Your daily outdoor news bulletin for October 14th, the day West Virginian and American hero Chuck Yeager became the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound:
Festy Experiences the Blue Ridge Burn
Despite the utterly dismal weather over the weekend, the Festy Experience music festival went off with a bang this weekend at Devils Backbone Brewery in Roseland, Virginia. The crowds could not have their spirits dampened by a little rain and the bands rocked out like we knew they would. We would like to extend a big shout out to the Festy and the Infamous Stringdusters for continuing to build on year’s past and putting on another great festival. The Festy gets bigger every year, drawing some of the biggest names in bluegrass and Americana as well as festival goers from around the region and country. We would also like to thank all the runners that braved the rain and showed for the 18th annual running of the Blue Ridge Burn 5k/10k trail race. This year’s race was probably our best yet, with the Travis Book hewn course winding its way through the festival grounds. We had a great time, and we hope you did too. We also raised a lot of money (final tally still being calculated) for the Southern Environmental Law Center, so we got that going for us…which is nice.
See you again next year!
Blue Ridge Parkway Attractions Re-Open
A few amenities along the Blue Ridge Parkway have re-opened against the backdrop of the government shutdown that is now two weeks old. Originally, the Blue Ridge Parkway was scheduled to close when the government did, but an eleventh hour decision left the road open, but closed the amenities and National Park Service owned infrastructure along the byway. Now, a few of those amenities have been allowed to re-open this past weekend. The Peaks of Otter Lodge at Milepost 86 in Bedford County had been closed since October 1, but opened its doors to visitors on Saturday. The same goes for the Mabry Mill living history exhibit and restaurant at Milepost 176 in Floyd County. Both are operated by a private concessions company that received permission to re-open. They join the Pisgah Inn outside Asheville, which also opened to visitors this weekend. The Pisgah Inn had originally defied the government shutdown and remained open during the initial phase of the shutdown, but was closed on October 4th.
Why It’s So Hard to Get Bike Lanes
This post is specific to Richmond, Va. and the Virginia Department of Transportation, but it highlights the bureaucratic and political challenges inherent in changing city infrastructure in regards to non-motorized traffic. There is some great technical detail in the post, but the gist of it is that municipalities don’t want to change their road or transportation infrastructure because they would receive less money from VDOT for maintenance and upkeep. For example, if a city changes a travel lane into a bike path or other type of pathway, that would count against their total miles of road, and thus would be subtracted from their next compensation. This could apply to any municipality in the state, and probably nationwide. It is just another example of a senseless hurdle in the way of progressing bike, pedestrian, and mass transit infrastructure in America.