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Colorado Coal Industry Sees Sharpest Drop in 23 Years

first_imgColorado Coal Industry Sees Sharpest Drop in 23 Years FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christopher Coats for SNL:Facing national and state pressure, coal mines in Colorado reported the lowest production in 23 years in 2015, with 18.7 million tons for the period. The state’s output marked an 18.5% drop from 2014 and a sharp drop from the almost 40 million tons it produced in 2004.According to data provided by the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, significant drops in production over 2014 were seen at a number of local mines, including Bowie Resource Partners LP’s Bowie No. 2 mine, where production fell from 2.4 million tons in 2014 to 1.6 million tons in the last year.Peabody Energy Corp.’s Foidel Creek mine fell even further, dropping about 2.5 million tons from 2014 to end the year with 4.1 million tons. The mine, also known as the Twentymile mine, once stood as the most productive mine in the basin, but it has seen output steadily decline in recent years.Arch Coal Inc.’s West Elk mine also saw a year-over-year drop of about a million tons, ending 2015 with 5.2 million tons in production.The state’s continued slide came despite no mine closures during the year, though a few remain idled, including Elk Creek and New Elk.Full article ($): Coal production in Colorado tumbles to 23-year low in 2015last_img read more

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Op-Ed: How Is Trump Failing to Put America First? Let Us Count the Ways

first_imgOp-Ed: How Is Trump Failing to Put America First? Let Us Count the Ways FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享San Diego Union Tribune:Now that President Donald Trump has enfeebled the Environmental Protection Agency, reversed climate regulations opposed by fossil fuel interests and announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, it is right to examine whether his agenda on climate change really puts “America first,” which he so often proclaims is his overriding goal. In four critical areas, it does not.Our public health: The Trump agenda apparently disregards that the burning of fossil fuels spews volumes of gases and particulates into the air that are toxic to human health. Numerous studies show that the most severe effects include acute and chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks, lead and heavy metals poisoning, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and premature death, with those most vulnerable to these ills being the elderly and our children.Moreover, pollution from the burning of fossil fuels costs billions of dollars in health care costs that are “hidden” in that they are not reflected in the market price for these fuels. These “hidden” costs include lost work days, increased emergency room visits and hospitalizations, increased insurance premiums and the overall growth in our national health care costs. In a 2009 report requested by Congress, the National Academy of Sciences estimated that in 2005 alone these costs were more than $120 billion.Our economy: Although President Trump proclaims he will bring back jobs by cutting environmental regulations, the evidence shows that new clean-energy technologies and the industries formed around them create far more jobs than are lost in the transition from burning fossil fuels.According to a 2015 report by the Environmental Defense Fund, based upon Department of Energy data, clean energy jobs already outnumbered those in fossil fuel by more than 2.5 to 1 and were growing at a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. In a 2017 report, the Department of Energy predicts that energy-efficient employment will grow at the rate of 9 percent in the next 12 months, faster than any other energy sector.Our national security: Trump’s agenda also ignores a stark warning from the Department of Defense contained in a 2015 report requested by Congress, “National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate.”The report goes straight to the heart of the matter: “DoD recognizes the reality of climate change and the significant risk it poses to U.S. interests globally. The National Security Strategy, issued in February 2015, is clear that climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time.”Our global leadership: President Trump has announced that the U.S., the world’s largest polluter after China, will withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, an international agreement, signed by the United States with 196 other countries, which commits the world community to a concerted effort in combating climate change. Our withdrawal would leave the U.S. isolated as one of a tiny handful of nations in the world that is not a member the pact.China, however, has signed the agreement and sees climate action as a way to fill the leadership vacuum left by the U.S., announcing plans to invest more than $360 billion in renewable energy by the end of this decade. Moreover, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, China is accelerating its foreign investments in renewable technologies and related equipment, a growing international market in which China may soon become the dominant player.Our announced withdrawal from the Paris agreement amounts to abdication of leadership in the global effort to combat climate change, at our cost and to China’s benefit.Let it therefore be said that President Trump’s agenda on climate change not only fails to put “America first” by ignoring the hard facts, it also puts in jeopardy our critical interests as a nation both at home and in the global arena.How Trump is failing to put America firstlast_img read more

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Australian solar facility gets Tesla battery retrofit

