Month: December 2020

Texas Solar Boom Rolls On

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Midland Reporter-Telegram:Unlike the oil industry and its cyclical swings, the sun is predictable: It rises in the morning, it sets at night, and you can expect it’ll do the same tomorrow, the day after that and onward. It’s in this area on the Edwards Plateau, known for its dry heat and cloudless skies, where companies are trying to cash in on the consistency.On Thursday, 174 Power Global broke ground on its $260 million Midway Solar project about 10 miles south of McCamey in Pecos County. More than 680,000 Hanwha Q Cells solar panels will be constructed on 1,500 acres and produce 236 megawatts of electricity. Every sun-fueled watt will be sold to Austin Energy to power more than 50,000 homes in the state capital.It’s slated to be the largest solar farm in Texas to date.Midway Solar isn’t the first utility-scale solar farm the region has seen. Just a few miles west is Alamo 6, a project on 1,250 acres producing 110.2 megawatts of electricity that powers about 25,000 homes in San Antonio. Built by OCI Solar Power, it was completed in March 2017 and was sold to Berkshire Hathaway Energy.Adjacent to Alamo 6 is the 50-megawatt Pearl project, also built by OCI and sold to Berkshire Hathaway.North of McCamey is Upton County Solar 2. Purchased by Vistra Energy in May 2017, the under-construction project will have 180 megawatts of installed capacity and power 56,700 residences when it’s completed this summer.Mayor Patty Jones said the influx of people brings “good and bad, of course,” but, “overall, it’s been a good thing. Our economy has benefitted. Our restaurants, stores and shops have seen an increase based on workers coming into town.”“We worked with the local taxation authorities to come to an agreement about how this project was going to be taxed,” said Jason Garewal, 174 Power Global’s director of project development. “We reached an agreement where over the next 35 years they’ll receive more than $40 million in tax revenue.”Irivine, California-based 174 Power Global is a subsidiary of Hanwha Energy, a division of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, whose diverse portfolio includes energy, petrochemicals, explosives, banking, life insurance, hotels, resorts and more. In West Texas, it’s eyeing solar opportunities.Garewal said solar companies are looking to build utility-scale projects in the area because it has good transmission infrastructure that brings power to other parts of Texas on the ERCOT grid. More: Construction begins on largest utility-scale solar project in Texas Texas Solar Boom Rolls Onlast_img read more

Roanoke, VA

first_imgIllustration by Scott DuBarThere’s not much an outdoor junkie can’t do in Roanoke. “Here, it’s all about diversity with easy access,” says Pete Eshelman, a former West Coast ski bum and current avid mountain biker, who moved east to help Roanoke promote their backyard treasures as the city’s Director of Outdoor Branding. “Within 10 minutes you can be on a river, cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or hiking the Appalachian Trail.”Indeed, Roanoke is perfectly situated for a variety of adventures—sandwiched between the A.T. and the Parkway and bordered by the vast expanse of the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest. It’s no wonder the city has become one of the East’s most popular outdoor meccas with particularly vibrant scenes in cycling and running. Eshelman offered six local favorites.Eshelman’s Outdoor PicksMcAfee Day HikeThe three-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail to McAfee Knob offers one of the sweetest expansive views the Blue Ridge has to offer. Reputed to be the most photographed spot on the A.T., the rocky overlook delivers a wide panoramic view of Tinker Cliffs to the north, the Catawba Valley to the west, and the Roanoke Valley to the east.Go LongerIf you have a few days to hit the trail, hike the 32-mile loop of the A.T., Andy Layne Trail, and North Mountain Trails that crosses Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs. Screaming SingletrackIn the Roanoke Valley, you can’t beat the epic singletrack at Carvins Cove, the second largest municipal park in the nation with over 40 miles of trails. Try the popular route from the Bennett Springs parking lot that traverses Brushy Mountain and features a screaming descent down the infamous Gauntlet.Go ClubbingCyclists shouldn’t be shy about joining the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club’s ( Famous Tuesday Night Ride. The 20-mile jaunt starts and finishes in downtown Roanoke with a stint up to the Blue Ridge Parkway before returning for post-ride beers at Cornerstone Bar & Grill.Run Mill MountainTrail runners can take advantage of the network of footpaths in Mill Mountain Park. Try the eight-mile route that moves from the Ridgeline Trail to the Chestnut Ridge Loop and back to Mill Mountain. Best Paddle SpotsFor a flatwater fix, paddle the scenic 13-mile stretch of the Upper James River Water Trail Flat Water from Iron Gate to Craig Creek. Whitewater boaters play in the class II waves of the three-mile Roanoke River Gorge run.Blue Ridge Outdoors - Happy Trails - Roanoke, VAlast_img read more

