Study: Growth in Midwestern Clean Energy Employment FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Toledo Blade:The number of American workers holding clean energy jobs will soon pass 600,000, and Ohio and Michigan are home to a large portion of the workforce, according to a report released Thursday.The 2017 Clean Jobs Midwest report was compiled by Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a non-profit group of business owners and investors. Job figures and economies for Ohio, Michigan, and 10 other Midwestern states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) were examined.The Midwest added more than 30,000 clean energy jobs last year — a 5.41 percent increase from 2015 — to bring the region’s total to 599,775. Such jobs include those in energy generation roles and those involved in the production and maintenance of hybrid and electric vehicles.“These people are going to work every day with jobs in energy efficiency, solar, wind, geothermal, clean cars, manufacturing, and construction jobs,” said Environmental Entrepreneurs spokesman Gail Parson. “There are twice as many people with clean energy jobs in the Midwest than computer programmers in the entire country.”More: Ohio and Michigan leading the way in clean energy jobs
Archives: December 2020
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:More than a quarter of U.S. nuclear power plants don’t make enough money to cover their operating costs, raising the threat of more early retirements.Of the 66 nuclear power plants operating in the U.S., 24 are either scheduled to close or probably won’t make money through 2021, according Nicholas Steckler, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. These at-risk sites have total generating capacity of 32.5 gigawatts, more than a quarter of the entire fleet, Steckler wrote in a report Tuesday.It would cost about $1.3 billion a year to plug the revenue gaps for these struggling sites, Steckler and co-author Chris Gadomski said in the report. The study follows a similar analysis in March that showed that half of U.S. coal-fired power plant capacity is on shaky ground.It’s not all grim for nuclear operators, though. The average U.S. nuclear plant still is expected to make money before taxes, especially on the East Coast. And the industry has had success convincing policy makers in New York, Illinois and New Jersey to take steps toward bailing out struggling plants thanks to their emissions-free generation and concerns about job losses. And the U.S. Energy Department is currently weighing a March request from FirstEnergy Corp.’s competitive power unit for government aid to help keep money-losing nuclear and coal-fired power plants online.That said, the industry is increasingly challenged by sluggish power demand, cheap natural gas and the rise of renewable energy—especially in the Midwest where wind power is ascendant.More: One-Fourth Of U.S. Nuclear Plants Are At Risk Of Early Retirement Quarter Of Nuclear Plants Are Losing Money—Bloomberg
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Argentina’s northernmost province Jujuy announced on Saturday the completion of construction works and start of testing operations at the Cauchari I photovoltaic (PV) power plant, the last phase of the 312-MW Cauchari complex.Previous stages: Cauchari II and III, were completed in October this year. Together, the three phases represent an overall investment of about USD 390 million (EUR 352m), with financing coming in 85% from state-owned bank Export-Import Bank of China and the remainder by the local government of Jujuy via a green bond placement.The complex, touted as Latin America’s largest solar power plant, secured a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with CAMMESA at an average price of USD 60 per MWh during the country’s 1-GW Round 1.0 RenovAr tender held in 2016.The provincial energy company Jujuy State Energy and Mining Society (JEMSE) will manage the operation of the solar power complex while construction was executed by Shanghai Electric Power Construction (SEPC), a subsidiary of the construction group Powerchina. Talesun, also a Chinese company, supplied the 1.18 million solar panels and Huawei provided the inverters.The 312 MW complex is expected to generate close to USD 1 billion in revenue to Jujuy over its first 15 years of operation, Governor Gerardo Morales said at the inauguration on Saturday. A 200-MW expansion of the complex, Cauchari IV and V, was agreed last year and is currently at an advanced stage of development, negotiating a PPA. [Lucas Morais]More: Argentina’s 312-MW solar power complex Cauchari completes construction Argentina completes construction at 312MW solar farm, eyes 200MW expansion
