There comes a moment in everyone’s life when you have to overcome a fear. Whether it be heights, going way too fast, or trying new food, you can do all of these things in Northeast Tennessee. My husband and I went on a little adventure in Elizabethton where I had to conquer some serious fears, and let me just say, we’ll be doing it again!
Our day started early with a hike to one of the most beautiful places in Northeast Tennessee. Just as you are approaching the North Carolina-Tennessee line on US 19-E, you will go through the #1 ranked park in the state, Roan Mountain State Park. The curves are contagious and the views will take your breath, but once you reach Carver’s Gap be prepared for an even bigger show of Northeast Tennessee’s largest asset, the Appalachian Mountains. We parked in a small parking area and I could not help but notice all the out of state vehicle tags with folks of all ages, even some with dogs. Some folks looked like they had just stepped off a few months along the Appalachian Trail, others looked like they were there for just an hour to take in a quick hike, which was also our plan. The trek takes you through a very well-marked woodland area and as you climb up the mountain, you can’t help but take in a deep breath of the crisp cool air. The white blazes marking the Appalachian Trail seemed to be popular for photos, but we were not prepared for what awaited us at the top. The view was of two states, and at
nearly 6,000 feet elevation. Don’t forget your camera. You’ll need photos, but they will never serve justice as to what you see with your own eyes. Soak it in, and if you can, go at sunrise or sunset. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
Our next stop on our adventure is the place that now holds the record for making me overcome many fears – and loving it. Off the Grid Mountain Adventures is a fast-paced, high adrenaline pumping experience that will leave you with a feeling of refreshment – and maybe a new appreciation for life, if you’re like me. Moni and his crew will have you harnessed and in a helmet faster than you can say, “I don’t know how I feel about this.” Off the Grid Mountain Adventures features a giant 50-foot swing, UTV mountain tours, a 60-foot free fall jump and a zip line course featuring the largest zip line in our area. Did I mention the zip line is 3,000 feet long and holds you 300 feet over the earth while
going up to 60 mph? It’s intense. The crew are some of the nicest, safest people you’ll ever meet, but they do have one requirement. Try it.
Off the Grid Mountain Adventures’ first priority is your safety. I’ve never felt more secure than I did in that harness
zipping down the 3,000-foot line. It is extremely family-oriented and a great place to take children of all ages, a business group, a family reunion or just a date. We will be going back and seeing them again and again. My husband and I did everything they have to offer, but not without the push of faith from their team. We tried it. We loved it.
Finally, we were hungry. We ventured into Elizabethton’s quaint downtown that will take you back to a time when soda shops and diners lined the busiest street through town. The overhead music playing throughout the downtown was such a nice touch. My husband and I felt like we were back in high school holding hands and heading to a soda bar – except we ventured to a Thai place, Red Chili, instead. Taste buds beware. You’re about
to be rocked. When you walk in, there are just a few tables, but a bunch of welcoming faces. The menu is extensively authentic and will fill your palette with a burst of flavor. When you order, the chef does a 1 to 10 spicy scale. I got crazy and ordered a five. It was perfect. Our server compared it to a chili pepper. She was right. My husband and I both loved what each other ordered – so much, in fact, that we switched plates four times. Red Chili is a hidden gem in Northeast Tennessee. Remember to bring cash, though, cards are not accepted yet.
Our day of adventure in Elizabethton was all of the adjectives one could use for exciting. Venturing out of the normal routine of a weekend was just what we needed. Check it out for yourself and remember to take that leap of faith – you’ll be glad you did.
For information on what t
o do, where to eat and more fun in Elizabethton and Carter County, go to www.tourcartercounty.com.