Flying low: once under the radar, telemark skiing is beginning to hold an edge in the blue ridge.John Regan is a trucker with a passion for the outdoors. Prepare yourself for envy.This is what John Regan takes to work: a kayak, a pair of skis, a snow kite, maybe a mountain bike depending on the destination. And coffee. Lots of coffee. Regan is a trucker and one of the rare individuals who has managed to find a job that fuels his passion for adventure. He’s turned the lower 48 into his backyard playground, skiing, kiting, paddling, and biking wherever his truck takes him. He’s caught massive swells off the coast of Washington, skied waist-deep powder in Wyoming, biked Utah’s backcountry…all while “on the job.” We talked with the 53-year-old adventure trucker about his sweet life on the road.Truck driving and adventure sports don’t seem to mix. How did you get into the outdoors? JR: I started during a Boy Scout Explorer Post that specialized in kayaking and winter backpacking. My first trip was summiting Mount Washington in the winter. That was brutal. I started guided rafts when I was 17 at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. In ’81 I moved to Friendsville to have access to the Upper Yough and lived the guide life.How did truck driving factor in? JR: When I got married in ’86, I realized I wasn’t going to buy a house on raft guide wages, and I was pretty sure my wife didn’t want to live in my van with me. So I went to truck driving school and drove tractor trailers for a while, then became a sales rep for Prion kayaks before creating the custom kayak hauling gig I have now.Explain the job to us. JR: I deliver kayaks for Pyranha, a small company owned by hard-core paddlers. I drive 80,000 miles a year, half of what truck drivers are legally allowed to drive, and work hard from February to August when shops are receiving their product. Basically, I’m on the road for four weeks a month for half a year.And you’ve managed to use that frantic truck-driving way of life to your advantage, accessing all sorts of intense fun while you’re on the job? JR: Work is a priority when I’m on a trip. I’ll make 20 stops with a single truckload, mostly driving up and down the East Coast on a giant loop. But dealers have regular hours, which creates downtime. So I’ve made connections in every town I visit. When there’s downtime, I call up my people and we go boating, skiing, surfing, biking…whatever there is to do in that area. I’ve been to 38 states twice this year already. There’s a lot of adventure out there.You’ve worked in the boating industry for decades. Are you predominantly a kayaker? JR: I kayak 100+ days a year, but my favorite downtime activity is backcountry skiing. I’ve skied Tuckerman’s Ravine 13 times, which isn’t bad for a guy living in the Mid-Atlantic. I’ve skied off the summit of Katahdin. It was just like skiing out west; above tree line, windswept, big powder. One run off of Katahdin got me 2,500 feet of vert. I got to ski the Tetons in June this year. I couldn’t get the locals to go because they thought the snow was spent, but it was epic. And I keep getting deeper and deeper into snow-kiting too.Snow-kiting? JR: Snow-kiting is like being towed behind a snowmobile, but you’re turning and in control of the throttle and the direction you’re going. It adds an element of danger and excitement to skiing, which already has an element of danger and excitement. You’re going 30 mph through the powder with constant face shots. I’m over lift-served skiing. Snow kiting is like having a chair lift on your back. It gives you access up to ski down.Is there good snow-kiting below the Mason Dixon? JR: The Sinks of Gandy, in West Virginia, is the best snow kiting in the East. Basically, it’s a cow pasture on an open knob at 3,500 feet in elevation. During a normal winter, you’ll find snow drifts that are 30 feet tall and huge natural cornices. It’s private property surrounded by national forest, but there’s an open invitation to cavers, hikers, and skiers. But you can only access it in the winter by taking a 10-mile snow machine ride.Speaking of access, how do you get your truck into these forests? JR: The truck is a short, single-axle tractor-trailer made for getting in and out of canoe liveries. It’s 12’10” tall and 70 feet bumper to bumper. Still, I can’t go deep into the forest with my truck because of weight limits on surface roads. But a lot of rivers are accessed off major highways. You’d be surprised. The Gauley, the Russell Fork—I’m going to paddle those this month and I can reach them both in my truck off a highway. If I want to go deeper into the backcountry, I rely on my contacts in each town.Where’s home when you’re not on the road? JR: A 3.5-acre horse farm overlooking Friendsville, close to the Upper Yough. My wife is a horse girl. She doesn’t participate in many of the adventures I do, but we spend our time together riding horses. I’ve never been hurt skiing or paddling or biking, but over the summer, I broke my pelvis on a horse.You travel all over the country. Could you see yourself living anywhere else? JR: Maybe Washington State. It has everything. You can ski 12 months a year on Baker. There’s incredible surf, endless whitewater year round. It’s like West Virginia on steroids. But I would never leave Maryland and West Virginia. It’s one of the few places in the country where you get four real seasons, and each one is three months long. And luckily, my job gets me to the places I want to go.Check out a few adventures and places you could drive to in our Editor’s Top 25 Adventure Picks!
