Samples from the lower Cape Lamb Member, López de Bertodano Formation, Cape Lamb, Vega Island, Antarctic Peninsula have yielded rich and diverse marine palynofloral assemblages. The overall character of the palynofloral assemblages indicate a latest Campanian–earliest Maastrichtian age. Four new dinoflagellate cyst species Canninginopsis ordospinosa sp. nov., Microdinium ? gymnosuturum sp. nov., Phelodinium exilicornutum sp. nov. and Operculodinium radiculatum sp. nov. are described. Certain key dinoflagellate cyst taxa such as Operculodinium radiculatum sp. nov., Manumiella n. sp. 3 and Isabelidinium cretaceum allow a correlation of the lower Cape Lamb Member with the upper palynomorph zone 1/lower zone 2 on nearby Seymour Island.
Attached is the link Of Resolution C-2017-25 written by Evansville City Council members Justin Elpers (R) and John Hayden (R) that encourages the Vanderburgh County Council to vote on the proposed Public Safety Income Tax issue proposed by the City of Evansville.We urge you to take time to read this extremely well written resolution in order for you to see what the above City Council members are proposing is spot on. We feel that this resolution represents what “Good Policy” is all about.Resolution C-2017-25 – County Vote on LIT-cFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that its time that our elected officials be held accountable for the bad business decisions they make in our behalf?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports. IS IT TRUE we are told that the Vanderburgh County Commissioners will be selecting a well known and highly respected community leader at their next meeting to serve on the Evansville/Vanderburgh County Public Library Board? …we are told that the vote to put this individual on the Library Board will be unanimous? We hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way? IS IT TRUE that Senate Bill 479 authored by Sen. Vaneta Becker, Sen. James Thomes, and Sen. Mark Messmer and sponsored by Rep. Holli Sullivan, Rep. Ryan Hatfield, and Wendy McNamara states the following? …it says; “Transfer of state real property. Requires the conveyance of certain real property by the state to the University of Evansville to remove restrictions on the use of the property by the university that was required by legislation enacted in 1988 and 1997”? …we wonder what this is all about? IS IT TRUE until recently Evansville seems to have landed another Arena Football team and this one will be playing in the $127 Million Ford Center? …the plans were seemingly dashed because of a lack of funding from the Corporate office? …if the Firebirds were able to start the season it was highly likely that they would have been able to finish it because of the lack of marketing and long term financial support from the Corporate office? If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]: Any comments posted in this column by our readers do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers. IS IT TRUE that the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed suit against an action by the town’s public libraries that banned citizens from holding a Drag Queen Story Hour in that library’s facilities? …The ACLU won that decision? IS IT TRUE we have written many times in the past, it is winning that sell seats and not the money spent on the Arena they play in?…we have been down this path before with both indoor and outdoor football and the song remains the same?…it was highly feasible that this team like the others may have been a bunch of former high school and college players who are longing for another shot at the gridiron?IS IT TRUE that the Bluecats had a run of several years and drew about 2,500 attendees per game with many of them being free tickets? …the Bluecats and the Vipers both fell on hard times in the win department and at the box office and ceased operations?…the Vipers eventually moved their games to Morganfield, KY to play on a field that is otherwise only used for little league? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail IS IT TRUE when the mainstream media becomes a lap dog for elected officials instead of being a watchdog for the people and the taxpayers are the one who pays the price for bad business decisions made by politicians? IS IT TRUE last week we correctly predicted that the potential Democratic candidate for the Mayor of Evansville will not be filing on Friday? …If this individual decides to run for Mayor of Evansville he will ask the Democratic party officials to select him as their Mayoral candidate in a political caucus in the very near future? …we are told if he decides to runs for Mayor of Evansville his campaign will not only have an awesome social media presence but he will also be well versed with the political decisions that the Mayor have made since he been in office?IS IT TRUE we were impressed with Vanderburgh County Commission President Ben Shoulders comments he made just before he opened the “Public Comment Section” of the meeting? …he said; “It looks like we have 3 individuals here to speak today and it looks like all 3 are here to speak about EVPL. I want to preface this portion of our meeting by saying this to everyone. First, please be cognizant of time, especially due to the number of speakers here today. But more importantly, I want to emphasize the importance of all speakers being respectful, polite and courteous to all parties. As a governing body, we are here to welcome comments; however, we will not tolerate any form of hatred, demeaning or bullying of ANY kind at ANY time. We are all Vanderburgh County citizens and fellow taxpayers and here for the greater good of OUR community.?” …commend Mr. Shoulders for making the above comments to the taxpayers who wanted to speak before the County Commission?IS IT TRUE we wonder why the management of the Ford Center wasn’t interested in advertising in the City-County Observer anymore? …could it have been because during the last several years the CCO has written some less than complimentary articles concerning the funding of the Evansville Thunderbolts? …if any advertiser expects to use the CCO for propaganda purposes we suggest that they better spend their adverting elsewhere? ..the CCO takes pride in being Evansville’s Watch Dog and we will continue to do so even if it picks our own pocket? IS IT TRUE last week three Vanderburgh County Commissioners appeared on the weekly WNIN “Lawmakers” show over the weekend? …they answered questions about the jail overcrowding, the public library, roads, economic development, and many other topics?…we commend the Commissioners for doing an excellent job in explaining their future plans to serve the taxpayers of this community?