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:A 25 MW/50 MWh Tesla grid-scale battery was commissioned this week at the 60 MW Gannawarra solar power plant north of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria.This makes the Gannawarra facility the largest in the country to be retrofitted with a storage battery. Last month, installation of a 30 MW/30 MWh battery at the Ballarat power station in Victoria was completed. That battery is expected to begin operations before next summer.The battery is owned by Australia’s renewables developer Edify Energy and Germany’s Wirsol and operated by EnergyAustralia under a long-term power purchase agreement, according to PV Magazine. Both batteries were paid for by a $50 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the government of Victoria, with each contributing $25 million.Although it was completed ahead of schedule, Edify Energy and Wirsol say that they had to overcome some unique regulatory and technical challenges to deliver the first battery storage system retrofitted to an existing solar farm. While the Australian government dithers and diddles about moving away from coal and toward renewables, the Australian states are filling the policy void and creating new commercial models for renewable energy and storage facilities in Australia.Asking people to change their behavior for a good social purpose seldom gets very far. Asking people to change their behavior to save money works a whole lot better. That’s what’s happening in Victoria today as well as in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territories, and Western Australia. The toothless, muddle-headed national government has made itself irrelevant to energy policy in Australia, proving once again that money is more important than ideology every time.More: 50 MWh Tesla battery commissioned at Australian solar power plant Australian solar facility gets Tesla battery retrofitlast_img read more

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GE to test massive (12MW) offshore turbine in Rotterdam

first_imgGE to test massive (12MW) offshore turbine in Rotterdam FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:GE Renewable Energy has signed an agreement with Future Wind to install the first Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine prototype in Maasvlakte-Rotterdam, the Netherlands, this summer.While it has been designed for offshore environments, GE Renewable Energy said Wednesday that the prototype would be installed onshore in order to “facilitate access for testing.” The deal also includes five years of testing as well as a 15-year full service operation and maintenance agreement.Details of the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine were announced in 2018. The scale of the turbine is considerable. It will stand 260 meters tall and have a capacity of 12 megawatts (MW) as well as 107-meter-long blades. At the time, GE Renewable Energy said it would be the world’s largest and most powerful offshore turbine.“As we rapidly progress on assembling the Haliade-X prototype, this announcement is a critical step forward for GE and our customers,” John Lavelle, VP and CEO of Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy, said Wednesday. “The port of Rotterdam has been a real partner and provides all the necessary conditions to test the Haliade-X in the most drastic weather conditions.”GE is investing $400 million in the development of the Haliade-X turbine. Future Wind is a joint venture between SIF Holding Netherlands and Pondera Development.More: GE to install and test a ‘prototype’ of vast 12-megawatt turbine in the Netherlandslast_img read more

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Minimus vs. Maximus

first_imgMinimus vs. Maximus It seems as if a line in the sand of the running world has been drawn: minimalists who want a barefoot feel from their running shoes, and traditionalists who still crave more cushion for the pushin’. We take a look at two new minimal running shoes and two new hyper-cushioned shoes.Minimal1. New Balance – Minimus Trail It’s more of a transitional barefoot shoe than the Vibram Five Fingers. The Minimus looks like a trail racer and has a 4mm drop from the heel to toe, as opposed to the coveted “zero drop” of most other barefoot shoes. But the Minimus Trail has no insert and a minimal midsole and outsole for a supremely flexible package. 7 ounces. $100; newbalance.com 2. Inov-8 – Bare-Grip 200 Long before Born to Run became a bestseller, Inov-8 was focused on simple, lightweight trail shoes. Their latest innovation, the Bare Grip 200, highlights the qualities that Inov-8 has always done best: low-profile simplicity and super-grippy traction. The Bare Grips have zero drop from heel to toe, and the knobby cleats grip the ground better than any trail shoe on the market. 7 ounces. $110; Inov-8.comCushioned3. Montrail – Fairhaven This hyper-cushioned shoe has Montrail’s new FluidPost midsole that adjusts to the amount of pronation “on demand.” When you’re running on flat surfaces like roads, your foot strikes the softer center of the midsole. As you move to uneven trails, your foot occasionally strikes the edges of the midsole, where the foam is denser and offers more support. 11 ounces. $110; montrail.com 1 2last_img read more

