7 Must-Do Paddling Trips in the Blue Ridge and Beyond

first_imgPaddling is a unique and rewarding opportunity to experience the landscapes of nature. Watery trails snake through the wilderness, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to explore the beauty around them in a very organic way. In the spring, waterways are often swollen with fresh rain and white water routes are begging for a challenger. In the summer, paddling provides a great way to stay cool while experiencing an outdoor adventure. Even in the winter time there are amazing adventures to be had in places like Congaree National Park, a Lowcountry swamp that is best avoided in summertime but beautiful nonetheless.  1. Obed Wild and Scenic River, TennesseeThe experienced kayaker will find themselves drawn to the white rapids of the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Composed primarily of four streams – the Obed, Clear Creek, Daddy’s Creek and the Emory River – this NPS river offers both heart-pounding rapids and relaxing floats. At the rapids, elements of unpredictability such as hydraulics, navigating boulders, and waves known to build to heights of over ten feet will give seasoned paddlers the challenge they’ve been looking for. Daddy’s Creek Canyon is a two-mile-long canyon with swift class III – IV rapids that leads down to class II all the way to the Obed. The Clear Creek section has the cleanest water and the smoothest paddling opportunities. For the novice paddler, the stretch between Barnett Bridge and Jett Bridge is a popular spot.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.14.31 AM2. Chattahoochee River, GeorgiaThe Chattahoochee River is a popular place for paddlers to launch their canoes and kayaks and enjoy the day. Some paddlers, such as Robert Fuller, even see The Hooch as a chance to explore the entire length of the river system, from its source spring in North Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico, all in one go. But anyone can break down your paddling trip into segments, as there are several put ins along the river. The stretch from Buford Dam to Abbotts Bridge is a 13-mile section that will likely take about five to eight hours. A great short trip would be the stretch from Abbotts Bridge to Medlock Bridge, or from Medlock Bridge to Jones Bridge. Those sections only take about one to two hours.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.14.41 AM3. Great Falls on the Potomac, VirginiaJust outside our nation’s capital is a stretch of whitewater known as one of the deadliest whitewater rapids, and is therefore reserved for only the experienced paddlers. The Potomac River Gorge is a section of water with varying personalities throughout her 14-mile stretch of the Potomac River. The Great Falls section of the Potomac River Gorge is the most dangerous – and therefore, the most attractive to thrill-seekers looking to strong arm mother nature’s aquatic challenges. The danger lies in the places where the Potomac builds up speed and force as it spills through Mather Gorge, with several 20 foot waterfalls and a total 76-foot drop in elevation over a one-mile distance.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.14.55 AM4. Piscataway, MarylandPiscataway Park is located on the Atlantic Flyway, so as you enjoy your paddling trip, keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful types of birds that frequent the area. Anything from eagles and ospreys to warblers and jays can be spotted. This park offers a great creek great for meandering. It’s perfect for a relaxing day on the water, with plenty of opportunities to stop for a picnic and enjoy the scenic nature views.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.15.09 AM5. Captain John Smith Chesapeake, VirginiaThe Captain John Smith Chesapeake is part of the National Historic Trail, an official trail launched in 2007 that follows the routes of Captain John Smith’s explorations by water. The entire trail includes approximately 3,000 miles in parts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and D.C. James River Water Trail section is a popular pick, because the boating tour follows three loops: the Upper Oxbow Loop, which goes from Richmond to Hopewell and follows scenic oxbow bends full of beautiful forests and shorelines; the Cypress Loop, which goes from Hopewell to Jamestown, and is characterized by unique cypress trees, historic plantations and a wildlife refuge; and the Oyster Loop, which goes from Jamestown to the developed waterfront section of Newport News.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.15.21 AM6. Congaree National Park, South CarolinaThis national park is a gorgeous place to visit, loaded with old growth hardwoods that tower into the sky. Canoeing and kayaking along Cedar Creek is a favorite activity in the park, where smooth waterways pass through a primeval forest with some of the tallest trees in eastern North America. Wildlife is abundant here, with otters, deer, turtles, and various types of birds. The Cedar Creek Canoe Trail is a 15-mile water trail that starts at Bannister’s Bridge and continues to the Congaree River. This is the perfect creek for both beginner and experienced paddlers, providing an excellent relaxing day on the water, and a unique way to explore nature.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.15.38 AM7. Gauley River National Recreation Area, West VirginiaScenic gorges and valleys host 25 miles of adrenaline-blasting Gauley River and six miles of the Meadow River for an experience you’ll never forget. The Gauley River boasts several heart-pumping class V rapids, and is considered to be one of the most adventurous white water experiences in the east. Every September, kayakers flock to the Gauley as water is released from Summersville Dam. The river drops 668 feet over the course of 25 miles, with more than 100 rapids through forests of oak, beech, yellow poplar, hemlock and dogwood.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.15.51 AMlast_img read more