“If you are doing something you really love to do, you are going to put a lot more effort into it, and that effort is going to show in the final product.”Billy Schweim uses that simple philosophy to help make his ESPN 97.3 FM South Jersey radio show a success. And it’s a good thing, too, because longtime Ocean City resident Schweim, 53, puts in virtually all the effort: planning the two-hour show’s structure, booking the guests, selling the advertising and pretty much making it all happen.The end result is “The Locker Room with Billy Schweim” which can be heard every Saturday morning from 10 am to noon. During the course of a show, Schweim will discuss the hot topics of the day in sports and present special regular segments such as the Wave Report with Greg Beck of Surfer Supplies. He banters with co-hosts Josh Henning and his identical twin brother Bob, fields calls from listeners and keeps the lively and entertaining format moving. He says the hardest part of producing the show is booking guests, but that is where his penchant for hard work comes in.“It’s really just networking and getting out there and working the phones. It’s a fine line between letting the guests know you are excited about them and making a nuisance of yourself.”Apparently, Billy strikes the balance well, as his “Hall of Fame” roster of guests will attest. Football’s Mike Quick and Sheldon Brown, hockey’s Mark Howe and Craig Berube, basketball’s Aaron McKie and Phil Martelli, and baseball’s Jeff Francoeur and Garry Maddox are just a few examples. Schweim has a unique ability to make his guests feel at ease and open up for entertaining and insightful chats.Podcasts of interviews, show reviews and updates and sponsor information can be found on Schweim’s website, www.thelockerroomwithbillyschweim.com.“I always liked to talk sports, but to tell you the truth, having my own show was an accident. I kind of backed into it,” he says.In a previous career, Schweim worked 24 years for USAirways in fleet services at the Philadelphia Airport. “It was a good job but a hard, dirty job.” He sustained a serious arm injury on the job, endured several surgeries and finally accepted a buyout from the airline. Suddenly he was faced with a career switch while in his 40s.Schweim decided he wanted to become a history teacher and returned to college. But a funny thing happened on his way to a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. Needing to earn his final six credits, he took two journalism courses. One of them just happened to be an internship with legendary sports talker Chuck Betson (also an Ocean City resident) and Schweim was instantly hooked on sports talk radio.“I will always be grateful to Chuck for allowing me to get my start in radio,” Schweim said. However, the format of Betson’s show and Schweim’s limited role as an intern left him wanting to do more. He pitched the idea for a show to WIBG radio’s station manager, and he went on the air for the first time in August, 2013. His show moved to ESPN 97.3 in May of 2014.He credits his wife Toni for encouraging him to pursue his passion for sports talk radio. Another inspiration is his new 7-month-old daughter, Alyza Grace.“My wife challenged me and I have to be honest, I probably never would have taken the risk had she not been so supportive,” he said.When he isn’t working on his show, Schweim has put his Rutgers degree to work fulltime as a teaching assistant in the Gloucester County Special Services School District, and commutes between his Ocean City residence and one in Cherry Hill. His passion remains sports talk, and his goal is to work at it fulltime.“My goal isn’t to become rich, but to support my family doing something that I love.”If past performance and work ethic is any indication, don’t bet against Billy Schweim.