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Daily Dirt: Clinton Visits Haiti, Dam Victories for American Rivers, The North Face Joins Virtual Training World, and More

first_imgSome of the best dirt of the week from around the Blue Ridge and beyond…Former President Clinton Visits Atlanta’s Boxercraft active apparelBased in Atlanta, Ga., Boxercraft (a growing fashion-forward activewear and spiritwear manufacturer) welcomed former President Bill Clinton this week to Industrial Revolution II (www.irii.com, IRII), its manufacturing facility in Haiti. Founded by Rob Broggi (former analyst at Boston-based Raptor Capital), and backed by designer Donna Karan, actor Matt Damon, and Joey Adler (CEO of Diesel Canada), IRII started production at its 35,000 square-foot facility in Port-au-Prince last September. Through its unique “shared- value business model,” the factory invests 50 percent of its profits back into its workers, their families and the local community through health and wellness programs, training and education initiatives. For more information, visit www.boxercraft.com.American Rivers Announces Dam Removal StatsAmerican Rivers announced this week that communities in 18 states — working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies — removed 51 dams in 2013. Outdated or unsafe dams came out of rivers in Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, restoring more than 500 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people.Pennsylvania topped the list for the eleventh year in a row. The top three states for river restoration through dam removal in 2013 were:Pennsylvania – 12 dams removedOregon – 8 dams removedNew Jersey – 4 dams removedAmerican Rivers will add the information on these 51 dam removals to its database of nearly 1,150 dams that have been removed across the country since 1912. (American Rivers is the only organization maintaining a record of dam removals in the United States and uses the information to communicate the benefits of dam removal, which include restoring river health and clean water, revitalizing fish and wildlife, improving public safety and recreation, and enhancing local economies.)See the full list at AmericanRivers.org/2013DamRemovals.North Face Launches Mountain Athletics Virtual Training ProgramThe North Face launched a digital training platform (along with its new Mountain Athletics training apparel and footwear collection) called the Mountain Athletics Training Program (thenorthface.com/mountainathletics), designed to help everyday athletes and serious competitors establish a goal within three sports: running, climbing and skiing. Based on a six-week timeline, athletes get a playlist of instructional videos led by The North Face Athlete Team members along with a downloadable training plan that will help you accomplish your outdoor goals.Light & Motion Factory to Be Featured in Discovery Channel ProgramFans of bike-light manufacturer Light & Motion will want to tune into the Discovery Channel this Fall, as the company’s fully integrated factory in California will be featured on the channel’s “How It’s Made” program. The show’s crew is currently filming at Light & Motion’s new California factory in Marina, Calif., where they are documenting the manufacturing and assembly of the LED-based Seca and Vis360 bike lights, the Bluefin G-30 underwater camera housing, and the company’s flagship dive light, the Sola 1200. “How It’s Made” takes viewers behind the scenes in factories around the world to show how raw materials are transformed into finished products. The show airs in 130 countries and is broadcast in more than 30 different languages.last_img read more

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Big City Mountaineers: One Mountain at a Time

