An India First: More Renewable Capacity Than Coal Installed Last Year

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Quartz India:For the first time ever, India has added more production capacity from renewable energy in a year than from conventional sources like coal.Between April 2017 and March 2018, the country added around 11,788 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity. That’s more than double the 5,400 MW of capacity addition in the thermal and hydro power sectors during the same period.The numbers are in sync with the Narendra Modi government’s plan to promote renewable power, targeting capacity additions of 175,000 MW from renewable sources by 2022. Yet, new capacity in major sectors like wind and solar power has fallen short of targets. Instead, it is energy sources like small hydro, waste-to-energy, and biomass that have picked up the pace, and even surpassed the annual targets set by the government.The country’s wind power sector added around 1700 MW of capacity during the last financial year, far short of the targeted 4,000 MW. This was predominantly due to issues with the implementation of a policy change that the government introduced in 2017. The problems have since been fixed, and the sector is getting back on its feet.Meanwhile, the solar power sector just about managed to go past its annual target of 9,000 MW last year. The target was revised downward from the 15,000 MW set in 2016. This sector, too, had a rough year due to policy uncertainties and fewer government tenders for setting up solar power projects.The rooftop solar sector added around 350 MW in capacity, woefully short of the 1,000 MW target that was scaled down by the government from 5,000 MW last year.More: India Added More Energy Capacity From Renewables Than Coal Last Year An India First: More Renewable Capacity Than Coal Installed Last Yearlast_img read more

