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Trail Mix – The Honeycutters

first_imgSince 2007, The Honeycutters have been doing their part to continue the tradition and honesty of vintage country music. Never mind the swill you’ll hear all over modern country radio. Instead, for true country, point your ears towards this quintet based in the mountains of western North Carolina.Though a band in the truest sense of the word, The Honeycutters are undoubtedly led by singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, whose talents can be wisely compared to the likes of Iris Dement and Emmylou Harris. A songwriter with an ear for charming melodies and a pen rich with subtle wit, Platt writes songs for The Honeycutters that rummage deeply into the country music saddle bag.The band recently released On The Ropes, their fourth long player and the follow up to last year’s critically acclaimed Me Oh My, which established the band as a burgeoning new voice in the world of Americana music.I recently chatted with singer Amanda Anne Platt about the new record, boxing, and Asheville’s best local honey.BRO – You recently celebrated the release of your new record with your hometown fans in Asheville. That had to feel good.AP – Yes, it did! We love playing at home, and it means a lot to see so many familiar faces in the audience.BRO – The band rolls into Bristol on Friday. That has to be a bit like going back to the wellspring. Any bands from the Bristol Sessions from which you draw particular inspiration?AP – It would be hard to pinpoint. I definitely fell in love with the Carter Family in my late teens and went through a phase of reading a lot of nonfiction about early country music. I think more than anything, the idea of people who had been making music on their front porches their whole lives getting recording contracts and becoming big stars without a bunch of grooming is what inspires me. The music that gave rise to the Americana genre started just like that. It was very true music. So it’s nice to have a slice of history so close to home.BRO – We are featuring the title track to the new record on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?AP – “On The Ropes” doesn’t have a very interesting story behind it, I’m sorry to say. It’s a pick me up song, with a chorus that I started singing to myself when I was feeling discouraged. It kind of grew from there.BRO – I love the boxing imagery on the record packaging. Ever tempted to spend some time in the ring?AP – Yes, actually! I was thinking pretty seriously about signing up for lessons at the gym where we did the shoot. But I’m a wuss. I probably won’t follow through on that.BRO – Where’s the best place to grab some local honey the next time I am in Asheville?AP – There used to be a great little honey stand in Haw Creek called Haw Creek Honey. They just had this box where you put your money and then you took your honey. I think that people abused the system, though. I don’t believe that’s still there. But there’s always honey at the farmer’s market!Amanda Anne Platt and the rest of The Honeycutters will take to the stage at The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia, this Friday. Trail Mix wants to give you an opportunity to win tickets to that show. Take a shot at the trivia question down below and email your answer to dave@blueridgeoutdoors.com. A winner from all of the correct answers received by 5 PM on Thursday, June 9th, will win two tickets to the show!Be sure to check out The Honeycutters’ website for information on tour dates and how to get your copy of On The Ropes. Also, take a listen to “On The Ropes” on this month’s Trail Mix.Question . . . . It’s noted above that The Carter Family contributed mightily to the 1927 Bristol Sessions. Which band below, however, was NOT recorded by Ralph Peer during those sessions?A – The Bull Mountain MoonshinersB – The Blue Ridge Corn ShuckersC – The Possum Holler RamblersD – Dad Blackard’s MountaineersRemember . . . Email your answers in! Don’t post in the comments section below!  Good luck!!!last_img read more

No Snow? No Problem: 12 Snowless Winter Adventures

first_imgHere are 12 snowless adventures that will keep your winter wanderlust satisfied till it’s snowing or springtime.Lukewarm50°F – 60°FSend sandstone. Now that the swarms of fall break tourists have retreated back to their respective climbing gyms, the crags are blissfully quiet. For the truly dedicated climber, winter is one of the best seasons for climbing in the Southeast. Active bodies stay cooler, feet sweat less, and rubber soles grip better. Walls that are normally too exposed and too hot to climb in the summer become the perfect spots to post up for an afternoon of winter cragging.Where to go: Chattanooga, Tenn., has it all: classic cracks, plentiful boulderfields, climber-friendly hostels like the The Crash Pad, and a youthful downtown scene to boot. Tennessee Wall (trad), Sunset Park (trad), Foster Falls (sport), and Stone Fort (boulder) have the highest concentration of quality routes close to town. For a truly unique bouldering experience, take your chances with the weather and head north to