first_imgAn unquenchable thirst for adventure has taken my life to incredible places. My passion for these wild places and even wilder ways of exploring them has given me a life time of treasured memories and experiences. But aside from bringing a few great friends along on the occasional adventure, I had become comfortable in the fact that these wilderness forays were self fulfilling. A couple years worth of these selfish great times had floated by before I was given the unique opportunity to add some meaning to my travels.GOPR4433Big City Mountaineers is a budding charity based out of Colorado that takes at risk youth across the nation on wilderness mentoring adventures. Statistically, 83 percent of the kids Big City Mountaineers work with live well below the poverty line and would likely never experience the great outdoors without a miracle of sorts. They run the “Summit For Someone” program as their main fundraising vehicle, allowing any level adventurer to turn a frivolous pursuit into a worthy cause by raising money for BCM through Mountaineering and Climbing Expeditions. When I heard about this opportunity, the ambitious feeling inside grew instantly, and I knew I needed to be a part of the Summit For Someone program!BootScoot3Big City Mountaineers has developed major sponsors and connections through out the outdoor industry. They currently have hubs in Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago and the Boundary Waters Canoe area. I would love to see them keep expanding and include an East Coast Hub one day as well. To raise massive amounts of awareness and money they partnered with Backpacker Magazine and The North Face to hold the largest outdoor fundraiser ever conducted on U.S. soil last Spring on Mt. Whitney.Backpacker held a contest for readers to be a part of the event and I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the readers chosen to join. For months I trained like an animal, raised funds any way I could think of and then drove from the Appalachians out to California to test my merit above 14,000ft. The training and fundraising paid off for myself and everyone else. Nearly every member of our group reached the Summit with the help of our incredible guides from Sierra Mountaineering International. More important than our Peak Experience was the fact we raised $280,000 to provide all kinds of kids with the opportunity to have a peak experience of their own!Lucky ShotTime spent in the wilderness has given me a confident yet humble approach to the daily grind. Long strenuous trips that challenged my mind and body have created a vivid picture of the things that truly matter in life. For instance, A cool drink of water after a long day on a trail is no doubt one of life’s richest pleasures. Good companions and relationships are things to be nurtured and cherished in stride. Shelter from the weather, a healthy diet and a warm, comfortable place to sleep at night are our purest pursuits.When the youth of Big City Mountaineers participate in a mentoring trip they get the chance to incorporate all of this knowledge along with the set of life skills associated with a happy camper back into their own lives. Aside from learning these wilderness “life Hacks” the kids learn a great deal about themselves through the aid of a mentor. For many the opportunity to spend a week in seclusion with a positive adult mentor will provide more positive guidance than they have received collectively during their entire life. The kids get a chance to discuss their living situations as well as their thoughts and feelings about anything the wish with someone who is willing to listen and capable of giving sound advice.The bulk of BCM’s trips offer an amazing 1:­1 ratio of five adult mentors and five youth venturing together on a week long adventure. The trips will physically challenge the kids in different ways such as backpacking, climbing or traveling by canoe and certainly broaden their outdoor horizons. For these reasons and many more a week in the wilderness with Big City Mountaineers is considered a transformative experience for the kids and sometimes even more so for the adult volunteers who participate.Sam3After having such a great time on Mt. Whitney I was thrilled to learn that this year the Summit For Someone program was partnering up with Backpacker and The North Face again to climb Mt. Shasta in Northern California. I was honored again to receive an invite to join the climb and excited to keep raising awareness for the cause. The second time around provided a sense of comfort for me in both training and fundraising.I knew what worked and what did not work after riding the learning curve of our first expedition. With the help of some generous folks all across the outdoor community we were able to hold a fundraising party in Waynesville, NC. A local brewery furnished a killer venue free of charge for us to have a band, show a movie from Mt. Whitney and to auction off thousands of dollars worth of donated gear, outdoor adventures and some incredible Photographs. The night was incredible and our small Appalachian community was more than generous for the nationwide charity. A few weeks ago I had the time of my life on Mt. Shasta on our three day climb. As always I met great new friends and nourished my appetite for adventure on a beautiful mountain. The Mt. Shasta area is particularly special.These picturesque mountains covered in evergreens are dotted with Alpine Lakes and streams and they gently roll to the base of Mt. Shasta which promptly rises 10,000 vertical feet above the valley to a height of 14,192ft. With such staggering prominence above the surrounding area Shasta looks massive and the view from the top reminded me of looking out the window of a airplane! The Shasta Expedition was another staggering success with the help of Shasta Mountain Guides and collectively our group brought in $200,000 and counting for Big City Mountaineers!G0024418The Summit For Someone program has expanded to include 20 iconic Mountaineering Expeditions and climbs around the world. The program will also provide you a vehicle to raise funds for Big City Mountaineers in your own special way. If you wish to through hike a long trail, go peak bagging or set a FKT at your favorite spot they can help turn your passion into a philanthropic adventure! The program provides such a unique opportunity to give your outdoor life style a sense of merit. Believe me from my experience, this makes your endeavors more valuable and more memorable than you could ever imagine.I hope some of you reading this are in the same position I was a few years ago. I had just finished the SB6K challenge and felt like I wanted a taste of Big Adventure when the Summit For Someone program came into my life. Awesomeness is out their waiting for you and Big City Mountaineers can help make it happen!For more information check out bigcitymountaineers.org and summitforsomeone.org.–Follow author and Blue Ridge native Steven Reinhold on Facebook.last_img read more