9 Weekend Road Rides in Central Virginia

first_imgIn the foothills of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia’s Piedmont region is a perfect spot for road biking enthusiasts. Characterized by rolling hills and breathtaking scenery, Central Virginia has enough trail to keep even the most seasoned distance biker entertained. Here are a few of our favorite weekend cycling destinations.Ashland RambleDifficulty: EasyLength: 26 mi.Nearby Town: Ashland, VATaking riders through the rolling farmlands of Hanover County, the Ashland Ramble is a local favorite among Richmond cyclists. This route goes through Ashland and a few other charming rural communities including Scotchtown, the historic home of Patrick Henry. With a nice mix of pleasant, gradual terrain and a few small climbs, this ride is perfect for the beginner cyclist. You can find the start at the Ashland/Hanover Visitors Center and train station at 112 North Railroad Ave. Parking is available along Railroad Ave. and at the visitor’s center.For more information and a map of Ashland Ramble, click here. Blue Ridge ParkwayDifficulty: Intermediate/ExpertLength: 469 mi.Nearby Town: Afton, VAContinuing where Skyline Drive leaves off, the Blue Ridge Parkway extends the extra 469 miles southwest to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With 214 miles within the Virginia state boundary, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a beautiful ridgeline journey usually only traversed by cars. Typically done as a challenging five to 10 day bike tour, the full length trip is characterized by long stretches of climb and descent. For those looking for a quicker day ride in the central Virginia area, a shorter down and back trip along the Parkway is a great option. To find the Parkway, follow the road signs off of Interstates 64, 81, or 77 in the Afton area. Parking is available at any of the campgrounds and overlooks.For more information and a map of the Blue Ridge Parkway, click here. For a detailed guide about cycling the entire parkway, click here.4665889475_9284fafd3b_oEarly morning on the Blue Ridge ParkwayCharlottesville ChallengeDifficulty: IntermediateLength: 45 mi.Nearby Town: Charlottesville, VAThe Charlottesville Challenge is a beautiful, moderate ride through the Albemarle County countryside. The trip follows National Bike Route 76 at the start, offering gorgeous views at each stop. The Charlottesville Challenge then turns off and explores the more rural area to the south of Charlottesville before passing through the heart of the historic University of Virginia. You can find the start at the shopping area on Ivy Rd., just west of the Ivy Rd./Alderman Rd. intersection. Parking is free at any of the stores nearby.For information and a map of Charlottesville Challenge, click here.Culpeper CruiseDifficulty: IntermediateLength: 40 mi.Nearby Town: Culpeper, VACulpeper Cruise, centered in the small town that gives the ride its name, is a scenic tour of the surrounding historic area. With some significant hills at some points, this trip is ideal as an easy day ride for the intermediate cyclist. A full loop through Culpeper County, this ride has its fair share of small towns, farms, rivers, Civil War battlefields, and breathtaking views. Culpeper is a charming town, and a perfect spot to grab lunch at the start or end of the cruise. The trip starts in downtown Culpeper on East Davis St. Parking is available along the road or at any of the shops or restaurants nearby. For more information and a map of Culpeper Cruise, click here.Lake Anna Century ClassicDifficulty: Intermediate/ExpertLength: 102 mi.Nearby Town: Montpelier, VAOffering options for both an English (102 mi.) or metric (65 mi.) century, the Lake Anna Century Classic is a nice, pleasant