Canada to Buy Troubled Trans Mountain Pipeline

first_imgCanada to Buy Troubled Trans Mountain Pipeline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Canada will buy Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd’s Trans Mountain pipeline for C$4.5 billion ($3.5 billion), the government said on Tuesday, hoping to save a project that faces formidable political and environmental opposition.Finance Minister Bill Morneau said purchasing the pipeline was the only way to ensure that a planned expansion could proceed. The pipeline, running from the oil sands of Alberta to a port in the Pacific province of British Columbia, would allow Canadian crude to gain greater access to foreign markets and higher prices.Kinder Morgan Canada gave Ottawa until May 31 to come up with reassurances it could press ahead with plans to more than double the capacity of the existing pipeline amid efforts by British Columbia to block construction. The company also faced opposition from environmentalists and aboriginal groups who worried about the pipeline spilling its tar-like heavy oil.Although Ottawa has taken stakes in struggling energy projects, Tuesday’s announcement marked the first time Ottawa has bought an entire pipeline. It does not intend to own the project for long.The move drew immediate criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, and could hurt Trudeau’s popularity in the key British Columbia battleground in a 2019 federal election.Morneau sidestepped questions about how Ottawa will deal with opposition from environmentalists and aboriginal groups, who cite the risk of a catastrophic spill. Morneau said more spending would be needed to complete the expansion, but gave no precise financial details, and stressed he felt the project should be returned to the private sector.More: Canada to Buy Kinder Morgan Oil Pipeline in Bid to Save Projectlast_img read more

European thermal coal imports at record lows

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Argus Media:Net thermal coal imports to the EU slumped to another historic low in May, with shipments from key suppliers the US and Russia both falling to their lowest in over a year.EU members imported a net total of 6.6mn t from countries outside of the bloc in May, provisional Eurostat data show, down from 6.8mn t in April and 7.9mn t in the same month last year. This was the lowest net monthly intake of coal to the 28 members that currently make up the EU since August 2002, when 6.1mn t was received.The drop in imports comes amid a steep decline in coal-fired power generation across northwest Europe, with aggregate output in Germany, Spain, the UK and France repeatedly slipping to historic lows this summer.France, Italy and Poland — which together accounted for 1.1mn t of the 1.3mn t aggregate year-on-year fall in net imports — were the major drivers of the overall decline, with the UK and Germany accounting for a further 325,000t of the drop in imports. Spain was the key market bucking the downward trend in May, with imports 263,000t higher than in 2018 at 708,000t.But total net imports to the EU in January-May fell to a 19-year low of 41.2mn t, which was down from 44.5mn t in 2018 as a result of strong declines to Italy, France, Ireland and the UK. Italy took 1.4mn t less coal than in 2018 during January-May, with France importing 930,000t less, and Ireland and the UK each taking around 800,000t less.The EU’s key coal suppliers — Russia, Colombia and the US — all contributed to the year-on-year drop in May receipts. US volumes fell by 652,000t on the year to a nine-year low of 513,000t in May and imports from Colombia were down by 540,000t on the year at 821,000t.More: EU thermal coal imports at a landmark low European thermal coal imports at record lowslast_img read more

Daily Dirt: Blue Ridge Parkway Closure, Whale Freed, and Charlotte Snubbed

first_imgYour daily outdoor news bulletin for July 17, the day Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan crossed the Atlantic by rattle-trap plane in 1938, proving once again that great explorers and daredevils can get their heads lost in the clouds, sometimes on purpose:Parkway Closure a Summer BummerA crack in the Blue Ridge Parkway is causing a splitting headache for the National Park Service. The crack is right down the center lane of the iconic byway, and is growing, causing the closure of a healthy section just in time for one of the busiest time of year for tourists. Other than October, no month sees more visitors to the parkway than July – nearly 2 million visitors – but those people will have to find an alternative route for the time being. The Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed indefinitely from Milepost 375.6, just north of Asheville, N.C., to Milepost 355 at Mount Mitchell State Park. That’s 20 miles of primo Blue Ridge Parkway that will be shut down during the peak season. It is also one of the highest and most scenic sections and includes the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, which could take a $70,000 economic hit according to estimates. Ouch.One silver lining of the closure is that it only applies to motor vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists are permitted to bypass the closure signs so if you are into 20-mile, high elevation riding with no cars, you can go ahead and rejoice.Virginia Diver Frees WhaleFrom the mountains to the coast, where a good Samaritan is being credited with saving a rare species of whale. Adrian Colaprete was fishing with some friends about 50 miles off the coast of Virginia when they noticed something unusual in the water. It was a rare right whale and it was acting strange. Right whales are endangered, nearly hunted to extinction during the whale hunting heyday, and now the greatest threat is being struck by a ship during their migration. The crew aboard the boat realized the whale was caught on something and Colaprete jumped in the water to get a better look. Armed with a snorkel and big knife, he was able to cut the line and gear that was wrapped around Willy’s fluke, risking his own life in the process. And yes, there is video, because dude-man had the GoPro.Charlotte Won’t Host Summer X-GamesCharlotte, N.C. was in the running to be the next host of the ESPN Summer X-Games; they even made it to the final four cities. Unfortunately for the Tarheel State, Austin, TX was selected to host the next four summer games, beating out Charlotte, Detroit, and Chicago in the process. Over the past decade, Los Angeles has hosted the games, to the tune of an estimated $50 million annual economic impact. The plan called for the games to be held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, but alas, it twas not to be.last_img read more

