FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Associated Press:The amount of coal that China is using is tumbling as its electricity consumption falls and that decline may help the country’s greenhouse gas emissions peak a decade earlier than expected, according to a new analysis.China is the globe’s largest consumer of coal, burning more than three times that of the U.S., and it’s the world’s leading carbon dioxide emitter, the leading driver of climate change.But after pledging last year to cut its emissions to tackle climate change, China is showing signs of reducing its reliance on fossil fuels: the country’s electricity demand grew by 0.5 percent in 2015 while its coal consumption fell 5 percent and its coal imports fell 35 percent, according the analysis by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonprofit group focusing on global energy.“Data from the China National Energy Agency confirms that the country is successfully diversifying away from thermal power generation at a far-faster-than-expected rate,” the report says. “Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear continue to gain share at coal’s expense, consistent with a trend established in 2011.”Thermal power capacity — the amount of electricity China can produce from burning fossil fuels — fell by 9 percent last year, from 54.1 percent of its power supply in 2014 to 49.4 percent in 2015.“The model for their economy is changing from a far more industrial one to a more service-oriented economy,” Tom Sanzillo, IEEFA director of finance, said. “As a function of that, you demand less electricity, you burn less coal.”The implications of the changes are huge, the analysis says.“China’s total emissions are on track to peak potentially a decade earlier than their official target of no later than 2030,” it says.A Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis shows that China’s emissions may have fallen by 2 percent in 2015 because of its declining use of coal. Bloomberg also reported that China’s investments in renewables and energy efficiency rose 17 percent in 2015 to $110 billion, doubling U.S. investments in renewables, which totaled $56 billion.The U.S. is also seeing a decline in coal consumption, falling 10 percent last year as natural gas competes with coal as the leading fuel for electric power generation.Beyond climate concerns, China’s notoriously bad urban air pollution is one of the biggest reasons the country’s coal use is falling, Sanzillo said.“China is responding somewhat to the greenhouse gas issue, but they’re much more responding to an internal pollution problem,” he said. “If the people are choking, then the government is not doing its job. They need to reduce coal consumption for the people to be able to live in major cities.”China’s Coal Use Declines As Electricity Demand Falls Flat As China Evolves Into a Service Economy, Its Coal Use Slows
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享DBusiness:DTE Energy in Detroit today announced it is the first company in Michigan to offer green bonds, which were priced Monday. The $525 million in bonds will finance green investments, including low-carbon projects such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. DTE is the fifth [energy] company in the nation to sell green bonds.“Green bonds will help finance our low-carbon investments, which will enable us to continue moving Michigan toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” says Gerry Anderson, chairman and CEO of DTE Energy. “This is a tangible way for investors to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and is one of many steps in our aggressive plan to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050. We’re proud to be among the first energy companies to offer this green investment option.”The bonds have a maturity of 30 years at an annual fixed coupon of 4.05 percent. They are expected to help fund the development and construction of solar arrays and wind farms, including the transmission infrastructure to support renewable energy facilities, as well as strengthen energy efficiency programs.“A fundamental transformation in the way we produce power in Michigan has already begun,” says Anderson. “As DTE moves toward cleaner energy sources, we are focused on maintaining reliability and keeping energy affordable for our customers.”In related news, last Friday the Michigan Public Service Commission approved DTE Energy’s gas plant proposal for East China Township. The utility is scheduled to break ground on the new facility in 2019. The plant is one of the steps the company is taking to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by the early 2020s, and more than 80 percent by 2050.More: DTE Energy Among First In Nation To Offer Green Bonds, Wins Approval For East China Township Natural Gas Plant DTE Energy Issues Green Bonds to Fund Renewable Projects
WheelsWhen Alison Krauss decided to take some time off from bluegrass and tour with rocker Robert Plant, Dan Tyminski was faced with some downtime. Instead of cooling his heels, Tyminski—best known as the voice of “Man of Constant Sorrow” from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack—called on some old friends, including Union Station mate and bassist Barry Bales, Mountain Heart mandolin picker Adam Steffey, banjo stalwart Ron Stewart, and Blue Moon Rising’s Justin Moses, to cut a record and hit the road. Wheels, the Dan Tyminski Band’s June release, entered the Billboard Bluegrass charts at #1, and the band has been getting rave reviews for their live performances.———-BRO: How does a boy from Vermont get hooked on Appalachian music?DT: I had parents who were music enthusiasts. My parents went to a lot of fiddle contests and square dances, so any time there was live bluegrass or country music around, I got to go with them to hear it. And I spent a lot of my youth traveling from festival to festival throughout the summer. I made new friends and played music. I got to do that from the time I was six years old, and I still do it when I can now.BRO: You have been an integral member of Union Station for over a decade and now you are on the road leading your own band. How are those roles different?DT: The biggest difference is that off the stage there is a lot more responsibility with caring for band members, logistics, and making sure everyone goes to where they need to be. Once I take the stage, the roles are very similar. I want to make great music with the people I am on stage with.BRO: Compared to what you do with Union Station, are you flexing any different musical muscles with your band?DT: The stuff that this band does really focuses on the heart of what bluegrass is to us. We venture in more directions than Union Station, which has lot more pop flavor there and is not quite so centered in traditional bluegrass.BRO: Tell me about recording Wheels.DT: This record was born out of the opportunity to play with these guys. It wasn’t done with any particular theme in mind; we didn’t gather songs to express any certain views or opinions. The five of us just wanted to make music. With that in mind, we tried to find songs that suited us as a combination of players that were album worthy. If we are trying to say anything, it is that this is what we think bluegrass music is to us.BRO: I know that you are an avid golfer. What is more difficult—writing a classic bluegrass tune or sticking a five iron pin high?DT: That’s funny, because I’m at the golf course right now. I’ll be teeing off in about an hour. Both of those things are very difficult, but both are immensely rewarding as well.Catch the Dan Tyminski Band at the Three Sisters Music Festival in Chattanooga, Tenn., on October 4 and at the Richmond Folk Festival in Richmond, Va., on October 10-11.
