Australia Coal Downturn May Last Longer Than Government Acknowledges FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Australia Associated Press:The downturn in the coal industry will last longer than expected and prices won’t improve until at least 2020, an economics professor has warned.The dire prediction comes as the Queensland Resources Council lobbies the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, for emergency relief measures to help prop up the state’s ailing coalmines and save thousands of jobs.An economics professor at Central Queensland University, John Rolfe, said the downturn in coal prices was expected to last another four years, which was much longer than previously thought.“Nobody predicted that the slowdown in mineral energy prices would be as swift or as long reaching,” he told ABC Radio on Tuesday. “So these sorts of costs weren’t seen as an issue even two years ago.”However, Rolfe doesn’t agree with reducing royalties to the state government, which is among the measures the QRC is pushing for after a report painted a bleak picture of the coal industry.The report, by mining sector analysts Wood Mackenzie, found a third of Queensland coalmines are running at a loss and more than half of the mines producing thermal coal for power stations are in the same position.Cockatoo Coal’s Baralaba mine has become the latest Queensland coalmine to halt production.The mine, which went into administration last year, has been put into care and maintenance mode to protect the value of assets while a possible sale structure is examined, the ABC reports.The chief executive of the QRC, Michael Roche, has warned 21,000 jobs have been lost in the sector and more of the remaining 60,000 will be on the chopping block unless the state government offers relief.Coal price won’t improve for years and mining downturn will last: professor
On the Blogs: Tech Giants Keep Raising Bar on Renewables to Power the Cloud FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享BY ALAN BOYLE for GeekWire: Microsoft is kicking up its targets for environmentally sustainable cloud computing by pledging that half of the electricity to power its data centers will come from renewable sources by 2018.The bar will be raised to 60 percent for the early 2020s. “And then we’ll just keep on getting better from there,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, told energy executives today at a gathering of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, or REBA.Smith’s announcement provided a timely kickoff for this week’s REBA Summit on the Microsoft campus in Redmond. More than 300 representatives of companies that produce, sell and buy electrical power are meeting to trade information, recap successes and failures, and make deals.The stakes are high, especially due to the rapid rise of cloud computing. Analysts say the data centers that provide the infrastructure for the cloud could consume almost 50 gigawatts of power this year. By 2030, communication technology could account for as much as 51 percent of global electricity usage and – be responsible for as much as 23 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions.Two of the Seattle area’s top tech firms, Microsoft and Amazon, are also two of the world’s top companies in cloud computing. Facebook and Google are close behind.“Our data centers, for each company, consume as much electrical power as a small state,” Smith said at the summit. “And there is going to come a time in the future, some decades ahead, when each of these companies will consume as much electrical power as a medium-sized nation.”REBA’s goal is to help companies get that power from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric rather than from fossil fuels. The alliance is led byBusiness for Social Responsibility (a.k.a. BSR), the Rocky Mountain Institute, theWorld Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. More than 60 companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, take part in REBA’s initiatives.Full article: http://www.geekwire.com/2016/microsoft-renewable-energy-cloud-reba-summit/
Trump Team Removes Florida From Oil/Gas Leasing Plan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:The Trump administration is ruling out plans to sell new drilling rights off the coast of Florida, including eastern Gulf of Mexico waters coveted by oil companies, amid pressure from Republican Governor Rick Scott.The about-face came just five days after the Interior Department said it was considering selling oil and gas leases in more than 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters, including on all sides of Florida—the straits in the south, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The eastern Gulf of Mexico was believed to be the most tempting new prospect for oil companies in the expansive Trump administration draft, because it is close to existing pipelines and processing facilities — not to mention the refineries in Texas and Louisiana.There’s also little mystery about whether those eastern Gulf waters contain oil and gas. Energy companies already discovered a jackpot of natural gas roughly 30 years ago—at least 700 billion cubic feet and as much as 3 trillion cubic feet—in the Destin Dome, located about 25 miles south of Pensacola, Florida. And the same geological trends that have yielded major oil discoveries in other parts of the Gulf could be replicated in its easternmost reaches.But opposition from Florida politicians concerned about oil spills fouling beaches as well as crippling the state’s tourism economy helped put that area off limits long ago, and a federal law now blocks new leasing through 2022.More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-10/trump-yanks-florida-from-offshore-drilling-plan-after-objections
