Thursday, April 15, 2010

King Chamber of Commerce Silent Auction

Imagine yourself basking in the warmth of the spring sunshine as you are refreshed by a gentle ocean breeze. Soak up those tanning rays or shop and dine to your heart’s content along our state’s crystal coast. Golfers, just ponder weekend rounds on the meticulously maintained course of a well-known resort. You can make this vision a reality for you (and 2 guests) by having the winning bid for the weekend stay for two at Sea Trail Resort
at Sunset Beach. The complimentary weekend lodging was donated by Tim Hall of Helsabeck-Hall Insurance, Kevin Walker of Doctors Vision Center and Craig Harris. Silent auction bids will be accepted on this in the Chamber Office until April 29. Stop by and place your bid for the weekend getaway, a handmade quilt, a barbecue grill/smoker and other great prizes. The final silent auction bids will be taken at the One Way Antiques Spring Show and Sale during the weekend of May 1-2, and the winning bids will be announced at the close of the show on Sunday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Canopy Tours with one of the first in Stokes County

Canopy Tours are gaining more attention throughout the state. One of the first was built in Stokes County by the Nickell's family. Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tours is located on Nickell Farm Rd. in Westfield and is a great way to spend a part of your summer.

By Lisa O'Donnell | Journal Reporter

Published: April 8, 2010


When I am riding that knife's edge between a hurl and a howl, screaming provides me with great relief.

I let out a few of those "holy-&*$#" screams last week while whizzing above and through the trees on ziplines near the N.C. Zoo.

Yeah, I thought I was going to revisit my poached egg and toast when I purposely flipped myself upside down and let one hand off the harness, but I was facing tremendous peer pressure from some other 40-something women who made riding upside down seem as blasé as conditioning their hair.

Ziplines, which are also called canopy tours, are the latest rage in outdoor adventures. In most commercial outfits, riders slip into a harness that is attached to a pulley system that glides along an inclined cable. Gravity provides the fuel that moves riders from one stop to the next. Riders, who are given padded leather gloves, brake by pulling down on the cable.

Ziplines have long been popular in such Central American countries as Costa Rica that promote eco-tourism. Lately, they have started sprouting all over the United States, including in North Carolina.

Our area has a handful of ziplines, including Carolina Ziplines in Westfield, Scream Time Ziplines in Boone and Richland Creek Zip Line in Asheboro.

New ziplines are popping up in Bryson City, the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, and Hawksnest in Seven Devils. Prices range from about $40 to $80. Yes, it's a lot of money, especially if you have children. On the positive side, the tours last about 2½ hours and, most important, there's a lot of yee-haw for your buck.

I got a taste of ziplining at Richland Creek Zip Line, off N.C. 42 in Asheboro. It has about 10 lines totaling one mile. My group included 6-year-old Colin Sullender and his 77-year old grandmother, Frances Herring.

"The buzzards are circling," Herring said as she climbed the steps to a platform for her first ride, "and I'm not even dead yet."

The ziplines run to platforms that are built in the trees. If standing on a platform 30 feet in the air makes your stomach turn a double McTwist, fear not. The staff clips the carabiner on your harness onto a safety clip as soon as you step on the platform. In other words: You will not fall.

The ziplines here cut through a beautiful woods near the base of Purgatory Mountain and over Richland Creek, a fast-running creek strewn with boulders. Part of what makes a zipline such an exhilarating experience is seeing nature from a squirrel's eye view.

Of course, that makes it a little scary, too, especially those first few rides when you are getting your air legs.

By the third run or so, the nerves were settled, although I swore I smelled smoke coming off my padded glove while trying to slow myself down. By the final run, most of the folks in my group were riding upside down, some with no hands.

Owner Buddy Hammer said he has never measured how fast you can go on one of his lines, but it is probably no more than 30 mph. Some zipline companies promote their fast lines. Scream Time in Boone, for instance, says you can get up to 50 mph on its lines.


Want to go?

• Carolina Zip Lines Canopy Tour: 1085 Nickell Farm Road, Westfield, 972-7656,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Piedmond Local Food Receives Grant

Presentation of check for Rockingham County Local Food Coalition’s Piedmont Local Food Project on April 1, 2010. The grant proceeds will be used for marketing, technology, and supplies for farmers who are participating in the project

Pictured are: Joe Stroeder, RAFI representative; Bobby Stanley, Rockingham County Commissioner; Deborah Crumpton, farmer and RCLFC Board Member; Brenda Sutton, Rockingham County Cooperative Extension Director; Sam Thompson, RCLFC President; and Michael Hylton, Stokes County Cooperative Extension Director.

The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining family farms, rural communities and ensuring that farmers have an opportunity to earn a living in the marketplace.

Not that it is needed but this is further proof that the Piedmont Local Food initiative is a thriving and growing project. In a little over one year, this group of small business people, known as farmers and several dedicated people from 4 Piedmont Counties have forged a relationship that has already started to create a new income stream for local food producers.

Money from this grant is being put to good use as thermal printers that are needed to process orders are now available to farmers at no charge. Feel free to contact me if you need one and I will forward the necessary paperwork.

Great job and thanks to RAFI-USA!