Mel Baddorf didn’t start out as a runner. He used to be content cheering on his sons, who both scored college running scholarships, until he opened his own fitness club, lost 70 pounds, and discovered a love for fitness that endures to this day. That love is equaled by his enjoyment of sharing Memphis history with others, and Rockin' Running Tours pairs those passions as he leads athletic guests around the city at a calorie-burning pace.
The informative tours range from 3–6 miles, with Mel adjusting the pace so everyone can keep up. Groups can set forth on their own tour of two to six people, or join up with other visitors for camaraderie as they discover Civil War history, explore Midtown Memphis, or see the downtown sights. Mel also maps out custom pub runs where groups sample microbrews and get in touch with the city’s livelier side. Each guest receives a post-run bottle of water and a snack, as well as a souvenir T-shirt ideal for throwing on in lieu of a shower.
Decaying skeletons and demonic nannies lurk in the corners of Graves Manor's ghastly family room, dining room, and parlor. Elsewhere, screams echo throughout the Madison Square Mortuary, a space haunted by equally unsettling sights, including a crazed clown, fanged creatures, and stacks of unfinished paperwork. Nashville Nightmare has been named a 2013 Must Haunt by Haunted Attractions Magazine and lauded by Nashville's About.com chapter as one of the city's best haunted houses for its mixture of bloodcurdlingly detailed scenes, animations, special effects, and a dedicated troupe of intense actors.
If Ghost Hunter Chattanooga’s paranormal investigators know the meaning of fear, they don’t show it. In any case, their curiosity overrides the bone-chilling sensation they regularly experience while untangling the secrets of the afterlife. They share this curiosity with small groups on ghost-hunting tours that venture into the shadows of Chattanooga’s most fertile haunting grounds. During these nightly explorations, they employ an arsenal of advanced equipment—including EMF meters, infrared-temperature guns, and Ovilus X talk boxes—to tell genuine poltergeists apart from Old Man Witherses running around in bed sheets.
USA Raft weaves aquatic wanderers of all skill levels down the whitewaters of the Pigeon River, affording inside views of the towering Smoky Mountains. Speed seekers and mild floaters alike can revel in the five-mile stretch of either the Upper or Lower Pigeon River Express, as guides employ their regional and water-sport knowledge to identify the grandeur of the landscapes and the functionality of pointer fingers. Mellow water-waders and fun-time floaters mosey through the mild ride, a slower guided tour along the Lower Pigeon River that boasts a river gorge, views of the Cherokee National Forest and the Smoky Mountains, and a calm current that never loses its temper. Adventurous seafaring types opting for an adrenaline-fueled excursion will reap the rewards of the wild ride, which careers through five miles of the Upper Pigeon River Express and paddles past Smoky Mountain scenery.
Native-born Chattanoogans Carlton Thomas and Ginnie Harris infuse their walking tours with insights into their city’s cultural and architectural history. The pair's tours hone in on downtown and riverfront locales that have made their impressions on the city throughout its history. As small groups gather, Carlton and Ginnie may take them strolling past the world’s first Coca-Cola bottling plant and the Carnegie library, or they may engage in long-distance staring contests with tugboat captains while crossing one of the world’s longest bridges on foot. Tours depart through the evening hours, giving groups the chance to snag photos of the sun as it sinks beneath Lookout Mountain.
Ocoee Adventure Center charts a course for exploration with safe and exciting white-water excursions down the flowing water tresses of the vibrant Ocoee River. Choose to spend nearly 3.5 hours traveling through one of two sections of river: the Upper Ocoee River or the Middle Ocoee River, on one of the available rafting dates. The Middle Ocoee contains 26 adventure-packed rapids over a five-mile stretch of dam-controlled river. The Upper Ocoee section began displaying its thoroughbred prowess while hosting the 1996 Olympic white-water competition, splashing the world's best athletes with splashes of raw adrenaline. Once on the aqueous road, professional guides commandeer the self-bailing rafts, steering through frothy spumes of continuous class III and IV rapids. The Center provides all of the necessary white-water equipment, including Coast Guard–approved personal flotation devices, paddles, and helmets, along with transportation to the launching site, pretrip orientation, and a gearing-up session.
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