Trail Mix began with a simple mission – the exposure of kick ass independent roots musicians flying below the radar of our readership. This month’s mix – perhaps more than any other month to date – best satisfies that mission.Trail Mix is lucky, on a regular basis, to feature nationally recognized artists who have achieved large measures of critical acclaim. But those lesser known artists, the musicians and bands looking for a break or that glimmer of recognition, are just as exciting to us, and this month’s mix is rich with them.This month’s mix serves to remind us that there are so many great, great bands out there looking to be noticed. We are happy to do what we can here at Trail Mix to shine a light on this collection of fantastic talent.In lieu of a typically wordy intro, we encourage you to just dig in. Stream it. Download it. Wait for it to grab you, because it will. Once you have those songs bouncing around your head, reach out and buy the discs; they will be just as good as what we have featured here. Promise.This is what Trail Mix is all about. Stream or download the free music below: Bronze Radio Return – Up On and OverAnthony D’Amato – Hand Williams TuneBhi Bhiman – GuttersnipeBombadil – EscalatorsBreaking Laces – Weighted DownDan Miraldi – Out of EdenDavid Newbould – Always Coming HomeDwight Howard Johnson – Honest ChanceGhost & Gale – Take Me To The FireHead for the Hills – Priscilla the ChinchillaJosh Halverson – Gimme One ShotL Shape Lot:The Duo – Fox on the RunMichael Coleman – Fly AwayMustered Courage – Standing By Your SideRed & The Romantics – Secret GardenSecond Wind – It’s Gonna Be AlrightSimpleton & Cityfolk – Won’t Let You DownStrugill Simpson – You Can Have the CrownThe Barefoot Movement -Second Time AroundThe Deadly Gentlemen – Bored of the RagingThe Westbound Rangers – One of These DaysValley Young – Little Bear
Dear Mountain Mama,The government shut downs cost my friend a month-long rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. I can barely mention anything west of the Mississippi without him looking a bit teary-eyed. He worked hard all summer to save money and looked forward experiencing a new river with new friends.Any ideas on how to cheer him up?Yours,Caring Friend————————————————————————–Dear Caring Friend,Quick, get that man on the river. It sounds like your friend got trapped in to-do lists for too long, a world where external measures of success like paychecks, promotions, first descents, and PRs can define who we are.Spending time on the river reminds us that we are greater than the sum of our accomplishments. We are creatures of nature, and the river brings us back into the flow of the outdoors. The simplicity of the routine of morning chores, day-long paddles, and communal meal preparation help us become present in the day unfolding in front of us.Settling into river time means allowing ourselves to drift with the current. When we sit by the side of the river and simply marvel at the light dancing from one wave to the next, we allow our minds to slow down. Giving ourselves permission to do nothing at all stirs our imaginations. The irony is that we live in a world that values an eternally jam-packed calendar, but truly unwinding can we expand ourselves in new directions.Caring Friend, you don’t have to take your friend to an exotic river to experience the magic of the water. Just get him wet. We’re lucky to live in a place where spending the night riverside is accessible.Two local options to check out are the Chattooga River’s 19-mile long water trail and the French Broad River Paddle Trail. Camping is allowed anywhere along the Chattooga River as long as campsites are 50 feet from any streams or trails and at least a quarter-mile from any road. The are several designated campsites with fire rings located riverside. The paddle-in campsites along the French Broad River can be reserved online, the campsites clearly marked with signs along the paddle trail.Caring Friend, plan an overnight river trip. Get you and your friend off the digital treadmill and back to nature.Paddle On,Mountain Mama
Mud races abound in the Blue Ridge, but Mad Anthony’s is one of the only winter mud run challenges. Sure, diving through mud pit and getting soaked to the skin is easy when the weather is warm, but it takes a true mud warrior to brave freezing temperatures and wintry winds while slip-sliding through muck and ice.Mad Anthony’s Mud Run is a 4.5-mile historical stomp to test your resolve, intensity, and character. A battle awaits you at Coyner Springs Park in Waynesboro, Va., as runners pay homage to the city’s namesake, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. Beginning at 9:30 a.m with a wave start, over 500 runners will navigate the new course for 2014, which will include a tire pit, balance beam, wall scale, haystack climb, swamp run, log hop, tunnel crawl, and a mystery challenge. Here is how race director Ben Lancaster describes the course:“At the tire pit, you will find yourself building confidence running through tires hoping not to get your feet tangled at this first battle. Up next is a balance beam suspended over mud, testing your balance and coordination. Then runners must scale a six-foot wall. The hay bale climb will meet you with force as you try to scale up and over the massive barrier on your way to victory. Then prepare to go over and under the fallen timbers and logs. Watch your step as you trample through swamp terrain that will strike fear into your feet and ankles. Hopefully you survive the fence and river crossings in one piece before making your way to safety through our darkened tunnel. Prepare to get wet! Then, with a mystery obstacle at this stage in your quest for victory, how will you respond with the unknown? Finally, you’ll crawl through a series of muddy, wet tunnels up hill toward the finish.”As a reward for your battlefield victory, all finishers will be awarded with a custom-made Mad Anthony Mud Run Medal, fashioned like the medal that Congress awarded to General Wayne after his victory at Stony Point on July 15th, 1799. Earn your stripes at Mad Anthony’s Mud Run on February 22. Find more race info at www.runthevalley.com.