Summersville Lake, a popular sport climbing destination outside of Fayetteville, W.Va. In the wintertime, the lake level drops and exposes huge swaths of shoreline littered with boulders.Grind gravel. Swap out the fat tires this winter and get on board with one of the fastest growing sectors of the bike industry, gravel riding. Over the past five years, gravel grinding has matured from a quiet niche to a respected cycling discipline unto its own. Why? Because churning out long days in the saddle over mixed terrain taps into the very core of what it means to be human—adventure, adversity, accomplishment. It’s hard not to feel satisfied after covering some major ground through sheer will and pedal power.Where to go: Whip out a map and connect as many Forest Service roads as you can for a DIY adventure. For those just starting out, Ride With GPS has a number of routes that trace some of the area’s best gravel grinding races like the Stokesville Strade (Virginia) and the Bootlegger 100 (North Carolina), both of which take place in the spring.Lap rivers. While paddlers out west have long hung up their dry suits for ski pants, boaters here are just starting to ramp things up. Though most people associate springtime with rain, the winter months of December and January can bring just as much rainfall. In Brevard, N.C., for example, home of the rowdy Horsepasture River (class V), December (6.38 inches) is the third wettest month after March (6.5 inches) and January (6.42 inches).Where to go: Even though the recreational release season is over, dam-controlled rivers like the Russell Fork in Kentucky can still be expected to flow. Other regional rivers that regularly run in the wintertime include the Watauga River near Boone, N.C., the Top Yough outside of Friendsville, Md., and Wilson Creek near Morganton, N.C. These sections of river are all less than five miles in length, so lap them till the sun goes down for a full day of whitewater.Catch the giants. For years, seasoned “catmen” have trolled river channels and lakes during the winter months in search of mammoth catfish. Until recently, these dutiful few had the water all to themselves, but it’s now widely regarded in the angling community that late fall and winter can provide some prime conditions for landing blue, channel, and white cats. Follow schools of shad and look for deep holes in the main river channel during the day or shallow flats at night.Where to go: Virginia’s James River is home to some really big blue cats ranging anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds in size. But for the really really big cats, journey south to Tennessee’s Lake Barkley, where the state-record blue catfish (caught in 1998) weighed in at 112 pounds, just 4 pounds shy of the current world record. Kentucky Lake, which is just west of Lake Barkley, is also a premier catfishing destination.A PADDLER NAVIGATES THE BOULDER-STREWN WATERS OF THE RUSSELL FORK GORGE IN KENTUCKY.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Cool40°F – 50°FDo a cold dip. Admittedly, taking a plunge in freezing cold water in the dead of winter sounds counterintuitive (if not downright ludicrous). And despite the numerous health benefits claimed by ardent dippers—a boost to the immune system, improvements to cardiovascular circulation, and an increased metabolism, just to name a few—cold dips shouldn’t be considered a magical cure-all, especially for those with a family history of heart conditions. That’s not to say that cold dips are unsafe. People have been “winter bathing” since the famed publisher Bernarr MacFadden founded Coney Island Polar Bear Club in 1903. If nothing else, cold-water submersion is certainly refreshing and invigorating. When done with a crowd of half-naked or costumed strangers, the experience can be entirely too much fun and strangely unifying. Just be sure to check with your doctor before taking the plunge, and no cannonballs.Where to go: Next month, thousands of people will start the New Year off with a polar plunge. Lake Lure and Atlantic Beach, N.C., organize their cold dips on the first of the year, while other events like WinterFest at Chetola Resort will host a polar plunge later in January. If you need a good reason to freeze, Special Olympics Virginia also puts on its Polar Plunge Festival series starting December 2, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va., and continuing throughout 2018 in Radford, Richmond, Dumfries, and Virginia Beach.Plan a backpacking trip. Hardcore winter camping—the kind where you’re post-holing for miles in knee-deep snow, wiping your butt with snowballs, and putting on frozen boots in the morning—is not for everyone (or really anyone). It’s what we call “type II fun” : miserable in the moment yet somehow quixotic when the suffering is (way far) behind you. Have some “type I fun” instead this winter by taking a backpacking trip in tolerably cool weather. You’ll be moving enough to stay warm during the day and it’s cold enough to justify building a campfire and sipping on whiskey at night.FREE WEEKEND? CHECK. CAMPING GEAR? CHECK. PUPPY SNUGGLES? CHECK.Where to go: If magical evergreen forests