Toronto turns the clock back

first_imgINTRO: On July 27 Toronto Transit Commission officially opened its Spadina Avenue light rail extension. William D Middleton was there Chinese dragon dancers, a festival atmosphere the length of lower Spadina Avenue and an estimated 32000 riders were all at hand when the Toronto Transportation Commission celebrated the opening of its Spadina Avenue light rail line (RG 8.97 p502) on July 27. In a curious inversion of what was probably said almost 49 years earlier when the Spadina streetcar line was replaced by buses, politicians at the ribbon-cutting ceremony extolled the advantages of forward-looking light rail over the motor bus.From its northern terminal at Spadina station on TTC’s east-west Bloor-Danforth subway, the new line extends 3·65 km southwards along Spadina Avenue to Queens Quay, where it joins the 2·1 km Harbourfront line that opened in 1990. The two lines form a new route between Spadina and Union Station subway stations with 17 stops in the ethnic neighbourhoods and fashion district along thriving Spadina Avenue, and the fast-growing residential, commercial and recreation activities of the Harbourfront district along Queens Quay. Construction of the Spadina line began in December 1992 and cost C$104·5m, well below the original budget of C$141m due to depressed conditions in the construction industry. Boosting capacityOperating mainly on a reserved right-of-way down the centre of Spadina Avenue, light rail vehicles have increased capacity and introduced faster and more reliable service to what was a busy bus corridor through a heavily-congested distict. Spadina Avenue itself has been upgraded with a rebuilt roadway, wider pavements, new parking bays, public art and extensive landscaping. Street congestion at the intersection of Spadina Avenue and West Bloor Street, the line’s northern terminal, has been avoided by building a 685m underground loop that takes the light rail line into the subway station. A similar underground loop between Queens Quay and Union Station is part of the earlier Harbourfront line.Initial daily ridership over the new route is expected to average 32000, with ample capacity for growth expected as development of the district continues. While TTC originally planned procurement of a 100% low- floor vehicle for this and other routes, the programme has been deferred indefinitely, and the Spadina line is being operated with standard Canadian LRVs.Further expansionFurther expansion of Toronto’s light rail system now seems likely following approval by the TTC board in June of an 0·8 km extension along Queens Quay to connect with the existing Bathurst Street line, at a cost of C$13m. Extending from the Bloor-Danforth subway’s Bathurst station to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, the Bathurst line presently provides the only rail link to this popular exhibition venue, which has recently expanded with the development of a World Trade Centre. The new link would permit additional light rail services to the CNE grounds from Union Station and Spadina subway station. Although the project is not expected to be approved by the newly expanded regional council until next year, TTC hopes to go forward with the link as soon as possible.Work is already proceeding on the only other TTC rail expansion project likely to be completed in the foreseeable future, the five-station 6·4 km Sheppard subway that will extend east from Sheppard station on the north-south Yonge subway to Don Mills Road in the city of North York. Construction began in late 1994 of a 750m cut-and-cover tailtrack structure to the west of the Yonge-Sheppard station. This work is now substantially complete, and early in September twin tunnel boring machines should begin working westward from an access shaft just west of a planned station at Leslie Street. Work should begin later this year on the Leslie station and a crossing of the Don River, with the balance of station construction scheduled to begin in 1998. Systems installation should start in 1999, and the C$875m project should begin operation by mid-2002, with a projected initial ridership of 30 million passengers a year.The Sheppard subway is the only survivor of four projects that were originally included in an ambitious C$2·5bn Rapid Transit Expansion Programme announced by the Ontario provincial government early in 1993. Subsequent funding problems led to decisions during 1995 to delay indefinitely a planned 4·7 km Eglinton West subway, a 5·1 km extension of the Spadina subway, and a 3·1 km extension of TTC’s Scarborough rapid transit line. Given the substantially reduced scope of its expansion programme, TTC has decided not to include in the Sheppard project the transmission-based signalling and platform doors that were initially planned for all four of its subway extensions. oCAPTION: Reflecting an earlier era on Spadina Avenue, one of Toronto’s historic Peter Witt cars was used for the opening ceremony. TTC Chair Paul Christio helped Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall to cut the ribbonCAPTION: Left: At the northern terminus, an underground loop provides interchange with east-west trains on the Bloor-Danforth subwaylast_img read more

Jose Mourinho denies dressing room revolt, says he has four years to fix Chelsea

first_imgJose Mourinho insisted that he will not be fired by Chelsea, and will be given all the time he needs to turn things around at Stamford Bridge.The club’s worst start to a season in a generation has seen them look more like relegation candidates than potential champions, and rumours have been flying that Mourinho is to be fired imminently.But the Chelsea boss insisted that he has the full support of Roman Abramovich.When asked how long he believes he would be given to turn things round, he stonewalled.”Four years. No, three years seven months, something like that,” he said, referring to the new four-year contract he signed after winning the league in May.Mourinho was also asked about reports that he has lost the dressing room, following the BBC’s claim that a senior player said this weekend that he would “rather lose than win for Mourinho.” “I think it’s a very sad accusation because you are using a player, or more than one player, accusing them of dishonesty,” he said, denying that there are any problems between him and his players.”If I accuse you of being a dishonest journalist I think you would be very upset and probably you’d take legal action. So I think it’s a question for the players.”At that point, Chelsea press officer Steve Atkins stepped in to attack the BBC’s reporting of the story.”The prominence which they gave a story which by their own admission came second or third hand is very disappointing,” Atkins said.”From a news organisation which prides itself on its integrity, we strongly feel that they fell well short of their standards.” Mourinho also made a telling point about how a run of poor results was always likely, even harking back to a press conference he gave having won the Champions League with Porto over a decade ago.”In May 2004 I said that one day in my career bad results would come. So 11 years later… I resisted well, given the nature of my job and the nature of football,” he said.”It took time, but it’s come at a moment when I’m stable and strong enough to face it.”–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more