Sea Glass in Rhode Island – Where and When to Look

Rhode Island isn’t called the Ocean State for nothing. This tiny state is big on beaches, and also big on sea glass. In fact, some of the most beautiful sea glass can be found in this diminutive place.

One reason that Rhode Island is such a fantastic place to find sea glass is that there is incredible shore access. Unlike some states, such as Connecticut as an example, Rhode Island beaches are highly accessible. While Rhode Island has its fair share of private beaches, it prides itself on public right of ways leading to the sandy shore. Remember, the area between mean high and low tide is public domain. So if you have public access, once you’re on the beach, you can walk anywhere you want even if it’s in front of a private home. Just don’t sunbathe on the homeowner’s lawn and you’ll be fine.

Here are some places you can go to find sea glass in little Rhodie.

—Scarborough Beach. This is a public state beach that gets extremely crowded in the summer time, especially on hot, sunny days. But if you’re vacationing in Rhode Island and it’s a cloudy, cool day, head down to Scarborough and start hunting for sea glass. The glass found here is very smooth and nicely frosted. Low tide is the best time to go. If low tide hits before the beach officially opens, you’ll have better luck finding some nice pieces and you won’t have to fight the crowds. In fact, most state and town public beaches, including Misquamicut, Narragansett, are also good spots for these little jewels.

—Jamestown. Jamestown is an island between Newport and the mainland, accessible only by bridge. Near the town center is a nice stretch of beach that is often loaded with sea glass, including extremely rare colors such as red and black. Parking is limited and this is a public beach, so the best time to hunt for beach glass is during the off season or on cloudy days. Just about any beach on Jamestown has its share of these frosted jewels.

—Cominicut Point Park. This is an out-of-the way seaside park in Warwick that has some very nice volume of beach glass. This is a public park with lots of beach to hunt sea glass on and is known as one of the better places for beach glass in the state.

—Colt State Park, a rocky beach accessible only at low tide, located in Bristol. It’s also one of the prettiest spots in the state.

—Block Island. This is a not-to-miss place if you’re visiting Rhode Island, not just for beach glass but because this is a real jewel you cannot miss. Block Island is accessible only via ferry, but it’s well worth the trip. The island is surrounded by beaches, most of which have public access.

If you’re in Rhode Island on vacation, ask the locals where the best sea glass beaches are in your area. It’s a great cloudy day activity for the entire family.

Sonography Schooling: How to Become a Sonographer in Asheville, North Carolina


Most people are familiar with Asheville as the home of the grand Biltmore Estate and gardens that was built by George Vanderbilt in 1895. However, there is much more to Asheville in Buncombe Country, including the Asheville Art Museum, the nationally renowned live music venue called The Orange Peel and the River Arts District. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in Asheville will also appreciate the fact that healthcare is a driving industry for the best Buncombe County jobs.

Education for Sonography Students in Asheville, North Carolina

One of the first things employers look for while reviewing sonography job applicants is ARDMS registration. The quickest educational path to earning this credential is by attending a Diagnostic Medical Sonography program that is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP). If the program is not accredited by CAAHEP or the Canadian Medical Association, graduates will still need to work for one year in a clinical setting before they are allowed to take the ARDMS examinations to earn sonography certification. Scholarships are available through professional associations like the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) to help with the total cost of education.

Asheville has one CAAHEP accredited program in 2014 at the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Students completing the program training requirements earn eligibility to take ARDMS exams for general and vascular concentrations. Asheville sonography students are part of a local community of over 6,000 diverse students attending area colleges and universities.

Salary and Job Outlook for Sonographers in Asheville, North Carolina

In May 2013, Asheville, NC Diagnostic Medical Sonographers earned close to what sonographers earned on a national basis. The Asheville average hourly rate was $31.70 or $65,940 annually per the Department of Labor. The equivalent national rates were $32.29 per hour or $67,170 annually for less than a 2 percent difference compared to Asheville rates.