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Canadian Press service:Kinder Morgan Canada documents say expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline could cost the federal government an additional $1.9 billion (US$1.5 billion) beyond the company’s original construction estimate, and will take another year to complete.The figure is included in documents Kinder Morgan Canada filed Tuesday with the United States Security and Exchange Commission related to the company’s plan to sell the pipeline to the Canadian government for $4.5 billion.Kinder Morgan has long said it would cost $7.4 billion to build a second pipeline parallel to the first in order to triple its capacity, but the financial documents present a number of different construction cost scenarios, with the highest one being $9.3 billion.The documents also suggest construction won’t be complete until December 2021 — a full year beyond its previous projection of December 2020.Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been reluctant to talk about how much more it will cost to build the pipeline while the deal is being finalized.Robyn Allan, an independent economist and former CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, said Kinder Morgan wouldn’t evaluate the fairness of the sale based on numbers that have no bearing on reality.Allan, who said she has expertise on a number of multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects, believes that, in the end, $9.3 billion will seem like a steal compared to the final price tag.“This is the least it’s going to cost,” said Allan.Allan said the only detailed information Canadians have about the particulars of the sale is due to investor laws in the United States and Canada that require Kinder Morgan to file documents outlining the specifics of the deal. Since taxpayers are the shareholders of the project now, she said Canadians deserve the same level of disclosure from Ottawa and they aren’t getting it.More: Cost to twin Trans Mountain pipeline could go $1.9B higher, Kinder Morgan says Kinder Morgan filings have Trans Mountain Pipeline costing Canadian government an additional $1.5 billion
Long-duration storage firm Form Energy gets $70 million investment infusion FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Form Energy, a startup planning to make battery systems that can efficiently store wind and solar energy for long periods of time, recently landed its biggest batch of funding, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday.Mateo Jaramillo, the chief executive and co-founder of Massachusetts-based Form Energy, said the company has closed Series C funding of more than $70 million, a milestone that had not been previously reported. Funding in the company now totals more than $120 million. Jaramillo did not name the investors, but said details will be released in a couple weeks.“It’s an acknowledgement from these new investors … that this market is here and coming faster than people had realized,” Jaramillo told Reuters. He spoke during a video interview that will be part of Reuters Events Energy Transition North America next week.Jaramillo, who previously headed the stationary battery team at Tesla, co-founded Form Energy in 2017. His company aims to make batteries that can dispatch energy for days, greatly expanding the ability to supply electricity generated from wind and solar power to the grid.Current batteries, mostly made from lithium-ion, only last about four hours. Combining new and current batteries could provide a source of “renewable baseload” power with potential to replace plants that burn natural gas and coal, that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases.Form has received previous funding from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, The Engine, which is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Prelude Ventures, a climate impact venture capital fund, and others.[Timothy Gardner]More: U.S. advanced battery startup Form Energy nabs $70 million in funding: CEO
Photo courtesy of staff at Wilderness AdventureHealthy Tip #76437: Kick Your Feet UpThe work week can seem hectic, and responsibilities still linger around well after you’ve clocked out. So this week’s healthy tip is to shed some stress, find nothing to do, and kick those feet up.Think about the last time you had nothing to do, where your mind wasn’t on the next step. It seems far too commonplace to be always on the go. And for the most part it’s a good thing, for a car that is never in drive fails to go anywhere. But it is just as important to stop for air, catch your breath, and put a little fuel in the gas tank.Photo courtesy of Wilderness Adventures, http://www.wilderness-adventure.com/So this week’s anti-challenge (for taking a break shouldn’t be a challenge) is to sit back, put it in park, and take some weight of those feet. I’m not advocating lounging around the next seven days, but make your time-off count. Sitting in front of the T.V. won’t do. Get outside, find a nice view, comfortable chair, and take in a whiff of fresh air. Go on, you deserve it, and the chances are that the ten minutes you take to cool the engine will get you cruising faster, more efficiently, and will add miles to your life.Sitting back and relaxing,-BradFor pasts posts and lessons learned over the summer, please visit http://www.adventurethirsty.blogspot.com