are what you’re after, head to the Cranberry Wilderness near Richwood, W.Va. Because it’s a wilderness area, you won’t find much in the way of trail signage and the trails themselves will likely be overgrown or barricaded in spider webs. Bring hard maps and extra socks. If big mountain views are more to your liking, head south to Panthertown Valley in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest. The 6,300-acre recreation area is pockmarked with massive granite walls and equally stunning waterfalls, some of which form the headwaters of the Tuckasegee River.Head to the coast.Maybe it feels like a copout to head to the coast when the weather turns sour, but hey, if birds can do it, so can we. With the beachgoing madness long in the rearview mirror, oceanfront lodging can actually be affordable and the atmosphere quite pleasant. Though much of the beachfront in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic is covered up in boardwalks and development, there are many miles of protected coastline to remind us of how special and important our beaches are. Where to go: We like South Carolina for its diverse landscape: estuaries, sand dunes, freshwater wetlands, bottomland hardwood swamps, longleaf pine forests. Explore Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge by boat and watch for sightings of alligators bathing and wintering black skimmers feasting. Boneyard Beach on Bulls Island is best seen at sunrise, where sun bleached remnants of oak trees rise impossibly from the sand like a forest of skeletons.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Cold32°F – 40°FHit the trail.As the mercury drops on the thermometer and daylight fades faster, a quick midday trail run can be a godsend, even if you don’t necessarily like running. Make time, at least a half hour, to get outside and burn some steam. Even if it’s cold and raining, it won’t take long to get the blood pumping.Where to go: Anywhere! Hopefully you live in an active community like Asheville, N.C., or Roanoke, Va., where greenways and trail systems (like Bent Creek Experimental Forest outside of Asheville or Mill Mountain Park in Roanoke) are just minutes from downtown. If you can’t get motivated on your own, find a friend. Both of these cities have well established running scenes that regularly host group runs nearly every night of the week. Fleet Feet Sports has locations in both Asheville and Roanoke, and their weekly pub runs are a fun way to keep moving.Give back.If you’re anything like us, we know you’ve put some wear and tear on your local trails and rivers in the past year. Why not spend your next Saturday giving back to those places you love so dearly? As national parks, state parks, and the Forest Service continue to struggle with funding, volunteer trail maintenance is needed now more than ever. Step up, give back, and appreciate the hard work that goes into creating and maintaining spaces to go outside and play.Where to go: Start by contacting your local trail or paddling club. In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, for example, the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition regularly organizes trail maintenance days in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Down in Knoxville, Tenn., the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club logs countless hours of volunteer labor on the city’s urban trail system.Search for surf. You don’t have to road trip to the beach to get pitted. Over the past few years, river surfing—that is, surfing on river features with a surfboard or standup paddleboard—has spiked in popularity out west. The good news is that the Southeast has tons of river surfing potential. The bad news is that you usually have to wait till it’s freezing cold and/or raining for the levels to come in. Bring a 3/2mm wetsuit. You’ll need it.THE RIVER TOWN OF FAYETTEVILLE, W.VA., IS LEADING THE CHARGE IN THE SOUTHEAST RIVER SURFING SCENE.Where to go: Fayetteville, W.Va., has always been a hub for whitewater enthusiasts, mostly raft guides and kayakers. But now, standup paddleboarders rival playboaters in numbers when the surf is in. Those who are new to the sport should take a day and hike into the Lower Gauley River for some eddy service surf action at Diagonal Ledges. For the more experienced surfer, head to the New River Dries for high-volume, big (I’m talking terrifyingly big) waves.