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Practice What You Teach: A High School Teacher Saddles Up for Big Adventure

first_imgTeaching has never been an easy profession. But the current demands on public school educators has hit a new level, akin to tackling an ultra-marathon, finishing a century bike ride, and running a class five rapid back to back to back. With “advancements” like end of grade testing, core curriculum, and enough paperwork to single handedly keep Staples in business, it’s a wonder more teachers don’t take a hike… for good.My husband taught in a North Carolina middle school for four years. During that time, one of the only things that kept him sane, besides watching The Office and downing a pint or two of Highland Gaelic Ale every night, was trail running. Many of the friends I’ve made on long distance trails and at ultramarathons have been educators, too. So many in fact that I started wondering about the relationship between professional education and outdoors recreation. So I decided to interview a friend, teacher, and adventurer to get his take on the benefits that the outdoors can have on a teaching career.For the past sixteen years, Heang Uy has spent the majority of his time and energy helping students succeed in the classroom, on the wrestling mat, and on the track at North Henderson High School in Western North Carolina. But away from school, Heang turns to outdoor recreation to provide a release from the pressures of being a teacher. As an avid road cyclist and mountain biker and a willing participant on hikes, climbing trips, and pick-up games of ultimate. Heang has found an outlet and a way to recharge.“I think everyone needs some sort of mental release,” he says. “If I am able to get in the woods, I can free my mind from the grind of lesson planning and preparing for practices and competition. I am more introverted by nature and it took me a long time to learn that being around people all the time wore me down mentally. By the end of the school year, I’m exhausted.”On the weekends or a rare weekday when practice let’s out early, Heang heads to Pisgah National Forest or Dupont State Forest to log miles on his mountain bike. Or if time is limited, he’ll hop on his road bike and wind through the rolling terrain, country roads, and sweet smelling apple orchards near his home. When he time allows, he tackles bigger adventures. Some would even call them epic. One of the biggest perks of teaching – besides, of course, having an impact on America’s youth and creating a better tomorrow – is two months off from work every summers.But the notion that teachers have a full season each year to do as they please is a myth. Any parent who sends there child to public school will tell you that school calendars are ending later and starting earlier. Teachers have in service workdays before the students arrive and after they leave. Many of them find it necessary to pick up a summer job to supplement their income. Others will spend countless unpaid hours bettering their lesson plans or preparing for a new course or revised curriculum in the fall. Even so, if they don’t have to tackle new curriculum or take a second job, they’ll have six to eight weeks to do as they please, and compared to other professions, that’s pretty rare.Heang spent a few summers working in the food service industry to subsidize his income. But in the past decade, he’s spent most of his summers on extended bike tours. In 2010, he cycled more than 3,000 miles from Cannon Beach, Oregon, to Folly Beach, South Carolina. Five years later, he rode his mountain bike down the Continental Divide. He is a repeat offender on bicycle tours of Colorado and has twice entered RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. He has also completed self-supported rides in Nova Scotia, Vancouver, and the Alaskan Yukon.“I started taking some solo and small group outdoor excursions in the summers and found them to be invigorating,” Heang says. “When people ask if I ever got lonely riding the Great Divide alone, I say no, it was a time for me to reflect and recharge mentally and spiritually.”Public school teachers are notoriously underpaid – especially in the southeast. According to data released by the National Education Association, of the fifteen states with the lowest average teacher salaries, eight of them are below the Mason-Dixon Line. In North Carolina teacher pay was frozen from 2008 to 2011. And of course during that period, the cost of living continued to increase, to the point that one report found a 13% decrease when considering inflation over the past 15 years. Thankfully, access to public lands is still free- or in some cases relatively cheap- and this makes them attractive vacation options for teachers.`“I keep my costs down by camping and cooking as often as I can,” says Heang. “And, while I wouldn’t recommend it, I hitchhiked from Denali to Anchorage because I didn’t want to pay the bus fare. Getting to Yellowstone, Alaska, or Banff definitely costs some money, but it’s no more expensive than traveling to Orlando and buying passes to one of the theme parks.”“Plus,” he continues, “In my travels, I’ve always been humbled by how good people are. So many times they’ve reached out and bought me meals, or offered me places to sleep or the occasional ride into town. One restaurant manager drove down the highway looking for me because I left my debit card behind. Strangers quickly become friends.”Although Heang often turns to the outdoors to find respite from the classroom, an unintended side effect of his adventures is that it has made him a better teacher and coach.“It takes months of preparation to decide how to live off the bags on your bike. I’ve learned that if you go into anything well prepared, you put yourself in a position to succeed.”As a result of Heang’s thoughtful preparation in the classroom, he earned his school’s Teacher of the Year award in 2016. And he’s aware that what he does on his bike will continue to impact his students in the way he approaches his curriculum and lesson plans.“I hope I can push students to do things they don’t believe they can do,” he says. “They need to know that the world is not experienced through a screen.”“I try to tell my students I’m not special. I’ve accomplished some pretty cool things on my bike, but I don’t have any talents that they don’t have. I want them to have a dream. I tell them they have to believe in themselves and persist through adversity. I hope I set that example for my students.”When educators like Heang spend time recharging- not just outside the classroom but outside, moving light and fast across black top, single track, river or rock, or simply being still and soaking up the sun- they’re still teaching their students an important lesson. Teachers who double as outdoor enthusiasts demonstrate to their students, peers, and the public that self-care is imperative, that escape is important, that public lands matter, and that adventure is accessible, anywhere and on any budget. They show us that life’s most important lessons are not always taught in the classroom. That biking 3,000 plus miles can feel like a vacation when compared to teaching. And that we need to do better by those dedicated to improving the lives of our children- and the land we all love.last_img
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A Father’s Choice: How Frank Havens Brought Home the Gold