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享TradeArabia:Siemens Smart Infrastructure and Infrastructure and hydrogen specialist WUN H2 have signed a contract to build a large CO2-free hydrogen production plant running solely on renewable energy in Germany.It will be built in Wunsiedel in the north of Bavaria with a power intake of six megawatts in the initial development phase. The electrolysis plant from Siemens Energy will have the capacity to produce over 900 tons of hydrogen per year in this first phase. When fully expanded, it will be able to supply up to 2,000 tons. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the end of this year and commissioning at the end of 2021.The plant will convert the renewable energy available in this region, e.g., from photovoltaics and wind power, into storable hydrogen (H2), making it available for applications in mobility and industry. This is especially useful when, on sunny and windy days, more energy from renewable sources is produced than needed.The electrolysis plant will be built in the Wunsiedel Energy Park next to the Siemens manufactured battery storage facility already in operation, complementing the forward-looking energy concept.“This project is another element of a practised, successful technology partnership between Siemens and SWW Wunsiedel GmbH. We want to achieve locally already today what Germany is targeting for 2050, namely a complete energy transition across all sectors,” stated Uwe Bartmann, CEO of Siemens Germany and CEO of Smart Infrastructure Regional Solutions & Services Germany.When hydrogen is produced from water electrolysis using only power from renewable energy sources, it is known as “green” hydrogen. A Silyzer 300 from Siemens Energy will be used in Wunsiedel. The plant will feature high efficiency at high power density as well as low-maintenance and reliable operation – without chemicals. The PEM (proton-exchange membrane) electrolysis process will be applied, in which electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.More: Siemens plans CO2-free hydrogen plant in Germany Siemens plans to have Bavarian green hydrogen project online by the end of 2021
In the summer of 2006, I was the occassional golf widow.This means my beloved would spend many a saturday away, spikes on his feet, glove on his hand, playing golf.By the summer of 2007, his interest in golf began to dwindle and I was a fishing widow many weekends. When you live in the Mountains and marry someone who loves fly fishing, this is a known risk. And frankly, I don’t mind. I would occassionaly tag along and sit by the bank of whatever creek or river with my book, crazy creek and journal, happily spending the time while hubbie fished.2008, 2009 and 2010 mostly involved cycling, running, and fishing. Not me. Hubbie would spend hours involved in these athletic pursuits and always return home refreshed and happy. His best self.This spring however, my husband met someone new. He has (for the time being) given up small creeks and back water streams filled with native brook trout, for the larger white and rushing waters of the East Coast’s favorite paddling rivers.Last weekend, he and some pals went to the NOC – which I now know stands for the Nantahala Outdoor Center, where white water enthusiasts can camp, eat, drink and spend their days being pounded by cold crisp water and the occassional rock.Here hubbie is looking strong, and happy in his canoe. Please make note of one important fact. This is a canoe for one. Not two. No wifey is allowed to share this blue boat.When he called to tell me he was safe, there was such happiness in the retelling of the first day. Beautiful views, the AT, great food, nice people, Olympic paddlers hanging out. He explained a spill or two but with such joy I almost didn’t understand. How can your boat filling with water, tipping and you spilling out onto rocks be fun?I (as previously confessed) do not like pain, or fear, or things that create either. So biting it on any rock formation, white water or not, does not sounds like fun to me.But for these guys, it is more than fun. It is life giving. Here he is again with paddling buddy #2 . They look focused.If you know them, or guys like them, then you know they are happy.Cold water.Boat.Happiness. And so, I am now resigned to be a white water widow as well as the other activities named above. And as long as hubs comes home in one piece, I am glad he has found a new sport and passion to add to the others.And also glad that his canoe is for one. I can’t imagin