– Advertisement – This will probably vary significantly from state to state. Let’s take them one at a time.AlaskaAlaska may well be the last state to be called, because officials there won’t even begin counting mail ballots, or early in-person ballots cast after Oct. 29, for another week. That being said, it’s a red state and isn’t really competitive. Mr. Trump will probably win here pretty easily, and Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican, probably will too.ArizonaArizona will probably be called soon. Mr. Biden is leading by five percentage points with more than 80 percent of the estimated vote counted, and some news outlets, including The Associated Press and Fox News, have already called it for him. The New York Times and others have not done so, but Arizona officials expect to finish counting ballots on Wednesday, so we shouldn’t be waiting too long for an answer.Georgia- Advertisement – Six Senate races were uncalled in five states: Alaska, Georgia, Maine, Michigan and North Carolina.Georgia has two races, both involving Republican incumbents whom Democrats hope to unseat. One, between Senator David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, might be decided in the next few days or might go to a runoff in January, depending on whether a Libertarian candidate gets enough votes to keep both major-party candidates below 50 percent. The other race will require a runoff between the incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, and Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.When will we know the results?- Advertisement – Georgia might have been called already if not for a burst pipe at a site in Fulton County where election officials were counting absentee ballots, which delayed the counting process in and around Atlanta.Mr. Trump was ahead in the state by a little over two percentage points with 92 percent of the estimated vote counted, but the uncounted votes from such a heavily Democratic area could close the gap, and the secretary of state’s office cautioned against relying on the current results given that fact.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said the state budget deficit may widen to between 2.2 and 2.5 percent of GDP this year, taking into account the large government stimulus packages to fuel the virus-worn economy.Total state revenue collected by late February was Rp 216.6 trillion, a 0.5 percent year-on-year (yoy) contraction, while state spending reached Rp 279.4 trillion, up by 2.8 percent yoy, ministry data shows. The annual growth rate in state spending has slowed from 9.2 percent in February 2018.She added that the assumptions underpinning the 2020 budget had changed as a result of the pandemic, which would weigh heavily on the Indonesian and world economies. The transformed assumptions included economic growth, the inflation rate, the exchange rate and oil prices, among other factors.“There was hope that the economy would grow better this year, but COVID-19 has changed economic activities, and now we are alert to its impact on the state budget,” Sri Mulyani said.Read also: ‘File your tax returns’: Tax office intensifies efforts to collect taxes as budget burdens multiplySri Mulyani said the government would reallocate up to Rp 10 trillion from the portion of the state budget set for ministries and institutions as well as Rp 17.2 trillion in funds earmarked for regional administrations to fund the country’s healthcare system as it copes with the rising number of COVID-19 cases.Bank Permata economist Josua Pardede told the Post that the government may need “far more funds” to counter rising rates of infection and the virus’ economic impact on workers.“With the planned stimulus, combined with the 2.5 percent budget deficit projection, the government still has room for Rp 52 trillion to Rp 69 trillion if they need to take more drastic measures,” Josua said, calling on the government to prioritize the healthcare system and cash transfers to low-income households.Senior economist Faisal Basri wrote on his twitter account, @FaisalBasri, on Tuesday that the government should halt construction of its new capital and reallocate the energy and funding to “unite all the nation’s power”.”To save Indonesia, the President has to immediately declare an emergency war against the coronavirus. That is also the key to save the economy,” Faisal wrote.Topics : The current annual budget system will limit the government’s ability to maneuver nimbly at a time when a stimulus is most needed, Ari said. “But the stimulus must focus on healthcare and making the economy work, particularly through online platforms.”Read also: State budget deficit may pass 3 percent ceiling if situation gets worse, analyst warnsIndonesia recorded a state budget deficit of Rp 62.8 trillion (US$4.07 billion) in February of this year as government spending growth slowed compared to the same period the year before and revenue dropped, the Finance Ministry announced on Wednesday.At the same time, the country is allocating Rp 120 trillion from this year’s state budget for stimulus packages to contain the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Wednesday, Indonesia had confirmed 227 cases of the virus and 19 deaths. Globally, the pneumonia-like illness has infected over 219,000 people and taken at least 8,900 lives. The government should brace for the possibility of a state budget deficit surpassing the self-imposed limit of 3 percent of the gross domestic product as it allocates a billions of dollars to cushion the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, economists say.University of Indonesia rector Ari Kuncoro said the state budget would need to be flexible to solve health issues and counter the negative economic effects of the virus, adding that the government should opt to substitute the annual budget with an intertemporal budget.“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” the senior economist told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “The government should look to implement an intertemporal budget. If we pass the 3 percent limit this year, then we should compensate for the deficit over the next three to five years.”
Caolin Blade starts for the first time this season at scrum half while there’s a new mid field partnership with Academy duo Rory Parata and Peter Robb named to start.Galway man Tiernan O’Halloran will captain the side from fullback.Only two players remain in the pack from last weeks defeat in Cardiff with Aly Muldowney and James Connolly in the second and back row respectively. In the Champions cup hooker Rory Best will Captain Ulster in tomorrows meeting with Toulouse at Kingspan stadium.Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall form a new centre partnership while Craig Gilroy returns to the wing.