Category Archives: My life

My love for the James River and Richmond‘s outdoor adventures are the biggest reasons why I’ve never wanted to leave.

New look at a great book: ’60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Richmond’

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of RichmondFor the past couple of months, I’ve been hiking all over Central Virginia. My wife and two children have joined me several times, visiting some old favorites and several new ones, including some fantastic Virginia State Parks.

I love the outdoors, but this is “work,” as I’ve signed on to write a revision of the great book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Richmond by Nathan Lott and published by Menasha Ridge Press.

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Dominion’s coal ash polluting James River at Dutch Gap?

Dominion power plant next to Dutch Gap Conservation Area My children and I biked and hiked this past weekend at Dutch Gap Conservation Area and Henricus Historical Park in southeastern Chesterfield County. Both parks offer lovely views of the James River and a departure from our more urban areas around Richmond.

As we drove up, before we began our adventures for the day, my son wondered aloud about the smoke/steam/pollution/discharge billowing out of two towering chimneys at the Dominion Virginia Power plant that is adjacent to the two parks. I had no solid answers in regards to the pollution, but we spent time throughout the day discussing coal ash, fly ash, retention ponds and the residual effects from generating power.  Continue reading

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Why does the presidential campaign season last so long?

www.shutterstock.comAn overwhelming majority of people in the United States of America have likely grown tired of the 2016 presidential election campaign. I’ve had dozens of conversations with people about politics in the past year, but most of them have been about the length of the campaign season, not about the candidates, issues or importance of the election itself.

Let’s reform the campaign seasons into a much smaller window and make our elected officials spend a greater percentage of their time in office doing their jobs instead of campaigning. All of that time wasted yammering about our problems would be better spent fixing them instead.

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Motivation to hike the Appalachian Trail from Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods”

My daughter and I hiked along the Appalachian Trail in Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia in June 2016.At long last, I finally read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Since it was published in 1998, it only took me about two decades to check it off my reading list.

Bryson’s story telling was fantastic. It was easy to get a sense that for some the Appalachian Trail is a form of sadistic torture for those who have attempted to hike 2,200 miles up and down hundreds of mountains for weeks and months on end. Continue reading

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Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America’s Giant Meteorite Crater

Science is awesome. I recently read “Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America’s Giant Meteorite Crater” by C. Wylie Poag. For a book about science, it is well-written, easy to read and thoroughly explains a fascinating topic, namely “America’s largest meteorite impact crater.”

Though the crater was formed 35 million years ago, it continues to influence Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. So many mysteries about our region can be tied back into that catastrophic event. Continue reading

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New job! Bike & ped planner for the Richmond region

My new job with the Richmond Regional Planning District CommissionFor those who know me best, I have finally taken the long-awaited next big step in my career, one that will take me away from media and into urban planning.

I’ve accepted a position as a planner for the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission‘s Urban Transportation Planning Division. My primary focus will be biking and pedestrian planning, but I will be able to participate in many different areas of transportation planning for the Richmond region, which is exactly what I have been searching for. I could not be more fortunate and so grateful for this new opportunity. Continue reading

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Sharing the benefits of bike commuting in Richmond

Christopher Long and Ross Kimball (orange)In my latest column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch I wrote about bike commuting to work, something that I’ve personally committed to in 2016. I’m saving money, but more than anything, it just makes me happy!

I wrote about three cyclists in Richmond who have replaced many car trips with a bicycle. My daily commute is approximately 18 miles round trip, which takes about 30-35 minutes, compared to 20-25 minutes by car (often taking very similar routes). Continue reading

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