Archive for July, 2011


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.

 

All right.  So yesterday you read all about my clumsiness when it comes to giving high fives.  My ankle is getting better.  Now it only hurts when walking on rough terrain, walking up/down stairs, or running (we all know how much I love to run so I’m not too upset about that one).  Now its time to talk about the real injury.  My delicate elbow that I bend all the time to take beautiful pictures.  Okay, this may be a bit of an exaggeration. 

I was sitting in the office when the radio next to me starts going off.  The guide on the other end was calling for a photographer on the last line.  ASAP!!  So I grabbed the camera and quickly walked out the door.  Since my ankle sends shooting pains up my leg when I run, I quickly walked out the door and started heading to the last line.  A different guide was on his way out toward the tent.  He was taking back the little red wagon they use to carry helmets and trolleys back and forth.  But the wagon was now empty.  He saw me walking towards him and offered to give me a lift to the last line. 

Since I am a child at heart, I leaped into the wagon and let him drag me to the tent.  I was enjoying just sitting back a relaxing as a cool breeze ran through my hair (that’s a lie, it was extremely humid and no wind).  We got to the tent and he lifts the front tires of the wagon in order to get over the bump to enter the tent.  Unfortunately, I was sitting at the back of the wagon with my legs at the front.  So needless to say, the wagon was a little back heavy. 

Before I knew it, that wagon was falling over and I slammed into the ground.  Yet another embarrassing accident to happen to me.  And in such a short amount of time.  I laid their awhile with my feet in the air just laughing at how stupid I must look.  The guide who was pulling me also was dying with laughter.  He couldn’t believe what had just happened.  When I was finally able to get up, I punched him in the stomach and he doubled over in pain.  Okay that was another exaggeration.  I don’t think he even noticed me punching him because he was too busy laughing at me. 

It wasn’t until later when I noticed the pain in my elbow.  I looked down at it and what do you think I see?  This enormous bump with torn skin.  It was pretty disgusting and since I am squeamish (hence me being a photographer and not a doctor), I immediately looked away.  Now, I know you are finding this extremely interesting so let me get to the point.  If an accident prone person like myself can manage to zip line numerous times without getting hurt, than anyone can do it.  So come on out to Foxfire Mountain and see me make a fool of myself while on the ground. 

My DISGUSTING Elbow

 

There aren’t too many accidents that happen here at Foxfire Mountain.  Let’s face it, safety is our number one priority.  But nobody’s perfect and sometimes minor accidents do happen.  Most of them are caused/happen to me. It’s almost as if I’m accident prone (I prefer the term clumsy but that’s just me). But I had two happen recently back to back.

The first situation, I like to blame on kharma.  Since some of the guys find amusement in making my life more difficult with their sarcastic comments, I tend to fight back with even more teasing (plus picture-taking).  One guide who shall remain nameless loves to comment about my size and in fact will pick me up, throw me over his shoulder, and lock me out of the office.  So I decided to just make fun of him the whole day.  If he said something wrong, I would make a comment.  If his flip wasn’t done properly, I would show the video to everyone in the office (and make more comments).

Well, I was taking pictures of the group he was taking out.  He decided to try to impress his current group by showing how he could give me a high-five.  Now let’s face.  I’m not a tall person.  I’m not even an average height person.  So to be able to give me a high-five is pretty impressive and can only be done if I jump as high as I can.  I raised my arms up high to demonstrate how unlikely it would be for him to give me a high-five and stood on top of an old stump to give me a few more inches.  “Be careful you don’t hit me with both hands,” he told me.  “I might knock you over”.

“Psshhh.  There’s no way you can knock me over,” I responded.  I had given high fives plenty of times before and have never encountered an issue with getting knocked over.

The guide took off the platform, flipped upside down, and extended his arms toward me.  I timed him up and jumped as high as I could.  Our hands collided into an exploding high-five (okay it might not have been that epic).  It was forceful enough to knock me back just a few inches.  I landed on the stump.  Well, half landed on the stump.  And since just one foot landed on the stump the other was suspended in the air.  It caught me by surprised and made me roll my ankle.  Thus falling off the stump that is only a few inches high and landing on my butt in a very unladylike way.  Plus, I let out a squeak like a little girl.

My ankle was throbbing, but I managed to stand up and brush the dirt off my backside.  I starting laughing, letting the group above me know I was alright and it was okay for them to laugh at me also.  I think it might have helped a few of the people get over their fear of heights long enough to zip down the line (at least that is what I am going to tell myself to feel better about it).

This story has been dragged out far too long.  So, if you would like to hear/read about my other mishap then make sure to check out the blog tomorrow.

