Category: Guides


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. 

Advertisements

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"

 

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!

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!!

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

I use to consider myself a morning person.  That is until recently.  I just want to lie around and sleep all day and maybe someday I will.  But due to my recent sleeping habits, I haven’t been acting as bright as I use to.  Let’s face it.  I might as well be blond now (which is not a good look for me).  It doesn’t help that I can’t hear mumblers and will just stare at them blankly.

The guides seem to have notice my “slowness” and have started to tease me.  Well, it’s payback time.  After taking thousands and thousands of pictures at Foxfire Mountain, I realized that my greatest weapon was in my hand.  The camera. I would just snap a picture at a few key moments and suddenly I wasn’t the only person looking stupid.  So the next time you feel a little foolish out there, just stop by the blog and laugh at the pictures posted below.

Enjoy!