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That Wasn’t Here Yesterday

The setting at Foxfire Mountain always seem to changing and growing.  At least it has since I have been here.  First it was the waterfall.  Then there was a swinging bridge over the waterfall.  They even added to their family with chickens and ducks.  And now there are three other projects to be mentioned.

First off, the last platform has expanded!  Hooray!  Now there will be plenty of room to stand and watch your friends, families, or even strangers come zipping into the last line.  Maybe they will even be doing some cool tricks.  They even added a new break to the bottom so fewer people are having to slow themselves down by touching the line.  In fact, I think the only ones that do that now are the guides themselves.

Another project in the works is the Screaming Pig BBQ they are building right next to the picnic pavillion.  Maybe by the next summer, guests won’t have to pack their own picnic in order to lounge around and listen to the joyous screams of zip lining.  I’m not quite sure what all is going to be on the menu, but I love food so I am pretty excited about that one.

And finally, the last big project we are working on at the moment.  A suspended swinging bridge almost 300 feet above the creek below it.  This is going to be a short cut hiking trail leading up to the waterfall that I talked about earlier.  And this is probably the biggest project we are working on at the moment.  Where the playground use to be there now sits a giant hole.  Back when the temperature was much warmer, I use to joke about them scrapping the bridge and just making it a swimming pool/skating rink.

So those are the projects that we are working on at the moment.  It should be interesting to see how different Foxfire Mountain looks this time next year.  Perhaps you will all have to come back and find out for yourself.  🙂

Fear Factor

I won’t deny that I come from a long line of decendents known for their intense fear of heights, which is probably why my family was surprised when I told them I would be working at Foxfire Mountain where tourists come from all over to fly high over the creeks and valleys.  Now I tend to be a little nervous around heights, especially when it’s around unsecured heights but I wouldn’t say that I’m terrified of heights.  However, I was a little hesitant my first time on the zip lines.  But after that first leap of faith, I was completely fine with being up hundreds of feet above the ground.  So when my parents decided to come for a visit, it was my goal to have them try it for themselves.

Even though my parents are deathly afraid of heights (more so than myself), it didn’t take much convincing.  This came as a huge surprise to me, because I remember as a child having to beg and plead with them to ride rollercoasters with me.  But I guess they wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  So they took the very scenic drive out to Foxfire Mountain.

When they first arrived at Foxfire, you could tell they were a little hesitant about the whole zip lining thing.  But after watching a couple of zip liners (most of which were eight year old children), they felt like they were ready to try it.  I guess the thought crossed their mine where if an eight year old could do it, why couldn’t they.  So after a few deep breaths of relaxation and a quick threat (made from me) to the guides taking them out, they were ready to try it for themselves.  They got suited up, watched a quick safety video, and very slowly and methodically crossed the swinging bridge.  Then came the hard part.  Taking the steps off of the platform and zipping across the very long and strenuous sixty foot line.

Since my parents were the last ones out of a group of ten, they had to watch everyone go before them.  And then they realize that there was no backing out.  They didn’t want to show any fear, and they were doing a decent job of it.  Well, at least my dad did.  My mom still looked pretty nervous.  And it was her turn to go.

She slowly inched her way to the end of the platform, and right when she was about to take off the guide yells, “Oh wait!  Don’t GO YET!!”.  A practical joke no doubt.  But my mom didn’t realize this.  And she screamed the entire way across that line.  My dad and I just laughed and laughed.  And since my dad was laughing, he was no longer worried about going across and did so quite easily.

They told me that the first line was definitely the hardest one.  But after that each line got easier and easier.  And before they knew it they were no longer afraid.  In fact, they said they felt comfortable up there.  They said they might even do it again.

So this is just another example of how people have managed to conquer their fear of heights and they were able to cross another fun exciting activity off of their bucket lists.

Quite the actors in this picture

Newbs: Part Siete

August 31, 2011

Today Marc Postlewaite, owner of Foxfire Mountain Adventures, spotted a strange and mysterious creature wandering around the property.  “At first I thought it might be a Smoky Mountain black bear,” says Mark.  “But then I saw the creature walking on his hind legs.  Almost like a human.  But he was much greater in size.  That’s when I realized it was the infamous Big Foot.”

At first customers laughed at the owner’s claim of a “Big Foot” like creature roaming the premises.  Then a few photographers caught a bit of evidence with their cameras.  “I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Autumn – a photographer at Foxfire – reported to this journalist.  “Not only was he on the zip lines.  But he was jumping off the platforms Superman style.  I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of it.” 