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Freezing<32°FGo forest bathing.This used to be called going for a hike, but apparently even those of us who consider ourselves “outdoorsy” were too tuned in to Instagram and too tuned out of nature to fully absorb our surroundings. Enter forest bathing, which does not involve any bathing or water whatsoever. Forest bathing is less of a hike and more of a mindful, meditative wandering. The goal is not to walk far or to even have a destination in mind. By simply being present and paying attention to all of nature’s sounds, smells, sights, and textures, studies show that forest bathers can significantly reduce blood pressure and stress hormones.FOREST BATHING HAS THE POWER TO HEAL OUR SOULS AND ALSO REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE.Where to go: The beauty of forest bathing is that it literally can be done anywhere there’s a cluster of trees. You don’t need a trail. You don’t need a map. You don’t need to plan a weekend getaway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, either. Find a moderately forested city park close to where you live or work and just be. Be and breathe.Try ice-skating.This is such an easy and affordable way to get the family out, even when it’s bitterly cold. Most skating rinks charge $15 or less for admission and skate rental, with “family of four” packages offering even more of a discount. If you’re an adult and you’ve never tried ice-skating before, this is the year to do it, if not for yourself than for the spirit of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. You might not be landing seven triple jumps like Michelle Kwan, but at least you’ll have an appreciation for the sport’s graceful athletes.Where to go: Outdoor skating rinks are relatively common up and down the eastern seaboard, so you shouldn’t have to travel far to find one. Wisp Resort’s ice rink at Mountain Park is plenty big at 50’ x 85’ with a bonfire area to keep the kids cozy. Even urban dwellers in most major cities can hit the ice. Holiday on Ice is located smack downtown (or should we say uptown?) in Charlotte, N.C.BONUS ADVENTURE?!?Take a drinking tour.When in doubt, rent a bus (or bribe one of your friends to DD) and drink your winter blues away. With new breweries, cideries, distilleries, and wineries seemingly popping up overnight, you have plenty of destinations to choose from.Where to go: Central Virginia and Western North Carolina are hands down leading the charge when it comes to quantity and quality of craft beverage facilities. Check out Cville Hop On Tours, which shuttles visitors up and down Nelson 151 and the Brew Ridge Trail, home to six Virginian breweries, five wineries, a cidery, and now a distillery. Similarly, Asheville Brewery Tours escorts out-of-towners by passenger van on either a three- or four-stop tour of the city’s many breweries and cideries.last_img read more

Rabac / Poreč Open Air as a great example of how destinations should be developed

first_imgThe third summer of the festival with Rabac Open Air was full of great concerts, circus performances, interactive performances, top jazz, movies under the starry sky and many other events that flooded the streets of Rabac and Labin. During the 78 days of the festival, more than 18 performers changed at 19 different locations and through 200 different programs, and as many as 158 hours of music were played for over 30 visitors to the Rabac Open Air, which was held in Rabac for the third time this summer. Rabac / Poreč Open is an excellent example of quality content and an imperative for sustainable and quality development of the destination. Today in the modern age there is really no excuse to stagnate, everything is known and everything is available. Investing in events is not a cost but an investment If we want to have a good attendance and a good story, we must invest, ie invest money in quality content. Without content there is no story, no visitors and ultimately no interest. The goal is to offer quality products and services that visitors are willing to pay and consume, and of course the story of the event as the main motive for coming. The most important thing is to complete the whole story, both to the visitors and to the partners who are inside the festival through catering and other facilities. The event must be a win-win-win for everyone, because if only one element is missing, everything falls into the water. Based on an excellent and successful concept, Poreč Open Air (this year Poreč Open Air was visited by more than 63.000 visitors through 68 days of the festival, and at a total of 29 locations, a total of 231 performers realized 137 events), Valamar launched Rabac Open Air, exclusively because he had to offer his guests experiences and a quality program, not just the sun and the sea and great accommodation. These are guests who want and ask for more. They are looking for authentic, diverse and quality content in destinations. Valamar cannot wait for the destination to wake up, as it simply has to deliver value for the money it offers. And so the idea came to take their own destiny into their own hands. But instead of the destination pulling and leading the game, in Croatia we have the absurdity of hotel houses pulling and developing destinations. Of course, everyone in the destination must be part of one story, but still the development of the destination must be taken care of by the City and the Tourist Board as a kind of DMC company, and others follow them synergistically. Are we involved in development or is it just happening to us? Are we growing by inertia or are we still posting some strategic plan behind the whole story? Who deals with these processes? Do we measure the quality and reactions of tourists? We want growth, ok, and can that infrastructure grow and endure? What profile of tourists do we want at all and where do we see ourselves in 5,10 years? Do we even have enough parking spaces for all tourists? Etc.