December 2018

Q&A with Rashid Clifton

By Adam Edwards | 28 Dec 18
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One of the South’s best whitewater paddlers discusses being a black boater in the Blue Ridge It all started with a summer job right out of high school. Rashid Edwards was born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., and his first job after graduation was at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. At the end of his…

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KING OF ROCK

By Eric Wallace | 27 Dec 18
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Bike guru Mike King is helping transform Rock Hill, South Carolina, into a cycling mecca. If you were into BMX racing in the 1980s and 90s, you knew Mike King. Following in the steps of his older brother, King’s uncanny ability for the big pass made him one of the sport’s first kid prodigies. Winning…

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The Other John Muir Trail

By Brent Martin | 26 Dec 18
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In September 1867, two years after the end of the Civil War, a wild-eyed 29-year-old man left Louisville, Kentucky on foot with little money, food, or plans. Only a few months earlier he had suffered a serious eye injury in a work accident. He was heading south on a botanical journey with an ultimate destination…

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Skurka Says – A Southerner’s Guide to Gearing Up for Winter

By Dan DeWitt | 17 Dec 18
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I’m not totally sure I’d be around to write this now if, before setting out on a backpacking trip last January, I hadn’t recently binge-listened to survival podcasts. The message repeated during each episode in ominous, Rod Serling-like tones: it’s seldom one poor choice that leads to wilderness tragedy but a whole series of compounding…

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The Super Plunge

By Ellen Kanzinger | 13 Dec 18
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Polar Plunges are too chill for these cold-hearted Do-gooders who wade into the frigid Chesapeake 24 times in 24 hours. There are polar bear plunges, and then there is the Super Plunge. For the last 14 years, dozens of participants have shown up to plunge into the frigid waters of the Chesapeake Bay 24 times…

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Supreme Court Weighs Uranium Mining Ban in Virginia

By Mason Adams | 12 Dec 18
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For decades, uranium mining has been banned by state law in Virginia. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the state has authority to ban mining, or whether that power resides instead with the federal government. The case centers on the estimated 119 million pounds of uranium ore beneath Coles Hill, a private estate…

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Neko’s Comeback

By Phil Morgan | 12 Dec 18
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How did downhill biking phenom Neko Mulally rediscover his mountain biking mojo? He built a bike park. A torrential downpour is pounding Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, and there’s talk of canceling the men’s U.S. Nationals downhill championship, in which case podiums will be awarded based on Saturday’s qualifying runs. This should be welcome news…

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Ice Climbing: The Best Kept Secret in the South

By Ellen Kanzinger | 11 Dec 18
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The best kept secret in the Shenandoah The Shenandoah ice crags are spoken about in hushed tones, with only the most trusted climbers charged with keeping these rare locations a secret. “I think one of the fun things about ice climbing in this area is we kind of joke around that, yeah, we’re not going to…

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‘Worst Possible Site’: SELC Sues to Protect Cumberland Island from Commercial Spaceport

By BRO Staff | 07 Dec 18
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Camden County, Georgia, is proposing to build a commercial spaceport that would launch orbital and sub-orbital rockets eastward over populated areas, including the Intercostal Waterway, Little Cumberland Island, and Cumberland Island National Seashore. But according to litigation filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) on October 17, 2018, the risks of the project have…

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BIG DAY IN THE BLUE RIDGE: Two premier races on the same morning every fall

By BRO Admin | 06 Dec 18
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Two beloved races—the Green Race and Shut-In—attract the region’s best paddlers and trail runners. The first Saturday in November is always one of the most exciting: both the Green River Race and the Shut-In Ridge Trail Race are held on the same morning, and they are only about 30 miles from each other in Western…

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QUICK HITS: NO PIPELINES IN PISGAH

By Justin Forrest | 05 Dec 18
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In Virginia, swaths of forest hundreds of miles long are being clearcut for pipeline corridors, drawing protests from Virginians across the political spectrum. Pipeline construction crews are bulldozing a path across Jefferson National Forest and blasting under the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. Could similar pipelines be routed through North Carolina’s Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest…

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Bikes for Refugees

By Jess Daddio | 04 Dec 18
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In 2015, a photo of the lifeless body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned while he and his family were attempting to cross from Turkey to Greece, went viral, sparking a heated international debate about the refugee crisis. Millions of people suddenly had a very real, very personal glimpse inside an issue that, for many,…

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Out Cold: Andrew Herrington’s Winter Survival Essentials

By Ellen Kanzinger | 04 Dec 18
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Cold and wet conditions are the biggest killers. Backcountry Rescuer Andrew Herrington can help you save yourself. When it comes to wilderness survival, don’t expect Andrew Herrington to teach you how to make a bow drill fire or how to trap animals for food. His classes focus on the reality of dealing with an emergency…

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Top Southern Spins: Best Albums of 2018

By Jedd Ferris | 01 Dec 18
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Check out our list of the year’s best records from acts who hail from our Blue Ridge footprint. Lucy Dacus • Historian This emerging Richmond-based indie rock singer-songwriter sounds more assured than she did on her excellent 2016 debut No Burden. Throughout Historian, Dacus uses swells of strings and emotive horns to add sonic punch…

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THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

By Ellen Kanzinger | 01 Dec 18
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The rising stars of Ski Racing in the Southeast The Southeast is known for its access to outdoor adventures, from hiking the Appalachian Trail and climbing in the New River Gorge to paddling the Narrows of the Green River and biking the Great Allegheny Passage. But it’s not a region necessarily known for its competitive…

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