The hills are alive with the sound of music. It’s festival season in the South. Our eighth annual Festival Guide highlights 50 of our favorite Blue Ridge bashes, along with outlandish festival awards like Best Euphoric Test of Endurance, Best in Bluegrass, and Best River Rager. We also feature the most exciting new bands on the Southern Appalachian festival circuit and essential festival gear. In addition, our 2012 Festival Guide provides humorous people-watching perspectives and insight into the region’s wildest and wettest adventure fests. Kick off your shoes, grab a beverage, and get ready to rock.Tap into the Blue Ridge festival circuit. From spring through fall, the scene is bustling with events for every interest. Whether you’re into beer, BBQ, banjos, or boats, let this be your guide to the region’s best fests.French Broad River FestivalGet ready to bring it on the banks of the French Broad. This riverside hoedown in the tiny mountain town of Hot Springs blends a long weekend of outdoor action and the region’s best roots music. Mountain playtime includes a raft race, a 25-mile mountain biking race, and a chance to paddle with pro kayakers. Bands this year include Lukas Nelson (that’s Willie’s son) and the Promise of the Real, the Gourds, and Balsam Range. frenchbroadriverfestival.comCheat River FestivalEnter the Downriver Race, or just relax in the West Virginia sun at this low-key fest with some paddling fun and local string bands that helps protect one of the Mountain State’s favorite rivers. cheat.orgBrewRidge Music FestivalIf an abundance of local craft beer makes you feel like a kid in a candy store, head to the scenic property of Mountain Lake, an Appalachian hidden gem just outside of Blacksburg. mtnlakeconservancy.orgLake Eden Arts FestivalTwice a year the idyllic Camp Rockmont explodes with culture. Basking the shadow of the Black Mountains, the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) features one of the most diverse arrays of artistic festival offerings, including healing arts workshops, a folk art show, a poetry slam, and dancing. This spring the music will celebrate the blues—representing styles from the clubs of Chicago to the hill country of the deep South to roots from times past. Performers on the bill include Taj Mahal, Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. LEAF takes place again October 18-21. theleaf.orgAiken Bluegrass FestivalThis well-established two-day fest in Aiken features progressive picking from Larry Keel, the Steeldrivers, and Ironhorse. Carrying forward new tradition, New Belgium Brewing will once again kick off the festival with a bicycle parade downtown. aikenbluegrassfestival.orgTrail DaysHikers gone wild. It’s happening at this mother of all trail fests that wakes up the sleepy mountain town of Damascus for a long weekend of Appalachian Trail celebration. Thru-hikers reunite to trade trail stories, march in a parade, get goofy in a talent show, soak each other with water guns, check out a variety of gear booths, and sip a little moonshine. It’s also an excuse to explore the amazing network of trails that branch our from Damascus into the Mountain Rogers National recreation Area, including the A.T., the Iron Mountain Trail, and the family-friendly Virginia Creeper. traildays.usDominion RiverrockThis adventure games blowout takes place on the banks of the James River in downtown Richmond, featuring a full slate of outdoor sports and a full line-up of live music. The first day includes a dirty 5K mud run, as well as a freestyle bike showdown, and the opening rounds of the weekend-long bouldering comp. The second day focuses more on racing with the longstanding James River Scramble 10K trail run and the Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race, along with a kayak boatercross and a stand-up paddleboard race. Pin on a race bib and challenge the competition or just chill out on Brown’s Island browsing gear booths from the outdoor industry’s best. The soundtrack to the epic action will include live tunes from Keller Williams, J.J. Grey and Mofro, and Galactic. dominionriverrock.comHangout FestivalCheck out a full line-up of national heavyweights with white sand in between your toes. At Hangout, the stages sit waterside, right on ‘Bama’s gorgeous Gulf Coast beaches. Soak up the sun, while you take in the sounds of Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, and Wilco. hangoutmusicfest.comBlind Willie McTell Blues FestivalDelbert McClinton headlines this annual festival that commemorates Georgia blues legend Blind Willie McTell. blindwillie.comMountain Sports FestivalEvery year Asheville becomes an outdoor sports Olympics for a long weekend of competitions, including paddling, triathlon, cycling, running, disc golf, climbing, and more. Plus, a central area at Carrier Park has gear booths and tunes from regional musicians.mountainsportsfestival.comDr. Ralph Stanley’s Annual Memorial Weekend Bluegrass FestivalStanley turned 85 this year, and he’s still touring like a spry youngster. He also hosts this traditional bash at his old home place. This year