Happy 4th of July! Happy Independence Day! The rain has been relentless this week, but hopefully you are outside grilling out and playing cornhole instead of inside watching Will Smith battle aliens (like the movie), or Tom Cruise protest the Vietnam War (like that other movie). Today is a day to celebrate the creation of this great nation, and also honor those who fight for our freedom everyday, whether they be on the battlefield, in the halls of government, or just your local volunteer. So think about those that serve while you nom on hotdogs and swig that frosty beverage during this long weekend. Keeping that in mind, there is a great opportunity to toast the best this country, and the state of Virginia, has to offer at the grand opening of the latest Virginia State Park to enter the park system: Powhatan State Park just west of Richmond.The new Powhatan State Park is comprised of 1,564 acres along the James River in Powhatan County, featuring 2.5 miles of river frontage along the river’s southern bank. There are picnic shelters, playground, canoe slide, equestrian parking, two miles of hiking trails and seven miles of multi-use trails. Powhatan will be dedicated as Virginia’s 36th state park at a ceremony on Saturday that begins at 10 am. Friends of Powhatan State Park will be selling food and drink, and over a dozen exhibitors from state and local organizations will be on hand to provide information on outdoor activities. The formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 2pm along the river with the keynote address being given by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, followed by live music at 5pm.This event is not only a great opportunity to check out Virginia’s latest addition to its state park system, but will be fun for the whole family. This Independence Day weekend, get out and show your support for the best this country has to offer: its wide open spaces, and those dedicated to preserving them for future generations.View Larger Map
Hey Doc,I recently returned from a ski trip to Colorado. Until this trip I only skied in West Virginia. The day after we arrived I developed a bad headache. A lodge representative suggested it might be altitude sickness. Motrin did not seem to help. It went away in a few days and no issues afterwards. Does this fit with altitude sickness, and if so, is there anything that I can do for it?Seasonal pains ~ Atlanta, Georgia——————————————————————–It could be related to the change in altitude from Atlanta to Colorado. The first question I would ask would be, where in Colorado? Altitude sickness directly relates to the amount of inspired oxygen. Using Denver, Colorado as a reference point, you would be breathing approximately an 18% concentration of inspired oxygen versus 21% at sea level. Tiny percentages make a big difference. An extreme comparison would be if one went from sea level to the top of Mount Everest where the inspired oxygen concentration is 6% or less. In this extreme case a person would lose consciousness in two minutes and die a few minutes thereafter.The body responds to altitude changes in a number of ways. Initially, a person will increase their rate and depth of breathing; activation of a protein called hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is also critical in turning certain metabolic processes. Blood flow to the brain increases for a period of time and maybe the culprit for attitude related headaches. Headaches along with sleep disturbance are two of the more common complaints seen among those new to higher altitudes. Altitude related headaches are usually bilateral, based in the front or side, have a dull to pressing nature, and are aggravated by activity or coughing. If related to the altitude alone by the third day these two common issues should completely resolve provided a person stays at the same altitude. There are other more serious conditions such as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HACE) or High-Attitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Both of these conditions occur at very high elevations (> 4000 m). Use the links below for more information.There are several methods to prevent altitude sickness. The first is slowly ascending altitudes leaving several days in between every 1,000 meter increase in elevation. This method will work but may take up your whole trip and is not very practical. A more practical tip is to take medications that speed up acclimation to higher altitudes. Acetazolamide is a common prescription drug that can be started only a few days prior to a trip. Another type of drug is the herbal medication Ginkgo biloba. The evidence for the usage of Ginkgo is limited to a few small trials, but it has relatively safe side effect profile including pregnancy. Be aware that unlike prescription drugs, dosage per pill is not regulated. Avoiding alcohol the first night upon arrival and drinking plenty of fluids is also recommended.Helpful ReferencesInternational Society for Mountain Medicine: www.ismmed.org and Institute for Altitude Medicine: www.altitudemedicine.org.