Outdoor Expo in the Mountains – Abingdon, VirginiaNeed a primer on all of the outdoor action in the Southwest Virginia Mountains? The Southwest Virginia Outdoor Expo is taking place on September 13-14 at Heartwood, a cultural center and artisan gallery in Abingdon. On the first day, local outdoor clubs and organizations will share information on the region’s best recreation spots for hiking, biking, paddling, and climbing. The expo will offer a chance to grab beta on favorite spots in the area, including the Mount Rogers Recreation Area, High Knob Recreation Area, the New and Clinch Rivers and the Appalachian Trail. Day two includes the opportunity for guided trips.Scenic Trail Honors for North Carolina and TennesseeWell-respected mountain biking website Singletracks.com recently polled its readers on the Top 5 Scenic Mountain Bike Trails in the Eastern USA, and the South was well represented on the recently unveiled list. Tennessee’s Raccoon Mountain, a fat-tire favorite for riders in Chattanooga, was ranked second, just ahead of North Carolina’s Dupont State Forest. The classic route at Tsali, also in western North Carolina, came in at number five. The most votes for top-ranked ride in the East went to the Piedmont Trail in Duluth, Minnesota. Last time we checked, Duluth was a few clicks away from the Atlantic, but hey, the people have spoken.Follow the A.T. Bricks – Damascus, Va.Damascus, Va., is known as Trail Town U.S.A. for a reason. The Appalachian Trail runs right through its small downtown. Officials in Damascus have decided to mark the trail’s route with commemorative bricks, which will replace sidewalks that currently hold a small portion of the famous footpath. To give A.T. enthusiasts a piece of trail lore and raise funds for both Damascus revitalization and trail upkeep, donors can purchase a limited number of bricks that will be engraved with names and dedications. In total, 2,180 bricks will be sold (to mark each trail mile) and proceeds will be split between the town, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club. Bricks can be purchased at appalachiantrail.org.Apple to Build Third Solar Farm in North Carolina – Claremont, N.C.In July, Apple announced plans to build a new solar farm in North Carolina, after the city of Claremont approved an agreement to annex land for the 100-acre, 17.5-megawatt operation. The farm will be used to power Apple’s data center in Maiden, N.C., and the project will create 75 jobs that the tech company has agreed to source locally, if possible. If all goes according to plan and the farm is completed in a projected five years, it would become Apple’s third solar farm in the state—all in Catawba County. One is already located at the Maiden facility, and last year the company also obtained rights to build a 20-megawatt farm in Conover.New Record at Hardrock – Silverton, ColoradoIn July, a new speed record was set at the infamous Hardrock Endurance Run. Ultrarunner Kilian Jornet completed the rugged 100.5-mile course that winds through Colorado’s San Juan Mountain range in an impressive 22:41:35. The time bested Kyle Skaggs’ previous course record (23:23) that was set in 2008. Hardrock is a relentless slog through the Rockies, featuring a total elevation change of 67,984 feet as it travels through some of the state’s most remote backcountry. The Hardrock record marks another impressive feat for Jornet, an endurance mountaineer currently in the midst of his “Summits of My Life” project—an effort to set speed records on some of the world’s most notable peaks.Tube to Work – Boulder, Colo.Creative commuting has reached a new level in Boulder. This summer, the city celebrated the 7th Annual Tube to Work Day, a slowly growing initiative to get locals to head to work via the cold waters of Boulder Creek. Approximately 40 people jointly took the plunge on July 15 and decided they didn’t mind getting a little wet on their way to work. Upon takeout, the alternative commuters were rewarded by the city with a free breakfast. As one participant told the Daily Camera: “It was the most Boulder thing ever.” Indeed.Raining Ping Pong Balls – Blackfoot, IdahoImagine you’re driving along a highway in rural Eastern Idaho, scenic mountain views in the backdrop, when suddenly it starts raining ping pong balls. Fortunately, when this happened in early July, it wasn’t the Plague of Blackfoot. Instead, it was the error of a pilot, who was supposed to drop the balls from a plane on attendees at the Blackfoot Pride Days event, where they could’ve been redeemed for prizes. The pilot released the balls a little early and a nearby interstate received an unexpected plastic shower.