features help from Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Blue Highway, and more. drralphstanley.comDelFestSet in a scenic valley along the North Branch of the Potomac River, DelFest honors living legend Del McCoury with an outdoor party that bridges the generation gaps of acoustic music. String sounds ring out through the mountains from traditional heroes like Larry Stephenson, as well as genre-bending pickers like Yonder Mountain String Band and Leftover Salmon. This year, funny man Steve Martin will show off his banjo skills as a top headliner. There are also stamina-testing late night shows in an indoor meeting hall that start at midnight. delfest.comVirginia Mountain Bike FestivalA festival for the fat tire freaks among us, this event brings together mountain bikers for a long weekend of hang time at the Stokesville Campground in the George Washington National Forest. By day there is plenty of epic riding for all levels, including stints on the legendary Southern Traverse and Reddish Knob. At night, rest your legs and enjoy hot meals and cold beers by the campfire. mtntouring.comRooster WalkThis growing grassroots fest at the idyllic Blue Mountain Festival Grounds remembers two fallen friends with a big weekend of regional roots music including Pimps of Joytime.roosterwalk.comWhite Squirrel FestivalBrevard pays tribute to its favorite neighbor with a street festival that includes White Squirrel walking tours, a box derby, and a solid line-up of live music. whitesquirrelfestival.comAppalachian UprisingThis grassy throwdown takes place in the Appalachians of Ohio, this year featuring the Infamous Stringdusters and Ricky Skaggs. appalachianuprising.netGraves Mountain Festival of MusicIf your idea of festival is relaxing in a lawn chair and watching world-class bluegrass until your heart’s content, this is the festival for you. Graves Mountain Lodge sits next to Shenandoah National Park, providing the perfect outdoor ambiance for the string sounds of the Gibson Brothers, Balsam Range, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. In between sets, you can hike Whiteoak Canyon, take a swim in a nearby river, or grab a delicious home-cooked meal in the lodge. gravesmountain.comWakarusaThis huge jam gathering in the Ozarks will feature Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and many more. wakarusa.comBlue Plum FestivalJoin 80,000 people gathering over seven city blocks in downtown Johnson City for three days of Americana tunes, great food, and regional art. blueplum.orgTour de FatNew Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of bike cultural will make its way through the South and Mid-Atlantic with additional stops in Washington, D.C. (June 16), Durham, N.C. (June 23), and Atlanta (June 30). The events kick off with a bike parade and then move into the long Afternoon Ballyhoo, which features a bike circus and rodeo, cycling games, live music, and the expected mass quantities of amazing microbrews. newbelgium.comVintage Virginia Wine FestivalIf vino is your thing, have your fill and then some at this fest that features 60 wineries at Bull Run Park. Music line-up includes Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Soul Rebels Brass Band.vintagevirginia.comBonnaroo Music and Arts FestivalSurviving Bonnaroo requires some serious stamina. The festival grounds are dusty, the heat is oppressive, and the only thing thicker than the humidity is the crowd. But it’s also an event that every festivarian needs to experience. Once you muster the mettle to brave the elements, the festival offers a musical line-up that’s unrivaled—from huge national acts to the most promising upstarts ready for a shot on the big stage. In recent years, the festival has also evolved into a full-on carnival with plenty of side shows to keep you entertained—like the Silent Disco, Big Ass Water Slide, a cinema tent, and a comedy theatre with notable performers. The top of the bill this year features Phish, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Iver, and the Avett Brothers, but be sure not to miss sets in some of the smaller tents by blues wiz Gary Clark, Jr. or Minnesota punk-grass rippers Trampled by Turtles. bonnaroo.comBlue Ridge Barbecue FestivalIf you can’t resist good ‘cue, this is your party. The main event of the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival is the cook-off, as teams from around the country compete for big prize money. Other than that it’s all about sampling the region’s best BBQ, listening to great music, and checking out local crafts. Acoustic Syndicate headlines. blueridgebbqfestival.comSeedtime on the CumberlandThis annual down home celebration of the arts in Appalachia brings together storytellers, musicians, artisans, and writers in the tiny, culturally rich