The Asheville economy remained level in the post-Recession years but recent employment outlook surveys indicate the health industry is growing and will provide some of the best job prospects in the short and long term. North Carolina University reviewed employment trends and indicated the service sector will contribute most of the employment gains throughout the state from 2008 to 2018, and health care will be one of the strongest industries. Some of the largest increases in Asheville jobs will be in physician offices, which also have the highest annual salaries in the healthcare and medical services field.

Best Accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography School in Asheville, North Carolina

School Name: Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Address: 340 Victoria Road

Zip: 28801

Contact Person: Chastity Coates Case

Contact Phone: (828) 254-1921

Available Programs: CAAHEP-Accredited Associates Degree programs (including general sonography and vascular sonography)

Study Sonography in Nearby Cities

You can find accredited ultrasound technician schools in the following nearby cities:

  • Sylva, North Carolina
  • Hudson, North Carolina
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Monroe, North Carolina

Take Ultrasound Education in Nearby States

The following nearby states have accredited ultrasound programs as of 2014:

  • Virginia (5 schools)
  • South Carolina (2 schools)
  • Tennessee (5 schools)

Five Interesting Facts About Rhode Island Red Chickens

Raising chickens is not just something for large farmers and corporate food operations anymore. These days, either to be more environmentally friendly or to be more self sufficient, many people are starting backyard flocks of chickens of their own. Raising chickens can be very beneficial in a number of ways. One of the most popular types of birds for this kind of operation is the famous Rhode Island Red Chicken.

Here are some interesting facts about this popular and well-respected bird.

How Many Monuments Is Too Many?
There are two monuments commemorating the significance of the Rhode Island Red breed of chicken that are located very near to each other. Both are found in the state that shares it's name with this breed of chicken. One is found in the city of Adamsville, where the breed was first developed, and the other is located just two miles out of town and honors the breeds importance to farmers.

Red's Ancestors
The main three chicken breeds used in the development of the breed were Malays, Cochins, and Brown Leghorns. Other chickens were included in the breeding process, but to a lesser degree.

The Ultimate Multi-Tasking Bird
The Rhode Island Red Chicken may be the best multi-tasking bird ever as it is raised just as often for meat production as it is for its egg laying ability. This is also one of the reasons, along with their temperament, that they are so popular in backyard flocks.

That's One Old Bird
The breed was originally developed in the late 1880s. It quickly spread across America and was soon the most popular breed in the entire country.

It's All In The Name
While most often an honor saved for either a majestic or physically beautiful wild bird, the Rhode Island Red Chicken is actually the state bird of Rhode Island. It was given this honor by the state government during the early 1950s.

Flytrap Brewing Co. Wilmington, North Carolina

Our destination: Wilmington, NC, a bustling college town on the Cape Fear River, with lots to do and see, and plenty of well established and up-and-coming breweries and brew pubs.

This time out we stopped at Flytrap Brewing Company , a young nano-brewery which first opened in October of 2014. My father, knowing our love of travel and brew pub exploration, sent us a news article about the brewery. We could not resist the temptation of a road trip to NC to check it out.

The brewery and taproom are housed in a smallish white brick building on the corner of N 4th St and Walnut, but do not let the size fool you. Flytrap boasts a 2 BBL brewing capacity – that means one batch is roughly 27 cases of beer, or about 12.5 corny kegs, for your reference – with four main fermenters on hand so they keep their taps charged with a unique variety of American and Belgian style ales, which are constantly changing. There are some standards, but you never really know what's on tap.

The day of our visit they had four Flytrap offerings and five guest beers available. The friendly barman poured us two flights which included Flytrap's Hoppy Tripel , Rehder's Red , a Saison and Belgian Blond . All very tasty and unique, especially the Tripel which was made with a generous amount of American hops. I would call it a Tripel IPA, if there could really be such a beer. I guess there can though. We see all kinds of IPAs; Black IPAs, Rye IPAs, why not a Belgian Tripel IPA?

