August 2010

Swimmers’ Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway

By Graham Averill | 14 Jul 14
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For 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway follows the ridgeline of the Southern Appalachians, connecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Along that stretch of two-lane blacktop are countless trails and backroads — some of which lead to ice-cold swimming holes.

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Q&A: Bobby Bare, Jr.

By Jedd Ferris | 01 Aug 10
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Alt-country crooner honors Shel Siverstein Bobby Bare, Jr. had the ultimate music education. Not only did he grow up singing with his country hit-making dad, Bobby Bare, he also had every song he ever wrote critiqued by his dad’s best friend—Shel Silverstein. Although the latter is known best for his quirky contributions to children’s literature,…

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Tick Check

By Graham Averill | 01 Aug 10
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A ballsy tick goes boldly where no man has gone before. I pulled eight ticks off my legs during a recent hike in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. Every half hour, I’d look down and find one or two of the little black beasts on my shins and thighs. And every single one of them was…

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Handstand Training

By BRO Staff | 01 Aug 10
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Want to strengthen the key paddling muscles on dry land? Try handstand training. Not just for circus freaks anymore, handstands strengthen your arms, shoulders, and core. Check out these simple wall-based handstand exercises from Kevin Yount, professional river boarder, and certified fitness instructor. Side Wall Walks Kick into a handstand against the wall with your…

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By Eric Crews | 01 Aug 10
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Boone climbers saved Grandmother Mountain from development—and opened their secret crags to the masses. Grandmother Mountain has no guidebook. It appears on only a few maps. Yet it is one of the premier bouldering destinations in the country. First discovered in the mid-1990s near Boone, N.C., the area now hosts more than 400 problems and…

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Team Running Relays

By Jedd Ferris | 01 Aug 10
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Team running relays on the rise Blue Ridge Relay September 17-18 • Mouth of Wilson, Va. In 24 hours, teams of 4 to 12 cover 208 miles from Virginia’s Grayson Highlands State Park down through the North Carolina High Country to Asheville, with 16 transition legs and 27,000 feet of elevation change. blueridgerelay.com Bourbon Chase…

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Does our wildlife need to be managed by humans?

By BRO Staff | 01 Aug 10
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YES: 69% Unfortunately, we’ve really screwed up their ecosystem. Lack of predators, invasive species, limited habitat, and pollution all need to be addressed before plants and animals can have a chance to live sustainably. —Jon Livengood, Knoxville, Tenn. Our intervention benefits the livelihood and safety of wildlife. Space is limited, so preservation is in our…

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King of the Mountains

By Graham Averill | 01 Aug 10
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Ultra runner Matt Kirk smashes the South Beyond 6,000 record On the evening hours of May 30th, Matt Kirk did what many in the Southeast thought couldn’t be done: He broke the seven-year old record for the fastest ascent of the South Beyond 6,000 Challenge, completing it in 4 days, 14 hours, and 38 minutes.…

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Gently Down the Stream

By Molly Brannan | 01 Aug 10
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Richmond rowers train on the James River for their upcoming national championships. At the starting line, everyone is silent. We try to control our breathing and heartbeats. “Attention…row!” shouts the race official, and the boats roar to life. Oars chop through the water in controlled chaos. There are five of us in our boat; we…

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Jerry’s Baddle and the Clean Plate Club of Life

By Chris Gallaway | 01 Aug 10
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When Jerry Beckwith was asked how he succeeded in winning multiple marathons and triathlons across the Southeast, he answered, “I learned how to suffer.” Every April, at the peak of the spring bloom, a group of kayakers and road bikers gather near Saluda, N.C., to honor Jerry in a race that epitomizes these words. Jerry’s…

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Favorite swimming spots?

By BRO Staff | 01 Aug 10
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Christa Albano Sugar Hollow near Charlottesville, Va. Easy to reach and there’s a rope swing. Hold on to your swimsuit! Dusty Allison The Wilson Creek area south of Grandfather Mountain has holes so deep and bath-like, the only thing missing is my Old Spice Body Wash. Leah Woody Blue Hole in Rawley Springs, Va. It…

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Lewisburg, W.Va.

By Jedd Ferris | 01 Aug 10
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Feel like Asheville and Charlottesville have jumped the shark? Check out Lewisburg, the next cool Southern outdoor town. Located less than an hour southeast of the New River Gorge’s world-class paddling and climbing, the small town in the Greenbrier Valley is reshaping its identity from a regal resort destination to a progressive arts hub. Area…

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Cascading

By Graham Averill | 01 Aug 10
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Climbing creeks and rappelling waterfalls is a new southern obsession It happens fast. I rappel off the edge of the waterfall, and the rope gets wrapped around my hand, slamming my body into the wet rock face. My hand is cut and bleeding. Water pounds my helmet and shoulders. I kick and scratch with my…

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With My Own Two Hands

By Jedd Ferris | 01 Aug 10
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Handmade Bikes Built in the Blue Ridge While bike companies make a limited number of frame sizes every year, the individual dimensions of the human body aren’t so uniform. For the perfect ride, a bike needs to fit like a custom suit, and fortunately the Blue Ridge has a new tailor. Aaron Dykstra is the…

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The Iron Route

By Jedd Ferris | 01 Aug 10
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Climbing Southern Via Ferrata If you’ve always wanted to scale a craggy cliff, but never quite conjured the nerve, try going vertical on a via ferrata. Italian for “iron way,” a via ferrata is a climbing route that features a permanent safety system—steel rungs, ladders, and bridges—embedded in the rock. While clipped into a cable…

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