Tono Solar project taking shape at closed TransAlta coal mine in Washington

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:The TransAlta power plant’s three tall stacks still generate electricity from coal. But coal-fired energy will only be a memory at TransAlta by 2025—with a first burner to cease operation sooner, in 2020. It’s all part of Washington state’s larger plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels in less than 2 years from now. Yes, the power plant, located in Centralia, contributes 10% of the state’s total greenhouse gases — as much as the emissions from 1.75 million cars. But what will happen when the power plant’s smokestacks shut down forever? How will the state offset the loss of 1,340 megawatts of energy?Once a terraced, open-to-the-sky strip mine—the state’s largest coal pit—TransAlta is in the process of repurposing 1,000 acres of the former mine site to a solar farm.The Tono Solar project involves the construction of a 180 MW solar power plant on 405 hectares of land. It includes the construction of a substation and related infrastructure, the installation of solar panels and transformers, and the laying of transmission lines.Tono Solar, which is expected to start producing clean energy as soon as late 2020, won’t fully make up for the power generated by the Centralia coal-fired plant—it’s expected to provide 180 megawatts of electricity. Utilities and corporate buyers are willing to buy electricity from local providers like Tono Solar.In 2006, the TransAlta coal mine was the last in Washington state to be closed. The coal mining terraforming was so severe that the former town site is currently dominated by two massive ponds.TransAlta says that it plans to completely eliminate coal from its portfolio by 2030. More: Washington state coal-fired plant converts barren landscape into solar farm Tono Solar project taking shape at closed TransAlta coal mine in Washingtonlast_img read more

Canadian Solar subsidiary signs major California PV-plus-storage deal

first_imgCanadian Solar subsidiary signs major California PV-plus-storage deal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Solar Industry:Recurrent Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar, has signed two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) in California with Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Monterey Bay Community Power for a 150 MW AC solar power system with 180 MWh of battery storage. According to Canadian Solar, this joint procurement represents the largest contracted solar-plus-storage project in California to date.This partnership resulted from a joint procurement process that Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Monterey Bay Community Power launched in September 2017 to source renewable power for their respective communities.“As a community choice aggregator (CCA), we are proud to help California lead the transition to clean, reliable and flexible energy,” states Girish Balachandran, CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy. “We are proud to partner on a new renewable energy project that makes a significant investment to reach our state’s carbon-free energy goals and contribute to solving the state’s grid integration problem by investing in large grid-scale energy storage.”Power will be supplied from Recurrent Energy’s Slate photovoltaic-plus-storage project, to be built in Kings County, Calif. The project is scheduled to reach commercial operations in 2021, and the energy represented by the contracts is enough to power 37,500 homes, providing Silicon Valley Clean Energy with 55% of the energy and Monterey Bay with the other 45% of the combined output.The project’s lithium-ion battery component is 45 MW nameplate with 180 MWh of energy capacity, allowing for four hours of flexible energy delivery.More: Big solar-plus-storage deal signed in Californialast_img read more

U.S. solar installations top 2 million mark, capacity hits 70GW

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The number of solar installations in the United States has officially surpassed 2 million, according to the latest data from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The milestone comes just three years after the industry completed its 1 millionth installation, a feat that took 40 years to achieve.Wood Mackenzie analysts expect the U.S. to crack the 3 million mark in 2021 and 4 million in 2023.“The rapid growth in the solar industry has completely reshaped the energy conversation in this country,” said Abigail Ross-Hopper, president and CEO of trade group SEIA. “This $17 billion industry is on track to double again in five years, and we believe that the 2020s will be the decade that solar becomes the dominant new form of energy generation.”California was central to the market’s early years and remains a critical leg today, but its importance is diminishing as other state markets grow up. California accounted for 51 percent of the first million installations but 43 percent of the second million.Success in acquiring more customers, and at lower costs, will determine how quickly the industry installs its next million systems — and at what price. Largely due to the challenges of customer acquisition cost, Wood Mackenzie forecasts residential growth at just 3.3 percent in 2019.The 2 million solar systems currently installed, which represent more than 70 gigawatts of capacity, provide enough electricity for around 12 million homes. But that’s just a fraction of U.S. buildings. According to the Census Bureau, in July 2017 the U.S. had 137.4 million “housing units,” a figure that includes apartments as well as single-family homes, but doesn’t count businesses, manufacturing and other commercial buildings.More: U.S. surpasses 2 million solar installations as industry looks to ‘dominate’ the 2020s U.S. solar installations top 2 million mark, capacity hits 70GWlast_img read more