Behind the Snow Curtain

first_imgHow do ski resorts keep the snow groomed and the lifts running?Sunday morning and it has not snowed in a week but you are up early anyway, waiting for the rope to drop. The air is brisk and the slope looks like a white, corrugated highway of perfect corduroy, begging to be shredded. Moments later you are ripping perfectly groomed slopes, arcing huge turns that leave your signature on the mountain. You pick up speed over a roller and launch for a split second, confident your landing will be gentle. Maybe you duck into the terrain park to catch some more air. The lips of the kickers are on plane and the transitions buttery; take offs and landings smooth as glass.It is an epic run, but you should have seen it yesterday.It is a peculiar phenomenon to see a ski resort on a busy Saturday afternoon, and again on Sunday morning. In no other sport is the landscape manipulated and changed like in skiing and snowboarding: every turn shifts the snow, every run modifies the slope. Snow is displaced and bumps formed from the hundreds of riders that hit a resort each day. Then, like an Etch-A-Sketch shaken by Ullr, the God of Snow, the slopes are wiped clean overnight. The moguls, slush, chunks, grooves, and ice are gone, ground into oblivion and replaced by picturesque groomed ribbons of flawlessly graded greens, blues, and black diamonds. Yesterday’s last run had been more survival than recreation, but now that same slope is the reason you love sliding on snow.This is the miracle of the modern ski resort, but how is it pulled off? What goes on behind the scenes every day, and night, to produce the quality product you ski each morning?A lot, it turns out.GroomerPowder Pushin’: Snow Cats mold a mountain from a mole-hill of snow.THE MAESTROKen Gaitor has been working his way up through the ski resort chain of command for the better part of 15 years. Following college in Vermont, the West Virginia native relocated to Utah, working lifts before finding a niche in terrain park management. Following a move back to Vermont, Gaitor pioneered the Carinthia Park Project at Mount Snow, a first-of-its-kind terrain park that spanned an entire face of the ski resort. His experiences with park management set him up well for his current position as director of ski operations at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain.“Coming up through the terrain park world, you are relying on many different departments to be successful, so you learn how to communicate across department boundaries very well or you don’t succeed,” Gaitor says.Although the list of departments he oversees may seem daunting – snowmaking, grooming, terrain parks, ski patrol, lift maintenance, lift operations, and vehicle maintenance – like any good manager, he emphasizes communication as the key to things running smoothly. To this end, he spends most mornings outside cruising around the mountain checking in with the overnight groomers, then ski patrol to update slope openings and skier volume, then he takes a couple of laps for a firsthand account of snow and lift conditions. All this before the resort opens for the day.“I think if you are going to put a good product out there, you have to be [hands-on],” he said. “For me, it’s the part I enjoy so it’s easy. I’m not as good or comfortable in the office as I am outside on the slopes, so I think where I’m most valuable is out there looking around, using the years of experience I have to spot things that maybe aren’t quite as easy for others to see.”Gaitor is all about putting a good product out there, and making sure every facet of the resort is working together towards a common goal. On the surface, during the daylight hours, a ski resort can appear to be calm and laid-back but pull back the curtain and you’ll find a controlled chaos of activity, especially after the lifts stop spinning. Most of a resort’s heavy lifting happens overnight.THE SNOWMAKERThe most crucial job on any ski mountain in the East, and probably the most thankless, is that of the snowmaker. You may occasionally spot an active snow gun during the daytime, but the vast majority of snowmaking goes on during the dead of night. This underscores one of the harsh physical realities of making snow: you can only do it when the temperature is below freezing.“Without the snow, we’re going nowhere,” says Gaitor. “The way the job works – guys out there 24 hours a day, through the dark of night, in the elements, pretty dangerous job – it takes a certain character, a certain toughness, to be able to hang in there and do that.”This doesn’t stop some from getting snowmaking in their blood. Gaitor says he has guys on staff who have been making snow for over 30 years, who have found their calling on the slopes. While most cringe at the thought of being on call 24 hours a day, working through the night dragging hoses and heavy equipment up and down a mountain in freezing temps, the job does have a certain appeal.“I think [snowmakers] understand the importance of the job for one thing, and are passionate about skiing and snowboarding and want to make their personal experience better and that helps them understand what [the snow] is supposed to do,” says Gaitor. “Another big thing about snowmaking I think helps people, and I know helps me, is the instant gratification. You can fire up a snow gun on a cold night and come back an hour later and you have a big pile of snow. It’s something you can touch and feel and it’s happening fast so you can see the changes that you’re affecting.”Instant gratification is great, but getting a big pile of snow is only half the battle. The other half is getting it into shape.THE GROOMERI am riding shotgun in a snowcat as Jamie McCourt explains the nuances of his eight-ton grooming machine. The blade in front goes up and down like the front of a snowplow, pushing and cutting the snow, but the real action happens in the back. Trailing the cat’s wide double tread tracks are the tiller and the compression skirt. The tiller grinds up the uneven snow, and the compression skirt smooths it down into the familiar ribbed pattern that adorns slopes at every resort in the world. All this is controlled by a vast array of toggles, switches, and a complicated joystick that looks strikingly similar to Tom Cruise’s from Top Gun, only with more buttons. McCourt’s head is on a constant swivel, checking the tiller depth, the blade’s load, and his machine’s angles. He makes continuous minute adjustments, compensating for slope angle, speed, and snow quality.“Your tiller is designed to take from the high and add to the low, but you still have to make it pretty smooth with your blade before the tiller can do its job,” McCourt explains. “You get your wet man-made snow, your dry natural snow, your old man-made snow, new man-made snow, mix it all together, and it usually makes the best quality snow.”Groomers are experts in snow quality – McCourt says some of the best groomers come from the snowmaking department because they know the snow. Groomers work closely with the snowmakers to manage the snow on the slopes, but also to avoid getting in each other’s way: they typically occupy the same space at the same time during the night. McCourt tells stories of having to navigate around snow guns based on sound because of the whiteout they create at full operation. He has been driving a grooming machine for six winters, but insists it never gets old.“It becomes an extension of yourself over time and you never stop learning,” McCourt said. “Even the guys who have been doing it for years will tell you the same thing. It actually becomes second nature, you’re hitting all these switches and you don’t even know you’re doing it.”McCourt likes to take a few laps in the morning following his overnight shift, a well-deserved release after a night in the cockpit. A snowboarder himself, he takes great satisfaction in the product he puts out for the public each day.“It’s one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had for sure,” McCourt said. “When you go home it feels good to know that what we did through the night turned out right.”Before piloting a groomer, McCourt was on the terrain park crew and uses that experience to his advantage. Now a park grooming specialist, he works closely with the park manager to form good lines and transitions for features like butter boxes and kickers.Park CrewEvery day I’m shovelin’: The park crew works hard to keep it smooth and safe.THE PARK CREWOf all the jobs on a ski hill, the terrain park crew probably gets the worst rap. You may think the park crew is a bunch of slackers who don’t take their job very seriously, but Snowshoe Terrain Park Manager Seth Boyd insists park crew is not all goggle tans, swag, and high fives. Early mornings are spent buffing lips and take offs, and days are spent raking, shoveling, and more raking, something Boyd says his 11-person crew takes pride in even if you see them riding during the day.“We try and stay out during the day, raking as much as we can. On a busy day, it can get pounded out. If we keep it crisp, if the park looks awesome, we can take a lap around and make sure everything rides well, too,” he said. “That’s in our job title: testing features.”The crew is responsible for keeping park features in safe condition for the public and this translates into a lot of planning during the off- and pre-season. During the summer, Boyd and his squad build and repair most of the hardware in-house for Snowshoe’s six terrain parks. This includes standards like rails, but also improvised features like recycling industry barrels and drums into usable obstacles. Putting the features on the mountain is far from random, it takes experience and creativity to make a terrain park a terrain park and not a random assortment of rails and jumps scattered across the slope.“We just kind of feed off each other – you know, “What do you think would look good there?” – and come to a mutual agreement between the crew,” said Boyd. “All the guys, they ride all the time and are always in the park, walking around seeing what people like to hit, what they don’t like to hit. That gives us a pretty good overview of what we think would look good there. We try to have good, flowy lines with the rails and get creative with it.”It is remarkable what can happen between closing and opening: the hill is literally transformed overnight from a skied out mess to a glassy delight. While all this hard work may go unnoticed to the casual skier, it is not lost on Gaitor even after 15 years in the game.“A lot of what’s out there in the morning when people first hit the slopes, it almost seems like the Tooth Fairy or something comes through in the middle of the night and puts the trails back together,” said Gaitor. “There is all this work that happens while people are in bed or having a drink after dinner. Knowing that people are out there working hard to build that product back for them the next day and make it even better is probably the most impressive thing to me.”So the next time you set your edge on a groomed slope, session a rail, or ski a sliver of white in a sea of brown landscape give thanks to those who put the time in during the night. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. •last_img read more

