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A Lone Hiker Discovers Shenandoah National Park

first_imgModern Americans are rarely deliberately alone, even when pursuing activities that can be solitary (as many outdoor sports are).For example, my outdoor activity of choice is hiking, but I almost always do it with someone else, which usually includes my two canines. But when I’m with others, I’m usually engaged with them, talking, listening and reacting to their signals and needs and making sure the dogs are not too tired or dehydrated. While I enjoy company while hiking, I wonder sometimes whether solitary hiking might be a completely different experience.So, I went to the woods (in Shenandoah National Park) to think deliberately in an environment with little distraction. I picked a trail called Buck Hollow/Mary’s Rock that was rated as “lightly traveled” by my guidebook, left my dogs at home and waited to hike until a Tuesday afternoon when it was forecast to rain. I wanted to be confident that I would truly be alone for this journey, even though it was a short one.The entire hike was a strenuous nine miles and I started late in the afternoon. I’m a fast hiker, though, and figured I could do it in four hours without the dogs, which would put me back at my car at sunset.By 4:30 in the afternoon, it was already dark on the east side of the mountain and the trail clearly hadn’t been hiked in several days because I ran into spider webs about every 100 yards. They soon coated my hair and stuck to my skin.In keeping with my Type A personality (plunge ahead and get it done) I ran into the webs for several miles before I figured out that if I slowed down enough to look for them shimmering in the sunlight between the trees, I could duck before they hit my face.I began to reflect on all the other times I had failed to slow down to see the metaphoric spider webs that could have been avoided. It was strangely difficult to turn off my full-speed-ahead attitude even on solitary hikes.So a few miles in, I began (or at least attempted to begin) shifting my mind from a cell phone, email and Facebook-fueled overdrive to a space that was more serene.It was more challenging than I had anticipated. But eventually, I started to really notice things: a heron, an owl, a frog – animals who never would have shown their faces had I been with my dogs or friends, but were less daunted by a solitary hiker. Moments of extraordinary color and soft light passed and I was aware of them.Screen shot 2015-09-03 at 9.11.54 AMBut the light and colors that dazzled me didn’t stay. What had been beautiful minutes before became silhouettes and shadow. It almost seemed sinister. Through the trees I could see the gathering of deep cloud folds threatening thunderstorms. Wonder turned to trepidation.Nevertheless, I continued climbing up the switchbacks hoping that as I rose in altitude the light would get better. It did, which is fortunate because it helped me see the bear before she saw me.She was just off trail with her cub. In retrospect, I realized they were probably just foraging. But at the time, she seemed to be thinking about challenging me for the ground between us. I backed around the bend until they were no longer in sight and stood there panting slightly.By this time it was late and I was clearly nowhere near the top. The idea of finishing the hike in darkness and NOT being able to see potential bears was unappealing so I did something I almost never do. I turned around.Going down was faster than going up and I began a half trot to try and beat the coming rain without tripping on a stray root. My senses hummed.The normal distractions inside my head had vanished and were replaced with a powerful awareness of the world around me. The prospects of lightening, bears and things unseen made me anxious and slightly uneasy. But I also heard nighttime calls I normally would have ignored and stopped several times (albeit briefly) to admire funky mushrooms and leaves. It was as if my fear had burned away my over stimulated fog and produced an intimate, sensuous focus in its wake.I got back my car seconds before the first major downpour. I was glad to be done even though I didn’t actually finish what I had set out to do. But the hike did leave a feeling of vitality that lingered long after I had left the trail.I won’t be so bold as to say that hiking alone is better than hiking with others – both ways have their virtues – and I certainly feel more comfortable in others’ company. But the brief discomfort forced me to open my senses to bright, extravagant (and sometimes frightening) pockets of experience I hadn’t even known I was missing.last_img read more

On the beat: How Syracuse can avoid a 3rd loss to Pittsburgh

first_img Published on March 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm Syracuse is about to play it’s third game of the season against Pittsburgh after having lost the first two contests this season. It’s both team’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament opener, and the game holds significant bearing on the Orange’s NCAA Tournament chances. Daily Orange beat writers Jesse Dougherty, Sam Blum and Matt Schneidman discuss below what Syracuse has to do against the Panthers to breathe more life back into its postseason hopes. Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img