TAKE A HIKESemester-A-TrailEmory & Henry CollegeEmory, VirginiaHave you ever wanted to take six months off from life, pack your bags, and hit the trail? “Communing with nature and simplifying your life sounds romantic, but it is hard work,” says Semester-A-Trail and Emory & Henry Outdoor Programs Director Jim Harrison.In 1997, Harrison and his wife Aliese completed a southbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Unrelenting hordes of mosquitoes and torrential weather plagued the couple during their 2,189-mile trek, but he says that despite the physical and mental battles, thru-hiking the A.T. proved to be more than just a long walk in the woods: it was a walk back to hope.“The thru-hike experience renewed my faith in humanity,” Harrison says. “Without even knowing our real names, people of all creeds and socioeconomic backgrounds embraced us and our hiker smells, offering unconditional support and big smiles.”Shortly after completing the trail, Harrison started working for Emory & Henry College. Inspired by his thru-hike, he immediately began planting the seeds for an outdoor program. Jason Hibbitts of Honaker, Va., was one of the first students to take part in Harrison’s hikes.“I wanted to test my mettle and chase that wanderlust,” Hibbitts says. “There’s something spiritually humbling about having an experience you can’t buy your way out of.”So, in 2006, Hibbitts headed south for Springer Mountain in Georgia and began his six-month courtship with the white blaze.“Thru-hiking is great because you’re challenging yourself to see the world in a different way than you might in a classroom,” Hibbitts says. “I was accountable for my own learning. No one’s going to make you get up at 6 a.m., lace up your boots, then hike 20 miles,” but he did, and came out at Mount Katahdin stronger for it.Today, students from any department can hike the trail and acquire 12 or more credit hours, though part-time enrollment is also available. Past students have incorporated projects in a variety of fields, ranging from psychology and wellness to community service and environmental science.For rising junior and music education major Jon Ross of Knoxville, Tenn., that opportunity to combine academic pursuits with extracurricular interests is exactly what he’s looking for. In the spring of 2016, Ross will begin his northbound journey along the A.T. in hopes of finishing before the fall semester of his senior year. And while long-distance backpacking certainly isn’t among the courses required for a degree in music education, Ross is ready to step beyond the borders of his comfort zone in search of challenge, fresh air, and a dash of inspiration.“I’m hoping [the thru-hike] will give me a little time to be with myself and figure out exactly where the creativity in my mind wants to wander,” Ross says. “Along with my evolution as a person, I think I’ll grow as a musician as well.”Students interested in the Semester-A-Trail program should expect to work hard and think big. Prior to departure, thru-hikers-in-training will receive certifications in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and CPR, complete nature writing and introductory backpacking courses, and submit a comprehensive trip plan (including risk management, budget, and logistics).The program has seen such success that the college now plans to expand the Semester-A-Trail offering into an institute that would allow participants to transfer in and out from other schools or engage the program as a gap year.FOR MORE INFO on Emory & Henry’s Outdoor Program and the Semester-A-Trail experience, contact Jim Harrison at [email protected] or visit ehc.edu/student-life/outdoor-programEHC FAST FACTSPopulation: 1,012 undergradOutdoor Rec degree: NoOutdoor club: Yes – E&H Outdoor ProgramsOn-campus adventure: Climbing wall, bouldering cave, 18-hole disc golf course, indoor pool[nextpage title=”next page”]DIVE DEEPSCUBAPennsylvania State UniversityState College, PennsylvaniaEscape the rat race pace of your concrete jungle by suiting up in a pair of flippers and taking the plunge. Between Pennsylvania State University’s for-credit SCUBA courses and the Nittany Divers SCUBA Club, students of any ability level can explore the underwater worlds surrounding State College, Penn., just about every day of the week, every month of the year.“We start out with swimming, then snorkeling, then gearing up in SCUBA equipment and getting you to float neutrally under the water,” says Paul Rentschler, a certified SCUBA instructor through the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and the current SCUBA Diving Supervisor at Penn State.Rentschler first acquired a love for SCUBA when he himself attended Penn State as an undergraduate in the electrical engineering department. Having already participated in a dive course at a nearby shop in Reading, Penn., Rentschler turned to the Nittany Divers to satisfy his thirst for more. The diving club, which was founded in 1967, took his SCUBA skills to new heights, and lower depths.“It’s very freeing and it’s very peaceful,” Rentschler says of SCUBA diving. At Penn State, students can have that experience and learn the art of SCUBA for college credit during an eight-or 15-week beginner’s course.