Jeep Life: Organization on the Road – Part I

first_imgAfter the first 30 days of living out of a Jeep, you should have seen the interior. Loose mail and business cards floated on the floor mats, bagel halves sat uneaten on the dashboard, dirty clothes, empty water bottles, snack wrappers, all of it collected in one area – the passenger seat.Without a passenger, it seemed, I had no incentive to make room and keep things tidy. Everything I’d ever need was right there within arm’s reach. I didn’t care if it looked neat or not – I knew where most things were._MG_9689Until I lost my wallet in the car.I spent most of the afternoon ripping everything out of the Cherokee. Passerbys looked on in concern at the girl grumbling and cursing under her breath at the car wash station. I missed a paddling trip. Ate almond butter for lunch. When I finally found my wallet two hours later (stuffed in a random nook in the very back seat), frazzled, annoyed, but relieved, I vowed to change my ways and do something I’ve never claimed to be good at: get organized.Now, over a year later, if someone’s been in the Jeep, I know it. There’s a place for everything, and my most-used items are all easy to reach from the driver’s seat. And the best part? Now I can have a passenger.Check out my favorite nooks and crannies in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee below!Take 2-3The middle console is my junk drawer (but an organized drunk drawer at that). The large compartment holds emergency essentials like headlamps, ENO portable speakers (you never know when you’ll need to bring the tunes), spare batteries, camp lights, and a pocketknife. The upper deck of the console is slimmer and holds spare cash, receipts, and lens cloths.Not far from the console are my cup holders, which hold a cup, no doubt, but rarely a drink. I use it for other things like spare cutlery, pens, honey jars, and other important items. Because you need to have your local honey in close range at all times, for obvious reasons.Directly above the main control screen of the Jeep is an unassuming dashboard compartment with a lot of room. This is my jewelry box: earrings, hair ties, necklaces. Just because I live on the road doesn’t mean I can’t have a little style.Take 2-6​Look up from the dashboard compartment and you’ll see interior lights and another secret storage pocket, the perfect size for a pair of glasses. I notoriously break and/or lose sunglasses, but – knock on wood – I’ve managed to keep the same pair of Smiths for the past year and a half and I have this protective pocket to thank.Take 2-5And finally, last but not least, the door side pockets are the perfect place to stow bug spray, sunscreen, and extra snacks. Of course, this bin also often doubles as my trash can when I’m feeling lazy._MG_9212Jeep Logo Greenlast_img read more