Cindy's fave was the Rehder's Red , though she appreciated the Hoppy Tripel too, she is partial to Belgian style ales and IPAs.

The guest brews on tap were good too, and the selection changes up regularly just like the Flytrap original offerings. Our flight included Double Barley's Touché IPA , Left Coast Hop Juice , Eel River's Emerald Triangle IPA , and a couple of others I forgot to jot down.

The atmosphere is very laid back, clean and cool. An industrial edge with some woody charm. They have an outside seating area where you can grab some dinner from a featured food truck every Friday and Saturday, sometimes Thursday, between 7pm and 10pm, along with live music. Visit their website and check the calendar for more details.

Back inside you can always grab an appetizer or snack provided by The Veggie Wagon , a Wilmington local family-owned produce company sourcing from local farms and small batch producers. We had some Oven-Baked Multi-Grain crackers with a Jalepeño Jack Beer Dip . A tad hot but very tolerable, and very tasty.

Cindy wanted to bring the remaining dip back to the house with us but when she turned toward me after chatting with my sister for a few minutes the dip was long gone, so were the chips. I was gulping down the rest of a beer sample to quench the burn, but it was worth it.

In all we found Flytrap very enjoyable. A great atmosphere with impressive original ales and a friendly, knowledgable staff. I highly recommend a stop by this brewery if you're in the Wilmington, NC area. Flytrap's beers are well worth the stop and you might just meet someone interesting to talk to.

For sure we will be stopping by Flytrap the next time we're in town, just to see what surprises they have on tap.

Stop by the Flytrap Brewing Co. Facebook page and keep up to date about what's going on.

Raleigh North Carolina Real Estate

The city of Raleigh, North Carolina was founded in 1792, and was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, a 16th-century English explorer. Also known as the "City of Oaks," it is nestled between the Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

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It is a cozy place to live in with a four-season climate, a great standard of living, greenway system and a family conducive atmosphere. Home to some of the best professional companies in performing arts, the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes and seven colleges and universities including the famous NCSU and Shaw University, it cements its place as one of the major cultural, educational and entertainment hubs in the country.

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The real estate prices in North Carolina depend on the type of land you are looking for such as an estate, a farm, a mountain camp, a plantation, etc. In case you are interested in owning a vineyard, ostrich farm, apple orchard, equestrian estate or conservation easement, it is wise to buy land in Raleigh, North Carolina that has a few million acres of undeveloped land. Pretty soon this land will also be developed.

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As e proposed buying land anywhere should involve a licensed realtor with at least three year's experience, a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) or Accredited Land Consultant (ALC). The realtor must be a member of the North Carolina Association of Realtors – the prime governing body of all real estate transactions within the region of North Carolina.

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Buying a real estate in Raleigh in North Carolina is considered to be a very good investment.

The Real Deal – A 2008 Market Forecast for Real Estate in Western North Carolina

In 2007 the year ended with doom and gloom predictions from some experts and hopeful talk of a temporary slow down from others. So how do you know which opinion to trust? Do you start planning for the worst or simply trust that everything will be "okay"? They key is to stay calm, be prepared and pay attention to the facts. Every real estate transaction is unique, the same way every region has distinct real estate market trends. In Asheville, NC and the surrounding towns throughout Western North Carolina the real estate market has stayed in tact and continues to be profitable, but as the rest of the country struggles it's essential that homebuyers and sellers remain grounded and realistic.

National Indicators: Real Estate Market Trends Outside of Western North Carolina

Successful real estate transactions are completed when educated decisions are made. It is important for buyers and sellers to evaluate the national real estate market as well as the local. If you plan to purchase real estate in Western North Carolina or sell mountain homes and land near Asheville be sure to find a knowledgeable real estate agent that has experience working in multiple markets. In 2008 there are some national trends that warrant immediate consideration and will affect real estate in Western North Carolina.