Mountain Mama: How to Find Outdoor Jobs for Couples

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,My husband and I spend every moment outside of our mundane 8 to 5 office jobs in the mountains, backpacking, and on the river. We’re both miserable stuck inside and want to leave the city life for the mountains. We would like to work together, outside, doing something to benefit Mother Nature. The perfect job would allow us to spread awareness of how to enjoy the mountains and preserve the land. My husband has experience working in the outdoors.How can we find a husband and wife job outdoors, or outdoor jobs for couples?Thanks,Outdoor Lover—————————————————————————–Dear Outdoor Lover,Oh, how claustrophobic and stifling the office gig can get! Especially this time of year when summer vacations have come and gone, when there is one work week stacked upon another for months on end until the next respite from the computer, phone, and copier.Before you take the leap from office career to pursue an outdoor job, let me remind you that the grass isn’t always greener. The pay is often lower, benefits are difficult to come by, and the work can be seasonal. You and your husband might end up working holidays and weekends.But if you’re undaunted by the drawbacks, you could enjoy waking up in paradise every morning. You will be able to breathe in fresh mountain air and get out in the mountains and on the rivers you so dearly love.Your letter says that your husband has some experience working in the outdoors. Since you don’t mention whether you have outdoor experience, I’ll assume that you don’t. That’s okay, because what you do have is office skills, which are needed in every industry. Take a look at the website workingcouples.com and check out options for couples to take care of ranches, farms, campgrounds, and outdoor centers. Most of these jobs tend to be year-round positions and employers prefer couples since they will keep one another company during the off-season.Or pick a particular outdoor sport and start racking up your certifications. From accountants turned hang glider instructors to lawyers who became raft guides, there are plenty of examples of folks who have waved good-bye to the career track in search of a more fulfilling lifestyle. If you want to go the guide or instructor route, I’d suggest spending all your free time building up your credentials. For example, if you want to work on the river, take a Swiftwater Rescue Class, ACA and BCU instructor courses, and sign up for raft guiding training next year. For more information on how to become a raft guide, check out the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s guide training.Outdoor Lover, dream about what you want your life in the mountains to be like. Do you want to work seasonal jobs with breaks in between seasons? Or do you prefer the security of year-long work? How much money do you need to feel comfortable? How important are benefits? Let the answers guide your life direction.Happy job hunting!Mountain MamaGOT A QUESTION FOR MOUNTAIN MAMA? SEND IT HERElast_img read more

