Undiscovered Hikes on the Appalachian Trail

first_imgPrintHit the Appalachian Trail on a warm weekend and you might think there are no secrets left along this 2,180-mile trail. After all, a visit to one of the A.T.’s hotspots like McAfee Knob or the Roan Highlands can leave you feeling awestruck by the crowds alone. But contrary to popular belief, hikers can still find solitude on the A.T. Here are the last great undiscovered hikes on the world’s most famous footpath.Siler Bald, N.C. Not to be confused with Siler’s Bald in the Smokies (though it’s named after the same family), Siler sits south of the uber-popular Nantahala River and yet, the legitimate high-elevation bald sees a fraction of the hikers that flock to its nearby counterparts.“People go to Wayah Gap and hike north to Wayah Bald and its fire tower. Hike the other direction, and you’ll hit Siler Bald, which has just as good of a view,” says Andrew Downs, trail resource manager for the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Downs adds that in general, any part of the A.T. south of the Nantahala River is going to be less crowded than the trail to the north between the river and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Access is limited because of the presence of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area and the biggest population center south of the Nantahala River is Franklin, which isn’t exactly a metropolis.Siler has the goods hikers crave. At 5,216 feet high, the grassy mountaintop gives you a 360-degree view that stretches into Georgia to the south, includes a piece of Lake Nantahala to the west, and the Wayah Bald fire tower to the north. Expect wildflowers around the bald during the spring and blueberries in the fall.Logistics: Park at Wayah Gap and hike two miles south to Siler Bald. The climbing is gradual and the payoff is big. Turn the trek into a multi-day by continuing 14 miles south to Albert Mountain, where a fire tower will give you another nearly mile-high 360-degree view. An abundance of shelters in this stretch will help keep your pack light.White Rocks and Blackstack Cliffs, Tenn./N.C. This section of the A.T. follows the North Carolina and Tennessee border, tracing the crest of the Bald Mountains Range that divides the two states. Interstate 26 is nearby, as are a few recreation areas popular with equestrians, but the Appalachian Trail hugs the ridgeline, too far removed from any large population centers to attract the casual hiker. So the views you’ll bag from the A.T.’s rocky outcroppings will be all your own.An eight-mile lollipop loop will deliver you to stunning views from two separate cliff bands and take you over the most underrated ridge walk on the trail. White Rocks Cliff is a quartzite outcropping on the Tennessee side of the trail with views into Greenville, Tennessee below. Blackstack Cliffs is a similar outcropping on the opposite side of the trail with a big view into Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. Shortly after hitting these two cliffs, you’ll find yourself climbing the stone steps to Firescald Ridge, for nearly two miles of narrow ridge walking and rock hopping with endless views in all directions.Logistics: Pick up the A.T. six miles north of Allen Gap at Camp Creek Bald, then follow the white blazes north as the trail shimmies along the edge below the summit. You’ll hit the side trail to White Rocks Cliffs in two miles, and a couple hundred yards farther you’ll see the spur trail to Blackstack Cliffs. Keep hiking the A.T. north beyond Bearwallow Gap to the rocky, precarious, and stunning route over Firescald Ridge. The Carolina Mountain Club sweat blood to move the A.T. over the most dramatic route possible along this ridge. After rock hopping your way across the crest, you can create a loop by taking the old A.T., which is now marked Bad Weather Trail, south back toward Bearwallow Gap, Blackstack Cliffs, and your car.Chestnut Knob, Va. As everyone knows, the A.T. runs north and south, but in Southwest Virginia, as the trail leaves the High Country of Mount Rogers, it cuts west toward Pearisburg and the West Virginia border. Here, it becomes a washboard trail, climbing up and over peaks like Walker Mountain and wrapping around Burke’s Garden, a farming community and valley known as “God’s Thumbprint,” because it’s surrounded by a 360-degree ridge, like someone squished their thumb into the mountains. Here lies what might be the most remote and least traveled section of the Appalachian Trail below the Mason Dixon. Road access is scarce, federally designated Wilderness areas are plentiful, and hikers are few and far between.