Al Neill slips the key into the front door of Shoemaker Lumber for the last time. By Tim KellyIt was a day like any other, and yet a day like none other.Al Neill recently slipped the key into the door at Shoemaker Lumber for the last time. Neill, 87, was retiring from the business he bought into almost 54 years ago. Though Shoemaker lumber will continue on as one of Ocean City’s oldest and most respected businesses, it won’t ever be quite the same.“My body was telling me it was time to get out of here,” Al told OCNJ Daily during his last day on the job. “This is a young person’s business.”As a result, Neill will be seen a lot more often walking on the boardwalk and riding his bike around town, and won’t be seen much at the iconic lumber yard and hardware store occupying 2.2 acres at 12th and West Ave. since 1902.“Today is like any other day,” said Al, with respect to his duties. “It’s just that it is the last one.”The last time Al Neill was not working at Shoemaker Lumber, it was the summer of 1964. Lyndon Johnson was president, Ford Motor Company was touting its sporty new Mustang, and the Philadelphia Phillies were seemingly on their way to the National League pennant until they blew a 6 ½ game lead with 10 to play.Al Neill shows ad for the auction that never happened in September 1964. Al and his partners made a bid the Shoemaker family accepted and the need for the auction was averted.The world has changed a lot since then, and Al has seen many changes on the island and in the lumber business as well. The one constant, he said, is good old fashioned customer service.“He was always working,” son Dan Neill said of his dad. “I can vividly remember him at the dinner table with all the paperwork spread out while he figured out the bills. This was in the days before we went to computers. He used an adding machine the size of a brick. There was a huge stack of papers and he would add up all the bills right at the dinner table.“Then, after dinner he would go back into the office and work a couple more hours,” said Dan, himself a Shoemaker owner who worked at the yard for 40 years.It’s been that way for Al Neill for more than five decades. In the last few years Al slowed down a bit and went to part time status. But he was still involved in buying lumber and handling accounts payable and receivable, right up until his retirement.Ever humble, Al downplays the work ethic. “I went from seven days a week to six days a week,” he said, referring to his previous job as a manager at the old Majane News Agency at 12th and Ocean Ave.Shoemaker Lumber, one of the oldest businesses in Ocean City, as it appeared in the 1920s.When the Shoemaker family decided to sell the business, there were initially no serious offers. The yard was slated to be sold at auction. That is when Neill and partners Fred and Donald Tarves put in an offer that was accepted, averting the auction altogether. And the rest, as the saying goes, is Ocean City history.Today Shoemaker Lumber is a full service yard and hardware store. It has showrooms for kitchens and baths. In addition to lumber, it sells windows, doors, building supplies, hardware and much more. It caters to contractors and handymen (and women) but also to individuals.Much of their business comes from Ocean City, and they also do a lot from Sea Isle City and the mainland.Shoemaker supplied the wood to builder Fred Shivone for the last three phases of the Ocean City Boardwalk reconstruction. They also supply wood, hardware and other building materials for construction companies in town and all over South Jersey.Al Neill has seen it all. Not bad for a guy who had zero experience in the lumber business before buying in.“I had to learn it,” Al said. “I had to jump right in and begin selling wood and learning by trial and error.”He credited his partners for helping him to learn the ropes. “Fred and Don were builders and they knew what they were doing and helped me.”Al remembers the Shoemaker family used to deliver wood and coal in the early days of the business in horse-drawn wagons. Today Shoemaker will deliver it to a jobsite with a boom truck.“The horse stables were still here” when Al and his partners took over the business, he said.Dan Neil (third from left) gathers with employees recently. From left are Ian Wallace, Harry Lord, Neil, Tim Yarger and Meg Moynihan.The company started out with three owners doing all the work, and today they boast a staff of 20. In 1964 there were four other lumber yards in Ocean City, Al said and today they are the last one on the island.Despite the value of the land occupied by the yard, there are no plans for Shoemaker Lumber to be anything other than Shoemaker Lumber, he said.“There will probably come a day when this won’t be a lumber yard,” he remarked, but that day was not in the foreseeable future, he said. “We’re going to be here for our employees and customers.”Moving forward, Dan Neill will continue on, as will Fred Tarves’ daughter Janet. Fred’s son, Jim, was involved until he passed away two years ago, and Janet’s husband Dick Young, who stepped down recently, made a strong contribution to the business, Dan said. Of course, that loyal and talented band of employees will continue to be an asset to the business, he added.Through it all, Al Neill was the only one of the current ownership group that has worked continuously the entire time. So how did the staff honor their longtime friend and colleague?“They had a cake, and everyone got together and gave him a really nice card,” Dan said.“They knew he wouldn’t want a big party or anything like that.”
Premium café chain Patisserie Valerie is forging ahead with expansion plans, despite the economic downturn, opening four more outlets in the next fortnight and a further nine by the spring of next year.”We’re obviously aware of the economic situation, but, looking at the performance of our new stores, there is no justification for cutting back on our expansion plans,” said Paul May, MD of Patisserie Holdings, part of private equity group Risk Capi-tal Partners, which bought a majority stake in Patisserie Valerie in 2006.”In difficult times people want to cheer themselves up with an affordable treat.”The 16-shop chain has acquired a further nine sites, mainly in the capital, which are to be refurbished in the coming weeks. These stores are expected to be open by the spring of next year at the latest.May also revealed that the company’s franchise business in the Middle East was progressing well, with the first shop due to open in Dubai in December. Three other sites are expected to open soon after.Patisserie Holdings, which also owns 40-shop Midlands-based patisserie chain Druckers, plans to open a total of 125 Patisserie Valerie stores in the UK in the next three to five years. None of the UK outlets will be franchised.In other news, Druckers’ central bakery was closed down by environmental health officers earlier this month after heavy rain led to a leak in the roof. May said the company lost 17 hours of production while the roof was repaired, but the company was able to transfer capacity to its Patisserie Valerie production sites.
