Explore With RWD

Explore With RWD

Come along with natural world photographer Roger W. Downes as he explores and shares the stories of new places, people, and cultures. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/explorewithrwd/support

Episodes

May 23, 2021 20 min

The Linville Gorge Wilderness in the Pisgah National Forest of Western North Carolina is an adventurous location with breathtaking views, fauna, and flora.  However, before you venture out onto the trails, there are a few things you need to know.  Trekking the Wilderness isn't a walk in the park but it's certainly worth the effort.

Recreation and Trails Program Manager of The Pisgah National Forest Grandfather Ranger Distri...

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular National Parks in the United States with over 16 million visitors each year (a number which triumphs the annual number of visitors to Yellow Stone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon combined).  Running from Cherokee, North Carolina to Roanoke, Virginia connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park.  

Join us in Episode 18, as we talk with Chief Executiv...

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Great artisan breads take years to develop, sometimes generations.  That is exactly the case of Asheville's Annie's Baker Founder, Giuseppe "Joe" Ritota, a fourth generation baker.  Hear the story of Joe's truly inspiring entrepreneurial spirit and guidance from God to grow his amazing bakery in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.  

Visit Annie's Bakery online at: https://www.anniesbread.com

...

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January 24, 2021 43 min

New stars and galaxies are being discovered and researched from deep within the Pisgah National Forest at P.A.R.I. (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute).  This 200 plus acre facility helps to make new discoveries which will take us into the stars, while offering educational camps for those wanting to learn more about what is beyond our world.  We chat with P.A.R.I.'s Educational Director Melanie Crowson in this episode of Ex...

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January 12, 2021 22 min

One of the cheapest ways to bring a family together is an afternoon hiking, fishing, or swimming in the National and State Forests and Parks throughout our nation.  In Episode 15, Roger shares his story of how an outing with his father in the outdoors helped him to heal their relationship.

Visit us online: http://www.explorewithrwd.com

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor...
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January 4, 2021 36 min

Many of us love to visit waterfalls in our national and state parks and forests.  However,  a lot of us are not educated enough to avoid being seriously hurt or damaging the delicate ecosystem at each waterfalls they visit.  That doesn't have to be the case, join us as we chat with Executive Director of Waterfall Keepers of North Carolina, Kevin Adams on waterfall safety, etiquette, and stewardship.   

Learn more: https://www.w...

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December 28, 2020 46 min

Eric Hurley shares his experiences on location as a motion picture extra in The Last of the Mohicans which was shot in the DuPont State Recreational Forest and Chimney Rock State Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.  

Discover other stories from Western North Carolina at www.explorewithrwd.com.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Se...
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The Pisgah National Forest is an amazing resource in Western North Carolina covering 500,000 square acres just 22,000 acres shy of the neighboring Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  But until recently Pisgah didn't have a specific conservancy group working diligently to maintain the forest and her trail like the Smokies.  But now, thanks to founder John Cottingham, The Pisgah Conservancy has been born.

John joins us in this e...

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December 13, 2020 47 min

Tony and Terri Fisher operate the Candler Feed And Seed Store on Smoky Park Highway in Candler, North Carolina...

But their store is so much more than pet, garden and farm supplies; they truly operate a ministry out of the store which is always filled with laughter and joy...   even on the Christmas Eve night that they sent Santa to jail.

I chat with Tony and Terri about having Santa arrested, how they met in an untraditional fashi...

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December 5, 2020 88 min

Deep inside the DuPont State Recreational Forest is hidden stories of family tragedy, forgotten places and community unity through it all.

Western North Carolina Author and Historian Patty Stahl shares these amazing stories in this episode of Explore with RWD.

Visit the Friends of the DuPont State Recreational Forest online.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app -...
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November 27, 2020 62 min

Each National and State Forest or Park has its own unique history of how it was created.  However, the story of the DuPont State Forest is lined in kindness and some outrage together.  In this episode we chat with DuPort Forest : A History author Danny Bernstein on how the forest that so many love with it's eight waterfalls, multiple lakes and miles of trails came to be.

Purchase DuPont Forest : A History

Visit The DuPont State...

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I believe the quote "From humble beginnings come great things..." sums up our guest this episode, Natural World Photographer, Entrepreneur, and Conservationist Benjamin Walls.  He has dedicated his life to connecting you with the natural world and that driving passion has been challenging at times.  From struggling as a starving artist, to achieving five exhibits in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and risking his li...

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Sunburst Falls is beautiful to visit, but the town which it was named after gave African Americans of the early 1900's the opportunity to achieve the American Dream long before social justice came into play.  Sadly, that town has been "washed" away in history.   

Join Nature Photographer and Journalist Roger W. Downes as he talks with Smoky Mountain News Staff Writer and Contributor to Asheville's NPR Radio Blue Rid...

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High in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina stands the Pretty Place, the Fred W. Symmes Chapel .  Offering amazing views of the valley below  the Pretty Place is a popular venue for weddings, funerals, prayer and photographers.

Join Roger W. Downes as he shares his experience there and explores the history of the Chapel with Director of Camp Operations for the YMCA Greenville Nicholas Patton.

Directions to the Pretty Place

V...

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Two cultures collide in amazing symmetry in this award winning Native American Flutist and Cherokee storyteller.  Join me as Matthew Tooni (Tune-eye) shares his story of music, being nominated for a Native American Music Award and his calling to the Christian faith.  It is an amazing and inspiring story of dancing faith and culture.

  • Hear Matthew Tooni's Music on Amazon
  • Visit Matthew Tooni on facebook
  • Visit us online for photos, ...

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    I had always believed in Bigfoot, but doubt lingered in my mind for a long time if my beliefs were accurate.  But then one early evening along the Blue Ridge Parkway my doubts were completely dosed.  

    I'll share my encounter with you and chat with the head of Bigfoot 9-1-1 and event organizer for the WNC Bigfoot Festival, John Bruner.  John will share some other sasquatch stories and all the details of how you can attend the 20...

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    October 20, 2020 43 min

    If local historian Bill Carson and his sister hadn't purchased The Orchard at Altapass, the Blue Ridge Parkway would look much different today.  Roger W. Downes chats with Bill about this story and how America putting a man on the moon plays into it as well.  

    Then Bill dives into the story of how the settlers of Western North Carolina turned the tide in the American Revolutionary War due to their grit and determination to keep...

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    The Pisgah National Forest hosts an amazing assortment of waterfalls, but Catawba Falls takes it to a whole new level.  When you arrive at the foot of the falls you feel as if you have just walked into a fantasy movie.  The beauty is stunning.  However, many of us would have never been able to enjoy this waterfall if it hadn't been for the efforts of the Foothills Conservancy.

    We visit with Foothills Conservancy Land Protection...

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