“It’s just a lot of fun exploring a whole different world,” says Penn State alumnus Matt Vinciguerra (’07). “Each class I took, I learned more about SCUBA diving, and the more you learn, the safer you can be.”Advanced SCUBA, SCUBA Rescue Diver, Training Assistant, Dry Suit Diver: for someone who went SCUBA diving as much as Vinciguerra, even if it wasn’t as part of a for-credit class, it may come as a surprise that he majored in astrophysics instead of, say, marine science. And while he now maintains a full-time job as an engineer, he regularly instructs at Neptune’s Realm SCUBA Center in Avondale, Penn and has been on almost 600 dives from Cozumel to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.PSU FAST FACTSPopulation: 46,000 undergradOutdoor Rec degree: Yes – BS/MS: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism ManagementOutdoor club: Yes – Penn State Adventure RecreationOn-campus adventure: Indoor pool, indoor ice arena, Stone Valley Recreation Area[nextpage title=”next page”]PADDLE THE SOURCEVoice of the RiversBrevard CollegeBrevard, North CarolinaAt Brevard College, experience is everything.But, according to Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) Associate Professor Clyde Carter, the school doesn’t promote just any type of experience.“The [outdoor] industry wants to hire people with a lot of ‘personal experience,’” Carter says, “whether you’re swimming through a class IV or you get stuck on the side of Looking Glass during a storm, that all deals with personal experience.”That idea of living and learning, sometimes the hard way, is exactly how Carter found himself at Brevard College. In 1989, Carter convinced the college’s president to hire him as the director of an outdoor program that didn’t exist yet, but would be unlike anything else at the time. With the help of outdoor legends such as National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) founder Paul Petzoldt, Carter crafted an outdoor program and degree based on part-theory, part skin-your-knee trial and error.“That’s why [experience] is in our title, Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education,” Carter says. “We put [the students] in real situations, but there is a safety net to some degree. If they make a wrong turn, as long as there’s not a life in danger, I’m gonna walk behind them with a smile on my face, even if it means we’re out there till dark.”In 1997, Carter, whose own early outdoor adventures were fraught with one-too-many close calls on flooded sections of the Chattooga River and self-guided tours through unknown routes in the Tetons, sat down again with the college faculty to propose another opportunity for students to implement classroom ideas into the real world: an extended paddling trip from source to sea. Surprisingly, the college supported the expedition, and Voice of the Rivers (VOR) was born.“The goal is not a wilderness program, though we’re camping out and paddling the whole thing,” Carter says. “The goal is to meet as many people as possible who work on the river, recreate on it, depend on it, and hear their stories.”Additionally, the VOR trip is open to students from any department, not just the WLEE program. Criminal justice, environmental studies, music education, and even theater majors have found their way onto a VOR trip, and according to WLEE major and VOR alumna Kelsey Bracewell (’09), the diversity of backgrounds was what made the three-week trip so special.“I remember sitting there on the water near the end of the trip and thinking we were just crushing it,” Bracewell says. “I was really impressed with how our group performed that day,” noting that, though her fellow students all had varying degrees of experience in a sea kayak, the three weeks of paddling and backcountry living in a group setting had gone relatively incident-free. “We had all worked really hard to get that far,” she adds, from logistics and risk management, to researching regional literature and sea kayak training.The VOR program has taken students on a number of different source-to-sea journeys, from the Brevard campus to New Orleans, from Henderson County to Charleston, S.C., from Cashiers, N.C., to Savannah, Ga., and even an extended three-month expedition on Patagonia waterways.BC FAST FACTSPopulation: 701 undergradOutdoor Rec degree: Yes – BA: Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education (WLEE)Outdoor club: Yes – Climbing Team, Outing Club, Paddling Club, Cycling TeamOn-campus adventure: Bracken Preserve[nextpage title=”next page”]CLAMP ON CRAMPONSIce ClimbingGarrett CollegeMcHenry, MarylandWinters in the mid-Atlantic always mean unavoidable element: ice. While unfortunate for skiers and snowboarders, the ice in the Mid-Atlantic is prime for ice climbing.“No one really knows what to expect from an ice climbing class,” says Andrew Hershey, an Associate Professor with the Adventuresports Institute (ASI) at Garrett College. “It wouldn’t be hard, you’d think, to get people to sign up, but even Adventuresports students are intimidated by cold weather activities.”ASI student Kayley Green was just that: intimidated, hesitant, and, truth be told, a little nervous. Though actively involved in the ASI program and an avid climber, ice climbing was foreign territory.