town of Whitesburg. appalshop.org/seedtimeVirginia Blues & Jazz FestivalActs scheduled to appear this year include modern blues legend Robert Cray and Latin funk outfit Grupo Fantasma. vabluesfest.orgRiverbend FestivalThe annual summer street festival along two miles of Tennessee River shoreline packs more musical bang for the buck than any festival in the South with a nine-day pass going for $40. Bands include the Beach Boys, Miranda Lambert, North Mississippi Allstars, and many more.riverbendfestival.comMusic in the Mountains Bluegrass FestivalSweet string sounds ring through West Virginia cliff country. This hard-line traditional bluegrass festival takes place at the Summersville Music Park. Features: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Nothin’ Fancy, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Big Country Bluegrass, Dailey & Vincent, and many more. adamsandandersonbluegrass.comROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches FestivalThe International Bluegrass Music Museum throws this high-profile pickin’ celebration. Catch The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, Greensky Bluegrass, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Carolina Chocolate Drops. rompfest.comGrandfather Mountain Highland GamesDon your best kilt for this Carolina-style Gaelic celebration that features Scottish games, music, and crafts at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain near Linville. gmhg.orgPotomac Whitewater FestivalPotomac fest celebrates the D.C.-area’s mighty river and its high-intensity paddling options with comps, clinics, and rowdy fun. potomacfest.comForecastle FestivalForecastle took a break last year to regroup, and decided to come back with the festival’s strongest line-up to date. This year’s fest on the banks of the Ohio in downtown Louisville is being curated by local heroes My Morning Jacket, who helped craft a stellar line-up of heavy hitters, including Wilco, Bassnectar, Neko Case, Girltalk, and Andrew Bird. In addition to the sounds of 75 bands, Waterfront Park will be packed with art installations and a sustainability village, bringing a full cultural overload to one of the coolest cities in the South.forecastlefest.comBlue Ridge Blues and BBQ FestivalGrub on some of the region’s best barbeque, while you hear the hot licks of blues legend Johnny Winter at Roanoke’s Elmwood Park. blueridgeblues.orgMineral Bluegrass FestivalMineral has become legend in the bluegrass world. There’s no more proof than in the stellar line-up, which includes Ralph Stanley, II, Larry Stephenson, and Junior Sisk. mineralbluegrass.comArtscapeWith over 350,000 attendees, this is the largest free arts festival in the country. artscape.orgBele Chere FestivalEvery summer hundreds of thousands of people flock to downtown Asheville for this massive street festival. Family fun mingles with an impressive line-up of national acts.belecherefestival.comFloydFestThe Blue Ridge’s favorite little festival is all grown up. Last year’s FloydFest line-up yielded a complete sell out, and there’s little reason to believe this year will be any different. Fortunately the organizers have managed the growth with grace and preserved the characteristics that made the festival special in the first place. Crowds migrate to an unsuspecting 80-acre mountain plateau off the Blue Ridge Parkway for a four-day carnival of musical cultures near and far. The festival bridges the gap between Appalachian traditions and the melting pot of independent roots music from the around the rest of the world, while maintaining an intimate atmosphere that’s comfortable for kids and adults, alike, to spread out and enjoy the scenery and the sounds. The line-up this year includes Alison Krauss and Union Station, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jackson Browne, Leftover Salmon, Drive-By Truckers, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby and many more. floydfest.comOld Fiddler’s ConventionThis is where the real mountain folk come to show off their chops. It promises to deliver the best banjo plucking, fiddle sawing, and mandolin pickin’ you’ve ever seen.oldfiddlersconvention.comMicrofestivusOver 50 microbreweries from around the region will pour their best at Elmwood Park.microfestivus.squaresociety.orgNorth Carolina State Bluegrass FestivalThe pickin’ and singin’ will be mighty fine at Rally Park with the likes of The Grascals and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on stage. aandabluegrass.comCamp BarefootTucked away at West Virginia’s Camp Hidden Meadows, this backwoods jam orgy will feature Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Kyle Hollingsworth of the String Cheese Incident, Keller Williams, Zach Deputy, and Ghostland Observatory. campbarefoot.orgMusic on