ride for the budding distance cyclist. The ride takes cyclists on a tour around the scenic Lake Anna, through the rolling Spotsylvania, Orange, Louisa, and Hanover counties. Riders get to see all this rural area has to offer, passing numerous farms, woodlands, and miles of shoreline. The ride starts off of Mountain Rd. in the small town of Montpelier. Parking can be found at the Montpelier Branch Library or any of the stores or restaurants in the area.For more information and a map of Lake Anna Century Classic, click here.Skyline DriveDifficulty: IntermediateLength: 105 mi.Nearby Town: Afton, VASince National Park Week is coming up from April 16-24 and all admission fees will be waived, now is the perfect time to start planning a route along the scenic Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. Following the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Front Royal to Afton, this is a great route for those seeking wonderful views at overlooks and access to plentiful hiking opportunities. You can enter the south entrance, Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250, or the north entrance, Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, if you opt for the full 105-mile trip. If you are looking for a shorter ride, enter Thorton Gap at Rt. 211 or Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33. Plentiful parking is available at overlooks and trailheads.For more information & a map of Skyline Drive, click here.3712403166_6bb962fac5_bThe iconic Skyline Drive is the perfect destination for a Virginia road ride.Luray ClassicDifficulty: ExpertLength: 83 mi.Nearby Town: Front Royal, VAThe Luray Classic is known as one of the most beautiful, exciting rides in Virginia. This trip can either be completed as a one-day ride by more advanced cyclists or as a two-day adventure for more average riders. The Luray Classic includes 30 miles of the scenic Skyline Drive, a pass through small town of Luray, a climb up Massanutten Mountain, and a dip into the George Washington National Forest. You can find the start to this ride off of S. Royal Ave. in downtown Front Royal, near the Randolph-Macon campus. Parking is available on side streets, any of the nearby stores or restaurants, or the Front Royal/Warren County Visitor Center.For information and a map of Luray Classic, click here. Orange RambleDifficulty: EasyLength: 32 mi.Nearby Town: Orange, VAThe Orange Ramble takes the rider on a pleasant loop through the quiet Orange County. The area has plenty of historical significance: the small town of Rapidan was hotly contested during the Civil War. The ride not only passes numerous historical sites, but also showcases rolling hills, peaceful farmlands, and the 124-acre Lake Orange. This is a gorgeous area and is only a short drive away from Montpelier, the home of founding father James Madison. You can find the start off of E. Main St. in downtown Orange. Parking is available at the shops and restaurants in the area.For more information and a map of Orange Ramble, click here.Richmond Battlefield CruiseDifficulty:  IntermediateLength: 33 mi.Nearby Town: Henrico, VAThe Richmond Battlefield Cruise is a relatively easy, historic ride located just 10 miles southeast of Richmond. The cyclist passes Fort Harrison, Fort Hoke, and through the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Nearby are Malvern Hill Battlefield, Glendale Visitor Center and National Cemetery, and Dory Park, which is a great picnic spot with scenic lake views. You can find the start at Fort Harrison, just outside of Henrico on Battlefield Park Rd. Parking is available at the Fort or at the nearby Fort Harrison National Cemetery. For more information and a map of Richmond Battlefield Cruise, click here.last_img read more

