Adventure Quickies: Virgin Galactic Flies High, Arctic Ice Drops Low, and More

It’s been a weird and busy week at Adventure Blog world headquarters, where we’ve dealt with all kind of challenges, not the least of which were 80 mph (128 km/h) winds, toppled trees, pups that need knee replacement surgery, and an ongoing lockdown due to the coronavirus. Because of that, things may be a little disrupted around here for awhile, but we’ll continue to try to bring you the latest in adventure and exploration news. That includes our weekly Adventure Quickies post, which takes a look at some stories you might have missed from the past week. Here are a few you should know about.

  • Virgin Galactic Makes Maiden Flight From Spaceport America: The dream of commercial space travel continues to inch forward, even if it is at an incredibly slow pace. One of the players in that market hit a milestone recently however, as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo made its first flight from Spaceport America in New Mexico. No word on when passenger service will begin, but the virus isn’t helping this situation either.
  •  Arctic Communities in Canada and Greenland Face Fastest Reduction of Sea Ice Ever: A new study released earlier this week indicates that the so-called shorefast ice that forms where land meets the Arctic Ocean in Canada and Greenland is melting off at an alarming rate. This ice actually serves as a way for communities in those areas to travel more quickly, but as spring approaches it is disappearing more quickly than ever, possibly spelling disaster for those remote villages.
  • ExWeb Shares Inspiring Survival Stories: With few adventures actually taking place right now, our friends at Explorers Web took a look back at some of the most impressive survival stories of all time. Each of these is simply amazing, and several of them I’d never heard before. Check out the story here.
  • Allied Feather & Down Pivots to Face Mask Production: As the coronavirus pandemic continues, a number of outdoor brands have contributed to providing face masks and other personal protection equipment for healthcare professionals. The latest to do so is Allied Feather & Down, an organization that is best known for providing ethically soured duck and goose down for use in outdoor products. The company has now turned its resources towards making masks, including providing protective gear for the entire staff and residents of LA’s Union Rescue Mission.
  • Overland Expo Goes Virtual: The Overland Expo has been a major event amongst those in the overlanding community, with vehicles, gear, seminars, a film festival, and so much more going on. This year, due to the coronavirus, the event is going virtual and will kick off on May 16. Find out more here.
  • National Trails Day Will Be Virtual Too: June 6 is National Trails Day here in the U.S., but with the COVID-19 virus continuing to linger, it looks like most in-person events will be cancelled. As with many other organized activities however, this year NTD will go virtual too.
  • Gaia GPS Launches Adventure Podcast: If you’re looking for something to listen to while you keep yourself entertained on lockdown, why not give the new Out and Back Podcast a listen. It comes our way courtesy of Gaia GPS and promises to feature interesting guests talking about their experiences in the wild. The first guest is none other than Heather “Anish” Anderson, who has thru-hiked the triple crown of backpacking in a single calendar year.
  • Zwift Tour for All Crowns Online Racing Champions: Over the past week, the Zwift Tour for All has been taking place, challenging pro riders to take each other on in a tough stage race that emulates some of the big bike rides that aren’t happening right now. After five days of racing, the winners have been crowned, with  NTT Pro Cycling and Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank finishing first in the men’s and women’s team category respectively. A number of big name professional cyclists took part in the event, including Marianne Vos, Mathieu van der Poel, and Greg Van Avermaet, amongst others.

That’s it for this week. More adventure news to come next week.