Trail Mix: The Moonshine – Portland, Oregon’s Folksters On The Rise

first_imgThe SkinnyI live out in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, where residents share a certain affinity for homemade liquor. White lightnin’. Hillbilly pop. Kickapoo joy juice. The white dog. Call it what you will, but pour mine from a Mason jar that doesn’t have any fancy label, and keep it clear. No apple pie or blueberry shine for me, if you please.Considering my love of corn liquor, you can imagine my interest was piqued when I discovered The Moonshine. I thought to myself, “Well, I just might have something in common with these folks.”  And I do. A love of fine acoustic music.This Portland, Oregon, quintet gets the musical heritage of my Appalachian Mountains. I hear The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers in their music, but the influence doesn’t end there. There is conscious blending of the old and new here, sort of like moonshine in a martini glass . . . . except this works better.As far as Oregon’s illegal liquor scene goes, in the finest tradition of discretion, I couldn’t get songwriter Michael Gerard to spill much.“I plead the fifth when it comes to the current state of the bootlegging business out here in Oregon. The name means a lot of different things to us,” says Gerard. “We love the DIY idea behind making it yourself if you can’t get it elsewhere, and the idea of taking care of business by cover of night appeals to us, too. We are definitely a band that likes to stay up well past most folks’ idea of late. We’re a bit like the moon that way, too . . . shinin’ high and up all night.For Fans OfThe Head & The Heart, Elephant Revival, Spirit Family ReunionOutside Looking In“We decided to ask The Moonshine to do a long term residency with us because of the reactions the band was getting from the people walking by the shop on the street. There’s not much going on most Monday nights, but service people often have the night off and there are people out and about. The music would start and, over the course of the night, more and more people would wander in, excited to find this gem of a moment going on when they least expected it. These people came back again and again and, as the year progressed, became staples of our community. People who love all sorts of music really connect to the band.”—Stephen Ferruzza, of Portland’s Al Forno Ferruzz, on The MoonshineOn StageA glance through The Moonshine’s tour schedule finds a bevy of dates throughout Oregon. The upcoming show at Edgefield in Troudale, Oregon, on March 17th has me contemplating a trip to the Pacific Northwest. Being a young band, they haven’t had much time to head east yet, but there is something you can do about that. Call your favorite indie record store or radio station and hassle them until they get the band’s new record, And Now . . . , on shelves or on the air.In His Own Words“’Never Know’ started out as a home recording on the same day it was written. Sometimes a song just comes to me fully formed, and this was one of those to some extent. That demo recording is really just this little rhythmic mandolin figure played over a sort of reggae beat that I programmed into my drum machine software. It’s really quite different from what we ended up with in the studio, although I feel like the album version retains some of the strange juxtaposition of pseudo-Cajun melodic content over the clearly pop leanings of the beat and the Beach Boys backing vocals. The song is really an ode to getting out and doing whatever this life moves you to do before it’s too l ate. It’s a bright song of hope wrapped around the dark fact of death. I think that’s what it’s one of my favorites.”—Michael Gerard, of The Moonshine, on “Never Know”On The World Wide WebFor more information on The Moonshine, when the band will take to a stage near you, or how you can get the new record, surf over to www.themoonshinemusic.com.last_img read more

