Posts Tagged ‘zip line’

The Official End of Miss Scaredy Cat

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

At Adventures On the Gorge we just wrapped up a promotion called Countdown to Crazy. Half sale, half contest, participants could enter to win a $1000 gift certificate by booking lodging and/or activities for the winter 2011/2012 season, or they could submit a blog post. Needless to say, the guest-authored blog content rolled right in! This one from Lil’ Bit of Heaven proprietor, Teri Blevins, tells the story of her journey from frightened little girl to seasoned zip line pro.  


By Teri Blevins


When I was a little girl, I was terrified of lots of things. Heights. Roller coasters. Rides at amusement parks that just looked the least bit scary. Dark basements. The dark in general. Monsters in the closet. Monsters under the bed. I feel by now that you’re getting the picture.


Teri Mom Dad
At Myrtle Beach Pier. The author at far right. The author’s mother is looking at the camera, and her father is directly behind.


This exasperated my father to no end. He was a pretty no-nonsense type of fellow. He was very straight forward, very accomplished, and I’m sure, took my fears as signs of weakness. So, a dialogue would ensue (Please remember, these were the 70′s. Fathers were not encouraged to be touchy-feely with their kids at this point.) “Teri, what in the world are you afraid of?”


I would hide behind my mother, peeking one eye out at my father and say in all the wisdom a small child can muster, “I don’t know!”


“Well you’re going to be known as Miss Scaredy Cat! Do you want to be known as Miss Scaredy Cat?” Apparently, yes I did, very much, because no amount of cajoling from him was ever going to get me to do that thing that scared me, whatever it happened to be.


I’m happy to say that over the years, I’ve mastered some of those fears. Sadly, my parents both passed away by the time I was 15, and I suppose when the worst has happened, those old fears don’t seem quite so scary.


I have managed to ride the worst and scariest roller coasters that my three sons could sucker me into. Although I still refuse to sleep with the closet door even open an inch, I no longer stay up late at night contemplating what might be lurking there. I no longer run from the basement stairs, terrified of what might be waiting to snatch me in the dark. Yet, Miss Scaredy Cat was still there, quietly admonishing me that some things are too scary, too terrifying to try.


Teri ziplining And then one day, I saw an ad for Zip Lining with Adventures on the Gorge. I have always loved our West Virginia scenery; the Mountains still take my breath away. It seemed like something that would be SO fun, and yet… Miss Scaredy Cat was not quite ready to jump on that one. I tucked it away in my Bucket List, my “someday” slate of things I might do before I die.


Then last year, as mine and my husbands’ birthdays were approaching, my dear friend Shelly happened to mention that they had zip lined in Tennessee and were hoping to do it at New River Gorge. I became obsessed with overcoming my fear and going. My son, who has jumped out of an airplane twice hadn’t even gone! How cool would I be? Miss Scaredy Cat was whispering, “Are you Crazy?” but for once I ignored her.


We signed up, and our friends Shelly and Jeff went with us, assuring us we would have a great time. I woke up the morning-of with butterflies in my stomach and Miss Scaredy Cat now screaming in my head, “ARE YOU NUTS!?” My status on Facebook the night before read like this, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if God forbid my line should break, I hope in heaven I can bake!!” Yep, still chuckling even in terror.


When we did our zip tutorial, my hands were sweating in my gloves and my knees were knocking. I was so proud that I self-rescued, yes I was only three feet off the ground, but baby steps, people!


When we reached our first zip, I’m sure I was white as a ghost. My poor hubby, who is actually afraid of heights (not anymore, thanks to zip lining) probably could have used some reassurance, but I had nothing for him… zip, nada. I don’t remember what order we went in. I don’t remember much about standing on that first platform, or getting hooked to the line. What I remember is all the beauty of the fall leaves that surrounded me, the love of my husband and friends, even the faith that I had in our guides, who I had known for no more than 30 minutes.


