensure existing trails are maintained into the future. In a bi-partisan vote of support, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act and the Restore Our Parks Act now head to the Senate floor. Senate committee votes to advance bills that will create and support hiking trails N.C. Governor urges action to protect red wolves Runner and Chemical Engineer from Atlanta is heading to the Olympic Marathon Trials On November 22, N.C. Governor Roy Cooper sent a letter to David Bernhardt, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, urging the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to act immediately to rebuild and sustain a wild wolf population. The letter comes amidst declining rates of wild red wolves in North Carolina, home to the only population of wild red wolves in the world. Today, there are only 14 known red wolves in the wild and no known breeding pairs. Wolves were first reintroduced to North Carolina in 1987 and last spring was the first time that there was not a new litter of wild red wolf pups born in North Carolina. Blue Ridge Outdoors has been covering the Red Wolf saga for sometime. Learn more here! At the Chicago Marathon last month, McDonald clocked a personal best, finishing in 14th place with a time of 2:11:10. As of late October, McDonald is the ninth-fastest man heading into the Olympic Trials that will take place in Atlanta in February.
Get your fill of bouldering, top rope, and lead climbing with Climbmax’s two locations in Asheville. When you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, their mountain guides can take you out into Pisgah National Forest for a day on the rocks. DISCLAIMER: We are not affiliated with any company offering plaques or trophies. If you are contacted by people offering this, it is a scam. All winners can contact BRO for a certificate free of charge. 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards For over 20 years, the adventure enthusiasts at Water Stone Outdoors have been providing visitors to the New River Gorge area with gear and advice to get the most out of their trip. Photo courtesy of Farm to Feet Environmental Organization Runners-Up WildManDan Beercentric BnB (Afton, Va.) New River Yoga (Fayetteville, W.Va.) Educational Outdoor Rec Program Runners-Up Spa/Healing Center Buffalo Trail Cabins (Bluefield, W.Va.) —Greenbrier Resort (White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.)—Lafayette Flats (Fayetteville, W.Va.) Runners-Up “We realized that while there are some camp opportunities in the area, we live in an outdoor mecca and we don’t really have a lot of outdoor adventure summer opportunities for kids who are local,” said Veronica Crosier, the camp’s first director. “Many families bring their kids here from out of state for vacation, but we realized there is a huge gap in opportunities for kids growing up right here in West Virginia.” Summer Camp/Program WVU Tech Adventure Recreation Management (Beckley, W.Va.) Fly Fishing the Smokies (Bryson City, N.C.) Run the New River and Gauley River with the whitewater rafting guides at Adventures on the Gorge. Families will enjoy the scenic views on the Upper New trip while those looking for an adrenaline rush will want to check out the Class V rapids on the Upper Gauley. Locally Made Gear Runners-Up —South River Fly Shop (Waynesboro, Va.)—Albemarle Anglers (Charlottesville, Va.) Blue Ridge Cyclery (Charlottesville, Va.) Photo courtesy of WVU Tech University Relations Located in downtown Fayetteville, New River Yoga offers a wide range of classes for all abilities. Take your practice further with workshops, private sessions, and group events. At the center of town, the warm springs of Berkeley Springs State Park have drawn visitors to the area for centuries. At a constant 74 degrees, visitors can enjoy the water year-round. Beyond the state park, this spa town features an additional half dozen spas that use the same waters for a full range of treatments, including saunas, bathhouses, and massages. Berkeley Springs (Berkeley Springs, W.Va.) Runners-Up The Subaru Outback was built for adventures, featuring all-wheel drive for off-roading, raised roof rails to hold your gear, and driver-assist technology to keep you safe. Runners-Up On top of their coursework, students are required to complete an internship to help them get real world experience in the industry. —Rocky Top (Charlottesville, Va.)—Peak Experiences (Richmond, Va.) You can spend all day on the slopes at Snowshoe as you try out 60 different runs and five terrain parks. At 1,500 feet, Cupp Run and Shay’s Revenge feature the highest vertical drop in the region. Outdoor Startup —ACE Adventures (Minden, W.Va.)—RVA Paddlesports (Richmond, Va.) Runners-Up Runners-Up Since opening their doors in the spring of 2019, Alleghany Outdoors offers several ways to get outside and enjoy the Jackson River. Take to the water by kayak, canoe, raft, or tube with a variety of trip lengths. Rent a bike to ride the Jackson River Scenic Trail, a converted railroad bed of gravel that follows the river. Take advantage of their shuttles to get back to your car. Discover some of the best trout fishing waters in the region with Fly Fishing the Smokies. From Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Tuckasegee and Nantahala Rivers, choose from several different wade and float trip options. Runners-Up Yoga Studio —In Balance Yoga Studio (Blacksburg, Va.)