An Inside Look at Virginia’s Notoriously Hilly Blue Ridge Marathon

first_imgRunning America’s Toughest Road Race“Complete. Don’t compete.” That was the advice I was given by Pete Eshelman, race director for the Blue Ridge Marathon.The race was 10 days away and I was preparing to travel to Roanoke, Va., from my home in Phoenix, Ariz. Eshelman was answering questions and going over details via a live chat with me and several other runners.Dubbed “America’s Toughest Road Race,” the Blue Ridge Marathon starts in downtown Roanoke and winds up and over three neighboring peaks for a total elevation change of 7,430 feet.The half boasts more than 3,700 feet of knee-pounding elevation change over 13.1 miles. There’s also a 10K and an unofficial double marathon that starts five hours before the marathon.This is what many call a bucket-list race — attractive because of its sheer difficulty, its obscurity (the marathon caps at 600 runners), and the beauty of a lush, winding course that traces part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, offering sweeping views of the valley below.Looking at the course map and elevation profile, I can’t help but wonder: What is it about misery that loves company?This race is touted as “brutal,” which is precisely why folks like me are traveling from around the country to run it. Meanwhile, millions of weekend warriors are lining up for local mud races, military-inspired obstacle courses, and harrowing nighttime trail runs. It’s a trend I find perplexing – the more punishing the race, the more eager we are to sign up.brm1Photo by Eric Brady“Complete, don’t compete” is easy advice to follow. I’ve run a dozen half marathons, always finishing squarely middle-of-the-pack. Sure, I train and strive to improve, but my number one goal for every race is to have fun, to feel strong, and to get to know a new place by running it.Past Blue Ridge Marathon participants have said you should expect to add a minute per mile to your typical pace. So, on race day I seed myself in the 10:30-mile corral. Almost immediately after the starting horn, we begin climbing, up city streets, over a bridge, and directly toward the mountain.I jog at a steady pace, feeling strong, enjoying the energy of the crowd and the view… until the road reaches a 10 percent grade and I begin to wonder how long I can sustain this.To distract myself, I focus on the scenery. Dogwoods are blossoming and the forest is vibrant green. Wisteria vines hang like garland from the dense undergrowth. It’s a welcomed contrast to the brown desert landscape I live in.Just as I think I can’t take another switchback, we reach the Mill Mountain Star, the high point of the half marathon course and the start of a long, beautiful two mile descent. The middle third of the course is fairly gentle as it skirts the Roanoke River, and I’m actually able to carry on conversations with other runners. I take it easy, with self-preservation in mind.The second major climb, Peakwood Drive, starts around mile 8 and is steeper, though shorter than Mill Mountain. It meanders through the historic neighborhoods of South Roanoke. The race offers plenty of official aid stations with both food and water, yet the locals take it to a new level, camping out in their yards, blasting music and offering runners beer, mimosas, and champagne. Southern hospitality at its finest.When I see runners toasting with plastic champagne flutes at the crest of Peakwood, I’m reminded of the other advice Eshelman gave: “Take your time and enjoy the company, the views, and the people you meet along the course… Oh, and seriously consider walking the downhills.”I see what he means. My knees endure the descent with a twinge of pain. Mostly, I enjoy the effortless stride compared to the plodding uphill sections. It’s a perfect antidote to the climbs, both physically and emotionally.I cross the finish line tired and relieved, but not depleted. It’s a rewarding sort of exhaustion. My time is about 25 minutes slower than my usual half marathon pace, but I finish in the top third for my age group, better than my usual ranking.Is the Blue Ridge Marathon really America’s toughest race? I’m not sure. It’s definitely the most challenging half I’ve ever run. But in anticipation of its brutality, I trained hard, ran conservatively, and I recovered quickly.One thing I can say for sure: It’s the most beautiful, most supportive, and friendliest race I’ve ever run. Add it to your bucket list.brm2What got me throughAside from months of training and relentless hill repeats, that is.1. The right shoes: They had to be light, but provide enough cushioning for 13.1 miles of hills, and roomy in the toebox so that my toes didn’t slam against the front on the steep descents. For those reasons and more, I loved my Saucony Mirage 3s ($110; saucony.com). They’re perfect for those of us who want stable, low-profile shoes that don’t weigh you down.2. Layering tops: With more than 3,700 feet of elevation change and a predicted temperature range of 45 to 70 degrees F and 70 percent humidity, I needed a layering system that was simple and versatile. I chose two Lululemon running tops – the Cool Racerback and Run Swiftly Long Sleeve — because they’re lightweight, seamless, and they layer together perfectly. I was able to stay warm on the cool sections and cool on the steamy climbs. Bonus: Silverescent fibers in the fabric meant I didn’t stink up the beer tent at the finish line. ($42-$68; lululemon.com)3. Handheld hydration: Carrying a small hydration bottle let me skip the first couple of aid stations and get into a groove on the ascent. I love my NATHAN QuickShot Plus ($20; nathansports.com) because its zippered pouch also stows an energy gel, and it feels like you’re carrying nothing.4. Recovery drink: Since I knew I had a long flight home the next day, quick recovery was a top priority. I went with TwinLab Clean Series Sport Protein ($44 for 20-serving container; cleanseries.twinlab.com), which is packed with protein, amino acids and free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives and GMOs.–Gina DeMillo Wagner is an award-winning journalist specializing in fitness, travel, and parenting. She blogs at thedailyb.netbrm3last_img read more

Beer Blog: Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, N.C.