Wonder Women

first_imgPhoto by Chad BlotnerI learned to kayak from men, paddled with men, received a rope-bag-to-the-face from men. It’s a fact: men dominate the world of whitewater. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, ultimately, most accomplished female athletes in any adventure sport tend to get overlooked. Meet four adventure pioneers, and two up-and-coming forces, who push the limits and kick ass, all with the grace of a woman.The PaddlerAnna Levesque, 41Founder, Girls at PlayAsheville, N.C.IMG_3356_FIXPhoto by Anna WagnerSTARTED PADDLING: while working in the kitchen of a rafting company in Quebec.ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE: competing as a member of the Canadian Freestyle Team for five years, receiving bronze at the 2001 World Championships in Spain and several top three finishes between 1999 and 2004, and founding Girls At Play (GAP) in 2004, which offers whitewater kayak, SUP, and yoga educational programs for women.Why kayaking?I fell in love with just how people that were really into kayaking and raft guiding were following their passions. That was very different for me compared to the household I grew up in which was very conventional—you go to college, get a job, you make money. I was on track to go to law school but when I started kayaking my life took a 180-degree turn. I never looked back.What challenges did you face in height of your competitive paddling career?At the time I started paddling at the pro circuit, there was definitely some harshness. There was a competition almost every weekend at that time and I was paddling a lot of hard stuff. I really became aware of my fear and doubt and lack of confidence, and noticed how that was exacerbated when I was paddling with all men. They approached the river differently. I was told you gotta watch what we do and just learn that way. There wasn’t a whole lot of feedback and if there was it wasn’t kind.Did you ever feel like giving up?It didn’t deter me. I kept competing, and had some really good success in the competition world, but still felt that lack of confidence. The more I spoke with my female colleagues and paddlers…they had very similar feelings and experiences.How have you found that men and women are different?We all have the fight or flight response, but women also tend and befriend—the important part is the befriend part. A female’s desire to affiliate with other women in stressful situations is one of the biggest differences between the genders, where men tend to be more comfortable standing on their own in stressful situations.Though your focus with GAP is primarily on women in whitewater, do you have any advice for female athletes in general who may feel hindered by doubt or fear? If the fear weren’t present, then there would be no growth. Instead of getting overtaken by fear or letting yourself downward spiral into doubt, just accept that that’s there and you have the chance to act anyway. That’s the gem—being courageous is feeling fear and accepting fear but acting anyways in a responsible manner.What are the first three words that come to mind when you hear the words “like a woman?” Powerful, integrity, compassion—these words are colored by the women that I surround myself with.The ClimberElaina Arenz, 41Owner, New River Mountain GuidesFayetteville, W.Va.Arenz3_FIXPhoto by Chris NobleSTARTED CLIMBING: while attending the University of Texas at AustinACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE: establishing Mexico’s El Potrero Chico as a world-class climbing destination, setting numerous first female ascents across the United States and Mexico, becoming a co-owner of Chicks Climbing & Skiing in 2015, and serving on the Board of Directors for the Access Fund.What was your first experience climbing?I went to the gym and I loved it. The next week we went outside. I top-roped and led my first climb on the same day and in retrospect, it was probably not the best way to learn, but I was on the fast track from day one. Climbing was something that I connected with instantly.How did your relationship with climbing grow from that first day?It became all-consuming. It’s a bit of an addiction. Climbing is not just something you do for fun—it’s a lifestyle that you follow. For me, I went from partying-college-girl to somebody who was focused on taking care of mind, body, and soul through climbing.What was the climbing scene like then? Were there any women?Twenty-one years ago, I could count all of the female climbers on one hand. I mostly climbed with men. It was a bit of a tough love situation. [My coworker who taught me] is my long lost brother from another mother. He knew my strengths and knew what I was capable of doing. He was able to challenge me in ways that allowed me to grow as a climber.There’s the saying anything in life worth having is worth working for. What climb comes to mind with those words?Apollo Reed at Summersville. It was the first and only 13 I’ve ever done. It’s always been a benchmark climb. I’ve watched my friends casually run laps on this thing and it took me a year of projecting this thing just to get halfway, then another three months to get past that, then another three months to get it all together. In the beginning it felt impossible, like I’d never be able to link up all the moves.How do you cope with the stress of leading difficult routes for the first time?Breathing. Using your eyes. Just do one move at a time and be objective. You won’t know unless you try.The EnvironmentalistErin Savage, 31ErinSavage_MCHMSpill_FIXPhoto by Eric ChanceSenior Central Appalachian Campaign Coordinator, Appalachian VoicesAsheville, N.C.STARTED PADDLING: during a research trip to Uganda.ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE: placing in the top three at a number of the region’s premier whitewater races, including the Cheoah Race, Great Falls Race, the Top Yough and Upper Yough Races, and the multisport Silverback Race of the Green River Games. Environmental accomplishments include persuading the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to issue stronger rules for coal processing plants, helping to uncover years of false Clean Water Act reporting by several coal companies in Kentucky, and securing drinking water for several West Virginia families whose wells had been contaminated by mountaintop mining.What made you get into environmental policy work?I studied biology and philosophy in college and worked in a laboratory doing physiology research. I decided when I was doing that that it was really cool and interesting, but the things I was doing you couldn’t really see applying to human medicine in 50 years or even my lifetime. I got recommended to study elephant seals in Argentina and that was the start of things really changing for me.How has your love of kayaking influenced