“I’d never been ice climbing before and I really, really hate cold weather,” Green says. “And I hate snow.”Despite having doubts, Green enrolled in the course anyway, and in January of 2015, after a 15-hour drive north to the Catskills of New York, she found herself enthralled by some of the East Coast’s most pristine ice formations.“When students get out there, most of them typically really, really love it,” Hershey says, despite facing low temperatures, unpredictable weather, and often brutal wind.The ice-climbing course takes place over the span of five days, and though the early years of the course were spent right down the road in Savage River State Forest, the crew now heads north.“We cover all the basics of ice climbing,” Hershey says. “We look at understanding how ice is formed, how to evaluate ice, how to swing your ice tools, how to move on lower angle ice,” all of which, he says, is founded on the students’ knowledge of basic rock climbing skills, which they accumulate through prerequisite classes in introductory top rope and multipitch climbing.GC FAST FACTSPopulation: 769 undergradOutdoor Rec degree: Yes – Associates in Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Adventure Sports Management; B.S. Adventuresports Management 2+2 Program through Frostburg State UniversityOutdoor club: NoOn-campus adventure: Climbing wall, indoor pool, low element challenge course, Wisp Resort and Deep Creek Lake within sightWATCH VIDEO Garrett College students talk about adventure, past and present, at BlueRidgeOutdoors.com[nextpage title=”next page”]LEARN TO LEADPrinciples of Field LeadershipGeorgia CollegeMilledgeville, GeorgiaIt’s one thing to know how to keep yourself safe in the backcountry. It’s another thing entirely to facilitate a group experience in the outdoors and not only keep those people safe, but also teach them something in the process. Georgia College’s Principles of Field Leadership class provides students with a framework to do just that.“This course tends to show students that leadership is less of a coat in the closet that you put on when it’s your time to lead—it’s more of you being comfortable in your own skin,” says course professor Dr. Will Hobbs.It’s called “field leadership” for a reason. Students spend just a couple days in the classroom preparing for the pinnacle of the course, a 12-day backcountry trip. The goal?“Humility,” Hobbs says. “Students come into the class thinking, ‘I got this dialed,’” but anyone who has spent more than a week in the woods with the same group of 10 people knows it’s not that easy. Just ask outdoor education senior Cole Wilson who says the interpersonal skills he learned during those 12 days were invaluable.“Three or four years ago, I would have viewed a leader as this concrete, almost president-like figure,” Wilson says. “Now I realize that there is so much more that goes into it, and it’s a lot about relationship building. A good leader doesn’t always get noticed.”Wilson’s come a long way since he first entered Georgia College as a programming and networking major. Wilson found something during a summer backpacking trip that he wasn’t expecting: identity.“I always had a passion for [working with] people, but in my mind, networking and programming wasn’t the way to do it,” Wilson says. So he changed majors and never looked back.Hobbs knows that story all too well and says that accepting your identity and becoming a good leader go hand-in-hand.“When I was 18, I was wrestling with ‘who am I?’ and had this mistaken idea that there was one thing that I was designed to do, one purpose, one job, one person, one career, one life path for me and if I didn’t discover that, then I’d be screwed for the rest of my life,” Hobbs says.So how did he overcome these feelings of doubt and uncertainty? He took a hike to Old Rag in Virginia. Much like Wilson, Hobbs felt a certain peace as he gazed out at the expanse of rolling ridges and, for the first time, he felt like he belonged.“I didn’t receive any answers immediately,” Hobbs says, “yet that recognition that there are systems at work that continue to function whether or not I exist was a humbling, frightening, and extremely freeing idea.”It’s an idea which is integral to his course structure and what he hopes students will take away at the end of 12 days. The class is currently offered in May near the end of the spring semester.GC FAST FACTSPopulation: 5,729 undergradOutdoor Rec degree: Yes – B.S. in Outdoor EducationOutdoor club: Yes – Outdoor Recreation EducationOn-campus adventure: Lake Laurel Lodge, challenge courses, two climbing walls, Lake Laurel, and 83 acres of forest and wetlands[nextpage title=”next page”]Best College Adventures Check out these other great adventure courses and travel opportunities offered by colleges throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.