Diamonds in the Rough: Trail Blazers search for gemstones beneath Douglas Falls in Pisgah National Forest, N.C. Photo: Nicole HinebaughKentavius can see the Blue Ridge Mountains from his apartment beside the interstate in downtown Asheville. But the nine-year-old had never hiked in them until last month.Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine has helped create the Trail Blazers Youth Adventure Club. Children from inner city communities are learning outdoor skills on a series of adventures throughout the summer.Last month, I accompanied Kentavius and twelve other Trail Blazers on a hike to Douglas Falls, a 70-foot waterfall surrounded by an old-growth forest. The kids, who ranged in age from 8 to 14, were awestruck. None of them had ever been hiking in a national forest; most had never left the city.They marveled at yellow-striped millipedes and the towering trees, including an overturned hemlock with its intricate root system exposed. “This was all underground? Daaang!” said ten-year-old Tahtiona.More than once, I was asked if cobras and anacondas lived in this forest. But by the time the kids reached the waterfall, they had completely forgotten about snakes. They quickly splashed across the creek to stand beneath the falls.As the frigid water pounded down on them, Alexus screamed with wild, shrill delight; Diontae flexed his muscles; Kentavius simply extended his arms and looked skyward, smiling.Afterward, the kids climbed into an old rock cave, scampered up a steep dirt trail, searched for gemstones in the creek, and even shimmied across an old log suspended between two boulders. They were adventurers exploring a brave new world, far away from the barren concrete of their public housing block.Nearly every day of their childhood has been filled with the sounds of the interstate. But for a few hours, they heard the wind in the trees and water cascading over rock. And on the hike back to the trailhead, they stopped walking, stopped talking, and for a few moments, just listened to the silence of the forest.The Asheville-based Trail Blazers are organized by the heroic Nicole Hinebaugh and volunteers from the Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation. We plan on expanding the Trail Blazers Club into other towns across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Let us know if you’d like to lead a hike or lend a hand. Upcoming hikes, photo galleries, and additional information can be found at trailblazersclub.org.We hope that the Trail Blazers experience will inspire more kids like Kentavius, who discovered that those distant summits are within his reach. 1 2
More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoWith $36.5 million in sales and completion due in a matter of months, buyers are snapping up Di Carlo Property Group’s TriBeCa Terraces in Bulimba. Photo: SuppliedFeaturing large living and kitchen areas, multiple balconies, generous third bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, ground-floor courtyards, double garages, extensive landscaping and recreation areas, the development has proven popular with families.Among the recent purchasers are Skye and Simon Whyte who are eagerly awaiting their move to TriBeCa Terraces with their daughter Chelsea. The family purchased a three-storey, three-bedroom terrace featuring three bathrooms with a powder room.Mrs Whyte said they had not been house hunting long when they came across TriBeCa Terraces. Skye and Simon Whyte with daughter Chelsea. A lifestyle of convenience is proving a hit with families buying apartments at TriBeCa Terraces, Bulimba.With $36.5 million in sales and completion due within months, buyers have snapped up 38 of the 53 terraces by Di Carlo Property Group in the tightly held inner city suburb.Di Carlo Property Group director Joshua Di Carlo said buyers in the first stage could expect to be living in their new homes by June while the second stage is due for completion in August.“We’ve certainly garnered a lot of interest from buyers who are excited at the prospect of moving into a brand-new home so quickly,” Mr Di Carlo said.“The terraces are in a prime position giving homeowners access to a range of different amenities which is set to be enhanced with the Bulimba Barracks redevelopment offering an entertainment precinct with riverfront restaurants and parks within walking distance.“TriBeCa Terraces really offers a well-rounded lifestyle where buyers can secure a modern, well-appointed home in a sought-after location and the market has had a strong response to this,” he said. It had immediate appeal because of its location, build quality, high-end specifications and design layout.“Having lived in Bulimba and the surrounding area for the past six years we have become very familiar with the area and the lifestyle it offers which is second to none in our opinion, so being able to buy locally was a major drawcard,” Mrs Whyte said.“Working busy corporate jobs means the time we have at home is minimal, so we wanted a lifestyle of convenience.“We love that we’re only a short ferry ride to Teneriffe or Portside and it’s a very relaxing way to travel to work. A lot is to be said for the calmness that commuting to work via the river brings into your life,” she said.Mrs Whyte said the freehold aspect of the terraces which had given them the unique opportunity to own the land that their terrace home sits on, together with the quality of the terraces, was also a selling point.“The architecturally designed terraces offering an exclusive and high-end finish was the exact product that we were looking for,” she said. “Having the third bedroom located on the ground floor instead of the first has really maximised the living and dining space. “Also knowing a high percentage of other local owner-occupiers had purchased into the development really solidified our decision.’’
Batesville, IN—WRBI and Hoxworth Blood Center held a Blood Drive on Tuesday. The goal for the event was 69 blood units, and Hoxworth was able to collect 81 units, which is the highest amount collected. There were a total of 87 volunteers to try to donate, including 5 first time donors.With the units collected, 243 lives will be saved!Hoxworth appreciates the WRBI community’s commitment to saving lives. The donors who participated in the blood drive have helped ensure that there is an adequate blood supply for the patients in our community.