And snap she did.  She captured not only pictures of him on the zip lines, but also driving around customers in a guided Safari tour around the mountain.  Below is a picture.  Hopefully this is enough proof to show the existence of Big Foot roaming throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Okay.  If you couldn’t tell, the above article is completely fictional.  However, we do have a guide here whose nickname is Big Foot hence the article.  I haven’t had a chance to make him fill out a questionnaire so I thought I might try to be creative.  Jeremiah started guided about a month ago.  He originally was hired to help with maintenance but due to an unfortunate accident he was forced to stay home and heal up a broken ankle.  But when the doctor gave him the okay to come back to work, they had him start giving Safari tours and trained him as a zip line guide also. 

Newbs: Part Seis

Almost done.  I swear.  But before we reach that finish line it’s time to meet another guide.  Here at Foxfire Mountain, many members of the office staff perform in positions other than those they were originally hired for.  This next guide was originally hired as a photographer, but after a few short months the management realized that he could be an asset on the lines as well.  So without any further ado, meet Tim.

Tim is a very safety conscious guide.  He makes sure to tell each group the importance of walking up a platform and explains to them about how the guides hook them in and check the equipment before sending them across.  He also tells one of my favorite lines when pointing out the photographers to the groups.  I won’t tell you just in case you decide to come and zip line with us.  He is also able to think on his feet and change positions without hesitation.  For instance some days he would come in as a photographer only to be giving tours all day long.  Below is Tim’s questionnaire that he filled out. 

NAME:  Tim

NICKNAME:  Timbo Slice/Tim Shady

FAVORITE TRICK:  The Cyclone

PET PEEVE:  Non Tippers

GUIDE STORY:  Explicit Photography (I’ll let him tell that one)

 

Newbs: Part Cinco

Sometimes I feel as if Foxfire Mountain is like its own little mob.  Everyone seems to be related to at least one person here.  There are brothers and sisters working together.  Cousins working together.  Husband and wife.  Roommates.  Even in-laws are working together.  So it only makes sense that another family member would join the guide staff at Foxfire Mountain

Autumn started working in the Foxfire office way back in the Spring.  She then recruited her brother “Ranger Jake”.  And now they recruited their other brother Josh.  It’s almost as if they are conspiring to slowly take over Foxfire Mountain (which was my plan so stop it).  Josh may not be quite as crazy as his little brother, but when on tour together they are double the trouble.  They even made our activities manager Amy wish that when she starts a family, its full of girls.  So let’s see what “Ranger Josh” had to answer on his guide questionnaire.

NAME:  Josh R.

NICKNAME:  The Dude

BIRTHDAY:  January 6

PET PEEVE:  Carnies

FAVORITE TRICK:  Pinocchio

GUIDE STORY:  Cheating Death.  Again and Again…  Cause I’m awesome.

Brother High Five!!

Newbs: Part Cuatro

Taylor isn’t the only guide here that is recruiting for Foxfire Mountain.  We also have guides recruiting family members.  Since Josh is working more at the Fire Department, he recruited his cousin Jonathan.

Jonathan can be a little on the quiet side.  But get him around his cousin and he is a completely different person.  It’s almost like he is a mini version of Josh.  They even look alike sometimes.  It can be a little scary how similar they act sometimes. 

NAME:  Jonathan

NICKNAME:  Bub

BIRTHDAY:  February 28

PET PEEVE:  Democrats

FAVORITE TRICK:  360 Backflip McTwist

GUIDE STORY:  A sick girl came to zip line and passed out on the platform, so it was Bub to the rescue. 

Josh and Jonathan... Cousin Love

Newbs: Part Tres

And the guides keep coming coming.  Keep coming coming.  Keep coming coming and coming coming. 

Ok now that that is done, let’s move on to the next guide.  Ben.

After Taylor recruited his roommate Chris, it was on to his next prey.  Ben lives down the hall from the roommates, and I guess could be considered the Kramer to their Seinfield.  That may be a bad reference because Ben isn’t really anything like Kramer.  But he is pretty funny and easy-going.   He makes conversations with just about every person he gives a tour to.  And lately I’ve noticed he loves to play games.  Checkers.  Chinese Checkers.  Okay it’s mainly just checkers.  But ya catch my drift.  After working here a few weeks, I was finally able to pull him away from his intense checker matches to get him to answer a few questions.