first_imgIn 1924, canoeist Bill Havens had a choice: compete in the Olympics or witness the birth of his child. Bill chose the latter, and 28 years later, that child, Frank Havens, brought the gold medal home from the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. Today, the Havens family is still on the water, including the now 92-year-old Olympic medalist Frank.Georgetown, Maryland. 1924. Brothers Bill and Bud Havens, former Mid-Atlantic wrestling champions, are standing at the threshold of a very different athletic benchmark: becoming the first canoeists to represent the United States in Paris at the Summer Olympics.It’s the first year canoe sprint has ever been an event at the Olympics. Bill, 27, and Bud, 21, compete against 20 other paddlers in the Olympic Trials to earn their place on a four-man canoe crew. For months, the brothers train day and night on the Potomac River with the Washington Canoe Club, preparing their physical and mental fortitude for the games. Bill, undefeated in both the one-man single and double blade events, has high hopes of bringing home the gold.But just weeks before the team is set to sail for Paris, Bill is forced to face reality—his expecting wife is due sometime in late July, the exact time at which Bill will be competing on the other side of the globe. The decision, though not easy, is obvious. Bill forfeits his spot on the team, and just four days after the games (at which Bud Havens and the rest of the U.S. canoe crew win three gold, one silver, and two bronze over six events), his son Frank came into the world.Bill never made it to the Olympics, though he continued to compete with his brother close to home. However, his sons Bill “Junior” and Frank, did. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, the second generation of brothers qualified for the 1948 Olympics in London. Junior, largely considered the better paddler of the two, placed fifth in the solo 1,000-meter canoe race. Frank, surprising even himself, came home with a silver medal in the solo 10,000-meter event.Image courtesy of the Havens family.Buoyed by their 1948 Olympic success, the brothers moved in together in Vienna, Va., to train for the 1952 games. Their coach was none other than their father Bill. Junior and Frank spent the better part of the ensuing four years on the water, training to compete together as a tandem canoe team.“Even in practice they were beating the world record,” says Dodge Havens, one of Junior’s three sons. “It was pretty much guaranteed they were going to get a gold.”But Olympic disappointment struck again during the winter of 1951. Junior, who worked as a schoolteacher off the water, was helping a colleague move a car that had been buried by snow when he lacerated the tendons in one of his hands. In a matter of minutes, his chance for Olympic glory was gone.Frank, as his Uncle Bud had done 28 years prior, departed for the 1952 games in Helsinki without his brother Junior. With a time of 57:41, Frank set the new world record and took home the gold in the solo 10,000-meter event. In a telegraph addressed to his father after the games, Frank said, “Dear Dad, thanks for waiting around for me to get born in 1924. I’m coming home with the gold medal you should have won. Your loving son, Frank.”“Dear Dad, thanks for waiting around for me to get born in 1924. I’m coming home with the gold medal you should have won. Your loving son, Frank.”Frank competed in the Olympic masters division in 1956 in Melbourne and 1960 in Rome, but he never podiumed again. To date, Frank is the only American canoeist to win gold in a solo single blade event. Like their father and uncle, Frank and Junior continued to compete well into their 60s. The brothers, who preferred to race as a tandem team, regularly crushed the competition on both the national and international stages.“He was never bitter about it,” Dodge says about his father’s unfortunate mishap before the ’52 Olympics. “He was very proud of his younger brother’s success. They loved to race together in tandem events. They were pretty much unbeatable. Even when they were in their 60s and 70s, they’d high kneel [the traditional stance for canoeing] and beat everybody’s butts, even the 25-year-olds.”Between 1936 and 1953, Junior won 19 National Canoe Tilting Championships. Frank went on to be a six-time National Paddling Single Blade Champion. In 1985, at the age of 61, he competed in seven different events at the World Masters Games in Toronto and won every single one. In 1995, Frank was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, a testament to his storied past and countless accomplishments.Frank (second from left) and brother Junior (second from right) practice for the Olympics. / Image courtesy of the Havens family.Frank, now age 92, is still on the water nearly every