An endangered red wolf was shot and killed just before Christmas in North Carolina’s Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a coalition of conservation groups are offering a reward of $16,500 for any information leading to arrest.Only 45 red wolves remain in the wild, and they all live in a protected area in eastern North Carolina.“This loss is a huge blow to the species,” says Defender of Wildlife program director Ben Prater. “The poaching of any wild animal is intolerable, but the intentional killing of one of the world’s most endangered species is inexcusable.”Gunshot mortality is the leading cause of death for the endangered red wolf. A small group of landowners in eastern North Carolina has opposed protection for the endangered red wolf.Once a top predator throughout the Southeastern United States, the red wolf almost vanished 50 years ago. After being named an endangered species, a captive breeding program began in 1973. As the captive population grew, scientists considered where the red wolf could be reintroduced.Photo by Ryan Nordsven/ USFWSIn 1987, six pairs of wolves were released in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge located within a five-county region—Beaufort, Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde and Washington—of eastern North Carolina. Those 1.7 million refuge acres are now home to the only wild population of red wolves in the world, managed for the last 29 years by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program. Until recently, it has been one of the most successful wildlife recovery programs in the country’s history.But today, both the program and the wild red wolf face possible extinction once more. In the last few years, the wild population has decreased from over 120 wolves to 45— mainly due to shotgun mortality. Red wolves can resemble coyotes—especially at night—and a handful of local landowners have balked at hunting restrictions to protect red wolves. At the request of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and pro-hunting landowners, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has effectively ended the red wolf reintroduction and adaptive management program.Litigation over the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision is ongoing. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued a preliminary injunction in September 2016 that orders the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop killing red wolves and authorizing private landowners to capture and kill red wolves.One long-term solution, Prater says, lies in monetary incentives for landowners. A similar program was recently launched in Florida to protect the endangered panther and has seen early success. “Some type of incentive or payment plan—where landowners are compensated for every wolf pack they have or every acre of habitat they provide—it can work. It has worked elsewhere. We just need to start these conversations.”Meanwhile, authorities are seeking any information related to the December 21 red wolf shooting. Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Welfare Institute, and the Red Wolf Coalition have partnered to offer a reward of $16,500 for information leading to an arrest. Contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with any leads at 252-473-1131.
Consigned to kids’ bikes for the past century, the single speed made an impassioned comeback in the early 2000s. For a dedicated few, the spirit of the single speed lives on.You will know Endless Bike Company’s owner Shanna Powell when you see her. If the fairy dress doesn’t give her away, the cat ears attached to her helmet will.In 2008, Powell bought Endless Bike Company, a cottage bicycle drivetrain parts manufacturer for single speed bikes. There was just one problem: she had never ridden a single speed before.“I was just so new to bikes in general that I hadn’t formed an opinion [about single speeds],” says Powell, who had only started working at a bike shop two years prior. “I didn’t know the difference from one bike to the next.”Soon after the ownership transfer, Powell hopped on a single speed at Bent Creek Experimental Forest near her home in Asheville, N.C. Nearly a decade later, she still prefers single speeds to geared bikes.For ease of use, affordability, and low maintenance, Powell argues that beginner riders should start with a single speed from the get-go. If the bike is equipped with a gear appropriate for the terrain, she says, riding a single speed is not much different than riding a geared bike. True, you might be coasting more than pedaling on the downhill, but a strong single speeder knows how to utilize momentum to her advantage and can crush a climb faster than her geared bike counterpart.“I choose to ride a single speed because I think it makes you a better rider,” says Powell. “It forces you to use your bike and your body rather than just shifting.”In general, says Powell, single speeders are the most inclusive subclass of cycling, hinging on the simplest of principles: having fun. And most devout single speeders are characters in one way or another. They have to be. If they’re not taking the brunt of geared cyclists’ jokes, they’re heckling each other. It comes with the bike. More often than not, cyclists who hear “single speed” think either next-level-badassery or stupid pain. The truth lies somewhere in between.Take New River Bikes owner Andy Forron, for example. At this year’s Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race (PMBAR), a 50- to 80-mile self-supported orienteering suffer fest, Forron and his teammate crushed the competition, finishing first in the single speed category and third overall. In jorts and a purple jersey (and a rigid frame with matching purple handlebars), he hardly looked the part.