your environmental pursuits?Through kayaking I’d become sorta aware about mountaintop mining, but once I was at Yale I ended up getting really interested in mountaintop removal after attending a speaker series.Has your passion for whitewater altered your appreciation of the outdoors in any way?I’ve always had a strong appreciation for the outdoors and kayaking has certainly reinforced that, but it’s also provided that extra motivation to keep traveling and arrange my life so that it’s not dominated by any one thing, namely work. I really enjoy my job, but I have to be really aware of finding that balance. It’s something that constantly needs to readjust.What’t the reality of Appalachia’s current environmental status?The coal industry is really changing. Natural gas surpassed coal for the first time ever in July this year. It dropped from half of our energy source to a little over a third. Central Appalachia is very much in a time of transition right now, and it’s going to be somewhat of a painful transition. Every single mine is not going to shut down tomorrow, but there are going to be reclamation issues for decades to come.Are there any takeaways you have learned on the river that translate into your work?Both my job and kayaking have taught me to recognize small accomplishments and realize that you can put a lot of those small things together into something bigger. You might not win your race or end mountaintop removal, but all of the little things you put together over the years, if you look back on them and bother giving yourself credit, you realize you’ve accomplished more than you thought you did.The CamerawomanColleen Laffey, 54Camera Operator, freelanceFayetteville, W.Va.Laffey_FIXSTARTED SHOOTING: during school at the Art Institute of PittsburghACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE: shooting for a number of reality television shows on major networks like NBC, CBS, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Channel. Shows include, but are not limited to, The Jersey Shore, Deadliest Catch, the Adventure Racing World Championships, and Red Bull Divide and Conquer.How did your camera career begin?In 1981 I shot photos on the New, Gauley, Cheat, and Yough Rivers for Wild Rivers Photo Service based in Uniontown, Penn. I started doing some video boating in 1988.What was video boating like in the late ‘80s?It was a whole different world—number one, not every rafting company did video and there were just a handful of people who did at the time.Aside from being one of the only female video boaters, what were some of the other challenges you encountered?As a video kayaker you were pretty much on your own. I had this little motto—alert, aware, alive—because just being that alone, a lot of times at really high water, climbing around on slippery rocks, it’s a dangerous job. The first year I videoed I was not a good kayaker, so I really was danger ranger out there. Looking back, I would not have recommended it to myself. When I ski patrolled, I didn’t ski that well [either] but when you’re forced to go out there and do it every single day it makes you stronger and it makes you better.Did you ever feel added pressure because you were a woman in a male-dominated industry?I’ve worked with dudes my whole life in male-dominated jobs and there’s a part of me that kinda forgets the judgment and that I’m “not supposed to be” as fit as them because I’m a girl. At my core, I know I’m good and if I’m not, I’m going to get there. But when I first started raft guiding on the Upper Gauley and I’d be the only woman on the trip, it was like, you can’t make a mistake because if you make a mistake, all women make mistakes.When did you decide to switch from video boating to shooting television shows?I video boated full-time for 11 years. When I first started video boating, it was such a challenge and such a thrill and I never knew if I was going to be alive at the end of the day. Towards the end of it, having to shoot the same stuff day in and day out, my brain was about to explode. Every time a TV crew came in [to shoot rafting], I would be so envious. I’d think, “I can do it, I can do it better,” and after a certain point it was like, “Well go f*cking do it!”What was that transition like? Did you find work easily?It was a struggle to start. No one was like, here Colleen, I’m going to make you a full-fledged camera operator. I didn’t have a fairy godmother.What do you love about your job?I’m on the road about six months a year. I love the airports, love hotel rooms, love traveling. Getting paid to see new places is really the best.RISING STANDOUTSThese girls are coming in hot. Meet MKat and Lindsey, two ladies who are bringing the heat in today’s whitewater and mountain biking scenes.Mary Katherine “MKat” FieldsCALLS HOME: Chattanooga, Tenn.STOKED FOR: 22 yearsPICKED UP PADDLING: after quitting competitive swimmingCLAIM TO FAME: First female descent of Desoto Falls (75 feet); 3rd place in Green River RacePADDLES: an old LiquidLogic StomperDream boat: LiquidLogic Flying Squirrel or a StingerFAVORITE RAPID: Gorilla.  It’s a love-hate relationship.PADDLING HEROES: Hunt Jennings, Katie Dean, Erin Savage.PRE-PADDLE JAMS: Guns N’ Roses. Appetite for Destruction.POST-PADDLE FUEL: Barbeque LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I have an unhealthy habit of watching too much Netflix.LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE COCKPIT: Just be yourself. Don’t try to outdo anyone. There are a lot more people pushing themselves harder than they’re ready. As a female, don’t think you have to push the sport more than you need to.Lindsey CarpenterCALLS HOME: Harrisonburg, Va.STOKED FOR: 20 yearsBEEN BIKING: since birthCLAIM TO FAME: Finished the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in 10.5 hours at age 19, top three finishes at the Michaux Endurance Series, winning the 2015 Massanutten Enduro and Pro XC.RIDES: Trek Superfly 9.8, 29er, hardtail.DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz SOLO, black and blueFAVORITE RIDE: Out the door from Harrisonburg to Massanutten, around the trails, and back to town.BIKING HEROES: Sue Haywood and Dad.PRE-RIDE JAMS: Britney Spears Pandora kinda does it for me.MID-RIDE FUEL: Boiled potatoes. Sometimes steak or bacon. I have a lot of allergies and intolerances—dairy, nuts, gluten, soy, shellfish. And those are just a couple of examples.LITTEL KNOWN FACT: I also bird and deer hunt. And I have a sugar addiction, mainly for Starburst. The pink ones. Always.LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE SADDLE: You’re gonna get dropped and you’re gonna be the last person that everyone waits on and you’re gonna cry and throw your bike but that’s just the initial threshold for fitness and skill. It’s just a matter of putting the time in.last_img read more