Trail Mix | Paul Burch

first_imgJimmie Rodgers holds a special place in my heart.As I have chronicled for years here on this blog, I have worked with Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a music festival that celebrates the original Bristol Sessions from 1927, of which Rodgers was a part, for over a decade. The wayfaring troubadour became a part of history when he recorded a couple tracks for Ralph Peer and laid the formation for contemporary country and folk music.Paul Burch recently delved into the life of Jimmie Rodgers in a big way. The resulting recording, Meridian Rising, is a musical autobiography, with Burch writing songs that chronicle different eras of Rodgers’ life from the perspective of the Blue Yodeler.Punctuating each track are the sounds that Rodgers would have heard – or created – at any given moment during his life. Though known as a forefather of country music, Rodgers was an encyclopedia of American music. He performed with the legendary Louis Armstrong, and his recording sessions with Peer, who became a close friend, include tracks with The Carter Family, noted blues singers, and even Hawaiian guitarists.Burch’s efforts on Meridian Rising are masterful, bringing back to life one of our most cherished musical icons.I recently caught up with Paul Burch to chat about the life of Jimmie Rodgers and the quality of Burch’s yodel.BRO – If you could sit down with Jimmie and share a cup of coffee, what might you ask him?PB – I’d like to ask Jimmie what records he had, because wife said he “bought them by the ton.” I’d also like to know about his favorite performers he met before his first record and what he liked about them. I’d like to hear about his failed audition for talent scout H.C. Speir in Jackson, Mississippi. Was he hoping to record for Paramount? And I’d like to hear about his session with Louis Armstrong and Clifford Gibson, too. The Mississippi Sheiks said they played a dance with Jimmie. I’d love to hear him play “Sittin’ on Top of the World.” And, lastly, I’d like to play Howlin’ Wolf’s original recording of “Moaning At Midnight,” which was recorded by Sam Phillips, so Jimmie could hear the influence of young Chester, the 14 year old boy he met in Mississippi who wanted to learn his yodel.*BRO – What is it like to write a song as somebody else?PB – I’ve been doing it all along. As Rimbaud wrote, “I is another. If the brass wakes the trumpet, it’s not its fault. That’s obvious to me. I witness the unfolding of my own thought: I watch it, I hear it: I make a stroke with the bow: the symphony begins in the depths, or springs with a bound onto the stage.”BRO – During this process, did it ever become difficult to wear Jimmie’s skin? Did you come across material that was just too tough to put into song?PB – I never felt like I was in Jimmie’s skin. I was more of a Max Brod-like colleague – writing down Jimmie’s thoughts as he said them. Occasionally finishing a sentence. I was a sort of executor to the estate of his soul, as it were. And, as Brod said of Kafka, if Jimmie didn’t want his thoughts published, he should have appointed a different executor.BRO – Can you share one tidbit you learned during your research that we might want to know about Jimmie?PB – Under stress he was a quick thinker, telling a band of gun toting con men in New Orleans that he didn’t have the cash to pay a massive gambling debt, but that they could collect at his bank back home in Texas, and he wrote them an IOU. It was only after he left the state that they discovered Jimmie had written the IOU for a bank that didn’t exist. He never went back to Louisiana.BRO – How’s your yodel?PB – Wouldn’t you like to know.You can catch Paul Burch at one of Nashville’s favorite music hangouts, The 5 Spot, on February 18th and 25th.For more information on Paul, his tour schedule, or where you can buy a copy of Meridian, please check out his website.* Author’s Note – Chester Burnett, the 14 year old mentioned here, grew up to become noted bluesman Howlin’ Wolf.[divider]More from the Trail Mix Blog[/divider]last_img read more