Notre Dame students who use Instagram may have received a follow on the photo-sharing app from an account with the username of “Whichprofessornd.” With the goal of sharing course recommendations and the tagline of “Why aren’t CIFs public information?” the page has amassed over 700 followers, with their first post being uploaded April 9. Students are encouraged to fill out CIFs (course instructor feedback) at the end of each semester with the incentive of receiving their final grades about one week early. Students can leave detailed reviews of their instructors and their courses through a comments section after filling out a survey for each. Whichprofessornd contains categories like “Uni Requirements,” “Arts & Letters,” “Menbroza,” and “Science.” The account specializes in giving recommendations of professors and classes to register for, as well as occasionally professors and courses to steer clear of. Until now, the account’s owner has maintained anonymity, save for a few close friends. Although reluctant to reveal her identity, Leilani Tiara, a junior majoring in Science Business, said she believes it is frustrating the CIFs students are encouraged to fill out are not available to younger students.“I feel like I always get screwed over by people saying, ‘Oh, that class is easy,’ but then I don’t know what the workload is like,” Tiara said. “Or, you know what the workload is like but you don’t know what the professor is like … the information is just so vague. I used to fill out CIF’s religiously, like every semester. But the past two years, after freshman year, I never filled out a CIF again. I was like, ‘What’s the point, the information isn’t even going to even be available for the younger kids.” Tiara was prompted to begin the account after asking friends through her personal Instagram about which course to take for her major. Although there are sites like Rate My Professor, Tiara said, “those aren’t updated nearly enough.”“I actually didn’t expect a lot,” she said. “I was having trouble deciding on a management class, and I put a poll on my own Instagram. I got so many responses, and I thought, ‘Why not just put this onto a dedicated account?’ I guess I didn’t expect it to get big. … I think opening it up during DARTing season really helped a lot. … I felt like starting the Instagram could reach a lot more people — not just your friend group.”Through Instagram’s direct-messaging feature, Tiara receives comments and recommendations on courses she posts on her public Instagram story. She said she receives around 30 to 40 responses for posts asking about courses that are University requirements. “It get so confusing. … It depends on the class,” Tiara said. “If i put recommendations for like, theology one — something everyone has to take — I get like 30, 40 responses. A lot of people give pretty good descriptions, but a lot of people request really specific classes, but I try to only do those once in a while.”Tiara said she thinks CIFs are not public information because of the negative nature of some comments.“I think they aren’t public because, at least for me, I only fill out CIFs if I really didn’t like the professor … so it might be negative, and I think the University would have to filter out the comments and it would be too much work for them,” she said. Tiara hopes to continue the account into next year and beyond. “I want to give it to someone else as long as there is still a need,” she said.Tiara said she thinks that as of now, there is a great need for the information in CIFs to be public.“I think CIFs should be public because there is no animosity between the students, everyone here is willing to help,” she said. “That’s the spirit of Notre Dame, so if you need a class, I will tell you honestly how I felt about it. I’m not trying to tell you fake information to screw you over. Since we are a top university in the nation, I can’t believe we still don’t have a proper system for [CIFs] that’s honest. Tags: CIFs, Instagram, teacher evaluations, Whichprofessornd
The cast includes Sterling K. Brown, Louis Cancelmi, Peter Jay Fernandez, Jeremie Harris, Russell G. Jones, Jenny Jules, Ken Marks, Jacob Ming-Trent, Tonye Patano and Julian Rozzell Jr. Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) will extend off-Broadway through November 30; it had originally been set to shutter on November 16. Directed by Jo Bonney, the show officially opened on October 28 at the Public’s Anspacher Theater. Father Comes Home From the Wars consists of three plays performed as one. In Part 1, “A Measure of Man,” Hero, a slave who is accustomed to his master’s lies, must now decide whether to join him on the Confederate battlefield in exchange for a promise of freedom. Part 2, “The Battle in the Wilderness” follows Hero and the Colonel as they lead a captured Union solider toward the Confederate lines as the cannons approach. Finally, in Part 3, “The Union of My Confederate Parts,” the loved ones Hero left behind question whether to escape or wait for his return—only to discover that for Hero, freedom may have come at a great spiritual cost. Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) Related Shows View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 7, 2014
Directed by two of the company’s seven artistic directors, Shana Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila, Séquence 8 premiered in Lyon, France in 2012, and has been produced in 15 countries worldwide. The production marks the company’s first full-length work for New York audiences since 2011’s Traces. View Comments Roll up, roll up to City Center! Séquence 8, the internationally acclaimed nouveau cirque spectacular, will make its New York premiere next spring. The show will begin performances at New York City Center on April 16, 2015 and play through April 26. From the inventive circus company behind Broadway’s Pippin comes Séquence 8, a nouveau cirque show that explores human emotions so intense that they explode into highflying acrobatics. Starring eight performers from the Montreal-based Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers), the emotionally intimate Séquence 8 redefines the meaning of the word “circus” through a unique fusion of acrobatics, hip-hop, humor and propulsive music.
