Wilderness Challenge Report

This May, Terry Powell became the first person to complete the Our Wild NC Wilderness Challenge.  The challenge has been extended through the end of 2015; so, there's still time for you to finish, too! Here is Terry's brief account of her year long challenge.

by Terry Powell

On May 3, 2014, Brad Herr and I joined Foothills outing leader, Kathy Rigsbee, on a day hike to the Linville Gorge Wilderness.  Although I knew this was the 40thanniversary of the NC Wilderness Act, I had not heard of the challenge before.  On July 12, we joined Henry Fansler of the Foothills group to hike in the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness.   So, I had already done two, why not try for them all!! We continued the endeavor, from hiking in a torrential rain storm in Ellicott Rock Wilderness to standing on a dock in the Pocosin Wilderness.  Our accommodations were mostly our camper, but we checked off a three on the coast by staying in a B&B in Little Washington and a friend’s home in Emerald Isle.

By the middle of May, 2015 all the Wilderness Areas had been visited, leaving the five wilderness study areas. With six weeks left we hit the road in the camper and completed all five in eight days.  We were more than a little tired at the end.  It was truly a great experience.  Certainly, one challenge was finding those places that are less popular.  Some of the locals had never heard of them and had no idea what we were talking about when we asked for directions.  One person in a convenience store near Joyce Kilmer, when asked about Snowbird, said “but there’s nothing there!”

We live in a beautiful state with many great parks, both state and national.  These wilderness areas are very precious.  Get out there and appreciate them!

Teryy Powell and others at Table Rock in the Linville Gorge Wilderness.

Left to right: Dave Fairall, Fiammetta Rivers, Linda McCorkindale, Cara Youngblood, Joel Wooten, Mitch Davidson, John Dimling, Terry Powell, Brad Herr, Kathy Rigsbee, Jonathan Burgess.