Warren Wilson College hosts herb symposium in memory of Frank Cook

Who was Frank Cook? That’s like asking who first swam the entire Amazon (Martin Strel, of course.) Quite likely, many of the 150 who attended the April 7 Herb Symposium at Warren Wilson College in memory of Cook didn’t know him. In ethnobotany and herbalist circles, Cook was legendary for his global knowledge of plants and their uses. (photo by Jonathan Poston)

Working elm: A day harvesting slippery elm’s medicinal bark

One Sunday morning in mid-August, I left Asheville for the one-hour drive to my friend Doug Elliott’s wooded homestead in Union Mills, N.C. During my last visit, around the exact same time of year, he showed me how to harvest and prepare elderberry for tincturing. I didn’t know what lay in store this time, other than he said we would be “working elm,” but I knew it would involve swatting mosquitoes and flies, dodging briars, poison ivy and random angry yellow jackets. Why drive 50 mountain miles to play victim to nature’s sadistic instruments? Doug is one of America’s preeminent herbalists, natural history authors, and folklore storytellers. As an elder living in organic union with the land He is celebrated among new age wild crafters, ethnobotanists, and urban foragers.

JourneyAsh­eville: Appalachia­n Trail S.W.E.A.T. Crew

The “Smokies Wildnerness Elite Appalachian Trail” Crew is the “Delta Force” of trail maintenance on the AT. Operating strictly in the backcountry, they perform trail maintenance in areas that are beyond the range and ability of trail clubs. Here are few of the photos Jerry Nelson took, documenting the team’s latest work.
Photos by Jerry Nelson, JourneyAmerica.org

From Clingman’s Dome to the Outer Banks: Thru-hiker forages the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Less than two weeks ago, long-distance hiker and Appalachian Trail veteran Heather Housekeeper, 28, began walking. Twelve days later, on May 28,  she made some time to share her goals with this reporter, just before reaching camp, off Ox Creek Road near Asheville. Outside of the occasional friend tagging along for a few miles here and there, she’s doing it all alone, and not counting the random “trail magic” (assistance like snacks, shoes, a bed, etc.) that strangers have given her along the way, she’s doing the trip totally unsupported.

Supermoons and splendid flowers: Spring has sprung

Last Saturday, March 19, a “supermoon” rose over the mountains of WNC. The next day, the spring equinox occurred at 7:21 p.m. EST, marking the start of the new season. These videos capture beautiful imagery of the full moon at its closest point to Earth in nearly 18 years, as well as the dawn of new spring flowers around Beaver Lake in north Asheville.

Powder day: Scenes from Wolf Ridge

Screen shot 2011-01-11 at 11.27.17 AM Local ski areas are reporting great conditions and it looks like more snow is on the way, with Ray’s Weather Center predicting another 6 to12 inches for the highest peaks over the next couple of days. On January, 10, we went up to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Madison County and encountered powder that’s more typical of the Rockies than the Southern Appalachians. Here’s a short video of what we found.

Winter sports in WNC: Let the fun begin

Winter fun in WNC
Last winter was heaven for local winter sports enthusiasts. And this season has been off to a great start, with unusually cold and snowy conditions providing ample opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowball fights, snowmen and assorted backcountry adventures. We’re celebrating today, Dec. 21 – the first official day of winter – by culling together some of our favorite photos and videos from the last couple years of snowy escapades.