North Carolina State Fair Filled with Southern Flavors

You’ll find the North Carolina State Fair each October in Raleigh, NC. It’s a ten day event with lots of variety regardless of whether you prefer the games, rides, free entertainment, fireworks, carnival food, or just love to look at the cute animals that are brought in. When you come to visit the fair you’ll find two hotels that are within walking distance of the fairgrounds, a Ramada Inn and Comfort Suites. However both of these hotels fill up fast so you may want to make reservations well in advance.

Food at the fair consists of a mixture of carnival flavors and southern comfort. You will not only find Carolina BBQ and Fried Catfish but you’ll be ruining your sugar free diet on a snack of deep fried Candy Bar. Yes, an entire candy bar is frozen, dipped in batter and fried to golden goodness. On the fairgrounds there is also the Cinnamon Bun Saloon, which is rumored to have the best Cinnamon Buns and Hot Coffee at the fair.

If you like racing come check out the agriculturally influenced Circle C Racing Pigs. Several times daily at the Hogway Speedway you can watch racing potbelly pigs, waddling ducks, and pygmy goats heading round the race track.

The Village of Yesteryear is very popular amongst the fairgoers. There are usually more than 75 exhibits all demonstrating activities from the past. Craft artists not only display fine quilts, needlework and leatherwork, they sell it to interested fairgoers. Come watch artists spin wool into yarn, weave the yarn into cloth and make that cloth into useable objects. There is also a range o Native American pottery, beadwork and carvings.

Folk music is a big hit at this fair and the Folk Festival is a competition that runs the course of the entire fair. Musicians from all over come to the festival in order to compete for the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Trophy. The award is given to those persons who best represent North Carolina’s musical heritage. You’ll find bluegrass, square dancing and even clogging at this event.

While at the fair don’t forget to check out the free fireworks every single night. Your kid’s may feel left out if you don’t head over to the Kiddieland Fun Park or stop and chat with on of the Mobile Robots that roam the fair.

Visiting Duck North Carolina

The town of Duck is located on the northern end of the beautiful Outer Banks. Duck is located north of the towns of Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores, it is the northern end of Dare County. After the town of Duck you would enter into Corolla which is located in Currituck County. The town of Duck is mostly divided into small subdivisions.

The uniqueness of each subdivision is part of what makes Duck so special. Each area has its own special feel. Some visitors prefer the older areas that still offer the feel of the Outer Banks in years past and for some they will only consider staying in one of the newer subdivisions.

Some of the more popular subdivisions in Duck include Pine Island, Sanderling, Four Seasons, Tuckahoe, Carolina Dunes and Sound Sea Village. These do not make up the entire town but definitely are some of the most sought after locations. Each area or subdivision offers its own amenities.

Pine Island has traditionally been one of the most sought after vacation destinations in Duck. Pine Island’s low housing density has contributed to making it one of the most desirable Outer Banks locations. The amenities offered by Pine Island include a two pools, one being beautifully situated on the oceanfront, outdoor tennis courts, Pine Island racquet facility, multi-use path, and basketball courts. Another of the premier areas of Duck is the Four Seasons subdivision.

Four Seasons in Duck is south of the heart of town. It is idyllically located in an Oceanside subdivision. The amenities offered by Four Seasons include an indoor pool, game room, fitness facility, lighted multi-use path, sound access, outdoor pool, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. One of the most popular Four Seasons amenities is the trolley which circulates through the development. Besides all the wonderful places to stay, Duck offers an amazing town center.

The center of the town of Duck offers enough shopping and dining for even the most discerning of vacationers. Dining out in Duck can be as simple as the delicious cheeseburgers or Baldie’s or the gourmet flavors of the Left Bank or Blue Point.  Many of Duck’s restaurants are becoming increasingly well-known. Something can be found for everyone palette. Not to be overlooked is the shopping in Duck. A number of small local boutiques make up a percentage of the shops in Duck. Here you will find unique shopping opportunities.

The town of Duck is a great place to spend a vacation. From the beautiful homes with countless amenities to the plentiful shopping and dining opportunities something can be found for everyone. The town also sponsors many events throughout the year. The Duck town events are held mostly in the new sound side park. If you are interested in finding the perfect vacation home in Duck, you can try the Duck vacation rental search.