the MountaintopUnder sunny late summer mountain skies, the High Country carnival brings crowds to Grandfather Mountain Campground for a stellar two days of roots music, including national headliners and local faves. In addition to featuring the music on a solar powered stage, a chunk of festival proceeds goes to mountain watchdog Appalachian Voices. Railroad Earth will be the host band. musiconthemountaintop.comMountain Song FestivalNorth Carolina native sons and regular Steve Martin touring partners, the Steep Canyon Rangers bring a solid line-up of bluegrass heavyweights to Brevard every fall for a pickin’ party at the Brevard Music Center’s open-air auditorium with Pisgah in the backdrop. Acts this year include David Grisman and Del McCoury. mountainsongfestival.comGauley FestRun the Gauley by day, and rage all night. The biggest river festival in the world is all about throwing down to celebrate the annual dam releases of West Virginia’s mighty river. The festival was started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a dam project that would have disrupted Gauley flows. As a testament to how much the river means to paddlers, the gala continues nearly 30 years later. In addition to plenty of class V action, this is a rowdy party with crazy howlin’-at-the-moon fun that has included late night boxing and mud wrestling. Also, a who’s who of boat industry folks set up shop in the fest’s vendor marketplace—a great spot to score some sweet gear deals. americanwhitewater.orgBrewgrass FestivalAs craft breweries continue to multiply like Gremlins, so do regional beer festivals. Brewgrass gets credit as one of the first, and it still remains insanely popular, selling out quickly after tickets go on sale. This crisp and clear fall afternoon in the mountains of western North Carolina will only get clouded by the imbibing of 120 tasty craft beers served by 40 microbreweries from the around the country. Whether you’re into hoppy IPAs or robust porters, they’ll both pair well with the blazing solos from the full line-up of national and regional bluegrass bands. brewgrassfestival.comBristol Rhythm and Roots ReunionBefore the hype of Nashville took hold, Bristol was the real birthplace of country music, touting early recordings of pioneers, including the Carter Family. Every fall, the spirit is revived at this annual street fest that touches on every avenue of Americana—from indie to traditional. It takes special chemistry for an event to successfully bill Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver next to the indie folk of City and Colour, but Bristol’s downtown has a vintage vibe that makes the generations and genres tastefully collide. A range of artists from national headliners to regional upstarts to down home Appalachian pickers play along the bustling main drag of State Street on 22 stages—outdoors, inside theaters and bars, and in the popular dance tent. Additional acts on the bill this year include Robert Earl Keen, Sam Bush, Tift Merrit, Deep Dark Woods, and many more. bristolrhythm.comWatermelon Park FestThis best-kept-secret Americana festival takes place on a sweet riverside spot in the Shenandoah Valley. watermelonparkfest.comShakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & DanceFor music fans in North Carolina, the trek to Shakori Hills in October is a ritual. It’s a four-day bi-annual fest that takes place in the spring and fall on a 75-acre piedmont farm that blends some of North Carolina’s best roots musicians with national headliners, touches of world music from abroad and an array of food, arts, and crafts. shakorihills.orgThe Festy ExperienceThe Festy has found the way to successfully intertwine a high-profile music throwdown with mountain sports action. Approaching its third year on the scenic grounds of Devils Backbone Brewery in the Central Virginia Blue Ridge near Wintergreen Resort, the event combines an eclectic line-up of national acts, curated by host band the Infamous Stringdusters, with plenty of offerings to satisfy outdoor junkies: comfortable camping, a 10K trail run, and a mountain bike race. The event’s impressive workshop stage also covers everything from backpacking to yoga to local food. thefesty.comRichmond Folk FestivalThe Richmond Folk Festival draws nearly 200,000 people to downtown Richmond’s riverfront for music, dance, and eclectic arts. richmondfolkfestival.orgBridge DayOne day per year, it’s legal to jump off the New River Gorge Bridge. Come out and watch BASE jumpers take flight from nearly 900 feet over the New River. officialbridgeday.comNorth Carolina Brewers and Music FestivalIt’s hard to top a 10-hour day enjoying a stacked line-up of roots music and the tasty offerings of over a dozen Carolina craft breweries. Drink suds from Highland and Duck