#1 Western Carolina UniversityCongratulations to WCU in Cullowhee, N.C. who again won Blue Ridge Outdoors’ Best Adventure College Bracket for the second year in a row. With a Parks and Recreation Management degree, Base Camp Cullowhee outing program, internship opportunities with the National Park Service at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and front door access to some of the Southeast’s greatest natural playgrounds, it’s no wonder students who want to be immersed in the outdoors come to this adventure oasis.And to gain a familiarity of WCU’s backyard, what better way to do that than by backpacking and climbing for 10 days at some of the region’s iconic destinations like the Linville Gorge and Mount Mitchell? Wilderness Education is a three-credit class offering students the chance to learn the basics of expedition planning, leadership, and implementation while being immersed in true backcountry.#2 Montreat CollegeOur second-place finisher in the Top Adventure College tournament goes to another western North Carolina school, where the small student body and hands-on learning opportunities create experienced leaders in the outdoors. Montreat, which is located in the shadow of Mount Mitchell and surrounded by national forest, offers a degree in Outdoor Education. The program emphasizes not only outdoor skills but also leadership training, environmental studies, and Christian faith.Montreat’s 40/40 Wilderness Expedition takes students on a 40-day backpacking expedition in Wyoming that includes significant time living above 10,000 feet while also rock climbing, snow climbing and mountaineering, summiting multiple peaks.Virginia Tech: Paddling over 50 miles of the San Juan River. Canyoneering in Moab. Enroll in Virginia Tech’s Venture Out spring break trips and discover some of the country’s best adventures.UT Knoxville: Explore the Cumberland Plateau’s underground labyrinth of caves.APPALACHIAN STATE: The university’s Canadian Rockies Spring Break Backcountry Ski Expedition is a 14-day ski-mountaineering course spent in Banff, Canada.George Mason University: Bikepack the C&O Canal, a 185-mile trail that runs from Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Md.Eastern Kentucky University: Don’t head south for spring break! Head north and ski the slopes of Vermont.West Virginia University: Kayak, snorkel, swim, and camp in Manatee Springs, Cedar Key, St. Joseph Peninsula, and Ictucknee Springs in northern Florida. It’s the only way to spend your winter break.UT Chattanooga: Take spring break and spend it sea kayaking for a week around Florida’s Cayo Costa Island.Virginia Commonwealth University: Footprints on the James, a four-week kayak expedition navigating the James River.University of Georgia: Backpack the Grand Canyon, a weeklong spring break excursion into the heart of one of America’s most treasured icons.University of Virginia: Pump your arms out during a spring break climbing trip to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.University of Kentucky: Embrace your wild side during a weeklong spring break trip camping on beaches and exploring Georgia’s Cumberland Island.Clemson University: Spring Break Mountain Biking is a weeklong stint of shredding Moab, Utah’s, sweet singletrack.James Madison University: Immerse yourself for 10 days in the hostile yet awe-inspiring environment of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park.University of Pittsburgh: Embark on the Pitt Odyssey and explore the adventures located right out your dorm room door.Liberty University: Ditch the books for the day and head to Liberty Mountain’s trail system, where students can get lost on over 65 miles of trails and logging roads that span across 5,000 acres.Sewanee – College of the South: Spend winter break bagging 14ers in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies.Roanoke College: The sky’s the limit in Kitty Hawk, N.C., with an overnight camping trip, a hang gliding lesson, and a kayak tour through a maritime forest.Davidson College: Canoe down the Rio Grande and experience Texas like you’ve never seen it.Radford University: Rock climb, backpack, and learn the basics of mountaineering during a 14-day course to central Colorado and the Collegiate Mountain Range, where walking through waist-deep snow and fording equally deep rivers is standard passage.North Greenville University: Enroll in the Wilderness Journey Practicum, a 15-day backpacking journey in which students will abide by a minimalistic style of living including boiling water for treatment and tarp camping.UNC – Asheville: Push yourself, learn to cook in the backcountry, gain your CPR/AED and Wilderness First Aid certifications, and challenge your idea of leadership in the Outdoor Leadership Training Program.Maryville College: Put your mind, and your body, to the test during the three-credit Human Perseverance and Endurance course.Lees-McRae College: Feel good about going outside to play with Lees-McRae’s Outdoor Programs. These adventurous souls give back by helping with adaptive ski and climbing events across western North Carolina.Warren Wilson College: Enroll in an international voyage aimed at studying environment, culture, & adventure tourism in Armenia.Washington & Lee University: Ever wanted to see Belize in an authentic way? Spend a week on Glover’s Atoll SCUBA diving, kayaking, and snorkeling.
