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Bridge Day Tandem BASE Jump Contest, New River Gorge, West Virginia

Do You Have What it Takes?


The countdown has started to the New River Gorge Bridge Day on Saturday, October 18, 2014. On that day, BASE jumpers leap 800+ feet into the New River Gorge below, or are launched by the Human Catapult. Rappelling, skydiving, and more adventure abound. You ready?

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth. BASE jumpers leap from any and all of these four fixed objects with parachutes designed specifically for rapid deployment. Known around the world as the most extreme of extreme sports, BASE jumpers look forward to Bridge Day ® every year.

The New River Gorge Bridge saw its first BASE jumpers in 1979, just 2 years after the bridge was completed and opened to the public. As more and more people entered the sport, the tradition of coming to West Virginia for Bridge Day has grown- more than 800 jumps were made last year.

The vast majority of people (more than 80,000 expected) visit to Bridge Day to watch. All of the jumpers are registered, and can make as many jumps as they are able to within a six hour window.

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

This year the folks at Bridge Day are once again teaming up with Vertical Visions and Subaru to offer one lucky winner the chance to tandem BASE jump off of the New River Gorge Bridge.

Think it should be you?

Then create a video that shows the world why you should be chosen to jump. A charity of your choice will also receive a $1,000 donation, courtesy of Subaru. So be sure to also tell everyone all about your charity and why you’re willing to jump off a Bridge for it.

Guidelines & Requirements:
-Must be at least 18 years of age
-Must weigh 200 lbs. or less and be capable of an active lifestyle
-Must wear athletic shoes or hiking boots
-Must sign our liability waiver

Video submissions will be accepted on Facebook beginning Friday, August 15, 2014. All submissions must be uploaded by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, September 2. Voting will begin on Wednesday, September 3 and end on Wednesday September 10 at 11:59 PM.

Contest Rules:
-Videos should be no more than 3 minutes in length
-Creativity is encouraged
-Voted on by Bridge Day fans
-Video becomes property of Bridge Day

To enter, go here:

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Get Down and Dirty with Mud on the Mountain in the Dark, Seven Springs, PA


Family fun of the good clean…er…muddy kind. Mud on the Mountains in the scenic Laurel Highlands provides athletes a different challenge over a treacherous course. The seven mile mud run course winds its way up, down and through some of the most difficult terrain in Pennsylvania.

Join scores of others as you test your grit, stamina and training on the slopes at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, the largest ski and four-season resort in Pennsylvania. To make it even more challenging, the course is run in the dark! Seven Springs will equip you with headlamps before they send you out in waves starting at 9:00 p.m.

Scale boulder fields, climb over obstacles and claw up incredible inclines on your way to a triumphant finish. Be on the lookout for some special features that will not only test your body but also your fear of the dark. All of your senses will be pushed to their thresholds.

Kids’ Mud on the Mountain will be held on Saturday, August 30, 2014
– Teens ages 13-17 will start at 9 a.m.
– Tweens ages 10-12 will begin at 11 a.m.
– Juniors ages 8-9 will begin at 12:30 p.m.
– Parents or legal guardian must register


Mud on the Mountain in the Dark
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Register between July 1 and August 10, 2014

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Astronomer Alert: Cherry Springs Park in PA Named Best Place to go Stargazing


Cherry Springs State Park in The PA Wilds has been named the best place on Earth to go stargazing by the Travel Channel. Named for the large stands of black cherry trees, the 48-acre park is surrounded by the 262,000-acre Susquehannock State Forest. Its dark skies make it a haven for astronomers.

Bring a telescope for an evening of star watching. From May through September, volunteers offer free public stargazing evenings, and guided star tours for novices. Groups gather next to the camping area. Call or go online for camping reservations.

The Susquehanna Trail passes nearby and offers 85 miles of backpacking and hiking. A single-track mountain bike trail runs 15 miles from the state forest district office at Denton Hill to Patterson Sate Park and continues to Cherry Springs State Park.

Trail maps are available at the Bureau of Forestry and Lyman Run State Park offices.

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Zombie Splatter Fun at Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, WV

Image Courtesy of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Image Courtesy of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

More dates added for fall splatter fun!

Zombies have risen from the graveyards back on the farm, help contain the infestation.
The truck leaves every 30 minutes.
Every Friday and Saturday night.
Starts at 7:00 pm last ride is at 11:30 pm.
September 26th, 27th
October 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th, 31st
November 1st

Advanced tickets can be purchased over the phone at 304-269-5070
$20 dollars a person
100 paint balls included
Reloads of 100 available during ride for $5.00
No equipment needed. You do the shooting.

