Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FOXFIRE MOUNTAIN HELPING TO BUILD BRIDGES WORLDWIDE

Foxfire Mountain in Sevierville, TN, is best known as an outdoor attraction in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. They began by building Ziplines for visitors to ride through the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, then they added an ATV Bear Crawler Adventures and the longest swinging bridge in the United States. The swinging bridge is what led to this week's bridge-building conference.
Foxfire Mountain Sevierville, TN
The sign says "We build bridges!"

To get the expertise needed to build the swinging bridge, Foxfire Mountain owner Marc Postlewaite went to Ken Franz of Bridges to Prosperity, a not-for-profit organization that builds bridges throughout the world. The engineers and volunteers from Bridges to Prosperity (BTP) give their time and expertise to help and teach people to build bridges needed to cross their land and allow them access to cities and hospitals. BTP helped Foxfire with plans, staff and direction to get their bridge going and the end result is America's Bridge to Prosperity at Foxfire Mountain. And when BTP needed a place for their first bridge-building conference, they called Foxfire Mountain.

Volunteers learning Foxfire Mountain Sevierville, TN
Volunteers begin to learn the processes.
Avery Bang is the Executive Director of BTP and she needed a place where volunteers could learn to pour concrete, set rebar, and physically build bridges and bridge components. They needed a place for approximately 130 student volunteers and BTP staffers to meet, work and sleep and Foxfire's 150 acres of East Tennessee wilderness fit the bill. Foxfire had already donated over $10,000 to the organization, and providing space, facilities and transportation for the conference seemed to be a no-brainer. The Bear Crawler ATVs filled the needs of moving people and equipment throughout the conference locations.

Foxfire Mountain Sevierville, TN
Tent City for the volunteers.
Bridges to Prosperity has already built 130 bridges around the world, 32 bridges in 8 different countries just in 2013. The cables for the swinging bridges are donated by shipyards who have very stringent regulations on cable-life - much stricter than the actual life of the cable - and other supplies are acquired regionally with donations and sponsorship money. You can send donations to Bridges to Prosperity by going to bridgestoprosperity.com or sending a check to Bridges to Prosperity, 5007 C-126 Victory  Boulevard, Yorktown, VA 23693. Or you can visit Foxfire Mountain, enjoy the America's Bridge to Prosperity experience, and part of the ticket sales will go to BTP. Foxfire Mountain also supports the area Boys and Girls Clubs.
Marion, Stephanie & Marc Postlewaite Foxfire Mountain Sevierville, TN
Marion, Stephanie & Marc Postlewaite

True philanthropic ventures are hard to find but Avery Bang realizes the huge impact that Foxfire Mountain is making on the world. She said, "Foxfire Mountain is so generous... we couldn't have had the conference without them. This event will have a huge impact on people throughout the world thanks to Foxfire".

For more information and coupons to Foxfire Mountain Adventures go to www.bestreadguidesmokymountains.com and click on the Outdoor Attractions tab.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FALL IS FABULOUS IN THE TENNESSEE SMOKIES!

Fall is a fabulous time to visit the Tennessee Smokies. Mother Nature provides weather that is as close to perfect as one could want, and in October and early November she paints the Smokies with red, gold, yellow and orange colors that can take your breath away.
Fabulous Fall colors in the Smoky Mountains

Of course the host cities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Townsend present options to entertain and amuse couples and families who visit the Great Smoky Mountains. There are Fall Festivals where local businesses build and decorate displays with scarecrows, pumpkins, corn stalks and mums, and the cities host hay rides, Craft Fairs, and a Fine Arts Festival. There are several apple orchards in the area offering crisp apples, apple cider, honey an sorghum, plus gourds and pumpkins for decorating.

Many of the live theaters revise their productions with a Fall theme including new songs and new production numbers, and all of the area attractions, amusements, museums, go-kart tracks and miniature golf courses are open for business. When the weather is cooler it can be more enjoyable to play or ride on these outdoor facilities.

It is also very enjoyable to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and to take a horseback or ATV ride through the foothills and trails in and around the Smokies. You can really enjoy the changing colors of the leaves from the back of a horse, or from the Wonders of Flight Balloon Ride at WonderWorks.

All of the things you love about the Smokies are accentuated by the beautiful fall colors and the very comfortable weather. So come on down and enjoy the fabulous fall in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee! For more information and coupons please click on the following link:
http://www.bestreadguidesmokymountains.com/

Friday, September 6, 2013

THE PARKWAY TALKING

Hey folks, look down. Yeah down under your wheels cause this is your Parkway talking. You know, that six-lane ribbon of concrete that begins in Sevierville, Tennessee and runs to the "Spur" that will take you into Gatlinburg or to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I know you don't usually hear from guys like me but I thought you might like to hear a different perspective on the tourism traffic that comes into east Tennessee. Well like it or not, here it comes.

You would think that a hard-case guy like me would have an attitude. After all people use me, abuse me sometimes, and really don't give me much consideration at all, but that's okay as it's part of my job.
Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN
You see my job is to get you and your family safely to your destination and back on the road again, and I am pretty good at my job and I enjoy it. That's me under all those cars!

I get to meet tires from all over the United States. I believe I have met multi-plies from every state in the Union. They bring people into the Smoky Mountains for one reason - fun, and I'm part of it. Not only do I get to feel the warm hum of my round, rubber friends, but I can hear the laughter, excitement and eager conversation of the families in the cars as they look forward and enjoy their visit to my towns. They are talking about my neighbors, the attractions, restaurants, hotels, gift shops, candy stores, shopping malls and other businesses that are lined-up on both sides of me. And they are admiring the beauty of my pal, the Great Smoky Mountains. Man, they are awesome, and they are natural. Me, I'm man-made and proud of it, but talk about the original green, that's may pal the Smokies!

I also get to enjoy visiting with some real classics - the restored cars that come into town with the "Rod Runs" throughout the year, like Shades of the Past, the Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run, Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge, All Chevy Supernationals and the Corvette Expo.
Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run
These babies are beauts and talk about solid, man that's real steel in those dudes, and they have a smooth, cruisin’ ride because of me!
And every so often I get to feel some very different feelings: horses hooves, funny little tires on clown cars or Shriner's vehicles, and the tickle of hundreds of toes in a marching band when they close part of me for a parade. Cloggers are my favorite because when they start dancing it is the best massage this old hard-shell can get. I have seen Dolly, Elwood Smooch, The Smith Brothers, The Hatfield's & McCoy's and even real Lumberjacks! And what a thrill it is to have all of you visitors lined-up along my edges clapping, laughing, whistling and having a good time. I can really get a good look at you then and I think I've even recognized some of you from your voices or your laughs.

So you can understand the pride that I have in my work - getting couples, friends and families in, out and around Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Kodak. I'm a solid piece of work that provides a smooth, cruisin' ride; real concrete that doesn't crack under the weight of thousands of autos that travel me day in and day out, year after year. I'm here to serve you in the hot sun of summer, the cool dampness during the rain, or the snowy days of winter. And my buddies from the highway and transportation departments of the cities take good care of me, keeping me clean, well-groomed, and snow-free when we have those occasional snowstorms.

Next time you come to visit take a moment when you are stopped at a light or pulled into your destination. Give me a nod or a wave just to let me know that you know I'm doing my job. I would appreciate it. Oh, and by the way, if you could keep from throwing out your cigarette butt, trash or gum on me, there are a lot of us who would appreciate that too. Enjoy your visit and drive safely!

Your friend, The Parkway
(For more information on things to see and do in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee go to
http://www.bestreadguidesmokymountains.com/ .