One glimpse at his slumped shoulders and I knew my attempt to encourage him to make friends had backfired. His lip trembled and before burying his head into my chest, he blurted out between tears, “He doesn’t want to play with me.”Not only do I viscerally feel his personal rejection as my own, but all of my personal experiences of rejection well up– the time I tried to kiss a guy and he turned away, the time I had asked a good friend to read a draft of my book and she said no. I pull him toward me, hugging my four-year old close, with a fierce need to protect him. I whisper in his ear all of the things. The little boy is probably just tired and wants to play alone. That he’s a good boy and other kids want to play with him. That it’s scary to put yourself out there again, but the only thing to do is ask someone else. Twenty minutes later, I’m sitting on the grass and he’s playing with a gang of kids –racing down the hill and comparing grass stains. He’s beaming with the abiding pleasure of belonging, and I’m smiling, relieved that he’s happy, grateful for his growing resilience.It brings to mind a conversation I recently had with Michael Brown, the director of Mountain Sun School. The school’s core mission includes age-appropriate exploration of the outdoors, starting with short hikes for the preschoolers and culminating with multi-night backpacking trips for the upper elementary students.Michael told me that creating a central core is fundamental to kids feeling inspired to take the requisite risks that lead to growth. He explains that Mountain Sun cultivates a core safe space and challenges students to go explore beyond preconceived limits, whether academically, creatively, or in the outdoors. The students come back and debrief with their teachers. As a writer, I appreciate the process – go explore, stretch, take risks and then fold it into your narrative. Repeat.To prevent tuition from becoming out of reach for some families, the school hosts fundraisers, its largest is an obstacle course race this coming Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Brevard Music Center. Consistent with the school’s philosophy of preparing an environment that inspires, two courses nestled between mountains will lead participants through meadows and ponds. Transylvania Adventure Games or TAG includes vendors, food trucks, face painting, live music and more. This year boasts two courses. The main obstacle course will be 2.5 miles and include mental and physical challenges, including tunnels, rope webs, memory tests, walls to climb, beams to walk, and a water feature. Gift certificates will be presented for the top three finishes in the competitive category. There will also be a mini course, and the entire event meant to be inclusive, where participants can tailor the challenge.If you’re looking for a great way to kick-off your weekend in Western North Carolina, consider challenging yourself and remember, we become what we practice. By facing obstacles and staying present, we evolve into the strongest and best versions of ourselves.To learn more about this TAG, please visit tagracesonline.com.
Several years ago, my friend Dave Marsh and I were given access to a private stretch of Pennsylvania spring creek filled with wild brown trout, some of which grew quite large. In the clear water we could see over a dozen browns from eighteen to almost thirty inches. For the first few weeks we fished there as often as possible, but despite our stealthiest approach and long light tippets we couldn’t buy a strike. Good luck finally came our way in the form of a summer thunderstorm. Within a half hour the fast moving storm clouded and raised the water several inches. We switched to wooly buggers and dead drifted them under indicators. Within an hour we landed three browns from twenty to twenty-six inches. From that point on we planned our trips around the weather, hitting the creek any time a storm came through and dead drifting large nymphs and buggers under indicators. We’ve refined the technique over the years on that original stream and countless others from New York to North Carolina and have landed dozens of big browns and rainbows since then. What follows are some of the techniques, tackle, and flies that I use to go after big trout in high water.1. Time and Place – This may seem obvious, but you’re not going to land a trophy trout on a stream that doesn’t have any. When fishing high water head for the nearest stream that you know holds big fish, any place you’ve encountered a big fish that you couldn’t hook under normal conditions, or even a stream that’s just rumored to hold big fish. This is also a great time to hit those spots that just scream big fish: deep holes, undercut banks, log jams, and any other place that could hold big fish that are normally nocturnal. Also, I’ve had much better results on wild streams. Fish size isn’t limited to what a hatchery can put out, so you have more potential for big fish, and they behave naturally, meaning you’ll have better shot at finding them in normal feeding lies, rather than where ever a truck dumped them.2. High, Off Color Water. Although in my experience thunderstorms provide the best results, almost any time the water is high and/or off color can give you a shot at your biggest fish of the year. An all-day rain, or in the case of tail waters, a dam release can get big fish feeding. About the only time I don’t fish high water is when it’s caused by snow melt. Even if it’s 60 degrees out, the melt water will be running over snow and ice making it just above freezing when it hits the stream. This will drop the water temperature and put fish down. 3. Flies – For this kind of fishing you only need a handful of patterns. I generally lean towards larger patterns tied in dark colors so that they stand out in off colored water. Since visibility is normally low during high water, I prefer patterns that “push” water. I tie my flies with chenille, thick webby hackle, and rubber legs that give off vibrations trout can pick up with their lateral lines. I weight all of my flies with bead heads, cone heads, or lead wire to get them down quickly. 