NC Cash 5 Lottery Tips – Learn How to Win Today

Don’t assume that you’re never going to win in the Cash 5 lottery. By applying effective strategies and tips into your game plan, you can actually win the jackpot without having to waste thousands of dollars on lotto pay slips. There are different kinds of lottery games, and this article is going to talk about the most effective NC cash 5 lottery tips for lotto players residing in North Carolina.

The rules of the Cash 5 lottery are simple: buy a lottery ticket and pick 5 numbers to bet on. If one or two of the numbers you picked become the winning numbers, then you win the prizes corresponding to them. The more numbers chosen, the higher your chances are for winning the lottery. If there aren’t any winners at all for the day, then the grand jackpot prize increases making it even more exciting those who are playing. Normally you would have to pick numbers within the range of 1-30, but this varies depending on what state you are playing in. North Carolina, for instance, focuses more on the cash 5 lottery games so definitely you have to play by the rules and focus your strategy more on this type of lottery instead of the usual pick 3 or big time lottery games.

There are NC cash 5 lottery tips online that will give you some ideas and even hone your own strategy on how to increase your chances of winning. Though they may or may not work for you, it is important that you get these ideas from NC cash 5 lottery players who have already experienced winning the big prize through careful planning and strategizing whenever they play. Here are some NC cash 5 lottery tips that can boost your chances of winning:

-Always remember that even in the Cash 5 lottery, the numbers are drawn randomly, so one way of choosing particular winning numbers is to use the potential of probabilities. For example, choosing a good mix of odd and even numbers using probability is a good strategy to use. You can choose at least 3 even numbers and 2 odd numbers, or the other way around. This way, your chances of getting a winning set of lotto numbers is high as compared to only picking odd or even numbers.

-Avoid using arithmetic sequences when picking out the lotto numbers. A lot of NC cash 5 lottery tips will tell you that this isn’t going to improve your chances at winning simply because the numbers are drawn randomly and cannot be predicted as such. So if you really want to win in this game, avoid picking numbers that come in sequences like 3, 6, 9, 12, etc.

-Believe it or not, the sum of the chosen 5 numbers in your lotto ticket can also be a basis for the winning combination. According to some of the NC cash 5 lottery tips, numbers that add up to a range of 75 – 125 have a good chance at winning since normally 60-70% of the lottery winning numbers add up to a number within that range.

NC DWI Laws and Administrative Codes

Here are various laws and codes relating to North Carolina Driving While Impaired (DWI) Law:

N.C.G.S. 20-138.1 is the Impaired Driving statute that makes it a crime to “drive” (which means, operates) any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within North Carolina:

While under the influence of an impairing substance; or [appreciable impairment by alcohol or any other substance]

After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration; or With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, as listed in G.S. 90-89, or its metabolites in his blood or urine. [opiates, whether prescribed or not]

N.C.G.S. 20-138.2 is the Commercial Driving Impaired Driving statute. Instead of a.08, it merely requires a showing of.04 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) while operating a commercial vehicle.

N.C.G.S. 20-138.3 is the Provisional Impaired Driving Statute for people under the age of 21 at the time of the offense. A person may be charged with both a standard DWI and a Provisional DWI. Odor is insufficient unless the driver was provided the opportunity to blow into a machine and failed to do so. North Carolina has a zero-tolerance rule, which means that any amount of alcohol can result in a Driving After Consuming conviction.

N.C.G.S. 20-138.4 effectively makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have a DWI charge reduced in most places in North Carolina. That’s because this provision requires the prosecutor who reduces the charge to make a comprehensive report to his boss – the elected District Attorney – the court system in the court shuck and to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

N.C.G.S. 20-179 governs sentencing under 20-138.1, 20-138.2 or a second or subsequent conviction under 20-138.2A or 20-138.2B (North Carolina’s zero tolerance rules for Bus or Commercial Vehicle Operation). As described elsewhere in on this site, this section sets out the Aggravating, Grossly Aggravating, and Mitigating factors that can be used in sentencing, as well as the six levels of punishment, and the various fees, fines, and jail times that can be imposed.

