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Outdoors

Back when the trip was a new idea, I don’t think either of us took it seriously. Three weeks on the road, at a time when most American cars were sitting idle in the driveway? Thousands of miles of driving through sand and snow, mountain and desert, far from home? Surely this was just a pie-in-the-sky dream borne from the hunger pangs of quarantine, nothing more. 

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Duke Energy is requesting a special use authorization to make improvements to infrastructure that crosses national forest lands, and the U.S. Forest Service is taking public comments through July 17. 

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The arrival of the N.C. Arboretum’s newest exhibit was delayed due to COVID-19, but Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks has now opened at the public garden in Asheville and will remain on display through Nov. 1. 

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Four larger-than-life butterflies now greet visitors as they enter the Cullowhee Community Garden, each representing a species that helps pollinate plants in this region. 

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A plan that would create a 150-mile-plus trail network through Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties is now out for public comment. 

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On Saturday, June 20, Grandfather Mountain bid farewell to Gerry the black bear. Gerry was humanely euthanized following a long history of debilitating arthritis. She was 31 years old. In the wild, black bears live into their early 20s, while those in captivity can live up to and beyond 30. 

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New re-openings have been announced for the Pisgah National Forest. 

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According to guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, farmers markets fall under the same classification as grocery stores and are considered an important source of food for local communities. 

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For cycling enthusiasts across the region, warmer weather means one thing — time to start pedaling. With a variety of organized rides underway in the mountains, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the roads and trails with other pedalers. 

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