BRO Athletes: Jessie Johnson Takes on the Xterra Triathlon

first_imgI won a strawberry pie.I mean, do you really need to know anything else?Okay. There were donuts and freezer pops at the finish line!(Obviously, I’m not doing this for the money. The food, however…)Here’s my journey to pie-dom:Trivium Racing put on a sprint road triathlon that morning, so the off-road tri didn’t start until 4:30 pm. I was post-race sweaty before I even racked my bike. (And I mean dripping sweat. What’s up with telling girls that they don’t sweat; they ‘glow?’ Sweat is awesome. Own it!) You know it was ridiculously hot because even the hydrophobic triathletes – you’d be surprised at how many triathletes really hate to swim – were actually warming up (ha – like that was necessary) in the lake. I, however, love to swim, especially when it’s 95 degrees, which is perhaps why I decided to extend the swim leg by meandering waaayyy off course. Sighting: It’s a good thing. But look at it this way: I got to stay wet and cool for an extra 100 yards!Gboro Xterra_swim-2The mountain bike leg was a fun, fast and twisty course with little elevation change. My mountain biking has really improved the past few years – although I don’t get to do it a lot since moving to the coast – but I still do better with powering up hills than I do finessing my way through countless tight turns. (If you’re going to have quads that are too big for jeans, they better be good for something.) The course was not difficult, but, to keep up speed, it did require constant vigilance. My mantras: “Look ahead on the trail.” “Drink water!”  “Yay for not running into that tree! And, maybe, next time, look ahead on the trail!”Gboro Xterra_bikeI’m usually pretty excited to finish the bike and take off running but, because the trails were relatively flat and super fun, I felt like I could ride for days. However, that might have been my legs forewarning me that they were not so much into the whole trail run thing that day. The run course was a little (okay, a lot) steeper and more technical than I anticipated, and my legs continued to express their disinterest by cramping in new and exciting places! Which is why I only feel a little bad about muttering something that MIGHT have sounded like, “SHUT.UP!” to my husband as he yelled at me about the girl on my tail. (SHE WAS IN A RELAY, MATT!)Gboro Xterra_finishI finished first in the women’s open category – my first time racing open – and did I mention I won a PIE?Thanks to Trivium Racing for a great event – this was my first race with them and I was impressed.Next race: Tsali Xterra. Favorite race of the year!Our BRO Athlete stories are brought to you by:BROAthleteBannerAd-1last_img read more

Now Hiring a Live Outside and Play Road Team

first_imgElevation Outdoors Magazine and Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine are hiring a new Live Outside and Play roadie team for our 2017 season. The program runs from March thru October 2017 and spans the East Coast (from Georgia through Pennsylvania) to Colorado. We are looking for the perfect pair of creative and outgoing individuals to make this another great year on the road.Do You Have What It Takes? from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.Job Responsibilities– Promote and execute all Live Outside and Play meet-ups– Work booth at 20 major festivals– Update social media with experiences from the road– Create monthly road life video series April-October 2017– Keep inventory of festival swag and giveaways– Track sponsor deliverables and communicate with said sponsors monthly How to applyCreate a team video submission! All videos must be 90 seconds or less. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, how you like to go outside and play, and why we should choose you to live on the road and share your adventures for Blue Ridge Outdoors and Elevation Outdoors Magazines. All entries should be uploaded to personal YouTube or Vimeo accounts. Applicants should then send resume, social media hyperlinks, and video URL to [email protected] All submissions are due January 6, 2017, by end of day MST. Want to see what this year’s Live Outside and Play team was up to? Check out their Instagram handle here.last_img read more

