The Dirt

What’s the best kayak for your outdoor lifestyle?

By Ashley Kairis | 06 Aug 17
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Kayaking is a diverse outdoor sport that can be enjoyed independently or tandem and anywhere from the oceans of the coast to the rushing rivers of the valleys. For every paddler from the morning kayak along the banks of a calm lake to the weekend warriors who rip roar through class four rapids, there is…

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Cycle Urban This Summer with ‘Asheville on Bikes’

By Ashley Kairis | 12 Jul 17
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“Summer Cycle ’17” is an annual event for Asheville locals to join together for cycling in the heart of the city’s greenways along the French Broad River.

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Mountain Biking Showdown This Month in Snowshoe, WV

By Ashley Kairis | 10 Jul 17
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Elite mountain bikers from all over the country have long awaited their turn to tackle the courses of Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

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Catch a Summer Flick, it’s Outdoor Movie Season!

By Ashley Kairis | 10 Jul 17
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With wonderful weather and temperatures abounding, enjoy a weekend movie night outside while summer’s still here.

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Bald Eagle Found and Treated for Injuries the day before July 4

By Ashley Kairis | 03 Jul 17
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Washington D.C. is home to two known bald eagles’ nests, even though they are rare in urban areas. The nest at the National Arboretum is home to the beloved pair of eagles named “Mr. President” and “First Lady,” and the other pair has been located in a nest at the D.C. police academy with the…

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Bike Camping: Tips for Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds

By Ashley Kairis | 03 Jul 17
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With no gas-filled machine getting you from campsite to campsite, bike camping (or bike touring) is a start-to-finish testament of endurance, preplanning, and the strength it takes to push through the uphills with 30 pounds of camping gear around your back tire.

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Wrestling in Kilts: Catch the Highland Games on Grandfather Mountain

By Ashley Kairis | 02 Jul 17
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The sounds of the bagpipes along with many stellar athletes, dancers, musicians, and even sheep herders are soon to return to Grandfather Mountain for the 62nd year of the Highland Games. Capturing the heart of Scottish culture, the games will be held from July 6-9 featuring an array of vendors with a Scottish twist. Regarded as America’s…

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Nature’s Fireworks: Synchronous Fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

By Ashley Kairis | 01 Jul 17
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Nature’s captivating entertainers, fireflies, have always been the source of wonder from kids catching them on hot summer nights to nature photographers capturing their luminescence. Great Smoky Mountain National Park is home to at least 19 different species of firefly, but only one species-Photinus carolinus- is a synchronous firefly. The males of this particularly rare…

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Don’t Let Rain Stop You, Get Your Outdoor Thrills Indoors

By Ashley Kairis | 26 Jun 17
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A few options for outdoor enthusiasts that don’t want the rainy days to hold them back.

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Camera Gear to Help You Capture the Perfect Outdoor Moments

By Ashley Kairis | 22 Jun 17
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For those looking to branch out a bit from the generic selfies and snapchats on smartphones, here are a few different ways to get quality images to commemorate memories made outside.

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From Rails to Trails: 5 Biking Spots in Virginia to Try Out This Summer

By Ashley Kairis | 22 Jun 17
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With kids free for the summer and vacation time itching to be used, it may be time to take your old bike in for a tune up and hit the trails with your loved ones.

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Fantastic Views for Fireworks throughout the Blue Ridge

By Ashley Kairis | 20 Jun 17
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This Independence Day, why not mix it up a little and travel to a breathtaking mountain backdrop for an amazing firework display?

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Lend a Hand: 4 Ways to Give Back to the Outdoors

By Ashley Kairis | 19 Jun 17
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Home to endless recreational opportunities, the outdoors provide people of all disciplines with an outlet to have fun, experience new things, and make memories. A rewarding way to pay homage to the many great experiences had outside is taking a moment to have fun while also taking care of the environment you’ve enjoyed in your time…

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If It Scares You, Do It: Rappelling Is Within Reach

By Ashley Kairis | 15 Jun 17
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Rappelling is a rite of passage within the climbing community.

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Public vs. Private: Zinke Proposes Privatizing National Park Campsites

By Ashley Kairis | 14 Jun 17
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Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is proposing outsourcing park functions to private companies.

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