Category: Uncategorized


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.  🙂

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.

 

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

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

New Dog in Town

A few months ago, I wrote about a few new lunch buddies I had.  Oscar Mayer, Weiner, and Tippy.  Well, this past weekend a new dog decided to come to Foxfire Mountain.

It was the middle of the day on Sunday when the office staff noticed a commotion going down on the road leading to Foxfire.  All the cars seemed to stop suddenly and people were getting out of their cars.  They would bend down and look under them too.  We had no idea what was going on, but after a while they saw one of the guests pull out a small black object from underneath.  When they got up to the office, we realized that the black spot happened to be a puppy.  We aren’t exactly sure what kind of dog she is, but we think she is a black lab/pit mix.

She ran around playing on the property all day long.  And she was extremely well-mannered and groom.  She would never bark or growl and would follow certain people around.  A couple of people working in the office went around asking if she belonged to anyone, but no one would claim her.  Towards the end of the day, we were forced to decide what to do with her.  Since the owners at Foxfire Mountain have already adopted four strays and had a dog of their own, it didn’t seem far for them to take in another dog.  I offered to take her home, except I can’t have pets in my apartment.

After awhile one of the guides, Jake, decided to take her home and watch over her.  He has brought her to work for the past few days just in case someone decided to come and claim her.  But, now we might have a problem with that.  She seems to have become pretty attached not only to Jake, but to Foxfire itself.  She runs and plays with the other dogs and guests.  Some of the workers might share a few bites of their sandwich.  And whenever Jake isn’t on tour she is following him around (unless she is sleeping behind the photo desk).

So it is my pleasure to introduce the puppy you may see running around at Foxfire Mountain.  Everyone, meet Sofie.

Excuses Excuses

I’ve worked at Foxfire Mountain for almost three months now and I have heard almost every excuse for people not to zip line.  I’m afraid of heights.  I just had knee surgery.  I’m allergic to fun.  But the worst of all excuses is I’m too old.  I beg to differ on that one. 

Just a couple of weeks ago we had a zip liner come in that was eighty-six years young.  He didn’t seem afraid at all to be on the zip lines and was there with his family.  Usually when I’m taking pictures, I notice the fear and shock on people’s faces when they start off.  Then by the end of the line, they are smiling and woo hooing the whole time.  It’s a complete 180.  But this man was smiles the whole entire time.  He truly was enjoying the entire experience. 

And it made me wonder what else might be on his bucket list.  Who knows, maybe he is out there somewhere bungee jumping.  Or hang gliding.  Or just enjoying a nice meal with his family.  But it made me think about everything I have yet to try.  I might even start making my own bucket list. 

But for everyone out there thinking I’m too old to be zip lining (mom and dad) you might want to reconsider and try something new and exciting while you still can.  🙂

How many guides are there?!?!  Welp, here is another guide introduction.  I hope you enjoy.

Grigori (aka Greg) is today’s guide focus.  Greg is originally from Russia.   There have been a few occasions where I have heard him speak Russian to some of the guests here at Foxfire Mountain.  If I have learned one thing about Greg over the past few weeks, it is that he is extremely sarcastic and hates answering guide questionnaires.  I was lucky to get this filled out.

Name:  Grigori

Nickname:  Siberian Greg

Birthday:  December 11

Favorite Trick:  Flying Russian

Funniest Guide Story:  Trying to strangle the photography girl because she was asking too many questions (see what I mean about him begin sarcastic… at least I hope he is sarcastic). 

Flying Russian?

Since today is Mother’s Day I have decided to take a much-needed break from the guides (don’t worry, it’s mutual), and share with you all a story from my past.  Now, let me warn you.  This story has nothing to do with zip lining whatsoever.  It’s a traumatizing story about when I became afraid of heights, and my mom happened to save my life. 

Back in the nineties (if you can remember that far back) when I was nine years old, my family went to the beautiful island of Kaui (in Hawaii).  I wouldn’t say that my family is cheap.  We’re more like frugal.  So in order to save money, my mom bought one of those guide books with all the information about beaches and hiking trails and other activities a family of five can do for free.  In the book, we found a hidden hiking trail to a secret waterfall.  It was one of the local places, so we had to be really discreet about being tourists. 

It was just the girls that decided to find this hidden waterfall.  We parked outside of a sugarcane field and rolled down our windows (the book said that locals liked to break car windows).  We hesitantly entered the sugarcane field and attempted to find the hiking trail.  After fifteen minutes or so, we saw a clearing in the trees by the field.  “This has to be it!” exclaimed my sister Lindsey, so we entered the spooky woods. 

A few more minutes went by and the trail we thought we were on became gradually worse.  Soon, we were just walking amongst trees, no path in sight.  That’s when we reached one of the steepest hills I have ever been on.  I’m serious when I say it had to have been at least a 75 degree slope.  My mom and sister slowly started down the hill talking about how the waterfall better be the “best d*mn waterfall” after the hike we’ve been on.  I was easily much smaller than the other two and my short legs were having a difficult time going down the hill.   Before I knew it, they seemed to be miles ahead of me. 

I was tired, hungry, and agitated by the fact they were so far ahead.  “Screw it!” I said to myself (such choice words for a nine-year old), and I started walking down the hill.  Well, it started off as a slow walk.  But that slow walk turned into a fast pace.  Then a jog.  Then a run.  And before I knew it I was sprinting down the heavily wooded hill, unable to control my speed. 

I blew right by my sister.  She yelled down to my mom, who glanced over her shoulder and saw me heading straight toward her.  She turned around and planted her feet almost like a sumo wrestler would.  That was the last thing I remembered before my sister helped me off of the ground.  Apparently I ran right into my mom and the momentum I had made us spin around in a circle before both falling to the ground.  My mom got a pretty good battle scar from my little mishap.  I’m pretty sure you can still see it today.  And I somehow managed to break the camera that was dangling around my mom’s neck.  But yet, I came out of that incident without any wounds (unless you count my new fear of heights). 

As it turns out, we were on the wrong path.  In fact, it wasn’t even a path.  We ended up turning around and finding the real, well-marked trail minutes later.  And the waterfall was pretty cool.  I think it might have been in one of the Indiana Jones movies.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that there have been numerous times in my life when my mom has acted like a superhero to me. 

So, we here at Foxfire Mountain would like to thank all the moms out there who have saved their children from imminent danger, or have healed a boo boo, or even just made their sick child some chicken noodle soup.  Thank you for being our supermoms and I hope you all have a great Mother’s Day!