More than 500 feet in the air, a climber pauses atop Looking Glass Rock, taking in the scenic views of North Carolina that stretch for miles in every direction. The AMGA-certified guides at Appalachian Mountain Institute aim to help climbers reach these elevated vantage points. Their guided trips range from beginner lessons to more advanced multipitch climbing, which exercises techniques that can be used to scale the peaks of Table Rock. As winter brings colder weather and more embarrassing pajamas, ice climbing beckons groups to tackle vertical flows of ice.
AMI also sponsors the Adventure for Kids Program, an outreach initiative designed to take local kids climbing. Additionally, they lead camps for teenagers and retreats that fuse climbing with yoga.:m]]
The referee surveys the field, his eagle eyes scanning the masked figures who silently dart behind inflatable cones and crawl through the forest. The silence breaks as a player makes a break from the woods only to be struck by green pellets slamming against his chest. Satisfied that the shot was fair, the ref keeps the game moving in all its paint-splattered glory.
This is a typical scene at Wolverine Paintball Park, where seasoned staff members are dedicated to maintaining rigorous safety during adrenaline-fueled games on the facility’s sprawling, tree-dappled course. Wolverine’s field rules keep play in check, whereas eco-friendly paintballs keep players away from toxic materials with colorful pigments that contain no oil or tree tears.
At Heritage Outdoors? retail shop and indoor archery range, a team of nature enthusiasts equips visitors for forest exploration and animal tracking with archery lessons and a full stock of attire and gear from BowTech, Browning, and Mossberg. During archery lessons and open practice, the shop?s staff outfits archers with bows and arrows??before they swarm Heritage?s 8 archery lanes to test their accuracy, precision, and ability to withstand Robin Hood?s merry band of hecklers. A collection of brand-name hunting, fishing, and archery equipment abounds within the onsite shop, where guests can find the tools they need to thoroughly reconnect with nature.
TreasureKnit.com turns stiffly frozen memories into snuggly abode adornments, and its personalized products have been featured on the Today show, in Woman's Day magazine, and in gift baskets at the Daytime Emmy Awards. Customize protective coverings by uploading an image commemorating a wedding, a child's first day of school, or a photo finish in last year's Lens Cap Removal Derby.
Mark and Sharon Searcy were raised on the same soil as the crops that they grow on it today. In addition to the experience they've accumulated as lifelong residents of Henderson County, they've both taken long-term excursions to Haiti and Honduras, learning the polycultural techniques they employ on their own farm today. These techniques emphasize a minimal touch of pesticides on plants and have earned them certification by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.
Under the watch of the Blue Ridge Mountains, fertile fields of kale, heirloom tomatoes, rare varieties of beans, and squash sprawl over acres of land. Stalks of sweet corn sway gently in the breeze, which passes through rustling leaves of apple and peach trees before rifling the fur of the requisite well-diving collie. The Farm sells the fruits of their harvests in their roadside market May–October, and also hosts pick-your-own sessions throughout the year. In their Country Store, patrons can browse through bags of popping corn, jars of homemade jellies and salsas, and blistering hot habanero peppers.
A vast wooden bucket?printed with the words "world's largest gem mine bucket"?dominates Elijah Mountain Gem Mine's landscape. The immense receptacle, standing at 7 feet high and 8 feet wide, holds up to 30,000 pounds of dirt strewn with gems, jewels, and fossils. Families fill their buckets with the gem-studded dirt, strap on their prospector hats, and sift through the loot with the help of wooden flumes. The flumes, all-weather and wheelchair-accessible, wash away dirt to reveal fossils, quartz crystals, uncut emeralds, and other treasures to take home. Miners can opt for specialty buckets that contain higher concentrations of certain stones and fossils. A rock shop and 3,000-square-foot antique mall are stocked with sundries from the United States and Europe that, unlike precious stones or the White House's water slide, are displayed in plain sight.