Oil major Repsol breaks ground in Spain on its first-ever solar farm

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Repsol has launched construction works in Spain for its first ever solar farm in the midst of a national quarantine, following the country’s lifting of a pandemic-driven construction freeze last week.On Wednesday, the oil major announced it has now broken ground on a 126MW solar trio in the province of Ciudad Real, in the Castilla-La Mancha region to the south of capital Madrid. The so-called Kappa venture in Manzanares is Repsol’s maiden solar project and will require overall funding of around €100 million (US$108 million). The complex, set to become operational in early 2021, will be split into individual plants boasting a capacity of 45MW, 45MW and 36MW.The under-construction Kappa projects will soon be joined by the 264MW Valdesolar PV project to the west, in the region of Extremadura. The project in Badajoz – acquired by Repsol in September 2018 – is meant to break ground “in the coming weeks,” the firm said on Wednesday.Together with the 335MW Delta wind plant Repsol already started building last December, the solar duo of Kappa and Valdesolar are part of a three-project renewable push set to mobilise €600 million (US$651 million) of investment all in all.Repsol’s solar push follows its pledge at Madrid’s UN climate summit last year to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The commitment has since been emulated by similar moves from fellow oil players Galp, BP, Eni and Equinor, with the IEA urging them not to abandon renewable ambitions even as COVID-19 hurts oil revenues.[José Rojo Martín]More: Oil major Repsol uses Spain’s lockdown rollback to start building solar debut Oil major Repsol breaks ground in Spain on its first-ever solar farmlast_img read more

Leading green bond firm threatens State Bank of India over support for Australian coal mine

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Amundi said it has warned the State Bank of India it will evict one of the lender’s green bonds from a flagship fund if it helps finance a coal mine in Australia that has met fierce opposition from environmental groups. Amundi, which holds the bond in its Amundi Planet Emerging Green One fund, said it had learnt this week that the Indian bank was considering financing the Carmichael thermal coal mine in Australia.Carmichael has drawn strong opposition from climate campaigners because of the potential carbon emissions that would be produced by the mine, at a time when many countries are exiting coal to help fight global warming.Under pressure from investors, a string of banks and insurers have already cut ties to the project, with the most recent being Lloyd’s insurer Apollo.Amundi’s Jean Jacques Barberis, Director of the Institutional and Corporate Clients division & ESG, said the asset manager had contacted the bank to voice its concern and followed up with a letter to the management on Thursday.The Amundi fund – the largest aimed at green bonds in the emerging markets – looks to invest in bonds that help fund environmentally friendly projects, but also looks at the issuer to make sure its other activities are “coherent”.“We consider SBI should not finance this project. It’s their decision, ultimately, but we’ve been extremely clear on the fact that, if they decide to do it, we would immediately disinvest,” said Barberis. Financing the mine would be in “total contradiction” to the SBI activities financed through its green bond, he added. “We have engaged SBI, asking them not to participate (in the loan)… and now we are waiting for their answers.”[Simon Jessop]More: Amundi gives bond warning to State Bank of India over coal mine Leading green bond firm threatens State Bank of India over support for Australian coal minelast_img read more