Across the nation home sales in 2008 will continue to slow and prices will decline. Although most experts agree that the real estate market will not drop dramatically overall, some metropolitan areas will experience double-digit losses. According to an article by Les Christie published December 21, 2007 on approximately 20% of the metro areas covered in the most recent survey will see these double-digit losses in the beginning of 2008. Christie suggests, "Most of the worst-hit markets are in high-flying areas, such as California and Florida. " The article's predictions include drops of between 29 and 32% in places such as Stockton and Modesto, California and Fort Walton Beach and Naples, Florida. The forecast for drops in New Jersey include 18 and 25% in Ocean City and Atlantic City.

Despite a drop in home sales and prices that appear nationwide, the Zurier reports in his January 8, 2008 article NAR Forecasts Stable Home Sales in 2008 on, "The National Association of Realtors (NAR) forecasts a steady housing market for the next few months with a graduate rise in new-and existing-home sales later on this year and well into 2009. " According to Zurier quotes the NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, as saying, "While there are more people with financial capacity now than in 2005, many are trying to market their time." Yun concludes, "As a result, the exact timing and the strength of a home-sales recovery is a bit uncertain. A meaningful recovery in existing-home sales could occur as early as this spring, or it may be further delayed towards late 2008 . "

Ever Cloud Has a Silver Lining, Especially When It Comes to Real Estate in Asheville, NC

At the beginning of 2008 MSN Real Estate, , reported online that Business Week listed Asheville, NC as one of the top ten performing real estate markets during the third quarter of 2007 in comparison to the third quarter of 2006. Coming in at number nine, Asheville was joined by other cities like Billings, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah. Asheville was the only city on the East Coast it to make the list. In addition to this great news, on January 10, 2008 the Associated Press reported "Fed Is Ready to Cut Interest Rates Again." Writer Jeannine Aversa reported from Washington, "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged Thursday to slash interest rates as needed to prevent housing and credit problems … The Fed chief made clear the central bank was prepared to act aggressively." These actions will lead to a stabilized interest rates in 2008 across the country. As home sales and property prices begin to increase the market in Asheville should adjust and growth will continue at a faster rate.

Do not Be Afraid to Follow Your Dream of Owning Real Estate in Asheville!

Knowledge and preparation can make all the difference when making financial and economic decisions. Taking time to really understand the real estate market will increase your buying and selling options, as well as provide you with peace of mind. For more information on mountain living and real estate in Western North Carolina visit []

Bed and Breakfasts in North Carolina Allow You to Enjoy the South

North Carolina is a very historical state from being the first in flight to being major tobacco and cotton growers as well as having strategic battle locations used during the Civil War. When you visit North Carolina the Southern charm will envelop you as well as the people who are always amazing to tourists and full of the well known "Southern Hospitality."


The best places to truly get a feel of North Carolina, its history and inhabitants is by staying at a bed and breakfast. Hotels are informal and simply offer a place to sleep. However, a Bed and Breakfast in North Carolina is like walking into someone's home where the room has been cleaned and prepared especially for you, a homemade meal cooked from old time recipes that makes you remember that eating is also a form of enjoyment, and innkeepers that are really interested in making you feel at home.
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While there are thousands of Bed and Breakfast's in North Carolina from historic coast Wilmington to the extraordinary mountains of Asheville, you will always feel at home and welcomed with tidbits of the inns history, fresh baked goods, and innkeepers interested in making you part of the family for a day or two or allowing you your privacy if you so wish.

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Some of the most famous areas in North Carolina other than Wilmington and Asheville, include the capital of Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Winston Salem, Fayetteville, Durham, Charlotte, as well as many others. All of these cities have award winning Bed and Breakfasts so no matter if you are traveling for business or pleasure you will want to stay at a North Carolina bed and breakfast as opposed to a generic hotel.

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The problem when you visit North Carolina is choosing which bed and breakfast to stay at when considering a trip to a particular city. However, this is not a problem because you can go online and visit the various bed and breakfasts available and then book your reservation at the one that best flatters your budget and personality.
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Give North Carolina bed and breakfasts a chance the next time you travel to the Tarheel state and you will never choose to stay at a regular hotel again.

