It has been SO LONG since my last Sunday Stroll post! No joke, it’s been almost a year since my last Sunday Stroll post on Adams Tract in Carrboro, eek!! And while I’ve been hiking and running, that’s a fair representation of how long it’s been since I went on a Sunday Stroll with my dad. We’ve only ever been on one other Sunday Stroll since then at Clemmons forest, and I just haven’t posted about that. (Also my bad.) But I’d been talking a big game about reviving our Sunday Stroll tradition, and I even texted my dad to check his availability for a recent Sunday morning, only I never actually followed up with him on when or where or how far.
So fast forward to Sunday morning. I’m lying in bed being a lazy bum, and my doorbell rings. It’s my dad. Asking, “Hey, where are we going hiking this morning?”
That awesome close-to-home hike that beginner and experienced hikers both love
How do I organize a hike that is both interesting for experienced hikers and isn't overwhelming to new hikers? That's a hard balance; I remember being a new hiker when 2-3 miles felt like quite a hike, and I also remembered thinking recently how now my definition of a "hike" is vastly different than what it was a few years ago. How do I reconcile the two and find something that would appeal to everyone?
There was one obvious answer: Hanging Rock.
A trail on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill offers lots of route options for hiking or trail running.
This past Sunday Kelly and I kicked off our trail running adventures (which I will affectionately call "runventures") with Battle Branch Trail. This particular trail starts at the Chapel Hill Community Center and connects to Battle Park, a 93 acre park on campus at UNC Chapel Hill. Battle Branch Trail connects Battle Park and the Chapel Hill Community Center, and you can loop various trails together in Battle Park for a range of mileage for a great hike! Great for running or hiking, it's a great addition to the Sunday Stroll series!
Forget eating detergent and instead try these awesome outdoor challenges!
You all know I L-O-V-E a good goal or challenge, from running streak challenges, writing streak challenges, year-long goals, monthly goals, and everything in between. My pea-sized attention span needs something to latch onto and tackle to prevent me from jumping around from one shiny thing to the next (oooh shiny!) And while the challenges I tackle tend to be oriented around a personal goal - be a better writer/runner/hiker/biker/climber/person/etc. - I can enjoy watching a good fad challenge like the next person who is bored at work (I mean...stuck in traffic. No no I mean waiting in line at the coffeeshop! That's the one.) Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Or the Mannequin Challenge? Or even the Harlem Shake Challenge? Ah, good times. But I do draw the line at certain challenges - like the recent Tide Pod Challenge. Here are my votes on challenges to avoid and challenges to tackle (spoiler: they involve the outdoors, shocking!)
Waterfalls abound on 5 mile hike outside Morganton, NC
I am still trying to catch up on sleep after this weekend. I always strive to be the type of person who gets up early in the morning and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to tackle the world, but in reality I'm at my best energy levels sometime after 8pm and before 5am. I have a friend who is the same way and she calls us "morning owls" - fighting our natural circadian rhythms just to get a little more mileage into our days. So with that in mind, Saturday morning was an eeeeearly morning for me. I woke up at 5am and had to force myself out of bed, all groggy and groaning and rubbing crusty sleep from my eyes. I'd already woken up early the day before for a pre-work climbing session, so two early mornings in a row was hella hard. But the mountains were calling, and I had a date with a meet-up group.
Carver's Gap to US19 section along Appalachian Trail offers incredible views
Some weekend trips just work out perfectly. Sometimes you expect tough climbs or bad weather, or that you'll have to sleep in a cold car the night before you get on the trail. And sometimes you get a bed & breakfast and a beautiful sunset on a stunning bald. My friend Sherry and I explored the Appalachian Trail from Carver's Gap to 19E over Easter weekend, and it was one beautiful adventure!