day. Though he last competed in his late ’80s with his son Dan, he’s proud to see that the spirit of the river has been passed down from generation to generation. Dan, age 65, and his son Sean have continued the tradition of training with the Washington Canoe Club. They both compete in the growing East Coast outrigger racing scene and regularly place in the top three.Junior’s sons Dodge, Keith, and Kirk are also accomplished paddlers and hold multiple Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver National Championships. All three competed in the Olympic Trials for the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, but didn’t make the cut. Keith’s sons Zane and Zaak also join their father and uncles among the nation’s top canoeists and have been competing and winning National Championships since the age of 10. Zane has been serving off and on for the past year as a crewmember aboard the Hōkūle‘a, a Polynesian voyaging canoe that has been circumnavigating the world.“I don’t know whether it’s in our blood or in the culture,” says Dodge, but according to Frank, being a Havens family member is synonymous with being a canoeist. You can’t be one without the other.Frank Havens, pictured in front of his “Bachelor Camp” along the banks of the Potomac, where he lived and trained. / Image courtesy of the Havens family.Q+A WITH FRANK HAVENSWhat’s your earliest memory of being on the water?FH: We were all brought up on the Potomac River. We had a camp on the river and my grandfather built this place. There was a huge room where we could congregate and have meals and stuff. I can’t remember when I couldn’t swim, so I guess somebody must have taught me early.What was your relationship like with your brother, Junior?As a young kid, Bill [Junior] being five years older, I used to follow him around like a puppy. He was the man. In high school he was Mr. Everything. He had such a reputation. He was phenomenal at everything he did. My aim at that time was to be as good as my brother Bill was. My brother was my main competition for a long time, especially in training. Early on, Junior was the best that was around. Having him out there to push me, I’m sure I got a lot better because he was around. I didn’t get to the point where I could whip him until we were both Olympic caliber.Frank, age 92, still gets on the water almost every day. / Image by Priscilla Knight for a story in Cooperative Living Magazine.How did you end up with the solo 10,000-meter as your signature event?My dad recognized early that Bill Junior used to push me hard in the 1,000-meter, but as I progressed, he recognized I had the capacity to do longer distances. I was always pretty good in staying with it and being able to get into a rhythm that would move the boat. I did better the longer the race was. It just came naturally.Do you remember what it was like when you arrived in London for the ’48 games?We went to London on a boat from New York and came in at Southampton. When we got there, the Germans had been bombing Britain all during the war, so Southampton still had burned out buildings there on the waterfront. London was still a mess. They put us [the athletes] in an evacuees’ camp. We were over there for six weeks. That’s where it all started. I started to come into my own a bit at those games.After the ’48 Olympics, you and your brother decide to train together for the ’52 games in Helsinki. What was that like?We moved in together, bought a house out in Vienna, and really hit it hard for four years. He was a schoolteacher in Arlington and I worked for an appraisal company. We would train early in the morning and after work, two workouts a day in the Olympic years. I can remember paddling the Potomac when it was pitch dark but we knew that river like the back of our hand so we never had any trouble with it. Our dad was our coach and he pushed you hard.When Junior injured his hand and had to give up his chance to go to the Olympics, you kept going. In what way did your brother still help you prepare for the games?We had planned to go to Helsinki as a tandem. We had trained tandem so long that I think I was able to increase my stroke rate which doesn’t sound like much but it takes some doing when you’re already paddling somewhere in the high 50s strokes-per-minute. To pick it up was something else.What is one thing you remember about your father and coach, Bill?High kneeling, it’s all about getting the blade in the water as far forward as you can and getting at it from your hip. It’s a rotation of your upper body from the butt up. My dad always said, “If you didn’t have such a big butt, you wouldn’t be as good as you are.”How did you feel going into the games? Nervous? Excited?I was always in Bill Junior’s shadow, like all my life. Up until ’48, I had never done anything that was “outstanding.” When