first_imgFullsteam AheadNorth Carolina’s craft beer scene is booming, with so many new breweries opening in the last few years, it can be hard to keep track of them all.Fullsteam Brewery, out of Durham, opened in 2010 with what could be the most ambitious brewery platform to date—these guys want to craft Southern beer.They have a “plow to pint” philosophy with the goal of creating a working “Southern beer economy.” Their lineup of seasonal beers in particular leans heavily on Southern ingredients. They use local farmers to fill the malt bills, local chocolatiers for their cocoa nibs, a bunch of local bees provide the honey…they even use customers to provide fruit and veggies for their small batch “Forager Series.”So far, so good. Fullsteam won a Good Food Award for one of its Forager beers last year, and the owner, Sean Lily Wilson, was a James Beard semi-finalist in 2012 and 2013 for the Outstanding Wine, Beer and Spirits Professional category. Respect.For Cackalacky, Fullsteam’s first canned beer, the brewery collaborated with Cackalacky, a North Carolina-based hot sauce company. Relax, it’s not brewed with hot sauce, it’s brewed with ginger, which provides a subtle edge to this terrific pale ale.The label proclaims the beer to be hoppy and zippy, and I’d say that marketing speak is pretty accurate. There’s a bit of candied sweetness to the beer, which is what I look for in a pale ale, and there just a bit of zest from the ginger that lingers on your tongue after you finish the sip. Fullsteam could’ve gone over the top with the use of ginger here, but they showed restraint. The result is a totally sessionable pale ale that I’d drink on a regular basis if I could find it.Not only is it a really good beer, it’s fun as hell to say. Cackalacky. Cackalacky Cackalacky Cackalacky.Fullsteam.aglast_img read more

The Perfect Bar…For Now

first_imgWhen I say Wallace station is my favorite new bar, I’m not telling the whole truth. First of all, Wallace Station isn’t actually a bar. From what I can tell, it’s a southern style restaurant that seems to be a big hit with families. But they sell cold beer. And they have a big lawn with picnic tables and horseshoe pits. Also, it’s exactly 8.2 miles from the Woodford Reserve distillery, right in the middle of Kentucky’s horse country on the outskirts of Lexington. And when I find it one hot Tuesday afternoon, I happen to be deep into a road bike ride connecting a few of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. So yeah, to me, it’s a bar. And when you combine its location with the horseshoe puts and the big hardwoods that shade me and my riding partners from the sun (little known fact: the sun is just a little bit hotter in Kentucky), it quickly becomes my favorite bar.We park our bikes in the shade, find some cold canned local beers and immediately start throwing shoes. Cornhole gets a lot of attention these days in the world of lawn games, but I like throwing heavy iron half circles through the air at a pole stuck in the ground. Call me old fashioned. Plus, this is horse country, so it feels right.For an appetizer, I work my way through a Country Boy Cougar Bait, a really light ale made in Lexington that goes down fast. Then I settle into the main course, an IPA from West Sixth Brewing, also out of Lexington. It’s fruity and bitter and a hell of a lot more intoxicating than the Country Boy. So I have another and throw some more shoes. We have 11 miles to go before we’re done, and the sun is starting to get lower in the sky but there’s no hurry. When you stumble upon a bar like Wallace Station, which is, in my opinion the perfect bar even if only for this single moment in time, you can’t just ride away.last_img read more

This picture is lying to you.

first_imgThis picture is lying to you. At the very least, it’s misleading you. I posted it earlier on Instagram and said something about shredding DuPont State Forest with my son. All of that is true—my son and I did shred singletrack in DuPont. We had a blast. It was one of the greatest rides of my life because I rode with my eight-year-old son, who is finally at a point where he can do real mountain bike rides. We hit fast, rooty singletrack descents and followed them up with mind-numbing gravel grinds. And we did that for eight miles. And he was a champ. I’ve ridden with adults who complained more than my son did today. The photo I posted on Instagram captured that ride in all its glory, but that’s just a piece of the story. I didn’t mention how he got bored on the long drive to the trailhead and suggested maybe we just go back home and find a pool to swim in. The photo doesn’t hint at the cajoling I had to undergo on some of the more miserable sections of gravel. I hid a Snickers bar in the cooler back at the car. First one to make it back got to eat the whole thing. Shortly after that photo was taken, my son ate it hard on a skinny. I never mentioned his tears in the social media post. Just the highlights. Just the smiles and whoop-de-doos.And it’s not just social media that lies to us. I lie to myself constantly. Right now, I can recall all of the whining and the bribing and bleeding because it’s all still fresh on my mind. But within a couple of days, all I’ll remember from my ride with my son today will be the highlights. The big-ass smile he had at the bottom of the massive downhill. How high he hit the berms. How much air he caught on some of the root drops. From what I understand, this sort of selective amnesia is a cornerstone of parenting. After the first child has reached school age, we can look fondly back on the baby and toddler years and only remember the cuteness while glossing over the sleepless, vomit-filled nights and the tantrums in the middle of Target’s toy aisle. That sort of selective amnesia is how we can convince ourselves that having another baby is a good idea. And so it is with taking my kids on any sort of adventure. I quickly forget the rain storms and backpacks full of ants while camping, or the fact that I had to carry my daughter on most of the last hike that we undertook. All I remember is the joy of sharing S’Mores around the campfire and the awe on my daughter’s face while gazing on the valley below from the peak of the mountain. That’s how I’m able to get psyched about the next adventure. And the next.last_img read more