900 Miles in 76 Days: Hiker Sets New Record in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

first_imgLast week, a Tennessee-based hiker named Benny Braden made local headlines when he completed a record-setting trek through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Braden obtained the record by hiking every known trail in the renowned national park—a network of more than 900 miles—within a 76-day period.We recently caught up with Benny to chat about the logistics of his journey, his favorite trails, and some of the sights he saw along the way.[divider]A Q & A with Benny Braden[/divider]BRO: Tell us about the logistics of this journey. How many trails were involved? How did you get from one trail to the next? Did you sleep out on the trail? What was your eating strategy?BENNY: Logistics of course were the biggest concern for me. Arranging shuttles, resupply and lodging were the three things I focused on the most.For shuttles I depended on friends and sometimes strangers who later became friends. I would have someone meet me where I planned to finish and shuttle me to where I wanted to start. Sometimes, if it was a friend, they would hike with me too, which was even better.Resupply was a lot easier during day hikes. I would go to the nearest town (Cherokee, Gatlinburg, Townsend or Newport) get my resupply for the next week or so. I went “No Cook” which made it easier. I would eat roughly 1600 to 2000 calories per day. Mostly made up of protein, energy bars, tortillas, almond butter and jelly,  and maybe a Snickers or two from time to time. When I would day hike I would have milk, lunch meat, fresh fruit and veggies because I would go into town each evening.Lodging was the most simple. If I was day hiking I would usually sleep in my truck in the parking lot of the store that I would resupply at. This also allowed me to have cell service so I could do my uploads and stay in touch with my beautiful bride back home. If I was backpacking, I’d plan my mileage and get my permits for the campsites I was planning to be at. I stayed in the backcountry 19 nights ( 15 nights in my Zpacks Duplex tent and 4 at shelters.As for the number of trails. There are 150 trails in the park, but six are currently closed due to storm or fire damage.BRO: What inspired you to set out on this record-setting hike?BENNY: I was on a short backpacking trip to Mt. LeConte with my close friend Chad Poindexter of Stick’s Blog on Thanksgiving weekend of last year, the same weekend as the Chimney Top/Gatlinburg fires. While sitting at the Cliff Tops—a popular spot on the mountain—I decided I was going to take a break from section hiking the AT and focus on doing all the trails for 2017.I began hiking the trails on Dec. 31, 2016 at 3am. My plan was to do all the trail in one full year, but after three weeks I already had 150 miles. When the GSMNP 900 Miler Club told me the quickest time it was ever done was four months and twelve days held by Sharon Spezia, I knew then it was with in my reach, and I started hiking seven days a week at that point. My goal wasn’t to just beat the record but to shatter it. I finished Mar 18, 2017 which established a new record of 2 months and 19 days, done completely in winter.BRO: How long have you been hiking?BENNY: I began hiking as a teenager. Which I grew up in the country so I was always out playing around in the woods. As I’ve grown older, I enjoy it even more.BRO: Did you have a favorite trail along the way?BENNY: Yes! Noland Divide Trail is my absolute favorite. It begins at Clingman’s Dome Road and ends at Deep Creek Campground on the North Carolina side of the park. It’s very diverse in its surroundings with a hemlock forest at the top followed a sections of rhododendrons, an exposed ridge line with 360° views and a hard wood forest at the bottom.BRO:  Any wildlife encounters along the way?BENNY: Yes! I saw around 90 grouse,  which will scare the living daylights out of you when they take off by the way, 40 wild hogs, 30 turkeys, 30 elk, 15 deer and 1 bear.BRO: What was the most difficult and trying part of the hike?BENNY: Honestly, the most difficult thing was finding shuttles. Everyone else was working during the week, so sometimes I’d just have to plan out some loop trails to fill in the day, saving the shuttle hikes for later. Also, while on the way home to swap out some gear, the motor in my truck blew up. I managed to drive it home from Pigeon Forge to Harriman, but I had to go about 40 to 50 mph the whole way which took forever. The next morning we rented a car for my bride to drive, and I took her car back to North Carolina with me.last_img read more