first_imgJob Vacancies: The fabled Gallaghers Bakery franchise in Ardara are looking to expand its workforce and has created THREE new jobs. Management at Gallaghers are seeking to recruit a Purchasing Officer, General Office Administrator and a Cleaner to become part of their dynamic and hard-working team.Gallaghers Bakery is one of the most famous names in the bread-making industry and the news its expanding operations is a welcome boost to the local economy. Purchasing Officer:Responsibilities:• Carry out the purchasing process on a daily basis• Maintain and develop the supplier base through : relationship development, supplier selection, supply agreements (including price negotiation where applicable), with continued monitoring and evaluation • Manage stock levels through MRP system• Work with relevant internal departments such as NPD, operations and financeExperience required• 3+ years in purchasing role within a fast paced, high volume production environment is essential• Analytical with excellent communication skills • Demonstrate ability to manage and build a network of suppliers• Demonstrate ability to adhere to strict deadlines• Knowledge of Just in Time and ERP systems• Knowledge of excel essential • Knowledge of Stevens stock system an advantageGeneral Office AdministratorRole:• General office administrator to support sales and finance functionsExperience required• Accounting background• Experience in sales ordering and sales administration• Experience in providing general marketing support• Good communication skills• Knowledge of excel essential• Demonstrate ability to work to deadlines2+ yrs experience in a commercial environment requiredExperienced CleanersExperience required cleaning in a Food Manufacturing Plant environment.5 day week; weekend work will be required.Ideal candidate would have worked as a cleaner in a bakery or food manufacturing siteChemical handling training, manual handling, Working at heights Training, Haccp an advantagePlease send Letter of Application and CV to:-HR Dept, Aran Ard Teo T/A Gallagher’s Bakery, Ardara, Co Donegal, IrelandAlternatively by e-mail to [email protected] VACANCIES: NEW POSITIONS AVAILABLE AT GALLAGHERS BAKERY ARDARA was last modified: February 24th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ArdaraeconomyExpanding. BoostGallagher’s BakeryJob VacanciesjobsNewnewsPositionslast_img read more

Raiders’ Doug Martin anxious to prove ‘doubters’ wrong as Lynch’s replacement

first_imgFor complete Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.ALAMEDA — Doug Martin will get the ball Sunday amid much less fanfare than the Raiders’ other hometown back received.Martin, like Marshawn Lynch, was born in Oakland, but became a high school star in Stockton before playing in college at Boise State and becoming a first-round draft pick.With Lynch likely done for the season with a groin injury (the earliest he could return is Week 16), Martin gets a belated chance to jump-start …last_img

First impressions of 49ers Kentavius Street; Sherman sounds off on Seahawks

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceSANTA CLARA — Kentavius Street, a super-strong defensive lineman, is among the 49ers’ great personnel mysteries for their 2019 comeback tour.Thursday, the redshirt rookie put his right hand in the turf, lowered his hulking 6-foot-2 frame and slammed forward into the blocking sled while shuffling to his right. Then to his left. Then again to his right.Shuffling is the key right now. He is debuting in practice this …last_img

Batteries for Off-Grid Homes

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Is solar electricity cheap or expensive? There are two parallel stories circulating these days. One version of the story — the older of the two — is that electricity from a photovoltaic (PV) array is more expensive than grid power, and that adding batteries makes PV even more expensive.The newer tale, oft-repeated on GBA, is that PV is cheap and getting cheaper, and that any utility that tries to limit PV installations is doomed to failure — because homeowners who are disgruntled by a PV-hostile utility will choose to install batteries, cutting the cord to the grid.Cutting the cord, a move called “grid defection,” is a key element of utility executives’ nightmares. The worry is that increasing instances of grid defection will cause utility revenues to drop, precipitating a “death spiral” for utilities.So, which version is closer to the truth? In some states, PV electricity is cheap Here’s my summary: right now, if available tax credits and rebates are taken into account, PV electricity is cheaper than grid power in many areas of the country with generous PV rebates — but only for grid-connected customers.If tax credits and rebates are ignored, PV electricity may still be cheaper than grid power for grid-connected customers — but only in areas of the country with high electricity rates or favorable net-metering agreements.In areas of the country where grid power is cheap, rebates are stingy, or utilities don’t offer net metering, PV electricity probably isn’t yet cost-competitive.In almost every location in the U.S., the cost of electricity produced by a PV system with enough batteries to permit “grid defection” is significantly higher than the cost of grid power. Do the math If you want to know whether… last_img read more

Former Indian residential school worker found guilty on 10 counts

first_imgAPTN National NewsA former residential school worker in northern Saskatchewan has been found guilty of assaulting young boys five decades ago.Paul Leroux now 73, was a dormitory supervisor at the Beauval School in the 1950s and 1960s.Today a judge found Leroux guilty on ten counts of indecent assault.APTN’s Larissa Burnoff is at the courthouse in north Batlleford and joins us now.last_img