Keeping it in the Family

first_img“Once we hit our teenage years, we sort of fell out of that for a while,” Mary Leigh Vallejo said. “I think having a kid reminded us how much fun we had and enjoyed doing it. We started back and haven’t stopped since.” “The big deal was for everyone to be potty trained,” Brooks said. “Once that was squared away, the world was ours.” The Upgrade Seeing how much Jonathan enjoyed these trips, the Vallejos decided to sell their home in the summer of 2018 to travel the country, homeschooling Jonathan and visiting as many public lands as possible. They downsized from 1,500 square feet to a 30-foot RV. The family traveled across the country and back, visiting 19 national park units along the way.  Samuel and Oliver Poulton (age 7 and 5 respectively) have their special camping gear and routins when the family goes on trips. They each have their headlamp, sleeping bag, and spot in the tent. They get to roast marshmallows and stay up late.  Preston, now 11, was hooked. Around the same time, Asher, 8, joined the family and Brooks found it harder to go on as many backpacking trips with his friends. Go-to campsite: Jackrabbit Mountain Campground in the Nantahala National Forest of southwestern North Carolina. There are several mountain biking and hiking trails easily accessible from the campground. The site sits beside Lake Chatuge where families can swim, paddle, and fish. “Every year we gather college friends and college friends turn into other friends,” Smith said. “Now it’s a bunch of families and old married people. Some people we don’t see except for there. It’s like a huge reunion.” “You can’t just take an all-day hike, you have to pack so much more,” Julie Smith said. “You have to have your sippy cups, your diapers and your diaper bag, your pack and play, and your Baby Bjorn. It changes the whole thing. But the greatest thing is you get them out there. They’re dirty and get to run around and be in nature. It’s a tremendous amount of work but once you’re there, it’s so rewarding.” As with all of their camping trips, it’s a way to get away from the disruptions at home and be together. The Poultons decided to buy a pop-up camper that they tow behind their car after a camping trip where temperatures dipped down to the 30s one night and the boys refused to wear anything except for their pajamas. Although they still tent camp occasionally, the pop-up helps prevents exhaustion and meltdowns after a weekend trip is over and the kids go back to school. Poulton said actually getting outside is more important than how they do it. Now the Brooks get out as much as possible, exposing the kids to the world around them.  Jonathan Vallejo, 7, could not have been more than three months old when his parents started taking him outside. What started off as family picnics and short day hikes evolved into overnight camping trips almost every weekend. The weekend kicks off with a river cleanup on the French Broad followed by a weekend of whitewater rafting, music, mountain biking, and more. A portion of the proceeds benefit American Whitewater and other local charities.  “Doing that trip, the camping made it so much more affordable,” Brooks said. “Instead of paying hundreds of dollars a night to stay at a hotel or resort, I’m paying $25 a night and driving into a National Park area.” For Brooks, that is what camping is all about, exploring a new place and sitting around a fire together. It is the little moments like watching his sons skip rocks on the lake that keeps him packing up that car over and over again.  “They’re just hanging out together, just being brothers,” Brooks said. “It’s a reminder to stop and enjoy the moment of being a family and being together.” The Brooks started packing all of their gear up in the family car and exploring various campsites around the Southeast on the weekends and school breaks.  THE POULTON FAMILY—TIM, OLIVER, SAMUEL, AND GINGER—VENTURE ACROSS THE REGION AND BEYOND. The Smiths, who have had the same campsite every year, turned the festival into a week-long camping trip with their kids and other families. They all look forward to the event every year in what has become a family tradition. “It seemed like every weekend we were going out,” Vallejo said. “We decided that we didn’t spend enough time at our house anymore and we were always traveling. We would get off work Friday afternoon and would not get back Sunday until we had to.” “My oldest would start taking my gear out and help me organize it,” he said. “You could tell he was watching me.” Julie and Kevin Smith were avid travelers as young adults, carrying all that they needed on their backs. But their three kids, Lily, 15, Loretta, 7, and Opal, 4, changed all of that. “The RV is fully stocked,” Smith said. “We actually get out more now that we have it because I don’t have to pack the air mattresses, sheets, toothpaste and toothbrushes, the pack and play, the pillows, and the towels.” Top Tip: “The cook system is really the most fun and important thing. If you have gear and it doesn’t work well, it just kills the experience.” Brooks prefers his Camp Chef Everest 2-burner camp stove. He reviews gear and beer on his Instagram, @outdoorgearandbeer. “When you car camp, you’re allowed to bring coolers and tablecloths, all of those type of things,” she said. “There’s no more long hikes but there’s a lot of s’mores and playing in the dirt and river.” “That was pretty nonthreatening for them,” Poulton said. “Their bathroom was available, and if we needed to bail on the experience, we were already at home.” As a self-described “gear head to the core,” this was his way of making sure all of the equipment, from his sleeping bag to cook system, was working and accounted for. Brooks noticed his three-year-old son, Preston, taking an interest in what he was doing. “Honestly, they’re easier when they are yonger,” Poulton said. “When your kid’s a little baby, they’re not doing anything. They’re just there. They’re eating, pooping, and sleeping.” Preparation is key for these trips. Once they reach the campsite, everyone has a job to keep the kids engaged. Like most parents, Tim and Ginger Poulton discovered early on that camping with kids looked a lot different than what they were used to.  Outdoor parents share their tips and tricks for adventures with kids. Brooks said they reserve their campsites as soon as possible to ensure they get the best spot, especially if they can be next to a river or creek. While some families can make car camping work for a larger family, it made sense for the Smiths to invest in the RV with the number of weekends they spend camping. “After every trip, we are already looking for the next place to go,” he said. “It’s the summer and I’m already looking for the fall and spring break, several months forward. I’m already trying to find the next place so I can make a good reservation and find the campsite that I want.” Before each backpacking trip, Nick Brooks would take out all of his gear for the weekend and lay it out in the hallway.  THE BROOKS FAMILY- AMANDA, PRESTON, ASHER, AND NICK- BESIDE BRYCE CANYON Although their car is often close by, allowing for easy access to all their supplies, the family recently spent five days thru-hiking the Foothills Trail in South Carolina.  Favorite fireside food: Bacon, eggs, grits, hash browns, and pancakes for breakfast. “We go all in.”  They started taking their kids out before they were walking and talking. “I think the pinnacle on any camping trip is when you’re hunkered down by the fire at night and laughing,” Smith said. “My husband plays the guitar so there’s lots of music and singing. The kids love it. They get to stay up late. We’re all just sitting there together, no electronics. The stars are out and you’re like this is it. This is the entire reason why we’re here.” Those little things, like seeing the stars on a recent trip to Jackrabbit Mountain, really bring the family together.center_img Full Time Campers GO-TO CAMPSITE: Hot Springs Campground in North Carolina. Situated beside the French Broad River and a short drive from the Appalachian trail, Hot Springs is a great basecamp for adventure. Hike, whitewater raft, or zip-line only 40 minutes from Asheville.  FAVORITE FIRESIDE DISH: “We almost always do chili. That’s a winner all the way around.” Learning Along the Way The family regularly packs activities that help create togetherness such as board games, cornhole, and bocce ball. In recent years, they have started inviting friends to travel with them, building their relationship with other families through the outdoors.  