Nancy Mercure East, a retired veterinarian from Waynesville, and her hiking partner, Air Force veteran Chris Ford of Knoxville, Tenn., set a new record for hiking all of the park’s trails on Oct. 3 with a time of 29 days, 10 hours and 12 minutes. The two shattered the previous mark of 33 days set by Knoxville trail runner Jeff Woody.
The DuPont Forest Festival, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, has been a long time in the making. The chemical conglomerate DuPont’s initial 1956 purchase of land for a silicon manufacturing plant in Cedar Mountain proved the beginning of a journey that would preserve one of Western North Carolina’s most treasured natural places for the future.
Impaired balance brings with it a higher risk of falling and all that a fall can entail. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the No. 1 cause of both injury and death in older adults. State data indicate that the rate of fall-related death and injury is increasing among both men and women and in all age groups 65 and older. But falling isn’t inevitable, and several programs in WNC are working to reduce the number of falls older adults experience, helping avoid injury and boosting quality of life.
We all need friends, and public lands in Western North Carolina increasingly receive care in the form of “Friends” nonprofit groups. In an era of shrinking federal budgets for parks and forests, these organizations are stepping up to preserve and maintain public spaces.
Ashevilleans have a history of seeking, and many local residents have taken that search to spiritual pilgrimages along the Caminos of Europe. Now, Asheville has its own 16-mile Camino, a path that can take people walk without paying airfare.