I was doing something like this

 

If you have been keeping up to date on all the blogs, then you know all about my hatred of chickens.  I don’t know what it is about them.  Maybe it’s the way their heads move back and forth when they walk.  Or perhaps its the way their eyes bead into mine.  Or it could even be those annoying clucking sounds that they make.  Whatever the reason, I just do not like chickens.  In fact, I make the comment on a regular basis about eating chickens just to spite them.

After writing a blog about chickens, tragedy struck.  The little chickens started to disappear.  We would show up in the morning to a pile of feathers.  We weren’t sure what was attacking the chickens, but I felt that it was partly my fault.  Somewhere out there someone (or something) had read my blog and decided to help me out.  Okay, I exaggerated that last part a bit.  We started out with what seemed like twenty chickens and are now down to three.  There was one rough-looking chicken that managed to survive the attacks.  But he was missing half of his feathers.  So we decided to name him Zombie Chicken.

A few weeks ago an unknown chicken corpse was found on the property.  The guides spotted and soon rumors ran wild about the demise of Zombie Chicken.  “How could this be?”, I thought to myself.  “Zombie Chicken was just chasing me around.  He can’t be dead.”  Everyone was greatly upset.  They mourned his passing with vigor (basically just writing it on the memo board).  And suddenly I heard a familiar cluck.  I turned around and there was Zombie Chicken.  Glaring at me as usual.  “He’s Alive!!!”

To this day, Zombie Chicken still patrols Foxfire Mountain.  Clucking around and staring at me with those tiny, beady eyes and his half missing feathers.

Zombie Chicken

T-Shirt Time!!

It’s been awhile since Foxfire Mountain had any contests or giveaways, so for the month of July we are going to be having a photo contest.

If you have recently (or not recently) visited Foxfire Mountain and just happen to bring your camera along and maybe, just maybe happened to take a few pictures while you were on the property you can enter our photo contest to win… Drumroll please!

A Foxfire Mountain t-shirt (picture below).  All photos must be posted on our Facebook page before July 31st in order to enter the contest.  You cannot post any pictures that you purchased at Foxfire Mountain.  All pictures must be family friendly.  They don’t necessarily have to be of one zip lining (since there is more to Foxfire than zip lines).  If you have a picture of you with one of the dogs, or on a Safari Tour, or petting a llama, or anything else that happened while on the property you are able to enter the contest.  After July 31st, our photography team will sit down and examine all the photos and decide on a winner.  And as mentioned earlier, the winner will get a lovely Foxfire Mountain t-shirt like the one shown below.

So take five minutes out of your busy schedule and post a picture on our Facebook.  What do you have to lose?

Win Me!! (the shirt not the person)

Mmm Mmm Good

Let me just say one thing.  It is wonderful having a gourmet chef as part of the office staff.  Today Charles decided to give us all here at Foxfire Mountain a special treat on his day off.  He made us lunch.

To start he made some Gazpacho (which I will always have difficult saying).  Gazpacho is a cold tomato based vegetable soup.  And it has a little kick to it also.  So of course I had a cup full of that.  Then there was Panzanella, a tossed bread salad.  Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love bread, so I had a couple servings of that.  Afterwards he brought out Rotini with seasonal vegetables in a lemon caper white wine sauce.  By this time I am starting to get a little full.  But I managed to make room for some Kebabs a la Charles.  I probably could of eaten that all day.  And then as a desert, (and with help from Holly) there was Henrytown Shakes.  Needless to say, I am very happily full right now.  And all I can seem to think is when is Charles going to cook for us again?  It sure bets anything that I could make.

Sorry for bragging about all the yummy food we had here today.  Maybe if you decide to come to Foxfire Mountain, you can bribe Charles into giving you some recipes (or at least letting you know all the good restaurants in the area).  And thank you very much Charles and Holly for making a wonderful lunch for the staff here.  I know that I enjoyed it.

My milkshake brings all the zippers to the yard

Love Is In The Air

Love and Marriage.  Love and Marriage.  Goes together like a…

Carabiner and Trolley!!

This past weekend, I witnessed one of the most original proposals that I have ever seen or heard of.  It wasn’t on the beach after a third year anniversary.  Or a picnic in the park.  Or even at a baseball game in front of thousands of people.  Instead, it took place on the zip lines at Foxfire Mountain.

Last year at this time Jamie and Shawnna came to Foxfire Mountian to zip line.  They enjoyed it so much that they decided to come back one year later.  This time Jamie had a very special question to ask Shawnna.  And with a help from a few of the guides he was able to do just that.

They rode the first three lines with no problems whatsoever.  But once the group got to the “big kid lines” there was a little hitch.  When Shawnna was zipping she wasn’t “breaking properly” (at least that is what the guides made it seem like).  She bounced off the platform and started zipping back to the middle of the line.

