It’s July – we’re in the thick of it now. The air is beginning to really cling, no? There is something about a Carolina summer that is unique, the blend of all that mugginess with the scent of pine and the way the hot air shimmers just above a set of worn railroad tracks. This is just the moment when ice cream begins to melt faster than we can eat it, when porch sitting becomes a workout in itself and when the consumption of liquids is literally life-saving.

That’s what I like to remind myself when I have a Pimm’s cup in hand, that delicious cocktail chock-full of freshly sliced cucumber and strawberries, making it not only hydrating but basically a salad in a glass. 

I know. I am nothing if not focused on my health.

This month we’re all about Adventure and the Outdoors, which comes right when the days are long, the nights are hot and the trails are begging to be explored. 

We talk with one Robeson County woman who, at the tender age of 75, began jumping out of airplanes, hunting deer and, if she gets her wish, will one day drive a race car (p 50).

We explore Nature Deficit Disorder and the impact of so much urbanization on our brains, which is actually a thing (p 54). 

The elite trainers of K2’s canine program give us a glimpse into their own world of training and adventure, providing life lessons we can all use on the daily (p 38). 

If adventure is calling, and you’ve finally got the time to tackle a major trail, we look at what it takes to plan for and complete the famed Appalachian Trail, which runs right through our beloved state (p 32).

And as a special treat (seriously), we head over to Aberdeen to Lynette’s Bakery and Cafe for Cuban-inspired baked goods, sandwiches and coffee, which I won’t lie… knocked my socks off. Who knew coffee could be served in a shot glass, be sweet without being cloying and make a girl feel like she might be walking in a pair of espadrilles through an ancient town square in Havana (p 58)? 

Though I’m not a die-hard fan of the Beatniks, I have to admit Kerouac may have been on to something when he wrote in On the Road

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” 

Here’s to the next crazy venture….