Game Changing MSR WindBoiler Stove Now Available At Retail

first_imgMSR (Mountain Safety Research), the Seattle-based manufacturer of high-performance outdoor equipment, announced its all-new WindBoiler Personal Stove System is for sale at local specialty retailers and select online retailers.Going head-to-head with its primary competition in the personal stove market, JetBoil, the WindBoiler offers backpackers and campers the wind protection of MSR’s award-winning Reactor Stove System series, with the user friendliness of a more minimalist cook system .Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 12.17.03 PMPrimary air combustion, an enclosed windproof burner, and a built-in heat exchanger are what allow the WindBoiler to boil in windy and cold weather conditions that, according to MSR, cause other stoves to slow or fail. The WindBoiler system’s radiant burner combines convective and radiant heating to offer new efficiencies.An integrated full-size bowl allows minimalists to cook and serve enough food for one to two companions. The clear BPA-free lid plays triple duty: strainer, drinking lid, and coffee press compatible. Available accessories include the WindBoiler 1.0L Accessory Pot, WindBoiler Coffee Press Kit, and the WindBoiler Hanging Kit.Complete information, technical specifications, instructions and a really cool video can be found at windboiler.com.MSR-wind-boilerlast_img read more

Rock Off: Remove your Earbuds and Tune in to the Outdoors

first_imgIt was a cold day in January. A layer of iced-over snow coated the ground, stuck to windshields and trees. Every step was a slide, then a crunch. Even the air was frozen, apocalyptic in its stillness.I stepped into my cross-country skis, wary of what these polar conditions would mean for my amateur Nordic skills. A group of over 10 Canaan Valley skiers took the lead. I hung back. There would be no need for an audience to my flailing.Very soon we were climbing, away from the bustle of White Grass Touring Center, away from the tractor’s putter as it pulled cars from their icy tombs, and into the woods.The silence was deafening.Like a giant wad of cotton, the snow-capped canopy muffled the wind and lingering traces of laughter down below. By then, our group had thinned, the faster ones up front and the novices, myself among them, slowly zigzagging our way up the freshly groomed trail.I stopped by a piece of PVC pipe that jutted from the mountain, gushing crystal clear water. A broken ski pole with a plastic bottle duct taped to the end hung beside it, and I filled it to the brim, downing the water in three large gulps.Looking around, I realized, unsurprisingly, that I was last. Being unfamiliar with the area, I quickened my pace uphill. Determination settled in. Head up, knees bent. I focused on my edges, my stride, my gaze. I tuned into the sound of my skis slicing through snow and my own heartbeat drumming, my shallow breaths moving in then out.The chatter of the group grew louder and as I crested a hill, some stragglers came into sight. They looked to be taking a break, so I bypassed them, not wanting to break the momentum I’d built. With a nod and a “fine day,” I pressed on, my skis following the tracks of those before me.Shuffle, shuffle, slide. Shuffle, shuffle, slide.I found a rhythm, my groove. I felt like a pro—no, better than a pro. Once, mid-slide, I waved my ski poles up in the air, did a little jig, shook my hips, caring not in the least if anyone had seen. I cruised past one skier, then another.And then I rounded a bend in the trail.“T.N.T, I’m dynamite, T.N.T, and I’ll win the fight!”Startled, I looked around for the source of Bon Scott’s booming vocals. Another micro-pod of skiers had formed in the middle of the trail, supposedly waiting for the remainder of the group. Everyone talked and joked, seemingly unaware of AC/DC’s intimate performance.Then, a guy in a bright yellow parka skied away, exposing the source—a portable speaker, strapped to the outside of his pack. With every hit, the zippers clattered.Instantly, my mood deflated. It’s not that I’m opposed to AC/DC or rock ‘n’ roll. I’m not a goody two-shoes. I know the lyrics to T.N.T. by heart, and, under the right circumstances, have been known to belt them out in public. But not here, not now. Not amid an ethereal forest in arguably the wildest place east of the Mississippi.This is not the first time I’ve encountered music in the woods. There’s always someone at a climbing crag or campsite blaring tunes on a busy weekend. Take a walk on any trail and you’d be hard-pressed to pass a runner, or a thru-hiker even, without a pair of earbuds in.Normally, I’m unfazed by it. I grew up in an era of portable music systems, of Walkmans and iPods. Buying my very own portable CD player was of the utmost importance to my 10-year-old self.But about a year ago, I paddled down the New River Gorge with a group of friends, one of whom happens to be a professional kayaker. While the rest of us paddled along, telling stories and catching up, our pro was up ahead throwing cartwheels over waves and looping in the flow.When we took a break on the rocks below Greyhound Bus Stopper, someone teasingly made a jab at his last surf, but he never responded. In fact, he never showed signs that he had heard the jest at all, because he didn’t.“You okay?” I asked when he flopped down beside us.“What?” He pulled the earbuds from his helmet.I didn’t bother repeating myself. I was livid.To me, wearing earbuds is a not-so-subtle way of saying, “I’d rather be in my own world than share it with you.”Which is fine. Sometimes. When I’m running on a treadmill, or doing a kettle bell workout, completely bored out of my mind and feeling fat, slow, and sweaty, I’d rather be in whatever world AC/DC or, more often than not, G. Love & Special Sauce, can afford me. There are countless studies proving the psychological and physical benefits of working out to music which, in effect, is what our pro kayaking pal was doing while he cartwheeled downstream.But the whole reason I got into adventure sports goes way beyond the adrenaline, the novelty, the feelings of triumph and fear. It’s the people, first and foremost, that attracted me to the outdoors. Friends or not, when I pass others on the trail, I’m going to say hi and will take it personally if the greeting goes unreturned.In an age of high-tech wizardry and individuality, our society is now more than ever sapped dry of connectivity to nature, to people, to ourselves. Tuning into music in the woods tunes you out of not only your surroundings but also the feelings that make us human: pain, fatigue, sorrow, even pride and joy.We are multitaskers, efficiency machines, desperate for a distraction. And while yes, I get that the sound of birds twitting in the trees is only nice for so long, we are all beginning to suffer from a deficit of quiet in our lives. What will happen when the silence is gone forever?John Muir once wrote to his wife that it is “only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.”So respect the wild. Respect the silence. Respect yourself and leave the tunes at home.last_img read more