“Just getting to the A.T. in this corner of Virginia is part of the adventure,” says Steve Yontz, trail maintainer for the Piedmont Appalachian Trail Hikers. “Honestly, the easiest way to access the A.T. at Burke’s Garden, is by hiking the A.T.”Make the effort, and you’ll be rewarded with constant views for nearly two miles on Chestnut Knob, a high elevation bald that was grazed by livestock until the late 1980s. On a clear day, you can see Mount Rogers 80 miles south, and even Grandfather Mountain farther into North Carolina. Go north from Chestnut Knob onto the crest of Garden Mountain, and you’ll get more views into pastoral Burke’s Garden below.Logistics: For a short trip, access the A.T. from Walker Gap and hike south a mile to Chestnut Knob and carry on south until the trail runs out of views. Retrace your steps and go across the gap north onto Garden Mountain for an extra leg-stretch. But if you truly want to experience the solitude and beauty that this stretch of the A.T. affords, start where the A.T. crosses Hwy 11 and climb Walker Mountain on your way to Chestnut Knob. You’ll put in big miles, but walk through old farmsteads, bag big views, and get to stay at Chestnut Knob shelter, which offers excellent star gazing thanks to the lack of ambient light.The Roller Coaster, Va.To say that any section of the Appalachian Trail in Northern Virginia is “undiscovered” is a bit of a stretch. “There’s no unpopular section of the trail in this day and age, but certain pieces aren’t necessarily in the limelight like the more well-known destinations,” says Bob Sickley, Mid-Atlantic trail resource manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The Roller Coaster, a 13.5-mile length of trail packed with non-stop ups and downs, is one of those under-appreciated stretches of trail. Consider it the “overshadowed little brother” to the A.T. inside nearby Shenandoah National Park. The Roller Coaster is the A.T.’s swan song in Virginia, offering the last memorable piece of trail before reaching the “psychological half-way point” at Harper’s Ferry, W.Va. Known for its constant elevation change, you’ll climb more than a dozen significant hills for a total of 5,000 feet of gain as you make your way toward West Virginia. The tread is rocky, and the climbing is short but steep without a switchback in sight thanks to an unusually narrow right of way for the trail.The Roller Coaster is a hell of a workout, and a great place to test your mettle if you’re just breaking into backpacking. You’ll also get to enjoy the primo view of Shenandoah Valley to the west from Raven Rock, aka Crescent Rock.Logistics: Pick up the A.T. at Ashby Gap, where the trail crosses Route 50 and head north towards the Blackburn Trail Center. Prepare yourself for nearly constant ups and downs with 200-500 feet of elevation for each hill. The section offers a no-brainer overnight opportunity, thanks to the Bears Den Trail Center, a popular hiker hostel located 100 yards off the trail roughly half way through the Roller Coaster.Bly Gap, Ga. and N.C. The 16-mile stretch of the A.T.  between Dick’s Creek Gap in Georgia and Deep Gap in North Carolina is in a sort of “no-man’s land,” far enough removed from hot spots like the Southern Terminus at Springer and the booming Nantahala Gorge. Hike the whole 16 miles, and you’ll cross the Georgia/North Carolina border at the halfway mark, but not a single road. In fact, the majority of the A.T. in this remote corner of the Appalachians hugs the western edge of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area, a relatively large but unknown federally designated Wilderness that covers the N.C./Ga. border. Access is so limited, that if you wait out the thru-hiker rush that comes in early spring, you’ll probably have the two trail shelters all to yourself.The climbing starts early as you leave Dick’s Creek Gap and yo-yo your way up and down ridges on your way to the state line. But consider the Georgia section of trail a warm up for the climb up Courthouse Bald in North Carolina, where the trail gains 1,500 feet via a series of relentless switchbacks. The views in Georgia are limited, but there’s a killer campsite and long-range view into the mountains of North Carolina at Bly Gap, 8.5 miles into the hike. From Muskrat Creek Shelter, take a .5-mile blue blaze to Ravenrock Ridge, a cliff with one of the most underrated views along the entire A.T. Other highlights include blooming rhodo in June. And did we mention the complete lack of roads?Logistics: Begin at Dick’s Creek Gap, where US 76 crosses the trail and head north. The climbing comes fast and builds as you move towards Deep Gap, N.C. where USFS 71 provides your “take out.” The forest road is gated during the winter. Two shelters sit on this portion of the trail, but their awkward location (Plumorchard Gap Shelter is just 4.5 miles into your hike) make it more practical to set up camp at Bly Gap just inside North Carolina. If you’re looking for a longer hike, the possibilities for side hikes through the Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area are plentiful. •last_img read more