4. Wooly Bugger – This is my go to during high water. I usually start with a size 6 or 8 with a bead or cone head and lead wire on the hook shank. I want my fly to push water to make it easy for the trout to find, so I tie them with thick marabou blood tails, the thickest chenille I can find for the body and palmer it with wide webby saddle hackle. I don’t normally tie my buggers with rubber legs, but this will add movement and vibration that the trout can feel, so you may want to buy or tie yours with them.5. Clouser’s Crayfish – Even if the stream you’re fishing only has a few crayfish, big trout won’t pass up such a large, calorie packed meal. The Clouser’s Crayfish was originally designed as a smallmouth bass fly, but this pattern has caught numerous big trout for me, including my best wild brown, a fish just shy of 25 inches. I carry it in sizes 4-8, in tan, brown, olive, and orange. One note on this fly: resist the urge to retrieve it like you would for bass. Real crayfish will drift in the current at times just like nymphs. My best results with this fly have always come by dead drifting it near the bottom under a strike indicator.6. Bead Head Prince Nymph – I carry princes from size 6 to 18. During high water I fish them from size 6 to 12 with bead head and lead wire to imitate large stone fly or mayfly nymphs. High water can dislodge the naturals, making them easy pickings for trout.7. Other Patterns – Any large, weighted, buggy flies will work for this kind of fishing. Rubber leg stonefly nymphs and hellgrammite patterns fit the bill perfectly.8. Tackle – I prefer 9 to 10 foot, 4 to 7 weight outfits with moderate actions. Heavier lines will turn over stiff leaders with heavy flies, an indicator and split shot. A longer rod will give you more reach for mending, and it will help cushion tippets against breaking, especially if it has a slower action. I prefer leaders around 9 feet long ending in a 1x to 3x tippet. Trout in high, stained water, are not leader shy, and a heavy tippet will help you land and release your fish quickly. There’s no sense in losing a big fish, or playing one too long on an unnecessarily light leader. 9. Indicators – For my everyday fishing I use wool indicators in natural colors to avoid spooking fish. In high off colored water there’s no need for this. I use a brightly colored hard foam indicator, or a thingamabobber. Either one can be adjusted easily, can hold up more weight than a yarn indicator, won’t sink, and they’re highly visible.10. A Few Odds and Ends – If you’re doing this right you’ll be fishing in the rain, so a quality rain coat is a necessity. Make sure you buy one with tight neoprene wrist cuffs, this makes a huge difference in keeping your arms dry. 11. A Net – If your net is one of the models with a short handle and small, shallow hoops, leave it at home. I carry a long handled net with a long, wide hoop and deep mesh. Always approach the fish from the tail with the net in the water. Stabbing at the fish, or approaching it from the head is a great way to break off a fish at the last second. Think smooth but quick movements when netting.12. Find a partner. And speaking of nets, having a fishing partner to net and play spotter will greatly improve your odds of hooking and landing a big trout. When fishing with a partner one usually fishes while the other spots; looking for signs of fish and keeping an extra set of eyes on the indicator. If we’re both fishing, when one of us hooks a big fish the other guy drops what he’s doing, grabs the net, and gets ready to land the fish.13. Adjust your rig for the water. You’ve got the right gear and flies, you’re in the right place, its pouring and the creek is rising. It’s time to start fishing. Your indicator should be one to two times the water depth you’re fishing. Your fly and leader should be weighted enough so that your indicator drifts just a little slower than the bubbles on the surface. Thoroughly cover every good looking lie. I usually start my drifts close and fan my casts out further until I’ve covered the whole area, then move upstream. And when I say start close, I mean very close. Trout are not shy in dirty water, I’ve hooked twenty inch browns literally two feet in front of my toes. I keep the fly dead drifting as close to the bottom as possible, and if I’m not hooking fish, I adjust my indicator up or down until I start getting strikes. One last note: this is not a numbers game. You’ll most likely hook only a few fish in these conditions, but odds are they will be much bigger than average. [divider]read more fridays on the fly[/divider]
Be Treated Like A VIP with the Festy Experience Comfort Zone Upgrade…For Free!We’ve teamed up with The Festy Experience to give away Four Weekend Comfort Zone Upgrade Passes to the festival! This includes a private bar in the VIP Lounge, in the Comfort Zone Lounge, Upgraded Bathrooms, Showers for the weekend, and a Side Viewing Deck for up-close viewing of your favorite bands!This contest is over.Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 day of the winning announcement. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 – 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 the winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before Oct. 3, 2018 – date and time subject to change. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 24 hours to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. 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.
Under the agreement, Duke will excavate more than 76 million tons of coal ash from the last open, unlined coal ash lagoons in the state, located at the Allen, Belews Creek, Cliffside, Marshall, Mayo and Roxboro sites. The ash will be moved and safely stored in lined landfills away from waterways. More than 3 million tons of non-impounded coal ash will also be excavated. At the Roxboro and Marshall facilities there will also be additional protective measures, such as surface water and groundwater monitoring, for specific sections of impoundments that will remain under existing permitted landfills or structural fills. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the coal ash lagoon closure plans at public hearings that will take place near all six of the sites in February. Duke has also agreed to enter into a court-supervised consent order with DEQ and the community groups represented by Southern Environmental Law Center in court. Duke Energy and the state of North Carolina have reached a settlement agreement requiring Duke to excavate nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six facilities around the state. DEQ said in a press release that the excavation is the largest coal ash cleanup in the nation’s history and will result in more excavation of coal ash than in four neighboring states combined. “This agreement is a historic cleanup of coal ash pollution in North Carolina, and the Department of Environmental Quality and community groups throughout the state have provided essential leadership in obtaining it,” said Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “The water resources and families of North Carolina will benefit from this statewide coal ash cleanup for years to come.”