vol. 92 / keeping it cozy

vol. 92 / keeping it cozy ⛺

This week we’re keeping things cozy with our guest editor—Brian Bell. If you haven’t had the pleasure, Brian is the founder of Keep Virginia Cozy, a Richmond based nonprofit that has removed over 20,000 pounds of litter and recycling from our park systems, neighborhoods, and trails. He’s an avid hiker, backpacker, rock climber, and litter picker upper. He's also known to rappel off waterfalls to pull out invasive species of plants, scrub vandalism from our trailhead signs, and teach "Leave No Trace" classes at local breweries. When Brian is not spearheading cleanup efforts around Richmond, you can find him (if you have a good map and compass) somewhere in the mountains if you’re lucky. Take it away, Brian …
If I can inspire just one person to take the first step down a wilderness trail, or to see for the first time the beauty in the bark of a tree, or dew on a blade of grass—then my life makes sense.

How truly blessed I feel to live in this wonderful place. How truly blessed we all are. Here are three tips to get out there. Be kind. Smile at strangers. Pick up litter. And keep Virginia cozy. 


National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful, historic national treasure that’s just a short drive from Richmond. It includes the 105-mile long Skyline Drive, a National Scenic Byway, and the Park itself covers the crest of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains for over seventy-five miles. The Appalachian Trail roughly parallels the Skyline Drive and 101 miles of the trail runs right through the Park! We’re talking miles and miles of hiking trails, numerous waterfalls, and some of the best mountain summits around. Park Ranger Programs are offered seasonally and available in the Shenandoah Explorer newspaper that you’ll receive when you enter the park. Camping is also available in the Park in addition to rooms at Skyland, Big Meadows Lodge and Lewis Mountain Cabins. If you get hungry, there are full-service restaurants at Skyland and Big Meadows, plus there are plenty of "waysides" with lighter food. You can even join a guided horseback ride that departs daily (weather permitting) from the Skyland stables or check out the Night Sky Program held at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center Terrace for all the stars without the red carpet. Go now. 


Shenandoah National Park is always open / To Rockfish Gap (South Entrance), just travel west on I-64 to Exit 99 / Maps and Trails in Shenandoah 



When you're looking to get outside, trade the work clothes for some trail shoes, log some miles, and put some nature back into your life...there's literally no better place to go than Walkabout Outfitter in Carytown. They have everything you need for your next adventure or to simply hang a hammock in a secret spot in the woods for the weekend! A knowledgeable staff, tips and tricks for your gear, insights on truly "local spots," and anything and everything else you need to get you back to the wild! Walkabout also hosts a series of monthly hikes throughout Virginia with prizes and a chance to win free gear while you hike. Make them your last stop before skipping town and you’re sure to have the most enjoyable time in the outdoors that you possibly can! 

Perk: Post a photo of you enjoying the great outdoors (or even better, cleaning it up) and tag @here.weekly for a chance to win a $25.00 gift card to Walkabout Outfitters.


Walkabout Outfitter / 3015 W Cary St, Richmond 



Come join our Trashy Family! There’s no better way to meet like-minded people than by cleaning up the areas where we all live, work, and play! Every Tuesday, weather permitting, Keep Virginia Cozy hosts Trashy Tuesday as we work together to clean up a different part of our city. Keep Virginia Cozy’s mission is to protect wilderness and to inspire all Virginians to care for our wild places. We contribute to better protection, stewardship and restoration of our public lands, preserving our rich natural legacy for current and future generations. If you’d like to join us in Richmond, our next event will take place at Texas Beach. Be sure to check our Facebook page to find out about future meetups. Things always kick off at 6 pm and everyone is invited to come meet new friends, bring old friends, and help clean this place we call home. All gear is provided. And we always make sure to follow up each cleanup with cold beer at a local brewery.

Perk: The first five Here. readers to join Trashy Tuesday on August 6 will be treated to a post beer on us at Väsen Brewing. Just shoot us an email letting us know you're attending by Monday, August 5 and we'll have a frosty one waiting for you. 


Trashy Tuesday / 6 pm / Keep Virginia Cozy