Pet Friendly Getaways in North Carolina

Summer is right around the corner, and sometimes you're already planning your vacation. If you're like most pet parents, it's probably difficult to imagine going on vacation without your pet. So do not even consider that thought for a moment. With so many pet friendly accommodations, it's easy to plan a trip that includes your pet. After all, your pet is part of the family and describes a vacation, too.

Whether you're planning a relaxing getaway at the beach or an adventurous trip to the mountains, North Carolina offers a vast array of experiences for you and your furry companion. Not only do many pet friendly accommodations provide all of the amenities that you expect when you're away from home, but they also offer special amenities for your pet. Although North Carolina has many pet friendly lodging options, the following are just a small sampling of this beautiful state's pet friendly accommodations.

  1. Barkwells Vacation Retreat – Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Mills River, Barkwells features seven pet friendly luxury rental cabins on more than eight acres of fenced meadows. You and your dog can play in the meadows or simply relax on the porch, which overlooks a pond. Do not worry: Your dog is welcome to splash around in the pond, swimming and playing to his heart's content. Each cabin has a gated porch, dog door and fenced yard, so your dog can play or nap in a safe environment if you're away for the day.
  2. Brindley Beach Vacations – Conveniently located in Corolla on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Brindley Beach offers more than 130 pet friendly vacation homes that welcome dogs. Play on the beach with your dog and watch as he frolics in the sand and surf, swims in the ocean or chases crabs. After a day at the beach, unwind with a relaxing walk on one of the nearby biking / jogging trails that are ideal for dog walking.
  3. Fire Mountain Inn – This isolated mountainaint retreat, located a few miles outside of Highlands, features luxury pet friendly cabins with magnificent views. You and your dog can run and play on more than 50 acres of open pastures and meadows. If you're feeling more adventurous, explore the hiking trails, located on top of Fire Mountain at an elevation of more than 4,000 feet.
  4. Hidden Creek Cabins – These pet friendly cabin rentals, located in the Great Smoky Mountains in Bryson City, offer fantastic experiences for you and your pet. It's no secret that dogs love taking walks, so put on your walking shoes and explore the hiking and walking trails designed as pet friendly. Or visit Island Park, located in the heart of downtown, and enjoy a picnic. Hidden Creek Cabins also welcomes cats.
  5. William & Garland Motel – This small, family-owned, pet friendly motel on the Salter Path Dunes Natural Area in Salter Path is located in the middle of Bogue Banks on North Carolina's Crystal Coast. Enjoy a leisurely day on the beach, playing with your four-legged friend, or take a walk at one of the motel's pet-designated areas. The motel also welcomes cats.
  6. Duke Tower Hotel & Condominiums – Located in Durham, this pet friendly hotel is minutes from Duke University. Enjoy the sights in this beautiful area, and after a day of fun-filled activities, take your dog for a walk across the street from the hotel on the American Tobacco Trail. You can also explore the walking trail on Duke University's East Campus, which allows dogs. Cats are also welcome at the hotel.

Planning a vacation with your pet requires some preparation, so do your homework to make sure that the pet friendly property where you want to stay is a good fit for you and your pet. To learn more about these and other pet friendly hotels & accommodations in North Carolina, visit . Doing a little research will ensure that you and your pet have a fun and safe vacation, and you'll create memories that you'll cherish for a lifetime.

Maternity or Pregnancy Insurance Options in North Carolina

If you are currently pregnant, your options, in order of desirability, are Medicaid, group insurance, and prepayment plans. After you are pregnant, it is not possible to issue an individual policy. Application will automatically be declined. If you are in the process of planning your pregnancy, the best options for minimizing your maternity costs are Medicaid, group insurance, individual insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield, prepayment plans, in order of decreasing desirability.