Tickets can be purchased Friday and Saturday Evening either at the ticket booth or over the phone if you need a certain time.

BE AWARE there are only 18 tickets every 30 minutes and is expected to sell out fast.

Any questions please email or
call 304-269-5070.

Sometimes being a travel writer is too much fun, especially when you come across notices like this first thing in the morning:

ALL ZOMBIE TICKETS ARE FIRST COME FIRST SERVE TODAY!!! Don’t worry about getting your timed ticket online today, just come to the main entrance and choose your time to battle! No equipment or experience necessary and you will not be shot!

I had to back-track a bit, to find out that the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia is holding a ZOMBIE PAINT BALL event today, Saturday, August 2, 2014 from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Truck leaves every 30 minutes. 100 paint balls included. Reloads available for $5.00.

I feel like the notice should come with one of those movie disclaimers, “no actual zombies will be hurt during the filming of this event.”

Get out there and do your best zombie shuffle.

Update: They are running the ZOMBIE PAINT BALL in the daytime, every Saturday until the last weekend of September. Volunteers still needed to be zombies. Tickets until October are $15.00 per person.

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Win an All-Inclusive Lexington, Virginia, Getaway

Image Via Wikipedia

Image Via Wikipedia

Lexington, VA is in the heart of some of the most beautiful country in the US. Now, the winners of the fabulous, all-inclusive getaway contest sponsored by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine will have the chance to enjoy the region’s wonderful outdoor activities.

First you’ll enjoy seeing the Natural Bridge; one of Virginia’s most cherished natural wonders.

The prize package includes TWIN RIVER OUTFITTERS River Paddle or Tubing Adventure for Two. TRO provides their guests with fun and safe river trips that range from lazy river to whitewater paddling experiences with true mountain views. They are the oldest and most experienced outfitter operating on the Upper James River and have been safely running paddle trips since 1978.

STONE BRIDGE EQUESTRIAN CENTER , a premier multi-discipline riding facility located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, will provide a Horseback Riding Experience for Two.

Winners will also enjoy two tickets to the NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS , and descend more than 34 stories into the Earth to view magnificent natural display. While underground, tourists can explore cavern structures such as the Colossal Dome room. This room is an enormous dome shaped natural feature that was created over thousands of years. Walking from the dome room, visitors can also see other places like Mirror Lake, the Well Room and the stalactites and stalagmites that grow from the Canyon Room.

For more information and entry, check out BLUE RIDGE OUTDOORS .

TWIN RIVER OUTFITTERS – River Paddle or Tubing Adventure for Two
STONE BRIDGE EQUESTRIAN CENTER – Horseback Riding Experience for Two
WALKABOUT OUTFITTER – Two $25 Gift Certificates
COLONIAL DINING ROOM – Breakfast for Two
(dinner for 2 at Haywood’s does not include alcohol or gratuity)

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Wildwood Beach 2014 Ultimate Beach Frisbee Tournament

07/26/2014 – 07/27/2014

Frisbee is supposed to be one of the easiest games to play, but the version played by the teams at Wildwood’s Ultimate Beach Frisbee Tournament bears no resemblance to my backyard fumbling.

Image Courtesy of Wildwood Ultimate Frisbee

Image Courtesy of Wildwood Ultimate Frisbee

It’s the largest beach Frisbee tournament in the world, and has gone international with the addition of The Boracay Dragons. Formed in 2002, the team is composed of athletes from the beautiful island of Boracay with some of the best ultimate players from around the Philippines. The team finished with a silver medal twice, first in Brazil 2007 against Australia and the last one against Team USA in Italy 2011. This US tour is part of their preparation as they represent the Philippines in next year’s World Beach Championships in Dubai.

While there are serious games being played in the actual tournament, a fun atmosphere is always going on. There is a beach party and beer garden, and a division of play that focuses on fun instead of competition.

The annual event is held on the beach at the Wildwood Beach Patrol Headquarters at Schellenger Avenue.

Sat: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A 4-on-4 team competition for players of all levels, ages 18 & over.
More than 400 teams from all over the country compete in the tournament.

Free to spectators

For more information:

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Image Courtesy of Calvert County, MD

Image Courtesy of Calvert County, MD

The Calvert County Health Department has lifted restrictions at the northern Calvert County beaches recently closed due to a release of untreated waste from the Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant June 12. Samples from all of the north county beaches now show safe conditions for swimming and other water activities.

Image Courtesy of Calvert County MD

Image Courtesy of Calvert County MD

The Health Department will continue to perform weekly water quality testing from North Beach to Brownies Beach/Bayfront Park between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The department also conducts routine testing at all public bathing beaches in Calvert County.