N.C.G.S. 20-139.1 establishes the procedures by which a chemical analysis may be taken under North Carolina’s implied consent laws. An implied consent chemical analysis requires, among other things, that the person be informed of his or her rights (and be provided with a written list of rights, and be allowed a waiting period prior to the breath or blood analysis. North Carolina uses two types of analysis – breath and blood, although there is a provision for urine analysis that I’ve never seen used. The section also deals with the admissibility of the results (or refusal to take the test) at trial, and provides time limits for the defense to object after having been provided notice at prior to trial.

N.C.G.S. 20-16.2 is usually read along with N.C.G.S. 20-139.1 to establish North Carolina’s implied consent provisions. This section deals with the driver’s obligation to produce a sample in the event of an implied consent criminal charge, the person’s rights to a Refusal Hearing if the officer has deemed the person to have refused and the limited right to a hearing in Superior Court if the DMV Refusal Hearing Officer decides against the driver and revokes his or her license for one-year for refusing to submit a sample.

N.C.G.S. 20-19 is a general statute granting the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend or revoke licenses, including for implied consent offenses and including for refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical analysis at the time of an implied consent offense. In addition, this section instructs the DMV to place restrictions on the license once it is restored so that the person may not have.04 or more BAC for a period of time after having his driving privileges restored following a DWI conviction.

N.C.G.S. 20-141.4 creates a felony (Felony Death by Vehicle) in cases where the person unintentionally cases the death of another person, while engaging in impaired driving, and where the DWI was a proximate cause of the death. The section also creates additional felonies where serious injury results from a DWI offense.

N.C.G.S. 20-138.5 creates a felony where the person has been convicted of three or more impaired driving offenses (DWIs) in the preceding 10 years of the date of the current offense.

N.C.G.S. 20-17.6 governs how DMV will restore a license after a conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) or driving while less than 21 years old after consuming drugs or alcohol. Essentially, the Division of Motor Vehicles must receive a certificate of completion for alcohol treatment.

N.C.G.S. 20-17.8 governs the imposition of an Interlock Device (where the BAC was a.15 or higher) and the restoration of driving privileges after a DWI with an Interlock Device.

N.C.G.S. 20-16.3 permits an officer to request a Preliminary or Portable Breath Test (PBT) prior to arrest, but after the car has been stopped and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the driver has consumed alcohol. If the driver refuses to submit to this handheld breath test, the driver’s refusal may be used against him in court (although his license will not be suspended for refusal to submit to the PBT).

N.C.G.S. 20-28.2 and N.C.G.S. 20-28.3 allow the State to confiscate a person’s vehicle (through a civil forfeiture process) where the driver had previously been convicted of a DWI and had his license suspended or where the person was driving on a suspended/revoked or without a license and had no insurance at the time of the DWI even if it was the first DWI. This section describes the process for forfeiture, as well as defenses available to “innocent owners” who may be people who also have a property interest in the vehicle (such as a parent, or spouse) and were unaware of the fact that driver was in violation of the law.

N.C.G.S. 20-16.3A permits North Carolina police agencies to establish roadblocks pursuant to “a written policy that provides guidelines for the pattern, which need not be in writing” (whatever the heck that means!).

N.C.G.S. 20-28.9 grants the Department of Public Instruction the authority to tow, store, and sell vehicles seized as part of a DWI offense.

N.C.G.S. 20-16.5 creates a Civil Revocation in the event of an implied consent offense where the person’s BAC was high enough, or where the person refused. The Civil Revocation is usually 30 days, although may be longer. This section also establishes the guidelines by which someone can request Limited Driving Privileges during the Civil Revocation period.

N.C.G.S. 20-23.2 says that North Carolina will recognize the conviction of a DWI or impaired driving offense in a federal court the same as if the offense had resulted in a conviction in a State court.

N.C.G.S. 20-179.3 permits Limited Driving Privileges in certain DWI cases, either with an interlock device (if the BAC was a.15 or higher) or without and for certain purposes only.