Take to the highway for the best weekend adventures in the Blue Ridge.When school lets out and the heat index begins to climb, it’s time to head for the mountains. No need to pack a month’s worth of provisions for a road trip in the Southeast. You can pack in more in a long weekend than most can in a whole summer. The adventure of a lifetime is within striking distance of even the most carsick-prone traveller.Few things symbolize the spirit of this country as acutely as the great American road trip. Packing up the car and hitting the open highway is a summer tradition that runs back to horse and buggies making their way to county seats. When one thinks of American road trip icons such as Kerouac, Steinbeck, or Griswold, they are tied together by a craving of adventure and a willingness to go out into the world and seize it. Whether you are traveling across the country or across the state, anything can, and will, happen on the road. Of course, you’ve mapped out a route and planned everything down to the minutest detail, but if everything went according to plan, it would be called a road operation, and not a trip.Along with fuel and tunes, flexibility is one of the key components of a successful road trip. Don’t let your weekend jaunt turn into the Donner Party by losing your cool. Weather changes, campsites fill up, roads shut down; the ability to adapt on the fly will make or break the trip—especially as tempers and temperatures rise and the A/C breaks and someone has to use the potty and you sat on my sunglasses.But the road trip is not just about the road traveled and the sights from the car window. The journey may be the reward, but the destination is still the destination. Experiencing new and exciting places is the reason you got in the passenger seat to begin with, so don’t skimp on the outside adventure. Here are five easy weekend getaways.SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA DO IT ALLDAY 1: RIDE EXPLORE PARKLocated just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 115 outside Roanoke, Va., Explore Park is an easy respite from the rigors of the road. The 1100-acre park borders the Roanoke River with access to fishing, and paddling along with a beautiful river walk with nature observation and picnic areas. Also located in the park is the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center where you can pick up literature on the Parkway and some keepsakes from the gift shop. Explore is home to a living history museum as well as historic buildings and a restaurant; unfortunately, all are temporarily closed.No worries, mate. The big draw of Explore Park is the mountain biking that lies within its borders, and the trails are always open. Over nine miles of rolling singletrack loop through its hardwood forests. The trails were built by volunteers from the International Mountain Biking Association. Warm up those car legs with a spin on the one-mile beginners’ trail before hitting the longer and slightly more intense intermediate trail. If you feel up for it, take the expert trail down to the river.Stay: Plenty of places to stop for the night in Roanoke, or head for Roanoke Mountain Campground at milepost 120.5. Be sure to pop into Cardinal Bicycle for all your bike needs.Play: If riding is not your thing, take a stroll on the self-guided nature walk that connects with the bike trails. No bikes allowed, so you don’t have to worry about looking over your shoulder for downhillers.DAY 2: GRAYSON HIGHLANDS STATE PARKYou cannot travel in southeast Virginia and not stop by the highest point in the state, Mount Rogers. Though there is plenty to do in the Mount Rogers Recreation Area, bagging the 5,000-foot peak is at the top of the list. Combine that with a chance to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail, and this landmark is a road tripping must.Begin by parking at the Massie Gap area at Grayson Highlands State Park off Rt. 58. Parking will cost you a few bucks, but it will be worth it. Grab a trail map at the Visitor’s Center before striking out for Mount Rogers via the A.T., hiking through upland pastures and thickets of rhododendron. Keep an eye out for wild ponies on the four-mile hike to the Thomas Knob Shelter and the base of Mount Rogers. A half-mile spur trail puts you at the top of Virginia.Stay: There is ample camping near the shelter.Play: Take Route 600 to the parking area almost at the top of Whitetop Mountain, the second highest peak in Virginia and northernmost bald in the Appalachians, to take in the views. Damascus is just east on Route 58, and is known as Trail Town, USA, the friendliest town in America. Be sure to stop in for lunch or dinner.DAY 3: PADDLE THE NOLICHUCKYJust over the Tennessee border is the Nolichucky River, holding some of the wildest whitewater in the Southeast. From its headwaters at Mount Mitchell, the Nolichucky snakes through the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi, providing a dynamic backdrop as you run its Class II-IV rapids. The walls of the gorge rise from the river to over 5,000 feet, which will make you feel totally isolated. Though the upper section can be challenging, outfitters will take kids as young as 9 or 10.If you are looking for a more leisurely trip, skip the upper section and opt for just the lower section with gentler Class II-III. Outfitters like Cherokee Adventures launch from Erwin, Tenn., and have a range of trip options from scenic full day to half-day whitewater. The Nolichucky has something for everyone.Stay:The Nolichucky Gorge Campground at the takeout has primitive campsites along with cabins or bunkhouses if you are with a group. Be sure to hit up River’s Edge at the base of Devil’s Looking Glass Cliff for the most scenic barbecue sandwich you’ve