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June 18, 2014 Update
Northern Calvert County Beaches Reopened

The Calvert County Health Department has lifted restrictions at the northern Calvert County beaches recently closed due to a release of untreated waste from the Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant June 12. Samples from all of the north county beaches now show safe conditions for swimming and other water activities.

The Health Department will continue to perform weekly water quality testing from North Beach to Brownies Beach/Bayfront Park between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The department also conducts routine testing at all public bathing beaches in Calvert County.

June 16, 2014 Update:

Announcement from Calvert County Health Department

Test results from the state lab last night (June 15, 2014) showed elevated bacterial levels along the 4 closed beaches in Northern Calvert. These bacteria can be dangerous to human health.

The Health Dept will continue to test water samples this week. We will notify you when the results show the water is safe for contact.

If you go fishing in an area close to Chesapeake Beach, including nearby tidal creeks, do not eat any raw seafood.

Remember that if a fish has bacteria on its skin, it can contaminate whatever it comes in contact with (kitchen countertops, sinks, etc.) until it is fully cooked.

Make sure you wash very well with soap and water if you handle anything that is in contact with the waters (including tidal creeks) in the area until we have clear lab results.

June 13, 2014

Due to a release of untreated waste from the Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant late Thursday night (June 12), the waters of the following beaches are closed to wading and swimming until further notice:

• North Beach
• Windward Keys Beach
• Chesapeake Station Beach
• Bay Front Park/Brownies Beach

It is possible that contact or accidental swallowing of bay or tidal water in the area could lead to serious illness. Children are particularly susceptible to bacterial illness that can result from untreated sewage.

The Health Department wants to emphasize that well water for nearby residents is safe to drink and use for bathing. The discharge from the treatment plant does not contact the aquifer that supplies wells in Calvert County. The Health Department will continue to monitor the safety of the surrounding waters and notify the residents of Calvert of any changes.

The Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant operates under authority of the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE). MDE has been working with the Treatment Plant to upgrade the facility and prevent future untreated discharge. Any questions about the operation of the Plant should be directed to the Plant or to the Maryland Department of Environment.

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West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is June 7-8, 2014

Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. West Virginia's Free Fishing Days are June 7 and 8, 2014.

Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. West Virginia’s Free Fishing Days are June 7 and 8, 2014.

National Fishing and Boating Week 2014 will be highlighted by the 24th annual Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). During these two days, residents and nonresidents can fish in West Virginia without a license.

“It is a great opportunity to remind people of the fun of fishing, especially with family and friends. If you already have a license, take someone fishing — it may be your children, spouse or co-worker – and introduce them to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment,” Jezioro said.

DNR participates in a number of activities during National Fishing and Boating Week and Free Fishing Weekend. One of the largest and most successful events is the Bowden Fishing Derby that will be held June 7 at the Bowden Hatchery in Randolph County. Children must register for the event, and they will receive basic fishing instruction and will have the opportunity to enjoy time fishing with friends and family. Registration information for the Bowden Derby can be found at

National Fishing and Boating Week began as a promotional activity sponsored by the sportfishing industry, encouraging fishing around Father’s Day. The recreational boating industry partnered with its sportfishing counterparts to develop a fishing and boating educational campaign.

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Dig Archeology? Help Excavate Valley Forge, PA

Volunteers screening for artifacts during the 2013 excavation at Muhlenberg’s Brigade, site of the 1st Virginia Brigade

Make the Summer 2014 Public Archeology Program, 3rd Virginia Brigade Excavation a family project. Valley Forge National Historic Park invites budding Indiana Jones wannabes to participate in an archeological excavation, Monday through Friday from June 9 – July 18, 2014. Volunteers will have the opportunity to screen for artifacts from the soil excavated at the Woodford’s Brigade site.

During the winter encampment of 1777‐1778, the 3rd Virginia Brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. William Woodford camped on the southern slopes of Mt. Joy. At the height of the encampment it is estimated that there were over 650 men in nearly 40 huts. To date no archeological research has been performed in this area. The purpose of this project is to define the spatial limits of the Woodford’s brigade and to systematically sample the remains of the site. These data will then be compared to existing archeological knowledge of other encampment‐era sites located within Valley Forge NHP for the purpose of providing a deeper understanding of day to day life during the encampment. In July and August 2013, archeologists conducted a geophysical survey and a number of possible archeological features were identified during the survey. The excavations this summer will examine the geophysical anomalies to see if any of them are encampment‐era features.

No experience is necessary for screening. Youth from ages 8-12 can participate with a parent present; 13-17 with parental permission. All volunteers must register in advance. For more information about volunteer qualifications, safety information, and to sign up as a volunteer, visit