Rabbit, while catching the fiery picking of Larry Keel and the Steep Canyon Rangers. ncbrewsmusic.comSwamptown GetdownAn eclectic mix of roots music will be blaring through the Georgia pines at this new gala that mixes everything from indie rock sounds to jam band grooves to bluegrass picking. Line-up includes Col. Bruce Hampton and many more. stdgf.comCampout EastDavid Lowery from Cracker hosts this roots music bash at Glen Maury Park. Look for a carefully crafted line-up of alt-country favorites. campouteast.comKingsport OktoberfestThis freewheeling fall fest is all about breaking records. Last year’s inaugural event saw the Guinness World Record for the longest cornhole throw and the Tennessee state record for brat eating. If scarfing sausage isn’t your thing, you can enter the barrel race or the Black Forest Brew-Off, where home brewers can show off their skills. You can also catch tunes from 15 regional bands, including the Stratton Mountain Boys. kingsportoktoberfest.comGo Outside FestivalRun, ride, paddle, or hike—you can do it all at this new fest making big noise on the outdoor scene. With main festival grounds located along the Roanoke River at River’s Edge Sports Complex, the event branches off to include some of the most adventurous terrain in the surrounding Valley. In addition to live tunes and local beer, there are guided hikes and bike rides, as well as running and cyclocross races, ultimate Frisbee and paddling at Roanoke River Gorge. With an evolving format, this one should only get better for mountain junkies. roanokegofest.com Now that you know where the coolest Festivals are, enter one of our many contests!
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Your outdoor news bulletin for May 13, the day Jamestown was founded on the west bank of the James River, marking the beginning of the American empire, and the beginning of the end for the Native Americans:They’re BAAAAACK!It’s been building for a while, and unlike Carmageddon, this is actually going to happen. The 17-year cicadas have been spotted in the past couple of days in Maryland and Northern Virginia, signaling the start of CICADAPOCALYPSE, or alternately SWARMAGGEDON, because what would we be if we didn’t give any hint of a big event a world-ending themed nickname. Some may lose their minds due to the red, beady eyes, or the 90-decibel mating call, but most will just grin and bear it as billions of little bugs with wings invade the East Coast. If you are feeling adventurous and have an iron stomach, you can even munch on the critters. Although, their whole existence consists of living underground, digging their way out, shedding their exoskeleton, mating with other beady eyed cicadas, and then digging back into the ground and dying or laying eggs, so….yeah, go ahead and eat ’em.When Bears Attack…Power PolesBears are a curious lot. So successful in preventing forest fires (at least that one is) and such a great image in the cartoon world (Yogi, Baloo, Winnie), and yet problems still persist between bears and humans, as surprising as that can be. The Daily Progress is reporting that power companies in Virginia are under attack from black bears, and the results are staggering – actually its the utility poles that are under attack, and the poles themselves are the ones staggering. Apparently, black bears love to shred the outer layers of the chestnut poles by using them as backscratchers, claw sharpeners, and messaging – imagine the pole as a rudimentary ursa-Facebook bears use to let other bears know they are around, will be heading down to the creek later. In many cases, the bear activity whittles the poles down to nothing, at which point the fall over, knocking out power. Steel poles are not feasible so the power companies are working on alternate solutions including paint and different wood treatments to keep the bears off the poles.Weird Beard Cleared…by the opposite sex, that is. It was a strange week for the men who wear beards in the U.S., which is pretty much everyone within 2 degrees of the outdoor industry. Last spring a study by psychologists indicated that facial hair was unattractive to the opposite sex, beard enthusiasts were up in arms. “Of course beards on women are unattractive. What’s your point?!?!” they screamed. Just kidding, the study was obviously about men, but had significant flaws like comparing a fresh shave with a month of untouched growth. Of course a hairless chin is going to beat out a hybrid Grizzly Adams/Ted Kaczynski/Forest Gump after running across the U.S. rat’s nest of a gross beard. Finally, this week, a different study – because this is what science is for, people – rated four different stages of growth (clean, stubble, heavy stubble, and full on beard), and concluded that heavy stubble was the most desirable.