ever had.Play: Erwin sits inside Cherokee National Forest with 150 miles of hiking trails, plus the Appalachian Trail. If you are feeling adventurous, check out Worley’s Cave for stalagmites, stalactites, and rooms with 100-foot ceilings.UPPER SHENANDOAH VALLEY JEWEL OF THE BLUE RIDGEDAY 1: CYCLE SKYLINE DRIVEOne of the best ways to see Shenandoah National Park is on two wheels via the Skyline Drive. The little brother of the Blue Ridge Parkway bisects the upper portion of the park and is full of the long climbs usually seen out West. The 50 miles from Front Royal to Big Meadows is a classic that will test even the strongest rider.From Front Royal to the north, the ride climbs over 3,000 feet in the first 20 miles and over 7,000 feet total on the way to Big Meadows Campground. This campground is vast, but make a reservation first, so you don’t have to slog the 50 miles back to your car.Stay: The campground is the natural choice here, but you can also reward yourself and opt for the rustic luxury of the Big Meadows Lodge just down the road.Play: Go nuts—you’re smack dab in the middle of Shenandoah National Park! If you want something more subterranean, check out the most popular cave system in the East, Luray Caverns just west in Luray, Va.DAY 2: FISH MOSSY CREEKIf you are a fly fisherman or fly fisherwoman, it would be reprehensible to pass up the opportunity to fish Mossy Creek. This spring-fed stream wanders through open fields and is one of the most famous stretches of water in Virginia for its huge brown trout and consistent dry fly action. Mossy is open to the public through a partnership with landowners, Trout Unlimited and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is stocked each fall, with significant holdovers. By mid-July and August, terrestrials or over-sized streamers are your best bet for coaxing hogzilla out from that undercut bank, so pack plenty of ants, hoppers, and double bunnies.Along with the usual Virginia fishing licenses, you’ll also need a free Mossy Creek permit from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries office in Verona, just north of Staunton. Be sure to stop into Mossy Creek Fly Shop in Harrisonburg to pick up some bugs and get the latest news on how the creek is fishing. As the name suggests, these guys know this water inside and out.Stay: Camping is available at nearby Natural Chimneys Regional Park, in the shadows of its 100-foot rock towers. With Harrisonburg just to the north and Staunton just to the south, there are plenty of bed and breakfasts to choose from.Play: Stop into Historic Staunton, a sleepy little mountain town with a lot going on. Stop by the tasting room at Ox-Eye Vineyards downtown before grabbing a bite and maybe taking in a show at Mockingbird, which features both national and regional bands on their stage.DAY 3: MOUNTAIN BIKE SHERANDOThe Sherando Lakes Recreation Area inside the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest is known as the jewel of the Blue Ridge, but the riding here is no walk in the park. Sandwiched between Waynesboro, Va., the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Wintergreen Resort, the hills climb sharply from the lake. This makes for some epic up and down, big mountain riding through lush forest and rocky terrain.There are several trails emanating from the Sherando Lakes Recreation Area, and most have a significant amount of climbing involved. The punishment is worth the reward, though, as stunning vistas of the Blue Ridge await each summit. Plus, there is always the ride down. By linking up the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is possible to have a 10-mile descent back to the park.The best bet is to set out from the Mill Creek parking area and head up the Mill Creek Trail to the Parkway before descending down the Slacks/White Rock Gap trials via the upper Torry Ridge. If you’re feeling brave, take on the epic rock gardens of the lower Torry Ridge Trail, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Or skip the switchbacks and shuttle a car from the Parkway’s Bald Mountain Overlook.Stay: The Sherando Lake Recreation Area has ample camping on site, along with several privately run campgrounds in the vicinity. Take a break at Devils Backbone Brewing Company at the base of Wintergreen Resort for local brews and vittles.Play: Plenty to do at Sherando with its trails and two spring-fed lakes. Relax with a picnic on the beach or hike into the adjacent Saint Mary’s Wilderness for a little small stream trout fishing.WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA HIT THE HIGHLIGHTSDAY 1: PADDLE THE NANTAHALAFor all the outdoor adventure immediately available in Western North Carolina, nothing defines the region as acutely as its rivers. From steep Class V creeking to casual floats on big water, Western North Carolina seems to have it all, and so does the Nantahala.Featuring Class II-III rapids, the 9-mile float from the dam to the Nantahala Outdoor Center is fun for the whole family, with just enough thrills to keep everyone happy. The NOC provides guided trips or rentals for the more experienced. Got your own boat? Feel free to take out at the NOC. Have a beer on the premises and watch the pros on the world-class slalom course or the man-made play wave. Just don’t miss the take-out or you’ll be heading over Greater Wesser Falls, which is not where you want to be.Stay: The NOC has a bevy of lodging options, from hostels to cabins.Play: The Appalachian Trail literally runs right through the NOC, so take a hike up to the A. Rufus Morgan shelter, which thru-hikers usually bypass in favor of the NOC hostel. A new play wave and slalom course also provides entertainment from the footbridges crossing the river.DAY 2: BIKE TSALITsali is one