Building for the Dream Race in Ways Unconventional to Me

first_imgMy next session I practiced counting my strokes, exhaling while my face was in the water, and taking a breath in between strokes. Awkward, but an improvement. I swam for over 1000 yards. That’s the most I ever swam. I kept at it and proud to say that today, my exhausted arms resting on my keyboard, I swam for 1500 yards. Training had been great! I was running long and climbing mountains. Then one day my knee wasn’t happy. It went from unhappy to angry without any further agitation, and I was left with the reality that I wouldn’t be running for a few weeks. I’ve been running for almost thirty years. In those thirty years I’ve had injuries and setbacks. I learned from each experience that I can either let these frustrate me and wallow in pity or I can keep moving forward doing what my body will allow me to do without setting myself back further. You can already guess which way I chose.  For those that don’t know, UTMB is a 106-mile race with over 30,000’ of vertical gain around Mont Blanc in the Alps that takes the participants from France, into Italy, then Switzerland, and back into France. This is the largest 100-mile race in the world with 2500 participants. To say this is a dream race for most ultra-marathon runners would be a severe understatement. The week leading up to UTMB is a festival in Chamonix full of other race distances. In other words, the last week of August, Chamonix is the runner’s capitol of the world! It was a year ago that a friend called me and told me I only needed to earn six more points to be able to enter the UTMB lottery and suggested I sign up for the Chattanooga 100-mile race to earn those six points. And so, I did, and little did I realize that in the process of taking 2nd place overall, I would skip the lottery entirely (due to my ranking in the International Trail Running Association) and be entered into the Elite Field of UTMB. UTMB is August 30. That date is set. My fitness is shaping up, and I will get to the starting line. There will be many more laps swam, spinning sessions on the bike, and who knows what else. The point is, my goals, perception, and value of the race hasn’t changed, but my mindset of finding fitness, stamina, and endurance sure has! For this, I have my wife to thank (but don’t tell her that!). I gave the knee four weeks of healing and through cross-training and patience, I’m back to running. It’s not full run training, but I continue to bike, swim, row, and hike on the treadmill at an incline in combination with short runs. As always, enjoy the journey! It was two years ago when my son, then ten years old, approached me with a Salomon video of The Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc (UTMB) 100-mile race, and asked when I was going to run the race. I immediately began to use my recumbent stationary bike in my basement and catch up on episodes of “The Arrow” on Netflix. Then my wife asked the question I dread, “What about swimming?” Generally, I’m a positive upbeat individual, and I tried not to show what I was feeling on the inside when she asked, but she could read my thoughts. Being the logical person, she is, she started to list off the benefits of swimming. I love my wife, and I certainly appreciate what she was trying to do, but she knows how much I loathe swimming. There is are a few reasons, but that’s for another day. So, off to the pool we went. I warmed up five kilometers on the rowing machine delaying the inevitable swim. I don’t fear water; I just can’t stand not being able to breathe on demand. All said, I began the workout. I would swim a lap, take a breath break, and repeat. My wife tried to teach me how to breathe during my stroke, but it was just too unnatural, so I would swim an entire lap holding my breath. I survived and I had a good workout. You’ll be able to follow me at UTMB on ultralive.netlast_img read more

U.S. Forest Service releases draft Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan for public comment