In 1976, when I was a bit more than four years old, my family packed up the car and headed west to California. My father had been reassigned to Edwards Air Force Base, nestled in the barren Mojave Desert, and we would remain there for the next five years.During our time in California, we made two cross-country trips to visit family in Mississippi and Virginia. The first, southern most leg of the trip – from California to Mississippi – took about three days, and I still have vivid memories of the homemade barbeque and baked beans that were packed to eat, our onboard portapotty (so we could keep on truckin’, even when nature called), and my mom and dad switching drivers while the our van was cruising down the highway. They had this intricate system where the cruise control was set, the new driver perched between the two front seats and holding the wheel while the retiring driver slipped out. In retrospect, this was highly dangerous. At the time, though, I thought my folks were bad ass.The soundtrack to at least one of those trips was the legendary country band Alabama. My folks were – and still are – pretty big country fans. I can remember my dad feeding the cassette deck in the van those early Alabama tapes – records like Feels So Right and Mountain Music – and, over the course of a couple thousand miles, I ended up knowing those songs frontwards and backwards.Over the ensuing 30 years or so, my interest in Alabama – and country music in general – waned. I don’t think I have purposefully played an Alabama tune since I was in the fifth grade – 1982 – and Roll On was one of my favorite records.So, you can imagine that at the excitement I felt was somewhat surprising when I received High Cotton: A Tribute to Alabama in the mail last week.High Cotton is a collection of some of Alabama’s signature tunes, recorded by some of Americana’s biggest names. As I perused the track listing, I entered this bizarre nexus of time; my ten year old Alabama fan self met with my forty year old music junkie self and came to this conclusion: This is an amazing selection of songs from an amazing band redone by an amazing collection of artists.JD McPherson kicks off the record with “Why Lady Why,” and – on my first listen – I’ll be damned if I didn’t remember every word. I ended up singing along with most every track, from Old Crow Medicine Show’s take on “Dixieland Delight” to Shonna Tucker’s “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler),” Lucero’s “The Closer You Get,” and even Todd Snider and Elizabeth Cook’s “Love In The First Degree.”Other contributors include Blind Boys Of Alabama, Amanda Shires, T Hardy Morris, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and more.High Cotton shakes up the nostalgia in me. I am taken back in time to a beige Ford Econoline van, cruising across the deserts of Arizona and Texas, across the wide Mississippi River and the red clay of the Deep South, deep into the mountains of Virginia, all with tight country harmonies in my ears.Apparently, I am still an Alabama fan.I want you to have the chance to add this record to your collection. Take a shot at the trivia question below and email your answer to [email protected] A winner will be chosen from all of the correct answers I receive by noon tomorrow (Thursday, August 8th).In the meantime, check out Jason Isbell and John Paul White’s rendition of “Old Flame” on this month’s Trail Mix.Good luck!!Trivia question . . .According to the boys in Alabama, what do you have to have in the band if you are going to play in Texas? Remember to EMAIL your answers in! No comments here!Thanks!
Seems like everyone has become fascinated with the idea of a “challenge” for the sake of charity.Through the Summit For Someone (SFS) program, outdoor enthusiasts have the unique opportunity to attempt a truly life changing “challenge” of their own while raising funds for a worthy cause. In exchange for meeting their fundraising goals, every Summit For Someone climber is rewarded with a guided expedition on one of 20 iconic mountains as well as a great gear package.The money that climbers raise directly funds the Big City Mountaineers program, which takes underprivileged urban youth on wilderness mentoring trips across the country.Last year, with the help of 150 SFS climbers, they were able to take more than 1,500 kids on life changing journeys. The core program consists of five kids and five adult mentors embarking on a week-long high-adventure wilderness expedition. the group also offers a week-long canoe outing on the famous Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Kids are challenged physically and mentally as they navigate through the rigors of the outdoors on each trip under the care of positive adult mentors. With more than 30 different routes on the world’s most famous mountains, the SFS program has the right challenge for any level climber. Join then on the Grand Teton next year, or any of the other climbs offered, for the adventure of your life time and a chance to build up your “karma account.”For more information please check out the websites, Summit for Someone and Big City Mountaineers.–Words by Steven Reinhold.