of the most well-known and well-traveled mountain biking systems in the United States. Do not let this deter you, however, as the trail system can handle the load.Over 40 miles of trails trace the border of Lake Fontana, adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the smooth and swift trails climb, enjoy the view before tearing down to the lake and taking a dip to cool off. Trails alternate daily between bike access and horse access, so make sure to check the signs before heading out. It’s also just another excuse to spend the night and get the whole experience.Stay: The Tsali Recreation Area has camping on site, and there are plenty of B & B and motel options in Bryson City.Play: Head for a hike to Deep Creek Falls at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and stop through Bryson City on your way. This mountain town is building its reputation as an outdoor mecca. Nantahala Brewing Company offers tastings, and you can grab lunch at the Filling Station.DAY 3: FISH THE DAVIDSON RIVERThe Davidson River outside Brevard is one of the Southeast’s premier trout hatcheries, and for good reason. Consistent hatches, gin-clear water, and big trout make this stream hard to pass up if in the area. Pack your 4wt., 7x tippet and small bugs in order to fool these experienced and occasionally quite large rainbows. They see a lot of pressure, so presentation and patience are the keys to success. Check in with the guides at the Davidson River Outfitters in Brevard for the river beta before heading out.From Brevard, Highway 276 follows the river all the way to the hatchery 4 miles upstream. Car pullouts are ample, but the fishing gets more technical the farther upstream you travel, so pick your spots. More technical fishing usually means bigger fish, though, so don’t play it too safe.Stay: Try the Davidson River Campground that borders the river or head up to the Sweet Peas Hostel in Asheville. The space is more hotel than hostel and sits adjacent to the Lexington Avenue Brewery.Play: Hiking trails abound in Pisgah. If there are too many rods on the Davidson, try the Avery tributary or head up the Boylston Highway to fish the North Mills River. For a history lesson, stop by the Cradle of Forestry inside Pisgah National Forest for a look at America’s first school for forestry.CANAAN VALLEY GO WILDDAY 1: BIKE DAVIS, WEST VIRGINIAWhen the snow is flying, Davis is a magnet for skiers from all over the East, but over the years, Tucker County, centered around Davis, W.Va., has become a premier mountain biking destination. This is a distinction in a state known for its singletrack. Ride out from downtown in any direction and you will hit a trailhead within a few blocks, then ride all day on interconnected trail systems. From the CVI to Moon Rocks to Plantation, the terrain around Davis varies from cruiser fire roads to supremely technical singletrack and everything in between. If going uphill doesn’t suit you, head for Timberline Resort just south of town for lift accessed downhill and more cross country riding, including the 24 hours of Canaan racecourse.There is more trail than one town should have, so the best way to decipher it all and find the best suited for you is to pick a local’s brain. Stop into Blackwater Bikes downtown for a map and local knowledge. This town has embraced its mountain biking status and welcomes all who ride, so don’t be afraid of being a tourist.Stay: Davis is chock full of motels and B & B’s to accommodate travelers. Blackwater State Park has ample camping with hot showers and laundry, plus a deluxe 54-room lodge.Play: Blackwater Falls is one of the most visited falls in West Virginia, but the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge offers relaxing trails and unique flora and fauna observation opportunities. Or head for the Dolly Sods area, with its highland plateau environment reminiscent of Canada.DAY 2: CLIMB SENECA ROCKSClimbers love the Seneca Rocks area because of its pillars of Tuscarora quartzite rising above the headwaters of the Potomac River. Even non-climbers, however, can appreciate the stunning beauty of these gray columns piercing the sky. The area holds hundreds of single and multi-pitch trad climbing and scrambling on routes ranging from 5.1 up to 5.11, so experience is necessary if striking out on your own. Don’t worry, though, as guides and classes are available from Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides or Seneca Rocks Climbing School.Stay: Camping at Seneca Shadows or Yokum’s Princess Snowbird will put you in the heart of climbing culture. For cabins, Harman’s North Fork Cabins are located five miles to the north and sit on privately stocked trout waters.Play: Nelson Rocks Via Ferrata will give you the feeling of high altitude climbing without the finger and toeholds. Fixed anchors and ladders allow even the most novice to summit their exposed fins.DAY 3: PADDLE THE NEW RIVERThe 53-mile stretch of the New River that runs through New River Gorge National River area is one of the brawniest in the South. As the river flows north from Bluestone Dam and gets choked into the gorge, the intensity of the river picks up dramatically. The southern (lower) portion of the river flows nicely over Class III rapids and long pools, perfect for a family-friendly leisure trip.When the river hits Thurmond, things get interesting; Class IV and Class V rapids make this section a popular destination for expert paddlers. You cannot go wrong with either section. ACE Adventure, North American River Runners and dozens of other outfitters run trips all summer long.Stay: National Park campsites are numerous inside the New River Gorge National River; try the Army Site or Glade Creek, both right on the river. Several