Now usually a guide would connect to a speed trolley and then go out to pull them back in.  This time the guide connected Jamie to a roped and slowly lowered him to the middle of the line.  Then when they met in the middle Jamie popped the question.  Shawnna had two options in this scenario.  She could say yes and get pulled back to safety or she could say no and Jamie would pull the knife out of his pocket and cut her lanyard and fall to death (joking of course).

Obviously she said yes.  The guide (Juicy J) pulled the two back onto the platform where they announced the happy news and everyone applauded.  Luckily me and a couple of other nosy observers were there to witness (and document) the whole thing.

So from everyone here at Foxfire Mountain, I just want to congratulate Jamie and Shawnna once again.

To see the video of the proposal visit our youtube page.  Or click the link.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq0I2UeFMUI&feature=related

 

If you were to grow up in my family, you would know that teasing is just a part of life.  There was never a day when my family wasn’t getting on my case about something.  So after a few years I learned to not really care and just laugh along.  When I got older I even started to crack a few jokes of my own, but being the baby of the family it didn’t happen too often.

Well, working at Foxfire Mountain is a lot like being back home.  Lots of teasing.  Everyone always seems to be picking on me about something.  At first it was minor things like living in the woods like some sort of wild bear.  Or if I am too slow running up and down  the ramp then I’m an old lady (or a slacker).  But, there is just one guide that teases me so much that I decided to pay him back by writing about him on the blog (ha ha, Randy!).

This giant has such a dry sense of humor that sometimes I wonder if people get that he is joking.  One of his favorite jokes is on the last line.  He tells people to take off their helmets and put it in the little red wagon, then they can put their other helmet back on.  Sometimes when he rides down the lines he is able to pull off entire tree branches which he throws (he says hands) in my direction when I’m taking pictures.  But I guess I should be nicer to him because according to him he was just giving me flowers.  When I ask him to smile for pictures he frowns.  So I tell everyone to frown in order to match him.  Then he finally decides to smile.  I just can’t win!

So if you happen to come out to Foxfire Mountain and you get an extremely sarcastic guide.  Don’t take anything he says personally.  It’s all just a bunch of jokes to make his day go by a little faster.  And you can come talk to me after the tour and we can just make fun of him the whole time.  Sound good?

Just a couple of Meanies!

Dance Party Saturdays!

Saturday.  For most people Saturday is the first official day of the weekend.  A day of rest and relaxation.  So why shouldn’t the workers at Foxfire Mountain get to enjoy their Saturday also?

That’s why I have decided that every Saturday, there will be one random song to come over the loudspeaker and during this one song we will throw a random dance party.  It’s nothing special.  No glow sticks.  No flashing lights.  Just random bursts of movement to organized beats.

The first time this happened, it was a complete accident.  I was playing some new bluegrass music that we were going to put on the iPod.  When a couple of the guides heard the new beats they started breaking out in dance moves left and right.  I’ve never seen such enthusiasm while doing the hambone knee slap (at least that is what I think it is called).  Then a few hours later the owner came in and started joining the guides in some dances.  It was quite entertaining.

Then the next week was all about Ke$ha (This place is ’bout to Blow).  I’m not sure what it is about Saturdays, but I’m hoping these random dance parties continue.

Dance Party!!

Training Day

In order to be a guide at Foxfire Mountain, you need to go through many days of training in order to become ACCT certified.  On a cold rainy day a few months back when things were slower, they decided to have me join some of the guides for a training day.  I learned how to hook and unhook onto the lines, the proper way to harness, recovery methods, and what to do for emergencies.

Foxfire Mountain will pretty much zip people all the time, rain or shine.  But there are some situations where it just isn’t safe to be out on the lines.  Conditions with extreme winds or lightning can cause us to reschedule tours.  But being in the mountains, weather can be a little unpredictable.  It could be bright and shiny one second and storming the next.  And for situations like that, a guide needs to know how to get everyone off the platform safely and quickly.  And the fastest way is to repel down.

For the training everyone took turns lowering and being lowered off the platform.  I’ve always been very hesitant toward heights so when they told me i had to fall backward off the ramp while Krista was supporting my weight I was more than a little nervous.  My boss tried to calm me down by standing below me in case I were to fall.  Luckily nothing like that happened and I made it to the ground safely.  Then my stomach lurched as I realized it was my turn to lower down the next guide (who was almost twice my size).  The thought of dropping him was more nerve-wracking then being lowered myself.

I got him all hooked in and he was at the end of the platform.  Now came the hard part.  I told him to slowly fall backwards.  And he did and he started to take me with him.  That is until I got better footing.  Suddenly I was supporting all his weight and I slowly lowered him to the ground.  It was great.  He might not of thought so, but it was.  I did it and no one died.

YIKES!!