“I wouldn’t put it past Andy to show up in jean shorts and a cutoff shirt,” says Powell. “He’ll be the one standing around at the race beforehand and everyone will be like, ‘Who IS this guy?’ And then he will rip their legs off.”Serious, but not too serious. Or, hell, slap the bag and let’s party. Despite the simplicity of their bikes, single speeders are a mysterious breed. We sat three of them down, Andy Forron (Fayetteville, W.Va.), Rich “Dicky” Dillen (Charlotte, N.C.), and Watts Dixon (Greensboro, N.C.), to get a better idea of the inner workings of a single speeder’s brain. Whether or not their responses lead us closer to the truth is debatable.You’ve all been riding since childhood. Do you remember your first bike?AF: I got a mountain bike for my seventh birthday. I really wanted a dirt bike but I didn’t get that.RD: Some piece of sh*t with a banana seat, yellow and brown because those are the best colors for action.WD: I also had a Schwinn with a banana seat, and then eventually some form of a BMX bike. It was bright yellow. It got run over by a dump truck.How did you get into racing single speeds?AF: I started racing when I was pretty little. I got dragged around to all of the local races when I was 8 or 9. That morphed into doing longer races, and then 100-milers, and then those stupid ones where I don’t sleep for a few days. Now I like to do PMBAR because I can beat Rich and Watts.Read more![nextpage title=”Read one!”]RD: I started mountain biking sometime in college in the late ‘80s. When I moved to Charlotte, my horizons opened. I started racing in Pisgah and doing 24-hour races. Once I learned how to hate myself, that’s when I started single speed racing.WD: I went to a lot of races very early on, but I never raced because I was f*cking terrified. I don’t know why. I rode a lot but I didn’t want to race. Then in my middle school and early high school years, I became obsessed with the idea of doing Ironman. When I got back on a mountain bike, it was always a single speed. The bicycling scene, as vibrant as it may appear sometimes, is just as boring as every other facet of society, so I was looking for something that was not as boring as everything else I had seen.When did single speeds peak in popularity?AF: It seemed like it got really popular about five years ago. Now it’s kinda back to the same people that were doing it in the ‘90s. It’s certainly not what it used to be. You can’t even buy a single speed from a lot of the major manufacturers anymore.RD: Yeah about six years ago. Everyone had a single speed in their quiver then.What appealed to you about riding a single speed?AF: I just started riding single speed because my geared bike broke and I never fixed it.RD: I remember looking at the simplicity of the bikes without all the shit on them. There was a mystique to it. We didn’t know what could be done on a single speed. Once I started riding single speed I couldn’t get back on any of my other bikes because they all sucked. I’ve bought some geared bikes in the last decade and the last one I owned for 47 days. The local shops know not to sell me bikes with gears because I told them to stop me if I ever tried to do it again.WD: Early on, going to all those races and watching, the guys racing single speed were always the biggest characters. It was a lot more nuts back then. They were wearing costumes, like full braziers on a 24-hour race. They stood out and it definitely left an impression and I knew that was more my style.So what is considered proper single speed attire now?RD: No matter what you wear, everyone still has the right to make fun of what you’re wearing. If you wear jorts, you get shit for that. If you take your shirt off, you get made fun of for that. You better have some thicker skin if you wanna play the game. They’re gonna dig shit up forever and hold it against you so be prepared.WD: What about those cargo shorts?RD: If there’s a zombie apocalypse and I’m out riding around, I’m gonna need to put stuff in my pockets so I’m gonna keep those cargo shorts. Just a few pairs. I need a place to put my water.Do you have a single speed hero?WD: Heroes always disappoint. There are no heroes.Read more.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Why is riding a single speed better?AF: It’s really quiet. Usually. And it’s really simple. You don’t have to screw with it, you just ride it. There’s nothing to break off or hang off.RD: It limits the things I have to think about because I‘m not very good with options. It’s like a Mexican restaurant that just has burritos. If it’s a shitty burrito then I just eat my way through and if it’s a good burrito then yay. I just want to ride my bike. I don’t have to think about what I’m doing. I just need to go faster or slow down and I don’t want to think about much more than that.WD: I like Rich’s answer. I do enjoy the challenge of riding a single speed. When Rich and I did the Trans-Sylvania Epic, we were the only people on rigid bikes. It sucked at times. It was challenging. But we still had tons of fun and finished all of the sections and it levels the satisfaction even if you didn’t win by any stretch.Finish this sentence for me: To ride a single speed you