outfitters, including ACE and NARR offer deluxe and rustic lodging on site.Play: The New River Gorge offers an abundance of hiking and running trails along the river. Mountain bike the impressive new Arrowhead IMBA trails or wet a line for trout in Glade Creek.CUMBERLAND PLATEAU ELEVATION EXHILARATIONDAY 1: BIKE BIG SOUTH FORK The trails inside the boundaries of 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area are some of the only national park trails you can bike in the Southeast. Riders are rewarded with great lookouts and vistas of this Cumberland River tributary. Most trails inside the park are shared use between hikers, horses and bikes, but there are multiple bike-only options to choose from. Hit this on Friday or Monday to ride the Grand Gap Loop trail that hooks up to the John Muir Trail; this portion is closed to mountain bikes on the weekend. Most bike trails originate from the centrally located Bandy Creek Visitor’s Center just west of Oneida, Tenn. on Route 297.Stay: Bandy Creek offers a range of camping options right at the trailhead, or book a cabin at Big South Fork Wilderness Resorts just outside the park.Play: Rent a duckie or take a guided raft trip down the Cumberland for Class III excitement. For the history buff, ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway to the Blue Heron Mining Community, an outdoor museum dedicated to life in a mining town during the 1940s.DAY 2: HIKE FOSTER FALLSFoster Falls is a gorgeous 60-foot waterfall that lies inside the Foster Falls Wild Area. A short hike from the parking lot will take you past an observation deck and suspension bridge. From there, scramble down to the base of the falls, or take the Climber’s Loop for a look at some of the best sport climbing in Tennessee. This is one of the wildest and most scenic areas of the Cumberland Plateau, so stop in for a picnic and a dip in the cool waters at the base of the cascade.If you are in the mood for a longer hike, shuttle a car a few miles down the road to the Grundy Forest State Natural Area trailhead off Fiery Gizzard Road. Taking the Fiery Gizzard Trail will put you on a 12.5-mile hike through forests, over boulders, and beside waterfalls. This trail can be difficult at times, so plan accordingly, but the trail ends at Foster Falls, where you can soak your bones and recover. If you make it a day trip, stop for lunch near scenic Raven Point at the midway point, or if you want to overnight, there are two campsites along the trail.Stay: Camping is available at both the Foster Falls and Grundy Forest trailheads. Slip into the Dutch Maid Bakery in Tracy City for a snack at Tennessee’s oldest family bakery.Play: Sport climb the Foster Falls area or head to Signal Mountain right outside Chattanooga.DAY 3: CLIMB DEEP CREEKThe Deep Creek climbing area outside Soddy Daisy, Tenn., wasn’t discovered until 2007, but its rise as a Southern sport-climbing destination has been meteoric. Following a partnership between the Cumberland Trail State Park and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, and the purchase of land for a parking area, Deep Creek is now accessible. Trad climbing is available but the area consists mostly of sport climbing routes in the 5.11 range, although there are more moderate routes farther up the trail. The wall rises from the confluence of the Big Soddy Creek and Deep Creek and is located deep in a dense hardwood forest, so you can climb all day without overheating in the Tennessee sun. It’s hard to believe this place was a secret for so long.Because the area lies adjacent to private lands with sensitive access issues, check out www.secclimbers.org/deep-creek before heading to the trailhead.Stay: Camping is prohibited at the parking lot or on adjacent private lands, but Chattanooga is right down the road.Play: The Deep Creek wall is part of the Cumberland Trail, so hike a section of the Three Gorges Segment that wanders through the forest following Boardcamp Creek. •THE CUMBERLAND TRAILThe Cumberland Trail is an ambitious project that aims to cut a backcountry traversing the state of Tennessee from south to north. Although the actual trail is still under construction, in 1998 the Justin P. Morgan Cumberland Trail State Park was created as a linear park along the trail. Through the work of the nonprofit Cumberland Trail Conference and volunteers, 175 miles of the planned 300-mile route has been built.The trail will eventually link Cumberland Gap National Park in Kentucky in the north with Signal Mountain outside Chattanooga in the south, tracing the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau, one of the most scenic stretches of land in the Southeast, and through 11 Tennessee counties, two national parks, and one national scenic river area. As ambitious as this sounds, the ultimate goal is to make the Cumberland Trail a southern part of the proposed Great Eastern Trail, a western alternative to the Appalachian trail that will stretch 3,000 miles from Alabama to New York when completed.Find more info at cumberlandtrail.org.Now that you know where and what to do, enter our Ultimate Road Trip Giveaway to get you there!ESSENTIAL ROAD TRIP PLAYLISTCrank up the stereo, crank down the windows, and sing at the top of your lungs.“American Girl” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)“Ramblin’ Man” (Allman Brothers Band)“Running on Empty” (Jackson Browne)“Paradise City” (Guns ‘N Roses)“Graceland” (Paul Simon)“Running with the Devil” (Van Halen)“Radar Love” (Golden Earring)“Truckin’” (The Grateful Dead)“High & Dry” (Radiohead)“1979” (Smashing Pumpkins)“Windfall” (Son Volt)“Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)“Caravan” (Van Morrison)Neil Young – He may be Canadian, but it doesn’t get any more Americana than Neil.