I won the Olympic trials that year, that’s when everything changed for me. The girl I was really interested in decided I was finally a keeper. Everything seemed to start working out then.Walk me through the day of the race, from the start to the finish line.I was behind at first. I didn’t have a great start. In the finals there were a dozen competitors. I think I was probably in the first five out there. I remember passing the German, mainly because he made a grunt when I went by. And then all that was in front of me was the Czech and the Hungarian. I could see they were riding each other’s wake a little bit. Every time we’d come to a turn, they would come as close to the buoy as you can. Really they were kinda blocking me out on the turns, but I was still in the top three, so as long as I hung in there I knew I could possibly catch them if I had anything left. When we came to the final turn, they let a little gap out while they were changing positions. I put the bow of my boat right in that gap and gave it just about all I could. When we came out of that turn and headed into the last 1,500 meters I was probably a deck’s length ahead of them. I could see them in my peripheral vision. I knew they were right there. I think I only won by 12 seconds.Not only did you win that year but you also set a new world record. What did that accomplishment feel like?I was completely exhausted after this one. My teammate picked me up and handed me a flag and carried me around on his shoulders. It was quite an ending to a day. If it hadn’t been for a squeaky pully at the podium, I’d have cried, but when they were raising the flag, the damn pully was squeaking so it got my attention. That thing should have been lubricated.How soon were you back on the water after the ’52 Olympics?I had a day or two off, then I had to go back to work. I raced the Nationals in Philadelphia the next weekend.How has the sport of canoeing changed since you first started paddling?The single blade boat that I raced in at Helsinki, you never see any of those anymore in world competition. They have a boat now that is so narrow, I don’t know if I could get my knee in it. We paddled 17-footers that weighed about 47 pounds, something like that. Pushing [a canoe] for an hour on one knee, well, we did it so many times it was just routine. But the boat I raced in Helsinki would not be comparable to anything they race today.You and your brother continued to race for many decades after the Olympics. What were some of your favorite races?We raced the Canadian Masters for years and the World Masters. We really kicked butt in the World Masters after we were no longer Olympic-type paddlers. Of course, you’re paddling in age groups, so it got awful easy when you only had people within five years of your age to compete against. We went to Denmark and Sweden. We took a crew to Hong Kong, did an awful lot of paddling around the world. It was quite a life we had.Do you still paddle today?I hate to admit it, but I sit and do it now. I had a knee operation several years ago. I’m paddling a regular canoe. It’s a beast but I know I won’t have any problem staying in it. I’m not going today because it’s pretty damn cold, but I’m on the water most every day.last_img read more

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Sugar Mountain’s Revamped Downhill Mountain Bike Park

first_imgOn June 30, and after a $300,000 investment, Sugar Mountain has reopened its doors to mountain bikers.Along with their classic technical terrain, the park features newly built beginner and intermediate trail systems. Wide open berms, rollers, tabletops, rock gardens, and drops pose unique challenges for riders at Sugar Mountain. Every trail features multiple line options and obstacles for all types of downhill mountain biking. For more information, check out their updated trail map.Lead by PJ Noto, the former Lees McRae College trail construction specialist, the trail expansion will gradually improve upon the existing system. The lifts are updated too!Magic Cycles Bike Shop, located in the base lodge, has everything you need for a day at Sugar Mountain. Bike rentals are available and include pads with a full-face helmet. Don’t need a bike? They rent gear individually as well.Located in Sugar Mountain, N.C., the resort is under a 30-minute drive from nearby Beech Mountain. It will take you about an hour to get there from Johnson City, Wilkesboro, and Morganton. From Asheville, you’ll be there in just under two hours.Check out this video for more on the mountain and a first-person look at their updated trails!Justin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict, and co-founder of Narrative North—based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes.last_img read more

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