For his fourth birthday, Brooks and his wife, Amanda, asked Preston what he wanted to do for his big day. For Jonathan, the best part was always getting to the campsite at the end of a long hike and setting up his hammock. Unless the site was close to water in which case you could find him swimming. “Tent camping is definitely more enjoyable,” she said. “The RV is our house, so we have Netflix and a refrigerator. It’s nicer to be outside.”  “Our son is earning his Junior Ranger badge at these parks,” Vallejo said. “Even my husband and I didn’t know many of the things he has learned at such a young age.” “There’s a little bit of conditioning,” Poulton said. “It’s kind of like getting your kids to eat healthy food. If that’s the expectation you set, and you continue to do that, then that’s just sort of the norm for them. What we like is we’re giving them many opportunities to get outdoors and appreciate the outdoors and love different elements of the outdoors.” As the Smiths juggled having children with still wanting to get outdoors, they cut down on the number of backpacking trips and started driving to campsites for a weekend.   “Our son said he liked it, but 77 miles is a lot to ask of a seven-year-old,” Vallejo said. “My son and I both had a little foot stepper. His steps were double my steps. To us, we think we have to get these six miles in before we can take a break. To him, this is a lot more. So, we just had to be patient and slow down.” “We ended up kind of being like a family of foxes curled up in the tent,” Ginger Poulton said. “Then I was swayed to get a camper. Being more of a camping minimalist, it was hard for me to get into having a camper, and I occasionally have mixed feelings about it. But we’re going to be outside so much more that it kind of lessens the blow.” Go-to campsite: Somewhere in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, especially Big Bald, Huckleberry Knob, and Cheoah Bald. There are several campsites near each of these locations and the views from the peaks offer some of the best views in the area.  “We’re out there to enjoy being outdoors and to foster that love in our kids,” she said. “And also, just to create shared family experiences that everyone wants to keep having.”  After years of packing and unpacking the car for each trip, the Smiths upgraded to an RV and have not looked back.  After spending a few months in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, and South Dakota, the Vallejos are back on the East Coast and planning to drive the entire Blue Ridge Parkway, visiting family and friends along the way.  “He was like, I want to go backpacking like you,” Brooks said. “So, we went backpacking for his fourth birthday.” “The boys were up, certainly later than they would be at home, and you’re away from city lights and populations,” Tim Poulton said. “There were a gazillion stars and they were just amazed. They had seen stars, but that was their first time seeing some of the Milky Way and so many stars on such a clear night. I was thinking this would be a nice thing to help calm them down and they were so excited. So it wasn’t the best go-to-sleep strategy, but they definitely appreciated getting out there.” “We car camped a couple of times with all three kids and we were just like this is too much for us,” Smith said. “We went to Hot Springs once and had to take two cars. We were like, this is ridiculous. We’re not even riding together.”  Favorite fireside dish: Tofu, vegetables, rice, and beans. “That’s pretty much staple for us.” They make sure to pack mini rewards for Jonathan on the trail, including Gatorade, mint chocolate chip Clif Bars, and a movie for in the tent at the end of the day. This, along with small tasks like helping collect firewood, helps motivate him and keeps his spirits up.  “For adults who have camped throughout their lives, we kind of have this picture of what camping is,” he said. “It may be a little more purist or rustic. I think it’s important to focus on what’s going to make this a good experience for the kids. What’s going to make the kids think camping is fun and something they want to do?”  Even though they have the RV now, Vallejo said they try to make an effort to camp outside at least once a week. Favorite fireside dish: Add apple slices and cinnamon to a piece of tin foil and put over the fire. “It’s like apple pie for the kids,” Ginger Poulton said.  Top Tip: “Pack for a little warmer than you think it’s going to be and colder than you think it’s going to be,” Tim Poulton said. “If adults are a little improperly dressed, we’ll tough it out and can rationalize it. Kids aren’t as willing to do that. So, we try to make sure we have layers for them so we can dress them appropriately.” For the last 20 years, the Smiths have been going to the annual French Broad River Festival at the Hot Springs Campground the first weekend in May.  TOP TIP: “Do it, get out there. We live in probably the most beautiful place in the world and there are some amazing campgrounds. It’s one of those things where you’re like we’ll go another week, we’ll go another weekend. It’s transformational for the family to do it. It’s family time without any interruptions, which as much as we try, is almost impossible to do when you’re at home.”  THE VALLEJO FAMILY ENJOYS A SCENIC VISTA FROM THEIR CAMPSITE Top Tip: Always carry a first aid kit, fire starters, and extra socks. “We have these big Tupperware camping boxes,” Julie Smith said. “I kept those clean, packed, and stocked. I’d have one camping box of all the dishes, camp stove, and percolator. That box would get washed when we’d get home and put back so next time we went, we just grabbed it. Same things with the air mattresses.” “It requires a lot of patience,” Vallejo said. “They’re not going to enjoy every moment of it but knowing at the end it’s going to be worth it.” “During the school year, it’s go, go, go time,” Brooks said. “My boys both play soccer, they’re both in scouts. One is in band and then church activities. Just so much stuff going on. When you get away, you almost forget about all of that stuff because you’re in a new place, you’re away from everything. It’s really cool to unplug and be with your family.” “Do as much prepping you can do before you go,” Smith said. “Make your chili at home, cut your onions at home, wrap your potatoes in aluminum foil at home. Then you just have to throw them on the fire.” Go-to campsite: Tugaloo State Park or Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia. On the border of Georgia and South Carolina, Tugaloo provides access to more than 100 campsites, volleyball and tennis courts, and boat rentals. Swim, kayak, or fish on the 55,600-acre Lake Hartwell. At Tallulah Gorge, visitors will find miles of hiking trails as well as places for biking, paddling, and rock climbing.  To keep the kids entertained, no matter the weather, the Poultons have their special camping books that they only get to read on one of their trips. Their favorite is A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen. The family also enjoys card games, and they started keeping a camping journal where everyone takes a turn writing something when they go out.  “We each get to take turns making the fire, we rotate washing dishes, and they take turns picking the actual camp spot,” Smith said. Once the boys started getting older and could understand what was going on, the family would set up the tent and camp in their backyard. Whether they were out with their scout troop or camping with family, Mary Leigh and Japhet Vallejo could often be found outside growing up. Car camping has allowed them to travel all over, including a trip out West to Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks last summer. Having the supplies ready to go made it easier to get out the door without scrambling to make sure everything was packed. This also comes in handy when making dinner for a hungry family. This helped prepare the kids for longer trips away from home.  “When I was younger, I used to say, you would never catch me car camping,” Brooks said. “I was like, I’m a backpacker. This is what I do. What changed that was still wanting to get into the outdoors. When I had a second child, that kind of limited my time to get out at the drop of a hat. As they got older, I wanted to expose them to it the way my father did when I was a child.”last_img read more