NAME:  Ben

NICKNAME:  BP

BIRTHDAY:  April 12

HATES:  Obnoxious chewing

FAVORITE TRICK:  Superman dive

GUIDE STORY:  A child was a little nervous about zipping over the river, so his mom pushed him off the platform.  It was hilarious. 

Newbs: Part Dos

Another day, another guide.  Today meet Chris.

Chris was recruited by Taylor to be a guide at Foxfire Mountain.  How did Taylor decide that Chris would be a great guide here?  I’m sure the fact that the two are roommates have nothing to do with it.  It took me awhile to realize that they were roommates but when people came in talking about how great their guides where and calling them roommates, I was able to put two and two together.  Chris was a little quiet at first but not that he has had time to get use to the crazy personalities working here, he has started to come out of his shell and complete the guide questionnaire. 

NAME:  Chris

NICKNAME:  Airbag

BIRTHDAY:  April 24

GREATEST WEAKNESS:  Concussions

FAVORITE TRICK:  Eating peanuts

GUIDE STORY:  Walking and talking can be hard to do at the same time.  One time when I was crossing the bridge and talking to a guest, my foot slipped through the crack and I fell all the way up to my hip.

 

Newbs: Part Uno

Since we are once again in the middle of an epic battle of “Guide of the Month”, I figured it was only fair to make sure that everyone knew all the nominees.  There are a few newbies here at Foxfire Mountain that I haven’t been able to introduce yet.  So I’m going to take the next few blogs to  let you read all about them.  I know you must be dying with antici…

pation.  So without any further ado, here is Larry. 

Larry started working here in June and has high energy has made for some pretty entertaining tours.  Even if when taking out a nine o’clock tour, he is awake and alert and on his toes ready to crack jokes the whole way here.  Recently he got married to Samantha, who also happens to work at Foxfire Mountain as a photographer.  Below are his answers to the questionnaire I made all the guides fill out.

NAME:  Larry

NICKNAME:  Mr. Wonderful

BIRTHDAY:  September 6

WEAKNESS:  Vegetables

FAVORITE TRICK:  Double back handspring with a twist.

EPIC STORY:  The story of my life!!!

Larry has often been compared to Jacob from "Twilight"

 

The Zip Line Diet

Over the past few months, I have lost a good amount of weight for someone of my size.  But my weight is like a roller coaster ride.  Always going up and down.  And since I am going home to Wisconsin for the next few days (Happy Birthday, Conner!) I decided to take the time to brag about it before gaining it all back with my obsessive cheese eating habits.  So without any further ado let me announce, “I lost 15 lbs. on the zip line diet!”

I’m not the only person losing weight here at Foxfire Mountain.  A couple of the guides have also lost anywhere from 5-15 lbs. since they started working here also.  What is the secret you ask?  Well, for me it’s the fact that I am no longer sitting behind a desk all day getting yelled at by crazy scientologists.  Instead I am out in the sunshine running around (okay walking around) taking pictures of crazy zip liners.  That and the fact that it is summer, and when that heat index is over 100 I tend to replace food with water.  That I later sweat out. 

I’m also going to take the time to correct a few rumors.  I am not anorexic and I do not have an eating disorder.  The fact that people even think that is laughable.  I’m pretty sure I wrote a blog about how I wanted to compete in competitive eating contests.  Would someone with an eating disorder do that?  I think not.  In fact, I eat so much food that I earned the nickname “The Finisher” because I tend to finish people’s meals/leftovers.  But recently, guides have been making comments about me “wasting away”.  There was one guide that started buying me food and drinks whenever I complained. 

I also have heard numerous stories from people coming to Foxfire Mountain about how they used zip lining as motivation to help them lose weight.  One lady that I met was extremely excited to go zip lining.  She told me that she first heard about Foxfire over a year ago and decided that she needed to try it out.  Unfortunately she was over our maximum weight limit of 275 lbs.  She used that as motivation, and one year later she was 75 lbs. lighter and zipping through the trees. 

So whether or not you’re looking to shed a few pounds, come on down to Foxfire Mountain and try out our zip line diet for yourself.  And when I get back from Wisconsin, check out the blog.  We have a few new faces working here that I think you should meet.

"The Finisher" (finishing your meals since '88) eating her first moon pie.