Rescue Squads Help You When You Need Them Most. Now You Can Help Them.

first_imgRescue teams are primarily made up of volunteers who train for countless hours each year to save your sorry ass when you’re lost, sick, or injured. They spend sleepless nights searching backcountry terrain, and they often spend their own money and use their own gear to help find you.You may not have given much thought to the search and rescue squads scattered across the mountains, or maybe you assumed they were paid handsomely for their work. Nearly all of the search and rescue teams in Southern Appalachia are comprised of volunteers who spend their time and money helping you when you need them most.Now here’s a chance for you to help them. The Buncombe County Rescue Squad is holding an open house and fundraiser meal on Saturday, February 2 from 12-4 p.m. For $10, enjoy the Jumbalaya Jubilee from while you peruse silent auction and raffle items from Black Dome Mountain Sports, Eagle’s Nest Outfitters, the Asheville Tourists, and Wolf Laurel Ski Resort. Then stick around for an open house and demonstrations of ambulances, medical gear, rescue gear, and commonly used rope rescue techniques. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to join a search and rescue squad, this is your chance to talk to squad members and literally learn the ropes.The entire event is at the Rescue Squad headquarters at 116 Hansel Drive in Asheville. Find out more on the Facebook page here. Can’t make it on February 2? You can also show your support by donating through their site here.last_img read more

Landmark Realty: Experience our mountain lifestyle

first_imgWe invite you to experience our mountain lifestyle… You come for the cool summer temperatures, the hiking, the beautiful waterfalls, the shopping, fine dining…or just to escape the hurry and hassle of your busy life.  Every year thousands of locals and out-of-town visitors come to experience the seasons and events on the Plateau.Winter’s magic transforms the trees to crystal glistening in the sun, nearby slopes are ready for you to challenge the downhill or hop on a tube for a fun ride.  In Spring-time, varieties of wild flowers, Mountain laurel, Catawba rhododendron and Wild flame azalea tint the mountains in delicate hints of color.  Most of the land is home to deciduous trees, which before losing their leaves color the mountains in beautiful rays of crimson, gold burnt orange and magenta.Every fall, hundreds of cyclists line-up to compete in the Tour de Cashiers.  From training wheels to fast wheels, there is something for everyone. Mountain bike, hike, fish, canoe, water ski, white river raft or challenge yourself with a game of golf on one of the many area courses.  And, after a day of exercise, relax and enjoy a free concert on the Village Green, or quench your thirst at one of our craft breweries or unique dining options.Landmark Realty Group is a boutique, full service real estate firm founded on the Plateau in 2004.  In 2012 Landmark became part of Royal Shell, a regional independent boutique brokerage in Florida.  Landmark currently has four offices in Western North Carolina serving Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Glenville, Sapphire and Lake Toxaway.  Our Landmark Vacation Rental program offers approximately 100 homes for our clients.  The Park on Main Hotel in Highlands, North Carolina, is also a part of the Landmark and Royal Shell Family.Whether you experience it by the hearth of a rustic cabin, or from a porch with a view that stretches “into tomorrow”- it is profound.  It’s the place that nurtures you, restores you… and always calls you back, Home.We are coaches, mentors, hikers, fundraisers, relief workers and stewards of the lakes and land.  We sit on professional association boards, school boards and are animal rescue volunteers.  We are husbands, wives, parents, neighbors and friends.  We are the Brokers and staff of Landmark Real Estate Sales and Vacation Rentals.last_img read more