Ask Stephen Janes what his favorite part about working with kids is and he will tell you the story of a kid who rode a bike in the woods for the first time.“It was on a greenway about a mile from his house that he had never been on,” Janes said. “He’s riding into the woods for the first time and yelling, ‘It smells like trees!’ That sticks with me. My family and I joke about that all the time. Every time we go out in the woods, we’re like, “Aaahhh, it smells like trees!’ We have so much access that we tend to take for granted and it reminds me not to take that for granted. Even if I’m having the worst ride of my life, it’s more rides than some kids will ever have.”Janes runs The Bicycle Thrift Shop located along the Swannanoa River in Asheville, N.C. At the shop, he takes in gently used bikes and refurbishes them to sell back to the community. The store funds the ride program Janes started in 2010, Adventure Kids WNC.“There are a lot of kids who are not able to get on bikes or get to a good place to ride,” he said. “Let’s get them outside of their walls that they are currently in and show them another piece of the world that they wouldn’t otherwise see.”Adventure Kids is a free after-school program that runs at an elementary school, a high school, and three middle schools in Western North Carolina. The kids learn about bike safety and road etiquette around the school campuses, using bikes and helmets provided by donations and profits from the thrift shop. During the summer, Janes takes the kids out into Pisgah National Forest to experience the trails.“We’ve been able to teach 18 kids how to ride a bike. The smile on their face, the joy you can see in them when they are finally able to pedal around and not fall over, to finally get that moment sticks with me forever and encourages me to keep going,” Janes said.More than 3,200 kids have benefited from this program in the eight years it has been running. Alison Rhodes is a counselor at A.C. Reynolds Middle School where Janes has been running the program for four years.“Many of our students don’t live in neighborhoods or places where it’d be safe to ride a bike,” she said. “It’s something they can enjoy at school but also something they can take out when they’re at a point in their lives where they can do things more independently.”Before starting Adventure Kids, Janes worked as a camp counselor and a mental health professional. He focused on helping kids modify their behavior and develop coping skills.“Knowing the issues that exist amongst our community youth and understanding that bicycles are not just a tool for recreation, but can build self-confidence, can help these kids have goals, can give them a broader worldview, I knew that the two go hand in hand and complement each other,” he said.Janes started off selling used bikes people donated at festivals before realizing he could sustain a business selling refurbished bikes to fund the program.“I knew it would be one of those things where you don’t always see immediate results,” he said. “It’s one of those things where ten years down the road, a kid will be in a tough situation and look back and remember the bike trip that he or she was on, struggling to get up the hill and kept at it and made it to the top. They’ll look back and it will add confidence to their daily lives.”A number of other programs are using bikes to increase confidence among youth participants. Sarmuna Wei, 17, said she has already benefitted from her experience with Spoke’n Revolutions, a cycling and history program based in Carrboro, N.C.During the summer of 2017, she was part of a group that biked a section of the Trail of Tears. They traveled across multiple states, learning about the forced removal of Native Americans from their land in the 1800s.“The first year had a really big impact on me,” Wei said. “I thought I knew myself well but after doing this tour, I learned that I am a much stronger person.”Wei returned the following year for the Bikes, Water & Soul tour, a blend of environmental justice and local history. Staying in North Carolina, the group biked along the Neuse River to the Outer Banks and back to Carrboro.“There were times when we had to make sacrifices and just bike on the highway,” Wei said. “And that really scared me because I have a big fear of trucks, like an 18-wheeler. It’s a big fear of mine and I had to bike next to them. So I was shook and scared… I have faced so many fears. This tour has helped me face most of them. I am a much more confident person now.”When Kevin Hicks started Spoke’n Revolutions, he wasn’t sure if teenagers would be willing to bike long distances.“It started as an idea to give youth of color opportunities to experience travel and distance cycling,” he said. “It was not only the distance in the cycling, it was learning the history along the way.”For the first trip in 2011, Hicks led the group from Mobile, Ala. to Niagara Falls along the Underground Railroad. They rode between 45 to 70 miles a day, learning about the history of slavery along the way.Hicks has since traveled thousands of miles with teenagers on bikes. Each trip focuses on a different subject, including Blues & Jazz History, a trip from New Orleans, La. to St. Louis, Mo, and King 2 King, a ride focused on the history of the Civil Rights Movement from Atlanta, Ga. to Washington, D.C.In seven years, 60 kids have benefitted from this program, most returning for another ride as participants or group leaders once they have aged out.