Highlights of the Week

first_imgCSV Southern Ocean Stays with McDermott ROVOP Expands in Europe with New Office and Team Member Subsea World News has put together a recap of the most interesting articles from the previous week (May 20 – May 26). Reach Subsea Vessel to Support Titanic Survey Expeditioncenter_img Sonardyne Snaps Up EIVA DCN Diving Charters Another Solstad Vessellast_img

Color Grading Tips: The Ins and Outs of Correcting for a Pink Sky

first_imgThere are many elements that you can change in post-production with a little forethought. In this case, the color of the sky.A pink sky has become a predominant feature in many music videos. Is it a symbol of teenage freedom, late evening adventures, innocence of youth? I’m sure there are experts out there who could spend hours decoding the meaning and popularity behind the rise of pink skies in rap and alternative music videos. But perhaps it just comes down to Instagram influencers. Who knows?Whatever the case, there’s no denying that a pink sky looks beautiful. However, due to the circumstances of capturing one, since setting up at golden hour doesn’t exactly guarantee that the sky will turn pink, many filmmakers will opt to recreate a pink sky digitally. Before continuing, if you were wondering why sometimes the sky turns red, orange, or pink at sunset, here’s a snippet from my Golden Hour tutorial.When the sun is high in the sky from midday to late afternoon, there is very little interference from our atmosphere; the light is bright and the shadows are harsh. However, just after sunset or just before sunrise, the sun is just about level to the horizon, and the light has to travel through many miles of dense atmosphere before illuminating what we can see, which decreases the intensity of direct sunlight. The blue light emitting from the sun is caught up in the atmosphere leaving more red, yellow and orange to pass through, which gives the sun a nice warm golden glow. Very simply, golden hour is a short period just after sunrise and just before sunset.This article isn’t necessarily a tutorial because, quite frankly, all you do is push the highlights slightly into the magenta region, but there are a few factors to consider. As with converting day-for-night, there are requirements to help you pull off the grade, and this is what I’ll be covering.A Few Things First1. You still need to still film at Golden Hour.The scattering of the light will leave you with either a golden sky or a desaturated blue sky. Converting a saturated blue to pink will leave you with a very stylized result.For example, in the following music video for “Bounce Back” by Big Sean, the grade is very stylized.Based on the content of the music video, it’s evident that the filmmakers and the artist want you to notice the colors, as the video itself is very abstract. But we can see from the shots that they recorded a blue sky, and the pink grade appears unnatural. Again, in the context of this specific music video, it works, as that’s the intended result. But when aiming for a natural style, you want to film during the late evening.2. You want to use soft light if filming with actors.Subconsciously, we link a pink sky to a setting sun, which gives off soft light, and shadows are stretched. If your shot has a high contrast ratio, the pink sky may look slightly out of place. An excellent example of this is in Jaden Smith’s music video for “Icon.”You can see the pink sky isn’t natural as there’s some color bleed in Jaden’s jewelry — I had to zoom in 200 percent to spot this — but the look is a lot more believable. A big part of this is that the filmmakers shot the video in the evening with soft light, and I can’t be certain, but I would even go so far as to guess that they shot this with natural evening light, due to the lack of light hotspots in the reflection of the car and Smith’s jewelry.3. Not everything needs the pink cast.Yes, there should be a subtle pink cast across all highlights, but you don’t want the same intensity as the correction for the sky. Using the three tips above, we’ll walk through the steps of converting an evening sky into a pink sky. This is my shot; it’s of a musician climbing over a country fence, and for this specific shot, we’re focusing on the clouds in the background and dropping the musician out of focus.First, we’re going to add a second node along with a layer node. Select “node 01,” and for the time being, disable it (Ctrl+D). Your node tree should look like this. (Node 01 is for any base corrections I need to make after I have graded the sky.)On node 02, we’ll introduce our pink sky. There are numerous ways you can do this and achieve similar results. You could ramp the magenta tint up to 100, apply a gradient to create a CSI Miami-inspired gradient sky, use the Hue vs. Hue curve, and so on. They will all yield similar results, but we’re just going to push the gain/highlights color wheel toward magenta.The further you drive toward the edge of the color circle, the more defined the effect will be. But like a lot of things, less is more. And since I followed tips 1 and 2, introducing magenta into the highlights will, for the most part, only affect the areas of the image I want to adjust.The sky looks great; we have a warm fall-off onto the grass, which is what you would expect with a Golden Hour cast. However, the musician’s white shirt looks like it has gone through the washing machine with a red sock.We would expect his skin tones to become warmer and pinker, but we don’t want his top to become this colorized. To fix this, I will drop to the node underneath (04), and using the Custom Power Window Stencil, I’m going to draw around the short and give it a softness of 3.5. Of course, since the person in the frame is moving, I would then need to track this window too.Then, using the gain wheel, I’m going to introduce the smallest amount of magenta, just so the vest isn’t wholly bypassing the new natural light.This is the before:And this is the after:If necessary, you could also mask the grass and reduce the tint:However, I do like the overall pinkness from the first finished grade, but ultimately these creative choices would be up to you.Are you an Adobe Premiere Pro CC user? Then filmmaker and YouTuber Justin Odisho has you covered with a similar tutorial for that platform. Cover image via wayfarerlife.Looking for more on color grading? Check out these articles.Color Grading: Working with the Hue vs. Curves in DaVinci ResolveQuick Tip: Adjust the Color of Water in After EffectsVideo Editing Techniques for Color Correcting Skin TonesWhy Do Filmmakers Color Grade Moonlight to Be Blue?Color Grading: How to Change the Seasons in Premiere Prolast_img read more