… a lot of questions, and that is why tourism is extremely complex because it is not one industry, but tourism connects vertically and horizontally all other industries that must function synergistically as a “Swiss watch”. And that is why the strategic and sustainable development of alpha and omega is in the development of tourism. “We are proud of the fact that more than 30.000 guests visited the festival and enjoyed 95 different entertainment events, which is almost twice as much content as the first festival edition in 2017. It is extremely important to offer visitors an additional experience of entertainment in the destination, so we at Valamar are happy to be able to realize a successful concept of a summer festival like this for the third year in a row. High attendance and interest of foreign guests and locals is the best confirmation of our work, and this time we want to announce that we have already begun preparations for the new edition of Rabac Open Air 2020. “, Pointed out Vlatka Ilečić Arklinić, Head of the Destination Management Department at Valamar Riviera. It is a skeleton and a great example that must be followed by all other destinations, because the motive for coming is not accommodation, but precisely the destination. And the concept of the sun and the sea has long since ceased to be sufficient or sustainable. This story opens up a lot of themes, but it also opens up a theme and values ​​for money. We are constantly revolving around narratives of how expensive we are. It is not a question of prices, but of value for money. Do we give that value for money at the destination? People will pay something “more expensive” if they have a positive sense of value for money and if we deliver a unique experience to them. In tourism, the service is the alpha and omega, and if we want to go one step further, we must not only meet the expectations of tourists, but delight them above the level of expectations. The level of quality and service in the accommodation, at least when it comes to hotel accommodation is taken for granted, according to the categorization. That is the standard, which of course we have to keep up. It is the destination and quality content that plays a key role here and makes a difference. The key word of the tourist mosaic is strategic development. He is behind the whole story Valamar Riviera, as well as local project partners, the City of Labin, the Tourist Board of Labin-Rabac, the Tourist Board of the Istrian County and other partners, and the production and organization of the whole story is done by MPG, a longtime partner of Valamar. It is a skeleton and a great example that must be followed by all other destinations, because the motive for coming is not accommodation, but precisely the destination. And the concept of the sun and the sea has long since ceased to be sufficient or sustainable. center_img Rabac Open Air (ROA) is an excellent quality and diverse content in the destination, exactly what we chronically lack in most of our destinations. Thus, various concerts, circus performances, animations, workshops, interactive performances, films under the starry sky and numerous other events that flooded the streets of Rabac and Labin were held as part of the ROA. It is important to emphasize that one did not go to one or a couple of strong and big concerts and that is it, but just the opposite. Hundreds of small quality programs have been realized, targeting various target groups or content done for each group of tourists. A smart decision because that is how the program was maintained in the period from June 15 to August 29, not a couple of days. To conclude, Rabac / Poreč Open Air is an excellent example and proof that quality content is imperative for destination development, and an excellent domestic example of how this is done in practice. How to develop a destination, here’s how! Synergy is needed, literally everyone in the destination, from small to large, because it is this tourist mosaic and all the subjects and participants make up the destination. The Rabac Open Air program again this year offered extremely rich content through four categories. Thus, visitors from the Special Events, Cinema and Theater, Street Music and Street Performance programs enjoyed entertainment in several locations from mid-June to the end of August. This is great proof that investing in events is not a cost but an investment. Excellent quality content was generated in the tourist destination, tourist consumption and the whole tourist story was completed. If we want to increase tourist consumption, have better quality guests, then it can certainly no longer offer only the sun and the sea. Quality, diverse and authentic content is imperative. In addition to the fact that through various facilities guests have something to do in the destination, in addition to swimming, we directly raise the overall satisfaction of tourists with the destination, as well as increase tourist spending, and thus the profile of guests. Not only in the financial context, but with targeted content, we target a specific target group that is attracted to the destination by active vacation, culture, entertainment, etc.