first_imgBlue Ridge Outdoors Magazine is proud to present the 24th Annual Blue Ridge Burn on Saturday, October 5, 2019! It’s that time of year again, time to celebrate the changing of the seasons by hitting the trails for the 24th annual Blue Ridge Burn 5K/10K. The race this year is heading back to where it all began- Walnut Creek Park  in North Garden, VA. The run will start atthe main parking lot near the Beach House and runners will get on the OrangeTrail for almost a mile of rolling hills before crossing the disc golf courseand hitting the Blue Trail Loop for some good old fashion up hill. Eventually theywill head back to the parking lot. 10K runners will then complete the route asecond time. Huge thanks to  VNB, Ragged Mountain, Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Central VA, Bryce Resort, New Dominion Bookshop,  Grit Coffee, Citizen Burger Bar, King Technical Apparel, Trader Joe’s, Bodo’s, Rebecca’s Natural Foods, and Great Outdoor Provisions for making this year’s event possible! The Burn will be a 9:30 Saturday, October 5 and all proceeds will benefit the Southern Environmental Law Center. Registration is $22 ahead of time or $25 day of and includes a race T-shirt, race bag, post race snacks and prizes for the top runners. Plus, you get to spend the morning with the Blue Ridge Outdoors family. last_img read more

Brazil Takes Down Major Drug-Smuggling Ring

first_img The PCC paid for the drugs with cash or stolen vehicles that were legally re-registered in Paraguay. The owner of the establishment, who had served time in prison for his responsibility concerning a shipment of 800 kilos of cocaine, was one of the 17 people arrested. By Dialogo December 10, 2009 Brazilian police broke up a drug-smuggling band accused of supplying drugs to a ruthless criminal organization that operates in Sao Paulo, authorities said. Police said that the ring used a pharmacy in Ponta Pora as a front to negotiate the transactions and hide its financial activities. The PCC, whose top leaders continue to pull the strings from behind bars, was the criminal group that paralyzed Brazil’s largest city in 2006 with a series of attacks that left dozens dead. The ring conducted its activities from Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay, and the neighboring Brazilian city of Ponta Pora, according to a Federal Police communique.center_img The drugs, mainly cocaine, were introduced into the country from Paraguay and “received in Sao Paulo by members of the First Capital Command (PCC), which processed and distributed them to buyers in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,” the statement said. An ongoing operation by the Federal Police has resulted so far in the arrests of 17 Brazilians and Paraguayans in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo. The investigation of the organization began seven months ago and 14 other people had been arrested since that time with drug shipments or quantities of chemical substances used to process cocaine. Among the others captured is a man accused of having killed a policeman in Sao Paulo state in 2003. In one of the raids, police seized a still-undetermined quantity of crack cocaine.last_img read more