Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?

Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs

BBHQ Boomer Essays:

The Zipline Adventure

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

Required equipment includes thick gloves, a full body harness, helmet, and appropriate footwear. As I understand it, after signing a waiver indicating that whatever may go wrong is all your fault, you stand at the edge of a platform mounted near the top of a large tree over a deep gorge in the forest. They strap you tightly into the harness, attach one of end of a metal clip to the harness, the other to a long, thick wire stretched across the entire gorge, and shove you off the edge of the platform. From there, you’re on your own. And, if you manage to survive, they do it to you another ten times! What the heck was I thinking?

This essay is available in its entirety to all visitors. Enjoy!

This one goes back a little ways, but it is one of our favorites.

The Boomer Crew at BBHQ has been up and down the country, east of the Mississippi, numerous times. We just love traveling. Early on Sunday morning, July 17, we piled into the OFMobile (Old Folks Car) and headed up Interstate 75 from Tampa Bay. BBHQ Chief Grammarian, Madam Red Dot, drew the short straw; thus, she was behind the wheel for the first shift. Madam Red Dot bears a slight resemblance to a certain former mother-of-one who, coincidently, had been released from an Orlando jail that same morning and was speeding away to avoid the media frenzy. Someone was playing a little practical joke on us.


The sign brought more than a little attention as we rolled north of Gainesville. By the time we reached Lake City, we had a small caravan tailing us.

A joke’s a joke; but I insisted that we remove the sign when we stopped for lunch, lest some misguided vigilante poison our french fries.

Bryson City

Our primary destination this year was a lovely little town nestled in the southern foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Bryson City, North Carolina. Bryson City is a tourist locale, to be sure, but it is much smaller, quieter, and far less “touristy” than Gatlinburg, the major tourist stop, on the northern side of the Smokies. There are over 80 hiking trails in the Smokies. There is also great fishing, horseback-riding, river-rafting, and all that other related stuff. At 814 square miles in size, it is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most popular of all our national parks.

Please note, for the record, that the spelling is
“Smoky Mountains,” or “Smokies,” for short.
The iconic bear is “Smokey.” I donno’ why, it just is. Don’t fight me on this.



"Remember... only you...”

There is not a whole lot to Bryson City itself — there doesn’t have to be. The view is spectacular! And that’s all you need.

There are small lodges, bed and breakfasts, and loads of cabins in or near the mountains. If you travel there during the fall season, you better make reservations well in advance. Some places are open year-round; others close down during the winter.

You’ll find a few quaint shops and some restaurants with local flavor. Apparently, hunting wild game is frowned upon in the Smokies. But in Bryson City, you can buy a very fine wicker moosehead for the wall of your family room.

We were mightily impressed.

The Zipline Adventure

What drew us to the Bryson City area, however, was the zipline adventure. It was Madam Red Dot’s idea. I had no idea what a zipline was. So I did some research. Required equipment includes thick gloves, a full body harness, helmet, and appropriate footwear. As I understand it, after signing a waiver indicating that whatever may go wrong is all your fault, you stand at the edge of a platform mounted near the top of a large tree over a deep gorge in the forest. (Heck of a place to start, huh?) They strap you tightly into the harness, attach one of end of a metal clip to the harness, the other to a long, thick wire stretched across the entire gorge, and shove you off the edge of the platform. From there, you’re on your own. And, if you manage to survive, they do it to you another ten times! Ten times!

What the heck was I thinking?

Actually, it was cool — very, very cool!

The Nantahala Gorge Canopy zipline adventure is a series of 11 ziplines separated by several foot-bridges. And I use the term “foot-bridge” loosely.

The longest zipline is over 600 feet. It takes you about 20 seconds to zoom that 600 feet. You’re up about 75 feet over terra not-so-firma most of the time you are in the air. I imagine it’s kinda’ like the Spiderman Broadway show — only a lot safer.


Here, you can watch it in action:

The Waiver

Of course, they make you sign a waiver relieving them of all responsibility for anything. But the fine print is a lot milder than that on most prescription drug labels. You should be in reasonably good health, and not a big, fat slob. I know that that rules out many boomers, but come on. There is no upper age limit. There are two “tour guides” for each group of 10 zippers (my pet name, not theirs); and they (Daniel and Mackenzie, in our case) are a lot of fun and very good. They really make it fairly idiot-proof. Yes, that rules in most boomers. (Though for some unexplained reason, mortality rates are not available).

It is very different from a day at Disney, but it costs about the same: $79. It is nowhere near as mobbed, and parking is free. In fact, it is very different from any other vacation adventure. That is a major part of its appeal to us.