must be…AF: Normal?RD: 21 or older.WD: Humanoid.And this one: You should only ride single speed if…AF: You wanna have a good time.RD: You’re not excited about electronic shifting.WD: You’re looking at Interbike coverage and everything makes you go, “Ugh this is horrible.”What is something about the single speed culture that most of us can’t understand?RD: Whether you stand on the podium or not, you just came there to have a good time. But even when you win you don’t have a sense of accomplishment because you’re like, “If so-and-so had showed up he would have beat me anyway.” There is no satisfaction. You’re just always unhappy. Deep down we’re just racing bikes which is really dumb. We could race lawn mowers and it wouldn’t be much different. I’ve got a push mower.WD: Honestly I don’t even like racing. I like beating people. I like being in front of someone, but I don’t like when someone is in front of me. If there are seven of us all riding together in a race, it sucks. I want to beat all those people but I don’t want to have to race them.How would you describe the present-day single speed community?RD: Dead.WD: D-E-D.RD: Okay, for real, we’re making fun of it seriously. There are just certain things that bother me like the guy who shows up on a single speed because he can’t beat anybody else. We can’t make up our own rules but we have social media now and we can shame people. We can ban cargo shorts on the podium.WD: I think if you ban cargo shorts, the whole mountain bike scene would die.RD: Okay, bring your cargo shorts. As long as we get to make fun of it.WD: Riding single speeds is all something we like to do, but we’re not like, “SINGLE SPEED FOREVVVVER.” On some level everyone is guilty to some degree of putting themselves in a category like mountain biker, road biker, single speeder. We’re real people and we are able to look past something as banal as riding a one-geared bike in the woods as a way to define who we are. What I’m trying to say is, we’re all really deep and complicated people. Like, really deep.So are there different degrees of single speed enthusiasm?RD: There’s the calculated go-to-bed-on-time single speeder with a power meter and a training schedule. Then there are those of us who want to put in some effort but not more than what’s required. We might not drink too much the night before a race. Then there are those who drink way too much the night before and don’t even finish the race and don’t care that they don’t finish and those are beautiful people.Do single speeders have a mantra?RD: Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion. Working hard because you’re stupid is called single speeding.WD: Or maybe something existential. Like a Sartre quote. Everything is meaningless.AF: I just like to ride my bike. Yay bikes.What does a single speeder bring on every bike ride?AF: Gummy bears are definitely important. And a good time.RD: Beer and two hard-boiled eggs. There’s something about stopping and drinking a beer and eating two hard-boiled eggs that makes me feel like life doesn’t suck. Or if you can steal bacon from work, that’s good, too.WD: Their neuroses.Do you have a dream single speed bike?AF: A titanium beach cruiser with a dropper post because I want a button on my handlebar like everybody else.RD: What’s my dream bike? A dream bike would be like a four-pound single speed with rockets on it, but then everyone would make fun of me, so there is no dream bike. I have no dreams.
Nestled in the heart of Virginia’s bucolic Shenandoah Valley, Massanutten Resort encompasses some 6,000 acres of Blue Ridge mountain terrain. Within its confines, visitors will find opportunities to engage in a plethora of outdoor activities that span the gamut from snow sports to zip line canopy tours. Visit in the summer time and you’ll be greeted by one of the best gravity-powered, downhill mountain bike parks on the East Coast. Come in the dead of winter and you’ll find top-notch skiing, snowboarding, tubing and ice skating. No matter what time of year you come to Massanutten, there will be five star farm to table fare, craft beer from local and regional producers, and mountain views for days.Day One OptionsTest Gravity at the Massanutten Bike ParkThe Shenandoah Valley has become a hotspot for downhill mountain biking, and the Massanutten Bike Park is one of the best in the area. With two chairlifts that service a network of gravity-fed trails, Massanutten offers a great mix of purpose built trails tailor made for beginner, intermediate, and expert riders.Hit the SlopesIf you’re visiting in winter, don’t miss the chance to hit some of the best slopes in the state of Virginia. Massanutten is home to wide groomed trails, a dedicated learner’s area, terrain parks and night skiing. Skiers and riders who visit Massanutten will have access to 14 runs serviced by 8 lifts. When snow is scarce, which is often the case in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, Massanuttten employs a unique snowmaking method that conserving energy by drawing water from a man made reservoir located on resort ground. If skiing and snowboarding aren’t your cup of tea, check out the tubing park or hit the ice skating rink. Take a Canopy TourWant to see the mountains of Massanutten from a totally different perspective? Consider signing up for an exhilarating canopy tour. This 90-minute journey will take you across four different ziplines that range in length from 90 to 470 feet.Day Two OptionsCross Country MTB on the “Western Slope”One thing that sets the mountain biking