— Asheville Community Yoga (Asheville, N.C.) Outdoor Company to Work For Ragged Mountain Running (Charlottesville, Va.) —Wintergreen Resort (Nellysford, Va.)—Cataloochee Ski Area (Maggie Valley, N.C.) Runners-Up Bike Shop New River Mountain Guides (Fayetteville, W.Va.) Alleghany Outdoors (Covington, Va.) Wintergreen Resort (Nellysford, Va.) —Champion Brewery Run Club (Charlottesville, Va.)—Outdoor Access (Richmond, Va.) Trail Sisters (Asheville, N.C.) Photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Cyclery Runners-Up Runners-Up Runners-Up Fly Fishing Outfitter The Omni Homestead Resort offers an exclusive getaway with luxurious accommodations, spa treatments, skiing, golf, ziplining, and more. Kick back and relax in comfort at the WildManDan BnB. Enjoy delicious farm-to-table cooking, a welcome beer tasting, and a fire pit. While you’re there, sign up for a class on how to judge beer on Saturday mornings. A degree in adventure recreation management from WVU Tech is about more than the technical skills students learn to go into guiding rock climbing, mountain biking, or whitewater paddling. It’s about building managers and investing in the next generation of outdoor leaders. —Blue Ridge Mountain Guides (Nellysford, Va.)—Seneca Rocks Climbing School (Seneca Rocks, W.Va.) Mind/Body Studio Take a ride through the trees at Adventures on the Gorge. Choose from the adventure park with tree-based obstacles, a canopy tour with sky-bridges, and a 1.5-mile zipline course for an adventure off the ground. Climbmax (Asheville, N.C.) —barre.[d] studio (Charlottesville, Va.)—Blacksburg Pilates & Fitness Studio (Blacksburg, Va.) —Hotel Floyd (Floyd, Va.)—Massanutten Resort (Massanutten, Va.) Luxury Lodging With its two locations, Blue Ridge Cyclery can handle all of your cycling needs, from rentals and repairs to fitting you for your next ride. Their mobile service will meet you out on the road if you need a quick fix. Fayetteville is a recreation hotspot, bringing in climbers, whitewater kayakers, and hikers from all over. With so much to do in the surrounding area, the staff at the New River Gorge Learning Cooperative recognized they were in a unique location for a summer camp. “Where we are is world class,” said professor Dave Bernier. “Our classroom ends up being in those places. We’re climbing in the New River Gorge. We’re working with different whitewater operations on the New River and Gauley River.” —Wintergreen Spa (Wintergreen, Va.)—The Spa at Massanutten (Massanutten, Va.) —Rockfish Gap Outfitters (Waynesboro, Va.)—Great Outdoor Provision Co. (N.C. and Va.) Runners-Up —The Gorge (Saluda, N.C.)—Buffalo Mountain Ziplines (Floyd, Va.) Homestead (Hot Springs, Va.) Running Shop Photo courtesy of Travel Berkeley Springs Runners-Up Climbing Guide Company Water Stone Outdoors (Fayetteville, W.Va.) Inn/Bed & Breakfast Adventures on the Gorge (Lansing, W.Va.) Trail Sisters started to encourage women to get out on the trail, whether it’s hiking, running, or wogging (walk/jogging). Although it’s a national organization, the Asheville chapter hosts two meet-ups a month for women to get together and hit the trails as a group. Mindy Bayless, one of the chapter’s co-leaders, said they are expanding to offer volunteer opportunities like doing trail maintenance and working aid stations. Runners-Up Ragged Mountain provides more than just shoe fittings and other running gear. Since 1982, the shop has provided a community for competitive and recreational runners in Central Virginia. Donate a pair of shoes to be distributed throughout the community and receive a 10 percent discount. Outdoor Shop —Two River Treads (Ranson, W.Va.)—Fleet Feet (Roanoke, Va.) Businesses —Blue Sky Fund (Richmond, Va.)—Muddy Sneakers (Brevard, N.C.) Zip Line Across the Southeast, the Southern Environmental Law Center is fighting to protect the water, air, mountains, forests, and coasts that you enjoy. From advocating for cleaner energy resources to opposing offshore drilling, they are currently working on more than 200 cases across six states. Runners-Up Conveniently located just down the road from the New River Gorge area, New River Mountain Guides provide beginners and experts with the tools and resources to help you meet your goals on rock. Whether you’re looking for a cabin, treehouse, full hook-up RV site, or a campsite, Buffalo Trail has something to fit your budget and your adventure. Southern Environmental Law Center (Charlottesville, Va.) Farm to Feet (Mount Airy, N.C.) Climbing Gym Budget-Friendly Lodging —New River Bikes (Fayetteville, W. Va.)—The Hub (Pisgah Forest, N.C.) Outdoor Club From gentle yoga and meditation groups to Reiki sessions and massages, the Gaia Den is a place for healing, reflection, and gathering. Camp Drift-a-Bit (Fayetteville, W.Va.) Gaia Den (Princeton, W.Va.) The sun rises over Grandfather Mountain. Photo by Best of the Blue Ridge photographer winner Leslie Restivo. —Skylark Hammocks (Waynesboro, Va.)—XOSKIN (Frederick, Md.) Runners-Up Working at the scenic four-season resort in the Virginia Blue Ridge, Wintergreen employees enjoy opportunities to lead a variety of outdoor activities from skiing and snowtubing to ziplining and archery. Socks for hiking. Socks for running. Socks for fishing. Socks for wearing around the house. From the materials to the workers, Farm to Feet socks are 100-percent made in the United States. With the Appalachian Trail and Mountains-to-Sea Trail Collections, a portion of the proceeds go to the organizations that help maintain those trails for future users. Runners-Up —Adventure Treks (Hendersonville, N.C.)