Silverback | The Beasts of the Green River Games

first_imgClouds lingered low in the trees from the previous night’s storm, casting a gray, almost ominous hue on the thick forest enveloping Wilderness Cove Tubing and Campground, the staging area for the third annual Green River Games. Piles of boats lay scattered beside the shuttle bus. Bikes were arranged side by side, their handlebars touching, food and water and shoes shoved underneath the pedals. Racers taped ankles, forced breakfast, stretched.“For the most part, I try not to think about how much I have ahead of me,” said Erin Savage, three-time women’s Silverback Champion. “What I always tell myself is: the faster I get done, the sooner I can have a beer.”Silverback-80_FIXThe Silverback is the apex of adventure in western North Carolina. Competitors kayak 8.2 miles of class III-V whitewater, mountain bike 8.3 miles of rugged singletrack, and then run those same 8.3 miles of trail.Jack Ditty, two-time men’s Silverback Champion, was first out of the water. Flushed in the face from paddling non-stop for eight miles, Ditty handed off his boat and jogged to where the bikes stood waiting, shedding wet gear as he went. No sooner had he landed, he was off again, seated high in the saddle of his Specialized bike, determination in his eyes, an 8.3-mile loop of rugged singletrack ahead of him.“If J Ditty stays on it, he’ll break four hours,” said race director John Grace, glancing at his watch.At 3:59:36, Ditty crossed the finish line. His already-slight frame seemed slighter, beat down from continuous hours of physical exertion. He pumped his fist once, but didn’t stop to soak in his success. He kept walking, past the bikes now sprawled across the grounds, past rows of Green Boats and Stingers sunning on the bank, until he reached the river, and submerged himself. It was as if he had completed the cycle, from river to trail back to river again, and as he sat in the Green River’s muddied waters, he seemed not proud or pompous, but peaceful.“I’ve never really figured out what motivates me to race,” Ditty said later of the Silverback. “I wish I did.”* * *HOW IT ALL STARTED“In 2009 I was running, literally, my shuttle and decided to veer off the main path and explore some of the other unmarked intersections. The trails were a mess, deadfall everywhere. I got lost for three hours, ran out of water, and was eaten by bugs. While I didn’t really think about organizing an event that day, I did realize there was a great recreational resource that, with a little love, could be great. A year later the idea of the Silverback was hatched.”—John Grace, race director* * *Q+A WITH THE 2015 SILVERBACK WINNERSThis year’s Silverback race was one for the books. Both Jack Ditty and Erin Savage, three-time Silverbackers, not only took the gorilla home but also walked away with new course records under their belts (Ditty: 3:59:36  / Savage: 4:37:02). Here’s what they have to say on what it takes to secure the glory of the Green.Silverback-AR-31_FIXHow did you prepare to tackle the Silverback? JD: The preparation occurs every day. Every time I’m out for a run, or on my bike, or out paddling, I’m training for this race.ES: I just try to get out as much as I can. I don’t have a really strict training schedule.Any apprehensions on race morning?JD: Always when paddling through the Narrows, there’s some degree of unpredictability to that. You just want to get that behind you.ES: The kayaking always makes me a little bit nervous not because it’s actually all that hard, but if something unexpected happens in the kayak, it’s a little harder to recover. If you fall off of your mountain bike, you just stand back up and keep going. But if you pin your boat or swim or break your paddle, what do you do then?Silverback-42_FIXWhat was your game plan for the race?JD: You have to be the fastest person on the slowest sections of the course, meaning, you have to be able to bike uphill quickly, paddle flatwater quickly, and keep a good pace when everyone is at their slowest point.ES: Just concentrate on keeping the rhythm going, keeping the momentum going.Any problems?JD: Definitely during the run, especially late into it when you get to a few steep sections, it’s hard to continue to push up those hills. When you get to that point and you’re just exhausted and you’re going uphill trying to keep your breathing under control and your heart rate under control, if you get outside a comfortable zone, you end up having trouble recovering from that.ES: It was a little tough getting out of your kayak and onto your bike. I get muscle cramps in my arms because you go from paddling somewhat hard to just holding your handlebars. That transition is a little rough for me for the first couple of miles.last_img read more