AP Source: Blake Griffin Returning to the Clippers

first_imgLOS ANGELES (AP) – Blake Griffin was in line to be one of the most pursued players in free agency. That is, until he decided to skip free agency. And his reward for that will be one of the richest contracts in in NBA history.Hours before other teams could officially start trying to woo him away from the Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth approximately $175 million to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be formally announced until at least July 6.Griffin’s deal will be worth about $22 million more than the then-record $153 million contract Memphis guard Mike Conley signed last summer. But the total value of Griffin’s deal will likely be surpassed in this free-agent frenzy, with players like Golden State’s Stephen Curry eligible to get even more.Griffin was planning to meet with other teams this weekend, including Phoenix, but canceled those talks after striking the deal to stay in Los Angeles.Griffin is still only 28, and the Clippers hope that means he’s just entering his prime. And his agreeing to stay with the Clippers ensures that it won’t be a total reset in L.A. next season. His team will however look decidedly different, after nine-time All-Star Chris Paul decided to leave and wound up getting traded ahead of the free-agency window to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster deal earlier this week.Griffin was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, then missed that entire ensuing season with a left knee injury. He was extremely durable over what became his first four seasons, but a variety of other injuries sidelined him for 83 games — a full season plus one game — over the last three years alone. And he was hurt during the Clippers’ first-round playoff matchup against Utah this season.The Clippers lost that series in seven games.Griffin has spent his entire career with the Clippers, averaging 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds on 52 percent shooting.By TIM REYNOLDS TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Governor General and Tom Jenkins to Launch Their Book Ingenious