The average total maternity charges submitted to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina in 2007 was $ 20,015 per pregnancy 1. A patient may be required to pay this full amount, however many families negotiate with hospitals and providers to pay a discounted rate when the only option is to pay out of pocket.

When planning to cover the costs of maternity the four primary options in North Carolina are as follows:

1. Group maternity insurance coverage. This is often the most advantageous way to pay for maternity costs because many group policies cover maternity for all females on the policy without an additional rider. Also, if you are already pregnant, and do not meet the income requirements for Medicaid, this is your best shot at getting your pregnancy covered by an insurance company. Additionally, some group policies do not consider pregnancy a preexisting condition, so this is a good option to consider if you are already pregnant.

After the charges have been submitted to the insurance company, it is worthwhile to ask the hospital if you can get a discount by paying the deductible in full as opposed to making payments over time. I am aware of instances where the deductible has been deducted for a prompt payment in full.

2. Individual maternity insurance coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield. At the date of this writing, I am only aware of one individual health insurance company in North Carolina that offers coverage for maternity. The company is Blue Cross Blue Shield and the policies are Blue Advantage® and Blue Options HSA sm. I am not aware of any individual health insurance policy that will cover you after you are already pregnant. HumanaOne previously offered an individual maternity policy, but has since discontinued it. I am generally skeptical of small health insurance companies, if you are even able to find one that offers maternity, because they are often on tight budgets and as a result their policies often contain ungainly loopholes.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield individual policy is somewhat similar to a prepayment plan through a hospital, as the premiums for adding the maternity rider are fairly substantial. However, the benefit of the policy is that, in the event of a pregnancy that involves complications, your costs are much more predictable. Pregnancies with complications are often significantly more expensive than a normal delivery, so this option is more desirable than a straight prepayment plan.

Blue Cross Blue Shield's maternity plan uses the deductible and coinsurance of the plan it is attached to, so it is important to evaluate the varying cost of maternity riders within the context of the deductible and coinsurance of each plan. For example, suppose the maternity rider for a plan was $ 350 per month. Suppose this plan has a $ 2,500 deductible with 100% coinsurance. Now the total cost for the pregnancy over the course of a year is $ 350 times 12 months = $ 4,200 + the $ 2,500 deductible = $ 6,700 for the pregnancy. Now, suppose a second plan had a maternity rider for $ 450 per month. Suppose this plan has a $ 1,500 deductible with 100% coinsurance. Now the pregnancy would cost $ 450 times 12 months = $ 5,400 + the $ 1,500 deductible = $ 6,900. With this hypothetical scenario, the first option is better even though the deductible is higher. The purpose of this example is the illustrate the importance of paying attention to how much it costs to lower your deductible.

With Blue Cross Blue Shield's maternity plan, it is also important to plan the timing of the pregnancy. The individual deductible reset every January 1st, so it is best to start a maternity policy at the beginning of the year and start trying to get pregnant at that point. Otherwise, the pregnancy will overlap calender years and you may have to meet your deductible more than once.

3. Medicaid maternity coverage. Visit the NC state Medicaid website for current income eligibility requirements.

4. Prepayment plans. I you are already pregnant, a prepayment plan is a last resort. In this case, you should contact the prenatal and delivery caregivers to negotiate a prepay rate. Many hospitals offer discounts for paying out of pocket in advance. When conducting prepayment negotiations it is important to be very specific about what is covered by the arrangement and if the price includes complications of pregnancy, or only normal delivery.

Overall, from a financial perspective, Medicaid is typically the least expensive option, followed by group insurance. Individual maternity with Blue Cross Blue Shield is the third most desirable as a measure to minimize the cost of unexpected complications of pregnancy. The fourth option is the prepayment plan negotiated directly with the provider.

1. Average charges submitted to Blue Cross Blue Shield NC for maternity services, professional and hospital etc. in 2007. Your charges may vary.