Zen and the Art of Winning Leadville

first_imgOne of the central ideas in Zen Mind is to sit without trying to achieve results, without what Suzuki Roshi calls “gaining idea.” This one was harder to practice. I’m a competitive runner and competitive athletes by nature have a gaining idea: to win. I run because I love to move through the mountains on my own two feet, to feel free and alive and to feel stories move through me as I run. But winning is addictive. It feeds the ego. I’d have to re-learn how to run without trying to win, for the pure joy of it.  I can tell you what happened next. The gun went off, and I ran into the still-black night with nearly 800 other people, determined not to go out too fast. In front of me, in the first light of morning, a male runner with a John Denver bob and a fanny pack screamed Lead-FUCKING-ville! and I screamed it back, spontaneous rallying cry and war whoop and pure glee all rolled into one. It rained and the sun came out. I ate GU and drank Coke and sang Men at Work songs with my husband, Steve, as he paced me over Hope Pass. I caught up with the first-place woman and passed her. I saw the most gorgeous enormous llamas and my daughters wearing whoopie cushion costumes and complete strangers cheering my name and old friends I’d known for years and others I’d just met but felt like I’d known forever. I ran through a river in wet sneakers and cranked White Snake’s “Here I Go Again” in my ear buds and watched the sun set. And the more I smiled, the more I flowed, and the more I flowed, the more I smiled—a perfect feedback loop.  I stopped in my tracks. In less than 24 hours, I’d toe the line of my first 100-mile race. I had no idea what lay ahead, but I understood that in order to make it through the mountains to the finish, I’d need more than physical stamina and sheer willpower. I’d need heart and humility, a little bit of luck and a lot of grace. I’d need divine spirit over matter.  Six weeks later, I drove back to Leadville for the race. As I came into town, I was so overcome by the 14,000-foot peaks that I had to pull over on the side of the road, suffused with gratitude just to be there at the start of a 100-mile race—healthy, after everything I’d been through. I felt then that whatever happened, good, bad or ugly, finish or drop, would be the icing on the cake. Leadville would be a celebration of the journey I’d traveled to get there. I was open to whatever the race would teach me. Katie Arnold is the author of Running Home: A Memoir. The 2018 Leadville 100 women’s champion, she lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and two daughters. The minute I started reading, though, I understood everything. Not with my brain, but in my body. I understood Zen Mind because I understood running. Suzuki Roshi was writing about sitting, but I realized that if I replaced “sitting” with running, he and I were speaking the same language. After all, the tenets of Zen—form, repetition, stamina and suffering—aren’t so different from the principles of ultra running. If I could apply his teachings to my running, maybe I could train my mind and spirit to be as strong as my body. Maybe even stronger.  None of this, though, accounts for what really happened.  I had no idea how to do this, of course. I’d been a runner my whole life, but I was a rookie when it came to Buddhism. It was refreshing to be so clueless. “If your mind is empty,” Suzuki Roshi writes, “it is already ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.” There was so much about running 100 miles I didn’t know: Could I tolerate the distance and impact? Did I still have the drive to run so far? I’d run and won races at every distance from 5K to 100K; I’d set course records. But now I was a beginner all over again.  As I broke the tape, I felt as though I’d been floating all day and that I could just keep going and going—like time itself. For a little while at least, I’d closed the gap. It wasn’t beginner’s luck that had helped me win Leadville. It was beginner’s mind. The second day, I vowed to let go of time and try to let the mountains carry me up and over 12,600-foot Hope Pass twice. I felt light and free, exhilaratingly happy, completely present. Later, at the finish, a man with a handlebar mustache whom I’d passed on the climb, came over to me and asked incredulously, “Where’s your motor?”  “After all, the tenets of zen – form, repetition, stamina, and suffering – aren’t so different from the principles of ultra running.” Without thinking, I answered, “In the river beneath my feet.” He looked at me strangely, and smiled, the sort of half-hearted, quizzical smile you give someone when you have no idea what they’re talking about.  