scene at Massanutten apart from that of similar resorts in the area and around the country is its access to cross country trails in addition to the purpose-built downhill park. The undeveloped “Western Slope” of the property is home some 30 miles of well-maintained and clearly marked single track trails that wind up and down wooded terrain and are suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. The trails of the “Western Slope” are maintained by volunteers working with the nearby Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC). Those who volunteer their time with the SVBC are afforded access to this amazing network of trails. If you’re a mountain biker, don’t leave Massanutten without hitting the “Western Slope.”Hike the Massanutten Ridge TrailIf you’re looking to access one of the best views Massanutten has to offer via your own two feet, look no further than the Massanutten Ridge Trail. This 4.7-mile, moderately trafficked out-and-back, offers stellar views of the nearby ski area and the mountains surrounding Massanutten. To access the trailhead, start at the parking lot at the end of Del Webb Drive. For an added bonus, consider timing your hike with a sunrise or a sunset and be sure to come prepared with sturdy hiking boots and plenty of water.Where to EatAll that hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or canopy touring is sure to build up your appetite. Luckily, Massanutten is carefully cultivating one of the best dining scenes in the entire Shenandoah Valley. With three top-notch restaurants to choose from, you’ll never want for great food and drink when visiting Massanutten.Campfire GrillThis casual dining venue pays homage to the outdoors and the spirit of adventure, making it a must-visit destination for hungry campers of all ages. Camp stove chili, chicken dumplings, campfire pouches, and skillets are just a few favorites served at our scenic mountain setting. Just make sure to save room for the s’mores!BasecampThis indoor-outdoor bar and grill is the perfect location to enjoy a great local or regional craft beer on tap, but the food is not to be missed either. From fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls and house-made Bavarian pretzels to classic cheeseburgers and Southern staples like shrimp and grits, the Basecamp is the perfect place to refuel after a long day of Massanutten adventure.Virginia BBQ and Pizza Co.If you are craving a taste of down home southern barbecue, check out Massanutten’s all new Virginia Barbecue & Pizza Co. From their own custom built smoker, this eclectic establishment offers mouthwatering wood-smoked chicken, pork, and ribs accompanied by delicious, traditional southern sides. They also offer fresh breakfast every morning from 8 am to 11 am.Where to StayEagle Trace Town HomesThese charming town-house style units can accommodate anywhere from four to twelve occupants.The SummitTwo to four bedroom homes with all the amenities and sprawling mountain views.Massanutten HotelThe Massanutten Hotel is newly renovated and offers king or queen rooms.Nearby AttractionsVisit nearby Harrisonburg to get a feel for the bike and beer scene of the Shenandoah Valley!
Photo by Molly Wolff Photography of water release Snowshoe is a world-class mountain biking destination and has recently received the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Ride Center designation. The Snowshoe Highlands Ride Center has been awarded the designation in recognition of its exceptional mountain biking experience, which makes it one of just 40 IMBA Ride Centers in the world. UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals at Snowshoe Photo by Kurtis Schachner at Snowshoe Mountain Resort Gauley Season is here! “Unique trails, unmatched beauty and an adventure of a lifetime await athletes at the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup,” Ruby said. “We’re excited to welcome mountain bikers 4,848 feet into the mountains to find their own version of Almost Heaven” Photo by Kurtis Schachner at Snowshoe Mountain Resort Photo by Molly Wolff Photography of Lost Paddle on the Upper Gauley, Third Drop For 23 days during the fall, the Gauley River is home to some of the best whitewater rafting in the world. Every September beginning the weekend after Labor Day, the Summersville Dam executes a series of scheduled releases into the Gauley River, which creates action-packed whitewater rafting conditions. Snowshoe Mountain’s bike park will reopen tomorrow, 9/13 after hosting the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals on Sept. 6-8, where athletes from around the world competed for the gold. This year marks the first time the event has been held in the United States since 2015 and is expecting more than 13,000 people total. Photo courtesy of West Virginia Tourism The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ scheduled water releases from the Summersville Dam into the Upper Gauley River will start on Sept. 6, marking the first official day of Gauley Season 2019. Twenty-three releases are scheduled this season, with an extra hour of release scheduled for Sept. 21-23. “Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia is truly almost heaven. To celebrate Gauley Season, I invite everyone to come experience the adventure for yourself by taking on Class V rapids,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “For those looking for a more relaxed whitewater rafting experience, try the New River with one of our local outfitters, who are offering discounts all season long.”