“The reason why I’m in this is to watch the kids grow and transform, helping make that light switch go off,” Hicks said.More Youth AdventuresLooking for a similar program near you? Check out these organizations around the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast that are providing access to the outdoors for kids. Oasis Bike WorkshopNashville, Tenn.At the free Oasis Bike Workshops, participants have the opportunity to build a bike from scratch and ride away with a bike, helmet, tools, and an alternative form of transportation.Pittsburgh Youth LeadershipPittsburgh, Penn.Since 2006, riders participating in Pittsburgh Youth Leadership have biked more than 290,000 miles across 49 states.Outdoor Education CenterHarper’s Ferry, W. Va.The Outdoor Education Center offers a variety of programming, from environmental education to multi-day backpacking trips, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.City Kids Wilderness ProjectWashington, D.C.City Kids provides year round support to students through middle and high school while encouraging learning through nontraditional methods including overnight trips during the school year and a summer camp in Jackson Hole, Wyo.Blue Sky FundRichmond, Va.The Blue Sky Fund, in conjunction with eight Richmond public schools, offers after school and summer programs, giving kids the chance to try rock climbing, orienteering, kayaking, and hands on science classes.
By Dialogo March 01, 2010 The Nicaraguan army plans to form an ecological battalion this year, with five hundred soldiers to watch over natural reserves and forests with support from people’s brigades, a military source announced. “This battalion’s mission will be to watch over protected areas like the Bosawas and Indio Maíz biospheres,” both located in the Caribbean region of Nicaragua, as well as forests and the environment, the army’s head of Civil Defense, Gen. Oscar Perezcassar, told AFP. In the 19,926-square-kilometer Bosawas reserve, there are almost no guards, due to the lack of human and financial resources. The battalion is an army initiative that received the support of President Daniel Ortega, although funds still need to be obtained in order to begin the organization process and the training of the soldiers who will make up the force. Civil Defense also expects that this initiative will serve to support the ecological activities of the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry (Marena), the military commander affirmed.
By Dialogo July 14, 2010 The United States on Monday granted Haitians living illegally in the country before January’s devastating earthquake a six-month extension to apply for a special asylum relief program. In the days after the January 12 earthquake, President Barack Obama’s administration gave Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to thousands of Haitians who have sneaked into the United States in the past years. An immigrant granted TPS can stay legally in the United States for 18 months without fear of deportation, and following a review of their case, can obtain a temporary work permit. “Eligible Haitian nationals will have an additional 180 days to apply for Temporary Protected Status,” said a statement from the department of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. “Many Haitians need more time to apply for TPS,” the statement added. Only Haitians living in the United States prior to the earthquake that flattened the capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding towns at the cost of some 250,000 lives are eligible. The new deadline for applications to be filed is January 18, 2011. The special protection, which allows groups of illegal immigrants to renew or obtain drivers licenses, and work legally, is meant as relief for countries reeling from natural disaster or political strife. Supporters argue that the move helps Haiti to rebuild, as immigrants send remittances to loved ones in the poorest country in the Americas, which is struggling to rebuild exactly six months after the 7.0-ma
The general also emphasized the fact that this year, Brazil has an additional reason to celebrate, aside from the fact that it leads the ranking of participating nations among CISM members. “This event has a special reason for being. Nobody imagined that Brazil would host the 5th Military World Games, organize them so well, and finish in first place in the competition. It couldn’t get any better,” he raved. By Dialogo April 20, 2012 Organized by the Defense Ministry (MD) and the International Military Sports Council (CISM), the initiative had the support of Military units from the Brazilian Army, Navy, and Air Force. According to him, the Run for Peace is a good opportunity to show that the Armed Forces are not restricted to the barracks. Over 2,000 people, including civilians and Military personnel, participated in the CISM Day Run – Run for Peace on April 15. This year, the event celebrated the first-place finish by Brazilian athletes at the 5th Military World Games. For Army Staff Sergeant Edmar de Oliveira Ribeiro, “gathering the family for this run is a way to motivate them, especially the children, to engage in physical activity.” This is the second year he has participated in the event. The chair of the Brazilian Military Sports Commission (CDMB/MD), Lieutenant General Fernando Azevedo e Silva, who participated in the race, appreciated the integration of Military personnel and civilians. “In Brazil, the credibility that the population attributes to the Armed Forces is evidence of the mutual respect between Military institutions and Brazilians.” The athletic event occurs simultaneously in all 133 countries that are part of CISM. It was created to celebrate the anniversary of the council, founded in 1984. The goal is integration with civil society through athletic activities. In Brasilia, the event had the support of the Planalto Military Command. The participants had the option of running or walking the 5K route.