My Experience With Ecotourism in North Carolina

Adventure and excitement is what people crave and expect from outdoor adventures today. As outdoor professionals continue to push the boundaries of what their bodies and equipment can handle, the public will continue to be inspired to step out of their own comfort zones and explore new experiences.

2004, I was sixteen and worked as a dishwasher in my hometown. My family took me for a trip to a local ski resort where I took a snowboarding class and shortly after started my outdoor professional career. I loved snowboarding so much, but at 16 I could not pay for the classes I wanted nor the ski lift ticket. So, I decided to get a job at the resort in order to obtain classes and a free ski pass. After lots of practice and training, I was shredding the hills and working as a snowboard instructor.

Snowboarding has been in the United States since the 1960's when people started experimenting with tying ski's together. It was not until the late 70's, when Burton and other inspired surfers started making better designs and attaching foot bindings, that snowboarding became widely popular. Now, snowboarding is a big business and in Western North Carolina alone there are six major resorts to choose from and a Gold Pass allowing you to enter all of them. The North Carolina Ski Areas Association Economic Value Final Analysis reported the overall economic value of the ski resort industry to the state of North Carolina was $ 146 million for the 2009-2010 season.

After a few seasons of snowboarding, I found myself, like others, looking for another adventure. It was easy to find in Wester North Carolina since we are home to some of the best white water in the United States. We have everything from one of the worlds oldest rivers, the French Broad, to the hardest section of dam released white water to navigate in the United States, the Green River Narrows. American Whitewater released a study by Tapoco predicting the Cheoah River, with an ideal amount of releases, would have an annual output of over $ 6 million. They study also estimates the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte to generate between $ 1.4 and $ 2.0 million a year. Rafting has come a long way since getting started around 1811 in Wyoming when people started navigating the Snake River.

To this day I am still a fan of white water. However, instead of guiding rafts, I instruct white water kayaking classes and lead inflatable kayak trips. With white water there is an uncontrollable factor to deal with, and that is rain. A river will not run with out water, and during North Carolina's last big daught I thought out further forms of outdoor adventure employment. It appeared only logical to step out of the water and find work on land.

Climbing, as a sport, developed from mountaineering and has gained popularity ever since John Muir made the first assent of Cathedral Peak in 1869. Now, the Access Fund estimates over 4.2 million people participate in rock climbing each year. In North Carolina, we have some of the east coasts best climbing locations and routes. Looking Glass Rock offers long slab multi pitch, Rumbling Bald has endless amounts of sport and bouldering routes, and there are over seven rock climbing adventure companies in the Asheville, NC area alone. Western Carolina, Warren Wilson, and Brevard College all have recognized rock climbing classes and teams. Although rock climbing is not the most popular outdoor activity, it is still has a strong economic value and helped make way for the latest most popular outdoor activity.

Used as a method of accessing remote locations and exploring the tree canopy, zip-lining is now the most popular new outdoor adventure. North Carolina has the second most zip-lines and canopy tours in the United States, Hawaii has the most. Navitat Canopy Adventures made over $ 1 million dollars the first season in operation and now has the longest zip-line on the east coast, at over 3,500 feet long. The Gorge, in Saluda, NC, built the fastest canopy tour in the nation. These are only two of the many ziplines in North Carolina, most of which, acquired grant money awarded to them with the idea of ​​creating jobs, advancing the community, and boosting ecotourism. Zip-lining is almost the perfect outdoor activity. The participant requirements are easy to meet, it's a foreign activity, and the risks are balanced well. The perceived risk is, that if you fall, you will die. However, it is statistically safer than all other outdoor activities. Industry standards set by the Association of Challenge Course Technology manage the risk of being at height so well, incidences involving significant injury very unilaterally.

I love working as an outdoor professional. It sometimes means working with a tough crowd and rough environmental factors, but the reward is worth the risks. Helping others have a positive outdoor and new experience is what I love to do. Outdoor industries are growing and so in ecotourism in North Carolina. The questions to answer, for the entrepreneurs out there, is, what is the next big thing to explore for outdoor adventure?