In June, I went to Leadville for a three-day training camp. The first day on the trail, I was in a hurry. I kept looking at my watch, trying to figure out how many miles I’d run and how many still remained. I was running out in front of myself, not in my body but ahead of my restless mind, and the 26 miles felt more like 50. Flow with the river of time, I told myself as I ran. And I did, for 100 miles and nearly 20 hours. It was almost midnight and drizzling as I approached the finish line, but with 50 yards to go, the clouds drifted apart and a shooting star streaked through the opening, a brief white flashing in the black night—a kind of magic, here and then gone. The Middle Way: Arnold won the race that readers of Elevation Outdoors, our sister publication, named the best and hardest in the Rockies. But I knew what I meant in my body, if not my brain. That the mountains, like water, have a flow, an energy; they are older and wiser and they can carry me, just as rivers have always carried me, even on the day I broke my leg. There is a current, and you can fight it or you can go with it and ride it. The 13th-century Zen master Dogen explained it as being in time. This was how I wanted to run the Leadville 100. I knew if I pushed against time or tried to race it, I would create more resistance and suffering for myself. But if I could tap into the way it naturally flows, and ride that current, then it would carry me along and do some of the hard work for me.  The day before the start of the Leadville Trail 100 Run, I was walking down the mining town’s main drag when I passed a dilapidated white Victorian. It had peeling gingerbread trim and two sun-faded whitewater kayaks beached on the front-porch railing. The front door looked fused shut as if it hadn’t been opened in years. Painted above a window was a sign that read “Cosmology Energy Museum.” And above that “Divine Spirit Over Matter.” My Leadville training was unconventional. I didn’t tabulate my weekly mileage or worry about speed work. I focused just as much on sitting still as on running fast. Most mornings before I left for the trails, I tried to meditate outside in our garden. I didn’t have much stamina—the most I could manage before getting antsy was five to eight minutes, or if I was feeling really motivated, 10. I almost always read a few pages of Zen Mind first, hoping the teaching would soak into my subconscious as I sat and become part of my muscle memory as I ran. At 3 a.m. before the start, I woke in the dark and wolfed down two bowls of instant oatmeal and wrote two words in black Sharpie on the back of my hand: smile and flow. I wanted to move with the mountains the way I had in June, and to remember the joy that I’d always felt when I ran, that was the reason why I ran.  All the parts of my life—writing and mothering, running and Zen—had converged in Leadville. I’d tapped into something bigger than myself and had ridden it to an outcome I never could have imagined. Like Zen, it defied explanation, replication. You couldn’t understand it with your brain. You had to touch it with another part of your consciousness. Two years earlier, I’d broken my left leg in a whitewater rafting accident. My orthopedist had advised me never to run again. “Find a new hobby,” he said dismissively. He put in a piece of metal the shape of a baking spatula just below my knee that you could see through my skin. I was 46 years old. The farthest I’d ever run before was 62 miles. I didn’t have a coach or a training plan.  All I had were the Sangre de Cristo Mountains out my back door and a copy of the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, written in 1971 by the Japanese Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. My friend, the well-known Zen writer Natalie Goldberg, had given it to me—with a caveat. “It’s a classic,” she told me, “but you might not understand it.” Buddhism, by definition, is beyond definition, sometimes even explanation. In Zen there’s an idea called “no gap,” in which there’s no longer any distinction between who you think you are and who you are, between you and all the different parts of yourself, between you and the world. “When this happens, all of life gets behind you,” Natalie once told me. “The trees and the dirt and the mountains and people. Everything.”  Two years after breaking her leg and a doctor telling her she had to quit running, this Zen student took first place in one of the hardest endurance races on the planet. All it took was a little bit of Whitesnake and an understanding that winning is nothing more than the river under your feet.last_img read more