first_img“Using public input, we’ve re-written parts of the plan, changed management area boundaries, and added a new chapter about places and uses on each part of the forest. We built alternatives based upon what we heard were shared values to offer win-win solutions and minimize polarization,” Aldridge said.  Public meetings will be held at the dates and locations below for participants to talk with planning team members. Additional public meetings are being scheduled across the forests. Check our website for updated information. “We heard from a wide range of people and groups who use, depend on, and appreciate the forests as we developed the plan,” said Allen Nicholas, Forest Supervisor of the National Forests in North Carolina. “We’re sharing this proposed plan so the public can review it and provide additional information before the plan is finalized.”  Drafts of the Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) are now available. A formal 90-day public review and comment period has begun on February 14. The proposed plan is built on significant public engagement and the best available science to guide forest management for the next 15 years. The drafts are available online at The formal comment period ends on May 14, 2020. Public comments are most helpful when they include detailed information about specific places and uses of the forest. The proposed plan describes how the Forest Service will increase forest restoration, generate more jobs and economic development in local communities, and promote sustainable use of the national forests. The draft EIS presents four alternative approaches to managing the forests that offer different ways to make progress towards multiple goals and be sensitive to special places.  “These drafts are significantly different from the early plan materials we shared in 2017 because we’ve incorporated public feedback received since then,” said Michelle Aldridge, team lead for the forest plan revision. It recognizes the multiple uses of national forests including recreation, timber, water, wilderness, and wildlife habitat. The draft EIS considers the economic, environmental, and social impacts of forest management activities.  March 10, 5:30-8:30pm at the Foothills Conference Center, 2128 S. Sterling St., Morganton, NC.March 16, 5:30-8:30pm at the Rogow Family Community Room, Brevard Library, 212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC.March 19, 5:30-8:30pm at the Brasstown Community Center, 255 Settawig Rd, Brasstown, NC.March 24, 5:30-8:30pm at First Presbyterian Church’s Tartan Hall, 26 Church Street, Franklin NC.last_img read more

Ober Gatlinburg – Gatlinburg, TN (2020-2021 Resort Profile)

first_imgIn addition to skiing and snowboarding, Ober Gatlinburg also offers snow tubing and indoor ice skating. The Ski Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, Scenic Chairlift, and Wildlife Encounter all remain open year-round as well. What do you offer for beginners who want to learn how to ski or snowboard? Skiable acres? 36 Ober Gatlinburg rents everything from helmets and jackets to snowboards, skis, boots, and poles. For those who wish to purchase equipment or apparel, Slopeside Apparel & Gifts and Ski Mountain Sports have stores onsite. Shop brands like Mountain Hardware, Adidas, Helly Hanson, Keen, Burton and Columbia. Where do you recommend visitors buy or rent their gear? Driving distance to nearest major cities? Pass prices? $339 for season passes. We offer different types of passes. Discounted Early Bird prices available yearly. Check the website for more details. Longest run? Ober Chute. It is 4,400 feet in length with a vertical of 556 feet. Base/summit elevation? 2,700 ft / 3,300 ft Head to Ober Gatlinburg’s website for all COVID-19 guidelines and updates. Where is the best place to stay in the area? And if they are looking to buy? They’re all great in their own ways, but Grizzly is our wonderful hidden gem. It is a long run with steep, varied terrain that is nestled along the tree line. It is one of our advanced runs and has less traffic than the others. It also offers nice views! Average inches of snowfall? We make winter happen at Ober Gatlinburg. We have two different types of snowmaking systems, with the ability to pump out 300 tons of snow per day. How many beginner, intermediate, and expert trails are there? What’s new at the resort this year? What are the best après ski activities available at the resort and in the area? Ober Gatlinburg is a great place for beginners! We offer Ski School every day, all day when the slopes are open. No reservations are necessary! Group lessons are $25/person/hour and private lessons are $65/hour. We also have a $160 progressive 4-day Wintersports Discovery Program lesson package that includes 4 rentals, 4 lessons, and 4 lift tickets in the package What guidelines and protocols have you put in place to keep visitors and employees safe during COVID-19? We have an entire list of Lodging Partners listed on our website! There are thousands of options to choose from including every size cabin, hotels, motels, condos, etc. What activities are available beyond the slopes? Ober Gatlinburg is fun for the whole family! During the winter season, many of our visitors do not actually ski or snowboard— we offer plenty of activities for all generations! We have rental ski and snowboard boots from toddler size 6 to adult size 16. For those too little to hit the slopes, we offer the Cubbies Snow Zone where they can enjoy the snow too. Snow tubing is a low skill – high thrill type of activity for everyone starting at age 3! The onsite Loft Lounge and Seasons of Ober Restaurant both offer a wide selection of food and drinks for skiers and snowboarders in need of refreshment! We have 2 beginner, 6 intermediate, and 2 advanced trails, plus a terrain park.  This year, we have worked on our terrain park features that will make learning easier! Do you offer any family friendly activities? Washington, D.C. – 500 milesRichmond, Va. – 450 milesCharlottesville, Va. – 375 milesRoanoke, Va. – 275 milesLexington Ky. – 225 milesCharlotte, N.C. – 200 milesWinston Salem, N.C. – 225 milesAtlanta, Ga. – 200 milesChattanooga, Tenn. – 150 miles Number of lifts? 4 What are the best runs and why? Opening day? Our projected opening date is early to mid-December. We recently installed 15 new SMI Polecat snow guns last year, including 12 Super Polecats and 3 standard Polecats!  Our new snow guns are also now automated and turn on when the temperature and humidity are just right! We have repositioned the old Tram Car to be the new Ski Patrol Hut at the top of Red Lift. We have also added a new year-round biergarten, Summer Tubing, and Ice Bumper Cars. Are there activities available in the off-season? Yes! Ober Gatlinburg is an amusement area in the summer! When the slopes aren’t in use, we offer midway of rides and activities such as Ice Bumper Cars, miniature golf, rock climbing wall, the Amazin’ Maze, chair swings, and more. When the weather heats up, cool down on one of our three water slides or on our indoor Ice Skating Rink! We also host several events and festivals throughout the year, including Oktoberfest in the fall. Number of slopes? 10last_img read more