But, what I remember most? I remember settling into my harness, leaving the platform, the feeling of soaring over the trees and the wind in my face, and for the first time—the first time ever—that small voice saying, “Wow, this is SO COOL!”


Thus was the official end of Miss Scaredy Cat. And somewhere, high above the trees, I heard my father’s voice say “Atta girl!”



A Lil’ Bit of Heaven

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

By Shea Anderson


After a long day in a long week in a long year, Teri Blevins took a break to surprise her husband, Dan, with a chance to defy his fear of heights by zooming through the forest on a zip line on TreeTops Canopy Tour with Adventures on the Gorge.


When she finished flying, Teri hit the ground running again with her busy schedule as a small business owner. The St. Albans, WV native unexpectedly started a craze with her cupcakes after her recipe placed in the top 10 in the country.


“When we first started, we said whatever God intended it to be, that’s what it would be,” Teri said. “We felt our job was just to work really hard and serve our customers.”


On a whim, she entered the Duncan Hines Red Carpet Challenge Cupcake Recipe Contest in June 2010. Out of about 3,000 entries, her original recipe, Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle cupcakes, earned her a spot in the top 10. She handed them to her radio DJ friends to try, and they were so delicious they earned her an on-air promotion.


Teri returned home that day to 15 cupcake requests. “My husband looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know if you know what you’ve started, but I hope you’re ready.’”



What Teri had unknowingly sparked was her own business, Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes. Orders came pouring in, and she began promoting them through her friends. She didn’t spend any money on advertising until a few months ago, but she has gone from making about 10 dozen cupcakes a week to more than 100 dozen.


The sensation doesn’t only stem from her star-quality baking. She also attributes her success to her business strategy, which focuses on hard work, quality cupcakes and spectacular customer service.


“I feel like when someone comes to us for a cupcake, they’re either doing something nice for someone else or doing something nice for themselves,” Teri said. “That’s a special responsibility to me.”


Teri’s dad was in sales, and always told her that people could buy anything anywhere. “The difference,” used to say, “is how you treat them.”


She also uses her cupcakes’ popularity to give back to the community. Her innovative idea to host a holiday cupcake tasting is entering its second year, and she is asking guests to bring non-perishable food items for the food bank. Last year when they threw the first event together, they planned for 75 and ended up with more than 200 guests.


This year, they planned for 300 and have already sold out the event. Teri hopes that will translate into 300 donations from her customers to the food bank.


“We have the best customers in the whole world, and we tell people that,” Teri said. “That’s why we’ve done so well in this economy and have been able not only to start a business but to grow it.”


Part of Teri’s commitment is providing the most delicious cupcakes she can and making sure she gives her personal best to every cupcake that leaves her kitchen. Unfortunately, that means she won’t ship them, because they have to be frozen to be packaged, which Teri fears will affect the taste.


You can find Teri’s creations in St. Albans (about an hour from Adventures on the Gorge), at Moxxie Coffee in Charleston, WV, or here at her website [which we linked to above].


Teri hopes to take another break from cupcakes soon to try Gravity Zip Lines with her husband. According to her, zip lining is an empowering experience for both of them.


You can see more of Teri, her husband, Dan, and the cupcakes that are a legend in the making in this WCHS News piece.



On Conquering a Fear of Heights

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Fear of HeightsBy Jay Young


We all have something we’re afraid of—some of us more things than others. Like the aquaphobes who raft to best their fears of water and swimming, acrophobes flock to TreeTops Canopy Tour and Gravity Zip Lines in surprising numbers to conquer their fears of heights and falling.


One such person is Cat Pleska. Recently Cat visited TreeTops to do something she never thought she would: fly. She wrote an essay about it for West Virginia Public Radio.


You can listen to Cat read her essay, Zippity Do Da!, here.


If you’re afraid of heights, thinking of zipping, but want to see what it’s like first, check out this video of me on TreeTops.



What’s that you say? You’re not afraid of heights? Are you sure it’s not more accurate to say that you just haven’t experienced heights from a relatively unprotected perspective, like this guy?