You can get more information about the Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tour here:
http://www.adventureamericaziplinecanopytours.com/ngct.html

The Bed and Breakfast (B&B)

This was our first experience with a bed and breakfast, too. We chose to stay at the West Oak Lodge in Bryson City. They have four rooms in the main lodge and three standalone cabins. Even our little room at the lodge had a small kitchen. It was clean, cute, and very comfortable.



Fair disclosure: We overslept and missed the call to breakfast entirely. So for us, it was less B&B, and more like B&O (Bed and Oversleep). But I am sure that breakfast was excellent.

It’s a great place to stay. Innkeeper Mercedith Bacon and her assistant, Janice, did a great job at making us feel welcome. When you make a reservation there, be sure to mention BBHQ to Ms. Bacon... she’ll probably say, “What is that?"

Another small practical joke.

More information about the West Oak Lodge is here:
http://www.westoaklodging.com/

But of course, whatever you do, do not mention the name Casey Anthony. A joke goes only so far.

All’s well that ends well. There are a few more pictures and some odds and ends in the continuation of this story.


BBHQ Membership -- $9 Per Year -- Here's What You'll Get:

  • Access to hundreds of boomer stories about
        boomers, growing up, growing older,
        staying young, staying smart,
        and remembering the good ol' days
  • 18 books in the BBHQ Trivia Library
  • BBHQ’s Name That Tune quizzes
  • Who Said That?
  • What’s in a Number?
  • What’s in a Number? - R&R edition
  • The Name Game
  • The Boomer Movie Quiz
  • A BBHQ Time Capsule Report
  • Unlimited access to lyrics to over 750 songs
  • Search the title and artist of over 4,000 oldies
  • Search 750 song lyrics for a word or phrase
  • Print the boomer verbal collages -
         (Home Page/60s/70s pages)
  • Access to other special features
  • The great comfort of knowing that you
        have helped save us from financial
        disaster. (We are too small to fail.)

 


$9 per year... come on!

All we need here is your name and e-mail address:

First name:     Last name:

E-mail address: Please enter this security

1 year, $9         5 years, $35   (save $10)

                 

We'll send you to PayPal.com to process your payment; then, PayPal will send you back here as a new member. Your payment will go through the secure, encrypted services of PayPal.com, the most trusted Internet payment system.









Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs

If you want a reply from us, include your name
and e-mail address:

(Your message will not get to our staff unless you include your name and e-mail address.
But we will never share your e-mail address with anyone.
Our statement on privacy is here.)

Name:
E-mail:

Hershel's kinda-like-a bio:
 Click here for a quick explanation about the philosophy behind these essays




BBHQ Boomer Stories

essays available
      to everyone

We're Not the Bad
Guys!


 Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)
"Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," 55 songs: 2 CDs and a DVD from their last concert tour.
Click here to order this great collection.




The Boomer Essays - On Being a Boomer:

The BBHQ Freedom Series

(Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

  Declaration of Independence
        What is Says; What it Means

The Boomer Health Care Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The Midlife

Crisis Series

Middle Age &

the Mazdamobile

The Teach, Preach and Nag Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)




    (Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

Hell No; We Won't Go!

    What Will We Do?

    Do Not Go Gentle

The Boomer Money Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The BBHQ Vacation Series
(Mouseover to preview each story)




Please help us by buying stuff through our link to Amazon.com:

Search:   All Products   Books   Videos   Toys   Electronics
        Popular Music   Classical Music  
Amazon.com
Amazon.com... a whole lot more than just books!
Enter keyword(s):
Please check our Library or Video selection, or use this form to buy stuff from Amazon.com. We need all the help we can get! Thanks.

The BBHQ Feature Album is "Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," by Simon & Garfunkel. If you were fortunate enough to see them in concert in 2003, I do not have to sell you. The concert was terrific! This album collection includes 55 songs, plus their new recording, "Citizen of the Planet," and one of the songs sung by the Everly Brothers during the concert. The DVD was recorded during their concert in Madison Square Garden in 2003. For any S&G fan, this is a must have! But then, you knew that already, didn't you?  Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)

The BBHQ Feature Book is “Bobby Rydell – Teen Idol on the Rocks.” This is a “behind the scenes” story of one of the boomers’ first rock n’ roll stars. Told in the first person, Bobby chronicles his short ride to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his glide through the 70s and 80s, and how he nearly lost it all. Relax; it has a happy ending. Bobby was (and is) a “normal” Philly guy... with an absolute love of music and an amazing gift. For any fan of early rock n’ roll, it’s a wonderful story. And yes, Bobby Rydell is still on tour, playing to boomer fans all over the world. Click here for a closer look at the book.

  Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?










Copyright © 1997-2017, Baby Boomer HeadQuarters - WWW.BBHQ.COM - All rights reserved._
contact the Webmaster