Outdoor Journal

Silver threads among the gold (foliage): On Friday, Oct. 20, Asheville Parks and Recreation will sponsor a Senior Treks hike on the Rattlesnake Lodge Trail, which spurs from the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville. The hike is 2.6 miles with a 500-foot elevation change. Make sure you bring lunch, water, good walking shoes and appropriate clothing. Meet at the Recreation Office at 72 Gashes Creek Road at 9:30 a.m. Fee is $2 per hike, and registration is required. Call 254-5561 for more information.

Hob knobbin’: Thanks to a recent, major grant, the nonprofit Carolina Climbers’ Coalition is that much closer to paying off its monumental purchase of Laurel Knob. On Sept. 29, the organization announced receiving a $30,000 grant from the Conservation Alliance. The sports-sandals company Chaco helped press for the sum on the Coalition’s behalf. Currently, CCC is just $40,000 shy of the crag’s $250,000 price tag. Way to go, folks.

Lox o’ luck: The Kokanee salmon is a peaceful, weed- and shrimp-fed fish native to the western United States. (You can tell as much by their penchant for saying “you betcha.”) Strangely enough, they also live in Western North Carolina. A vestige of a stocking effort in Nantahala Lake in the 1960s, now and again one of these relatives of the Pacific-run sockeye salmon is caught doing something curious like migrating up the Nantahala River to spawn. Bless their little hearts. Last month, Burke County angler Tony Robinson pulled a big one from the lake. OK, so maybe big is an exaggeration (the fish weighed 9.2 ounces — roughly how much foundation Paris Hilton applies to her face on a good morning), but it nevertheless set a state record. Our question though, is this: Will the Kokanee ever get home again? Stay tuned.


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