Appalachian Trail Dispatch: Spring!

first_img Editor’s Note: Blue Ridge Outdoors contributor Chris Gallaway is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. He will be periodically checking in with BRO and sharing the story of his hike. This is his fifth dispatch from the A.T. Read his other dispatches from the trail: A Cold Start, Trail Magic, Difficult Winter, and Monuments.As is surely evident from previous posts, we’ve had our share of winter weather on the A.T. this year. Even after I took a two-week layover in my hometown of Asheville this March, I returned to my hike and was greeted immediately by a heavy snowstorm. One long morning climbing up to Sam’s Gap I cussed my way through a bitter wind whipping icy snow in my face and cutting through my layers. It’s times like that when you feel an illogical anger towards the Trail and the weather: you want someone to blame for how hard it feels.Fortunately, I’ve had several friends here in the Southeast who joined me on my hike and keep me company through the harder sections. My bud Josh came out to hike an 18-mile day with me that turned into a 24-mile day when we arrived at the shelter and found it full (and us without tents!). I hobbled into the Holiday Inn Express that night barely able to walk. My friend Brandon came out for what was supposed to be a mild, two-day hike into the Roan Highlands. We found the trail on Roan High Knob had become a treacherous ice chute where you could barely keep your footing. We slid our way up and down the mountain, and we spent a cold night packed into the highest shelter on the AT with numerous other thru-hikers, thankful for its four walls and door. And of course, Sunshine has been a constant companion and support, meeting me on the trail whenever she has a few days off work.Sometimes it seems like my most relentless companion has been Old Man Winter. My trail name “Frost” became a running joke with other thru-hikers—perhaps I invited this fate on us! One day it all changed at once, though, as I hiked with my trail friends Ember, Passover and Lucky. We awoke at a hostel to snow on the ground and ice sheathing the trees, and we walked through a chilly, wet morning that gradually warmed. When the air temperature hit the right point, the ice began calving off the trees and piling up on the ground, reminding me of the Robert Frost line “Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away, you’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.” By the afternoon we were walking under blue skies and stripping down to t-shirts. We’ve had warm weather for the most part ever since then, and I found myself a bit caught out with the wrong gear, all of a sudden regretting my insulated boots and zero-degree down sleeping bag.But I have been oh-so-thankful for the spring weather and the fine breeze that often spells the warm days. As Sunshine once described to me, we find ourselves dropping in and out of Spring as we hike the Trail. Up on the ridge it’s still bare winter woods, but every time we come down to a low gap or into town we see more buds on the trees and flowers pushing out of the ground. It all feels like such a gift: even my farmer’s tan is a mark of pride. last_img read more

Syracuse wins physical 4-2 game over RIT

first_img Published on December 6, 2014 at 11:28 pm Contact Liam: [email protected] Syracuse’s Laurence Porlier fell on the ice in the third period with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Christa Vuglar on top of her. Both players were down and tangled up when the RIT defender raised her right arm and delivered a blow right to Porlier’s helmet.Referees soon separated the two players, but the damage was done.The punch was a culmination of the physical play throughout the game between two conference opponents as Syracuse (5-8-7, 4-2-3 College Hockey America) beat RIT (7-9-3, 1-5-1 CHA) 4-2 on Saturday night at Tennity Ice Pavilion. The Orange and the Tigers combined for 16 penalties, which amounted to 35 minutes in the box between the two teams.“It was pretty chippy out there. The refs were calling some things and letting other stuff go,” goalkeeper Jenn Gilligan said. “It’s not easy to take slash after slash and sit there without giving anything back.”Other than two empty-netters to seal the game toward the end, Syracuse’s goals both came on one of the many power plays. SU converted on two of its seven power play opportunities for goals, and forward Alysha Burriss scored three goals in the win.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter RIT scored the game’s first goal just 3:30 into the first period, senior forward Julie Knerr charged up the ice with the puck on a Syracuse power play looking to even the score in the first period. She found Burriss in the middle of the ice, who found the top of the net for the score.SU’s second goal came on a power play in the third period when Nicole Renault fired a shot from the right wing and Burriss again found the net. This time, she took Renault’s rebound and scooped it over RIT goalie Jetta Rackleff’s pads.“All we were trying to do as a unit was to get the puck to the net and get shots for each other,” Burriss said. “It just clicked.”Burriss wasn’t originally on the power play and had come on to replace an injured Jessica Sibley. Renault said that both of the power play goals were the result of moving the puck quickly around the ice and executing crisp passes.Syracuse forward Eleanor Haines added an empty net insurance goal in the game’s final minute that looked like it was going to seal the game before RIT scored its second goal of the night less than twenty seconds later.Burriss took advantage of another empty net and converted on her third goal of the night, the third goal of the game in its final minute.Despite its success on the power play, SU struggled at times to get shots off. Head coach Paul Flanagan said that the team should have gotten more opportunities, but had a hard time putting the puck on net.The team only had seven shots in 17 minutes of advantage.“We really struggled at times,” Flanagan said. “We didn’t even know what to do there at times. I think the girls were overthinking it.”Flanagan pointed to the absence of Sibley on the power play following an injury she sustained in the first period for the lack of opportunities at times. The coach said the team is trying to develop more depth and the substitution of Burriss into the power play unit exemplifies just that.“It’s a big two points for us as we finish the semester,” Flanagan said. “… But we’ve got a long way to go though.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Confederate flag flown over Bristol prior to NASCAR All-Star Race

first_img A Confederate battle flag hangs next to a Donald Trump reelection banner in a vendor’s tent outside Bristol Motor Speedway. was criticized for decades for not taking action to stop displays of the Confederate flag, which has been derided as a racist symbol. The organization finally made the move after Bubba Wallace, the Cup Series’ lone Black driver, called this year for it to be banned from tracks. The decision was also made amid nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.The Talladega race weekend was also when a noose was seen attached to Wallace’s garage stall. The FBI was called in to investigate a possible hate crime; investigators determined the rope had been there since at least last October and that it was not used to target Wallace. Before that determination was announced, however, NASCAR drivers and teams organized a prerace demonstration in support of Wallace. NASCAR banned the display of the Confederate battle flag at its events in June. Twice now, a group has responded by having a plane tow the flag over a track.The latest incident took place Wednesday prior to the All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. A small plane was seen above the track grounds towing a flag; attached to the flag was a banner displaying the letters “,” which refers to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The organization’s headquarters are in Columbia, Tenn. MORE: Facts of the Bubba Wallace noose caseSCV was also behind a flag being flown over Talladega Superspeedway in June shortly after NASCAR announced the ban. That time, the flag was accompanied by a call to “Defund NASCAR,” a tweak of calls to “Defund the police.” That weekend, the flag was displayed outside track grounds as well.In both instances, NASCAR allowed fans in the stands for the race. NASCAR has raced in mostly empty venues since returning from its COVID-19 suspension.On Wednesday, the flag was on display under a vendor’s tent outside the track.center_img (Getty Images)last_img read more