first_imgOTTAWA, March 24, 2017  – The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General is pleased to announce that His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Tom Jenkins, Chair and former CEO of OpenText and Chair of the National Research Council, are launching their book Ingenious, published simultaneously in English and French by Signal/McClelland & Stewart (division of Penguin Random House Canada) and Les Éditions La Presse. The event, presented by the Ottawa International Writers Festival, will take place at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, in Ottawa, on Tuesday, March 28, at 7 p.m.During an on-stage conversation hosted by Catherine Clark, the Governor General and Mr. Jenkins will discuss Ingenious, a book about hundreds of Canadian innovations that have made the world a smarter, smaller, kinder, safer, healthier, wealthier and happier place. The conversation will be followed by a question period and the evening will conclude with a book-signing.On Wednesday, March 29, at 5:30 p.m., a second event will take place at MaRS Discovery District, 101 College Street, in Toronto. The on-stage conversation and Q & A session will be hosted by Marci Ien, broadcast journalist, Bell Media, and will be followed by a book-signing. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The co-authors have made sure this collection illustrates the range and depth of innovations that Canadians have given to the world. Ingenious categorizes these innovations by the impact they have made on the world, from the light bulb, the propeller, the electric radio and the zipper, to the life jacket, the basketball, peanut butter and Superman.The co-authors are especially grateful to their many collaborators for their contributions to this work: the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Library and Archives Canada, National Research Council Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Film Board of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.All proceeds from Ingenious will be directed to the Rideau Hall Foundation to support activities and programs that inspire Canadian innovation across the country. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

ACTRA Toronto hires Victoria Shen Special Advisor

first_imgAdvertisement Toronto – Following ACTRA Toronto’s call for an industry wide conversation on preventing and dealing with sexual harassment, ACTRA Toronto has hired Victoria Shen as a Special Advisor to review our policies, practices, education and training materials on harassment and human rights issues.Victoria is a lawyer with extensive experience in human rights, including sexual harassment and disability related issues.  She was formerly at the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and co-chair of the Section 21 Film and Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the CMPA, she was counsel and manager at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, where she represented applicants before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). She has worked at the Ministry of the Attorney General – Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, and UFCW Local175 and 633. Her litigation experience includes labour arbitrations, applications before the HRTO, and appeals on WSIB, EI, and CPPD. She is a former board member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, and President of the Chinese Canadian National Council, Toronto Chapter.“ACTRA Toronto is thrilled to have Victoria’s experience and advice as we look internally at our own policies and practices, listen to stories of performers who have been harassed, and work with our industry partners to ensure our workplaces in the screen-based industry here in Ontario can be safe from harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence,“ said Theresa Tova, President of ACTRA Toronto. Login/Register With: Facebook About ACTRA TorontoACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing more than 15,000 of Canada’s 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Public Forum Organized for Ministry of Finances Public Financial Management and Performance

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, October 12, 2017 – Nassau – The Public Financial Management and Performance Monitoring Reform (PFM/PMR) Project Unit within the Ministry of Finance is mandated to improve the government’s capacity to manage and allocate resources and as such will have a tangible effect not just on the public service but also on the lives of every Bahamian.Increasing transparency and coordination between agencies for improved planning, implementation and monitoring will be a major step in ensuring fiscal sustainability for the Bahamian economy.   More effective project implementation will mean that Bahamians will see greater value for money from public expenditure.The PFM/PMR Project Unit will host a Public Forum on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at the University of the Bahamas, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Centre.   The public forum will provide the first opportunity for key stakeholders in academia, private sector, civil society, and media to voice their opinions on the project and have their questions answered by the Component Coordinators directly.The forum will reveal historic and revolutionary changes that PFM/PMR will bring.   The public is invited for suggestions, feedback, and input, which are valuable during this process of change of the public sector.Press Release: BISlast_img read more

Van Dijk refuses to get drawn into Liverpool title talk

first_imgLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk insists there is still a long to go in the Premier League title battleThe Reds reclaimed top spot on Sunday after a convincing 3-1 win against rivals Manchester United with a goal from Sadio Mane and substitute Xherdan Shaqiri’s brace.But, with Liverpool just a point above second-place Manchester City, Van Dijk refuses to get carried away as they approach the halfway stage of the season.“We are in mid-December and the season is still too long,” Van Dijk told the club website.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“We are very happy we’re in the position that we’re in now but that can change in two or three weeks. We’ll try to keep on doing what we’re doing and stay confident.“Wolves is another game we want to win. It’s going to be very tough there. They are in a great moment but so are we so we will have to prepare well and know their strengths and their weaknesses.”Liverpool will take a trip to Wolves on Friday for their next Premier League match.last_img read more