… Of course, first and foremost we need to know which tourism product we build and for whom, our vision of development. strategic development of the destination, both through the offer, service, arrangement and contents. Photo: Valamar / Rabac Open Air Quality, diverse and authentic content is imperative The key word is strategic development A hotel or a hotel brand, no matter how strong, whether in financial, human resources or any other form, cannot develop a destination on its own. It simply does not make decisions outside its domain, and the destination is not a hotel, but the term destination refers to an entire space and all participants in it. The level of service can be phenomenal at the hotel, but if the destination is bad, everyone loses. As well as vice versa. “Attendance, which is growing from year to year, is proof that visitors really enjoy the attractive program and content of the festival. We have been working on the offer of the festival for a very long time and we are carefully designing what Rabac Open Air will offer to its guests. And in order for both the little ones and the big ones to be able to enjoy themselves equally, we have provided various events, such as concerts, theater performances, movie hits, socializing with favorite cartoon characters and much more. Rabac is one of the great examples of how a destination can develop through quality and fun content”, Said Ivana Biškupić, Project Manager of Rabac Open Air Festival from MPG. last_img read more

Coaches Association Withdraws Rangers GM Chukwu As NFF Technical Committee Representative

first_imgRelated The Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA) has recommended that the general manager of league champions Enugu Rangers, Christian Chukwu, is withdrawn as their representative on the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).This was contained in a statement released after the emergency meeting of the body’s executive committee in Abuja earlier this week.The statement further pointed out that Christian Chukwu breached article 4:6 of the association’s statute after he failed to protect coach Imama Amapakabo from the injustice and unfair treatment meted out to him at Rangers.Article 4:6 states that – “To advice guide and protect all football coaches of the ‘FEDERATION’ from injustice and unfair treatment arising from their employment and services arising from directly or indirectly from their performance of their duties as coaches within any organised football entity whatsoever.”As a result of this breach, the executive committee therefore recommended his withdrawal pending his appearance before the body’s investigation and disciplinary committee.last_img read more

Black Stars captain Andre Ayew congratulates new GFA President Kurt Okraku

first_imgBlack Stars captain, Andre Ayew, has congratulated the newly-elected President of the Ghana Football Association.In a brief tweet, Andre Ayew said: “Congratulations to our new GFA president Mr Kurt Okraku”Dreams FC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kurt Okraku, has been elected the new President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).Mr Okraku fills the spot vacated by former GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi who resigned in 2018 following damning revelations against him in an exposé by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.Okraku led the way after the first round of voting and was a vote away from becoming the new President of the Association after the second round.He polled 59 votes representing 50% of votes cast with candidates needing at least 60 votes to win.George Afriyie, who polled 40 votes in the first round improved to 43 votes but was still well behind Kurt Okraku.Nana Yaw Amponsah saw his tally slashed from 27 in the first round to 16  in the second.However, as delegates were voting in the third round, George Afriyie conceded, saying he was “a unifier and a team player who works for football.”In the third round, Okraku was endorsed by 93 delegates.Kurt Okraku thus becomes the 7th GFA President since 1992 and the 24th in the Association’s history.Amanda Clinton and George Ankomah both dropped out in the first round with 0 votes.Fred Pappoe also opted to pull out after polling six votes.Kurt Okraku has also received congratulatory messages from the president, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, Parliament’s Minority and football’s world governing body, FIFA.He will now serve a maximum of two four-year terms in office following the adoption of the new statutes GFA at September’s Extraordinary CongressThe statutes were approved with an almost unanimous endorsement from the delegates. What are Kurt’s plans?In his manifesto, dubbed “Game Changer”, Kurt Okraku stated that he intended to work toward changing the fortunes of Ghana football and giving it a new lease of life.The manifesto was premised on four key areas or principles:Transparency, Accountability and Annual Audit;Gender and Equity;Good Corporate Governance;Professionalism, Innovation and Investmentlast_img read more