Category: Wilderness


Building Bridges

Over the past few weeks when we have been reading about our lovely guides, Foxfire Mountain has undergone a lot of changes.  One of the changes is a new beautiful waterfall that runs over the old iron mine.  And no waterfall is complete without a swinging bridge to stand from in order to get a good view.  We have hiking trails all over the property here, and one of those trails will lead up to the swinging bridge and running waterfall (that zip liners are riding over). 

It had been awhile since I was able to be out on the lines, so I hadn’t been up to date on all the progress being made.  One night a few weeks back, a couple of us office staff deciding to hijack (and by hijack I mean politely borrow) one of the ATVs and go check it out.  We rode up the mountain and tried to avoid getting hit by branches when we finally made it to the top of the waterfall.  But we wanted to get the good view.  So we decided to take a small hike down the mountainside in order to be able to walk across the bridge.  Visions of my past experience hiking downhill were flashing through my mind.  So I was the last one to make the trek down the mountain.  After a little bit of slipping and sliding we made it to the bridge.  And this was my favorite part.  Not only was the waterfall beautiful and seemed to fit in perfectly, the swinging bridge was so much fun.  It was almost like being on a trampoline.  You didn’t walk across it, but more like bounced across the bridge.  And once I figured this out, I stopped walking and proceded to jump up and down laughing with joy.  But I didn’t realize that I wasn’t the only one on the bridge.  I looked behind me to see Charles grasping the bridge, a look of apprehension on his face.  So I stopped jumping and calmly walked the rest of the way.  Doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and sneak up there to jump around again though.

That isn’t the only bridge that Foxfire Mountain is building at the moment.  Foxfire Mountain is involved with this charity called Bridges to Prosperity, which is a volunteer charity that works to empower rural communitites in Afria, Asia, and South America by providing them with bridges to better expand their access to the community, economic prosperity, schools, clinics, jobs, and markets.  They built their first bridge in 2001 and since have continued to build over 2,000 footbridges.  Foxfire Mountain is involved with helping them build two more bridges.

The first bridge is in Zarazoga, El Salvador in the small community of La Hacienda Corinto.  During the rainy season, the water gets so high that La Hacienda Corinto is completely cut off from the municipality and main highway of Zarazoga.  Without access to Zarazoga, the community is unable to attend school and get to their jobs.  But thanks to Foxfire Mountain and Bangs-Russell Foundation, La Hacienda Corinto is soon going to have a 35 meter suspended bridge to help them cross the Rio El Jute during the rainy season. 

The other bridge is located in Guadalupe, Nicaragua.  This bridge will help cross the people of Guadalupe be able to cross the Rio Guapinol during the rainy season, when this small stream can turn into a raging river that prevents students from going to school for weeks at time.  The townspeaple are extremely grateful for the bridge being built.  They have been trying to get a bridge built for the last fifteen years, but since they are a small rural community, finding the funds has been a very difficult challenge. 

If you would like to learn more about Bridges to Prosperity and how you can help out, feel free to visit their website:  http://bridgestoprosperity.org/

Advertisements

Since it is Sunday, I am going to try to keep this brief.  Working at the gift shop at Foxfire Mountain has made me very in tune with the playing of banjos.  A thought that would have sent me running in the opposite direction two weeks ago.  In fact, banjos was one of the first things people would mention to me when I told them I was packing up my car and moving to Tennessee.  “Beware the banjos,” they would say.  “You’ve seen the movie Deliverance, right?”

Well, after hearing banjos playing straight for eight hours I am proud to say I am no longer afraid of them.  And as a funny side note, one of the lines here is actually named Deliverance.  I’m not afraid of that one either.  Not anymore that is.  Just the other day I went down under the Deliverance line to take some pictures of the river and was very surprised to see part of the hill entirely covered in wildflowers.  So I quickly snapped a few pictures and carried on my merry way. 

So to sum things up:

Banjos – not so bad

Deliverance – Woo!  It’s just fun

Wild Flowers – Just another thing you can explore here at Foxfire Mountain if you happen to be afraid of heights.

Beware the Falling Rocks

There is much more to Foxfire Mountain then just zip lining (that may seem hard to believe the way that I talk about the place).  They also offer an ATV Safari Adventure all along the mountain.  One of the stops on this tour is Iron Mine.  I got the pleasure yesterday of exploring it (and almost falling in).

Since the weather was B-E-A-utiful the other day, they decided to take me on a short version of the ATV tour to take some pictures of Iron Mine.  Iron Mine is an old mining shaft used during the Civil War.  Over the years the mine has slowly collapsed and you can no longer go through the mine, which is unfortunate because some of the guides would just love to zip line right through it.  So now they have decided to decorate the mine by turning into a scenic waterfall. 

The drivers/guides that drove me to Iron Mine were giants!! Those that know me know that I happen to be a very petite girl.  Barely over five feet tall.  And standing next to these guys I realized that I just about reached up to their elbows.  That being said, while taking pictures I felt I had to show no fear or else suffer the wrath of these giants torments for days to come.  As soon as that ATV stopped, I was out of the car and off to explore what is left of the mine.  I was climbing over slippery rocks to get as far into the mine as possible. 

Now going into the mine was no problem.  It was climbing on top of it to take pictures shooting down into the mine that proved more difficult, since I have always been a little wary around heights (strange I know).  I climbed my way up and neared the construction area.  There are cables all around to make sure that the rocks stay in place.  I slowly start stepping/hopping over these wires to get towards the edge of the cliff.  I put my foot as far as I am willing to stand, lean over, and start taking pictures when all of a sudden one of the workers yells at me to get away from the edge.  No problem!! I will gladly get away from this opening on the nice solid ground that I am use to.  I did happen to gain the respect of the giants that went on to say, “Kristi is fearless” right before breaking a record in Iron Mine (if we get enough comments on this post I will tell you what it was).

I walked back down and snapped a few more pictures before returning back to the office.  So that being said, even if you aren’t the biggest fan of heights.  There is still plenty to explore here at FoxfireMountain.  You can explore an old iron mine from the civil war at the comfort of staying on your own two feet. 

One of the Giants standing in Iron Mine