The American Tobacco Trail, a 23-mile rails-to-trails project that runs through Wake, Durham, and Chatham counties, offers 4.7 miles of compacted gravel along the Wake County section where horses and riders can enjoy the wooded trail. On two afternoons recently I met up with equestrians to explore the trail and its features.
After a frustrating year and numerous squandered opportunities, the US Men's National Team has officially failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. It's a crushing blow to US soccer fans who have been cheering the underdog men's team at the World Cup for seven straight tournaments starting in 1990. This is the first time in living memory for many fans that the USMNT will not be in the tournament and comes at a critical time of growth for US soccer.
Late Monday night before my friend Emily and I met up ridiculously early on Tuesday morning to climb, I psyched myself up for it. I wanted a breakthrough in my acrophobia and to feel like after a year of climbing I had somehow improved as a climber and had more control over my fear of heights, so to pump myself up for climbing the next morning I watched Youtube videos of climbers doing amazing things and read my "How to Rock Climb!" book and watched parkour videos and I was excited, so excited, to try something bold.
I don't know about you but October is my favorite month. Birthday, fall foliage, crisp cool climate, beautiful hikes, exciting races, bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils...I could keep going, but time is flying and the month is short!And so, without further ado, it's time for GOALS!
If you're thinking of hiking up Slickrock Creek Trail in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, I have some advice for you: don't do it.
I'm pretty sure that hike was the most miserable hike of my life. I'm also pretty sure I'm going to have scars from that hike. The trail was completely overgrown with rhododendron and blackberries and briars and my legs looked like they were the loser in a fight with some barbed wire. My arms weren't much better and I think my feet will never forgive me for that day.
When was the last time I'd backpacked alone? And I mean really and truly alone - no Ryder pup, not even other hikers nearby. I was out there in the wilderness and I felt completely alone. I was acutely aware of every noise in the forest around me and I realized I was never this worried before about venturing into the wilderness. I wasn't sure if it was because everyone else's fears of the wilderness was seeping into me, or if it was because my general anxiety about the world was increasing, or if it was just that I was venturing into wilder and more remote places and, honestly, that's scary. But I had to take this leap of faith. I had to prove to myself that I could be alone in the wilderness and that it would be alright.