Knoxville kayaker drowns in accident on Laurel River in Pisgah National Forest

first_imgRoberts said Madison County EMS was the first on the scene, at 1:55 p.m., followed by the Walnut Fire Department and then Emergency Management, where friends of the patient and medical personnel who happened to also be kayaking in the vicinity were in the process of performing CPR on Morton about 2 miles from the trailhead. The Stairstep Rapid is where a fatal kayaking incident occurred. “What I do know is that she was with a very competent group of paddlers that were well versed in swiftwater rescue practices as well as advanced first aid and resuscitation (CPR) techniques. It was a group of paddlers that I would entrust my life with,” Chota Canoe Club President David McConnell stated in a Facebook post on Dec. 17. Paddler on the Laurel River Photo Courtesy of Kevin Colburn Stewardship Director for American Whitewater The accident report by American Whitewater states that the section of rapids the group was paddling is class III+, well within Morton’s ability, and was reported to be at a medium water level. Fellow boaters said that the water had pushed her too far left towards a dangerous sieve, causing her to flip into a tree that was hidden underwater. Once she was out of her boat she immediately was pushed into the sieve in a head-down entrapment. Morton was an experienced kayaker, by American Whitewater, a national river conservation nonprofit that works to protect and restore America’s whitewater rivers and to encourage their safe use. She was known to love adventure and her community and to always wear a smile.center_img Knoxville kayaker drowns in accident on Laurel River A Knoxville woman has died after a kayaking accident on the Laurel River in Pisgah National Forest. April Morton, 31, was a member of the Chota Canoe Club in Knoxville and considered an expert paddler. “She was going through some rapids and got hung underneath a tree, which she didn’t see as she was going through the rapids,” said Louis Roberts, Madison County Emergency Management coordinator told the Citizen-Times. “We had quite a bit of rain a couple of days before,” Roberts added. “The water level was elevated.” Morton’s death was the first kayaking fatality of 2019 in WNC, the Citizen-Times reports. In 2018 there were six reported kayaking fatalities in Western North Carolina.last_img read more