By Dialogo May 11, 2012 Brazil announced on May 9, it has shelved plans to build new nuclear power stations in the coming years in the wake of last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan. The previous government led by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had planned to construct between four and eight new nuclear plants through 2030. But the Energy Ministry’s executive secretary, Marcio Zimmermann, was quoted as telling a forum on May 8 that there was no need for new nuclear facilities for the next 10 years. “The last plan, which runs through 2020, does not envision any (new) nuclear power station because there is no need for it. Demand is met with hydro-electrical power and complementary energy sources such as wind, thermal and natural gas,” Zimmermann said in remarks released by the Ministry. “The 2021 plan, as far as I know, will not consider nuclear power stations either,” he added, although he did not rule out construction of such facilities in the longer term. “After the (2011 Fukushima) accident in Japan, not just Brazil but the entire world stopped to analyze and assess,” Mauricio Tomalsquim, president of the EPE energy research firm, told the same event. Tomalsquim said that in the next 10 years, the hydro-electrical contribution to Brazil’s energy mix will fall from the current 75 percent to 67 percent while that of renewable energy sources — wind, solar and biomass – will rise from eight to 16 percent. Brazil’s sole nuclear power plant, located in Angra dos Reis, a coastal town near Rio, has two pressurized water reactors in operation, with outputs of 657 MWe (megawatt electrical) and 1350 MWe respectively. A third reactor resumed work after a 24-year dispute in June 2011, with a projected output of 1245 MWe. It is expected to be completed in 2015. The Angras do Reis plant currently generates around three percent of Brazil’s energy production, which relies overwhelmingly on hydroelectric installations. Brazil, Latin America’s dominant power, and neighboring Argentina are the only South American countries operating civilian nuclear power stations.
By Dialogo July 03, 2012 The Central American presidents agreed on June 29 to double their efforts to obtain financial aid and fight organized crime, at a biannual summit at which they also signed an unprecedented commercial and political partnership agreement with the European Union. “What we (the presidents) agreed is to be more expeditious, more aggressive in acquiring funds in order to succeed in financing the regional strategy” to fight crime, said Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, who acted as an informal spokesperson for the heads of state or government of the eight countries. The participants in the Central American Integration System (SICA) summit agreed “concretely to construct a regional strategy for the (management of) financing of the plan to fight crime.” Funes recalled that the United States, Canada, and Australia, among others, have offered Central America up to 2.5 billion dollars to finance 22 programs targeting four security issues. The United States, represented by the top American diplomat for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, attended this SICA summit for the first time as an observer. Jacobson was there to reiterate U.S. support through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), for which Washington has committed 361 million dollars. The summit was organized under the slogan “Everyone’s Fight: The New Security Approach in Central America.” Security, especially in relation to drug trafficking, is Central America’s primary challenge. Estimates are that 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States passes through the region. At the summit, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo transferred the group’s rotating presidency to his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega. Guatemalan President Otto Pérez, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, and Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli also attended. Belize was represented by Energy Minister Audrey Joygralt, and the Dominican Republic by Foreign Minister Clara Quiñónez.