—Peak Experiences and Passages Adventure Camp (Richmond, Va.) Runners-Up —High Tor Gear Exchange (Charlottesville, Va.)—Namaste in Nature (Asheville, N.C.) Adventures on the Gorge (Lansing, W.Va.) —Adventure Treks (Hendersonville, N.C.)—Wander North Georgia (Clayton, Ga.) Adventure Vehicle The weeklong program introduces kids to activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, gardening, and animal identification. As the program continues to grow, there are plans to add an outdoor survival camp for a more intense experience. Full and partial scholarships are available for students in need. Raft Guide Company Ski Resort Our region is full of inspiring athletes, cultural hubs, and wild and wonderful spots to explore. In our ninth annual Best of the Blue Ridge Awards, we asked you to cast your votes for your favorite places, races, and faces in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Read on to learn about who you picked in this year’s contest. Runners-Up Runners-Up Snowshoe Resort (Snowshoe, W.Va.) Runners-Up Subaru Outback —Inn at Gristmill Square (Warm Springs, Va.)—Iris Inn (Waynesboro, Va.) —MountainTrue (Asheville, N.C.)—James River Association (Richmond, Va.) —Jeep Wrangler—Toyota 4Runner 1 2 3 4 5
Man drowns in Great Smoky Mountains National Park trying to save juvenile A man who jumped into the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, NC to save a juvenile family member died on Saturday, park rangers say. Witnesses report that 32-year-old Bulmaro Morales of Dudley, North Carolina jumped into the river to save a young family member who was drowning. When rangers arrived, the juvenile was safely on shore, but Morales had not resurfaced. A 72-year-old woman from California was gored by a bison multiple times after she approached within 10 feet of the animal to take a photo. The incident occurred at the woman’s campsite at Bridge Bay Campground in Yellowstone National Park. Rangers responded to the incident and provided immediate medical care. The woman was then flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. “The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet,” Yellowstone’s Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia said in a news release. “Bison are wild animals that respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing, and raising their tail. If that doesn’t make the threat go away, a threatened bison may charge. To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge.” Rangers and bystanders searched for Morales. He was found unresponsive in water 10-feet deep. Cherokee EMS and Cherokee Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, but lifesaving efforts were not effective. 72-year-old gored by bison in Yellowstone National Park while trying to take a picture Photo: part of Oconaluftee River on Highway 441 – courtesy of Getty Images
U.S. firm Hawker Beechcraft, present at the fifth edition of F-AIR Colombia, has signed a variety of agreements for the maintenance, modernization, and updating of its aircraft in service with the Colombian Air Force (FAC) and Colombian Naval Aviation, as well as with Colombian Army Aviation, a spokesperson emphasized to Infodefensa.com. The company exhibited three different commercial models, although representatives of the firm noted its planes’ military use, to such an extent that both the Colombian Air Force and Colombian Naval Aviation are considered leading customers on the continent. Therefore, Hawker Beechcraft came to F-AIR Colombia with a large stand in order to offer its customers new possibilities. This company is exhibiting three of its leading commercial models, with the objective, according to its representative, of attracting possible customers not only in Colombia, but also elsewhere in Latin America, taking advantage of the presence of countries, firms, and curious individuals from throughout the continent. The models on exhibit are the Beechcraft King Air 350ER, the Beechcraft King Air 250, and the Beechcraft King Air C90GTx. These aircraft are certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency and are available for immediate delivery. By Dialogo July 13, 2011
By Dialogo April 27, 2012 ABOARD THE USS ELROD, At Sea — The frigate USS Elrod (FFG 55) along with an embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team recovered 89 bales of cocaine in support of Operation Martillo on April 20, the Navy said. A SH-60B Sea Hawk from the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 60 Det. 3 on the Elrod responded after receiving a transmission from a P-3 surveillance aircraft operated by U.S. Customs Border Protection. Elrod joined in pursuit, along with authorities from Panama, of two 40-foot twin-engine vessels as they tried to evade authorities in the waters of the Western Caribbean. During the chase, cocaine was thrown into the sea, according to the Navy. The Navy-Coast Guard response team recovered 89 bales of cocaine, weighing 4,840 pounds, with an estimated value of more than US$362 million. “I am very proud of the teamwork and collaborative effort between the ship, our air detachment and our USCG Law Enforcement Detachment,” said Commander Jack Killman, the Elrod’s commanding officer. “Our mission is clear: to disrupt illicit trafficking that jeopardizes the safety in the region and ultimately our own national security.” [Public.navy.mil, 26/04/2012; Hamptonroads.com, 27/04/2012]