Brazilian Navy Sends Field Hospital to Chile

first_imgBy Dialogo March 05, 2010 The Brazilian Navy has sent a field hospital to Chile, on a Brazilian Air Force plane, to help with humanitarian-aid operations for the victims of the earthquake that struck that country. The field hospital has the capacity to see up to four hundred patients per day, relying on a staff of forty-seven military personnel in the healthcare field. The following activities can be performed: • first aid and treatment of common and contagious diseases; • three to four surgeries per day (with anesthesia), such as laparotomy, appendectomy, thoracocentesis, debriding wounds, setting fractures, and amputations; • emergency resuscitation, such as airway, breathing, and circulation management, intensive care (two beds), hemorrhage control, treatment for shock, and other life-saving emergency treatments; • stabilization and evacuation, if necessary, for the next level of care; • admission of up to eighteen patients for a maximum period of forty-eight hours for monitoring and treatment; • up to forty basic X-ray and ultrasound exams per day; • maintenance of an adequate inventory of medical supplies to ensure self-sufficiency for up to sixty days; and • maintenance of an advanced medical team, consisting of one doctor and two nurses trained in prehospital emergency care.last_img read more

Colombia and Panama Initiate Fifth Round of Negotiations on FTA

first_img The fifth round of negotiations on the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and Panama began in the Panamanian capital on 25 October, official sources reported. “The fifth round began this morning at a hotel and will last until Friday [29 October],” an official source told AFP. In order to conclude the negotiations, both sides will have to resolve stumbling-blocks such as access to markets for agricultural and industrial products and the treatment of the Panamanian foreign-trade zone. “We don’t have to hurry or be in a rush; we should take steps with a view to the long term,” Manuel Fernández, president of the Panamanian Association of Exporters, said in the daily La Prensa. Panamanian producers of beef, pork, milk, and corn continue to take the position of asking for the exclusion of these sectors, while the Panamanian textile sector has also expressed its fear of an opening of the market, due to the asymmetries between the economies of the two countries. For its part, Colombian business believes that part of the smuggling that disadvantages its producers comes from the foreign-trade zone of the Panamanian city of Colón. Rules of origin, animal and plant health measures, and government purchases are other points that remain to be resolved before signing the agreement. Colombia and Panama began negotiations on the treaty at the beginning of 2010, with the expectation that it would require a maximum of four rounds. In 2009, Colombia exported 258.3 million dollars in goods to Panama, while imports from that country amounted to 15.7 million dollars. By Dialogo October 27, 2010last_img read more