N.C.G.S. 20-17.3 revokes a person’s license for purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol beverages for underage persons.

N.C.G.S. 20-36 places a ten year limit on how long the DMV may consider prior convictions or implied-consent refusals (except in cases involving holders of commercial vehicle licenses).

N.C.G.S. 122C?142.1 establishes the requirements for Substance Abuse Assessment agencies, including the requirements for various levels of treatment. For instance, if a person has no prior DWIs, did not blow a.15 or above, and does not have a substance abuse disability, the treatment facility must impose ADETS, the lowest level of treatment.

10A NCAC 41B are regulations established by the Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina regarding the proper maintenance of the Intox EC/IR II (and other intoximeters devices) as well as the screening devices (PBTs) used by officers on the roadside.

N.C.G.S. 17C-10 requires that all “criminal justice officers” (Law Enforcement Officers) abide by certain basic law enforcement training (BLET) in order to be certified as law enforcement officers in North Carolina. The BLET is issued by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education And Training Standards Commission, and includes within it the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sometimes judges in North Carolina will say that NHTSA is not the law. That’s only partially true. Since the BLET adopts the SFSTs from NHTSA in their virtual entirety, NHTSA’s SFSTs are effectively the law in North Carolina.

N.C.G.S. 15A-534.2 is a pre-trial release statute that permits a magistrate to order a defendant held if he is too impaired to be released, and there is no sober person available to release him to.

NC Drug Laws Explained

North Carolina’s Drug crimes are harsh, and defense of these crimes requires a Raleigh, Apex, or Cary criminal lawyer familiar not only with the law, but with how the Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby and his staff enforce the law. The Wake County District Attorney has various office “policies” which govern how the various assistant district attorneys – the men and women who actually prosecute cases – can handle cases. Those policies change from time to time, but basically they govern whether the Raleigh prosecutor in your case has any discretion in how to handle your case.

North Carolina’s drug crimes are all statutory crimes in Chapter 90, Article 5, of the North Carolina General Statutes. North Carolina’s drug crimes can either be misdemeanors or felonies. Simple possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana is a class 3 misdemeanor, which is the least serious level crime in North Carolina.

Trafficking in 28 grams or more of heroin, which requires proof that the person “knowingly”, “sold, manufactured, delivered, transported, or possessed OR conspired to sell manufacture, deliver transport or possess” opium, including heroin, and the quantity is 28 grams or more, the defendant is eligible for a Class C felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of 225 months in prison. That’s nearly 19 years in prison for about 1 pound of heroin.

Given the stiff penalties for trafficking – and trafficking doesn’t mean you have to be flying around in a Colombian – and the fact that those penalties have mandatory minimums, it’s easy to see how defendants can really get astronomical sentences for drug charges in Wake County, North Carolina.

In fact, these penalties are shocking to many people who come from New York. As I understand it, New York City prosecutors can give defendants 30 or 60 days of jail time for charges that in North Carolina will mean years and years in prison. Simply saying, “But in New York they do it differently,” won’t help. You’re in North Carolina, where the drug laws are very strict.

The more common drug charges in North Carolina relate to obtaining prescription medication through forgery or fraud. That crime can be charged as a misdemeanor, or, if the prosecutor can prove “intent,” as a felony. Frequently the defendant will take a misdemeanor plea to such charges, because the Wake County prosecutor will otherwise say she will prosecute the crime as a felony. And since “intent” is not difficult to show in many cases, the defendant may lose at trial and be convicted of the Class I felony.

Another common drug charge is possession with intent to sell or deliver. In order to convict on this crime, the Wake County District Attorney must prove that the defendant possessed the controlled substance and intended to sell, manufacture, or deliver it. The prosecutor doesn’t have to prove that the person ever sold anything. Just that the person intended to sell, manufacture or deliver it.

“Intent” can be proven by showing that amount was too much for one person’s personal use, or that it was packaged in several baggies. Simply finding 10 rocks of crack cocaine was not enough to find intent to sell or deliver. However, having 10 rocks in 10 separate baggies may be enough to convict.

I’ve seen many cases where the person had recently bought a few baggies of drugs, maybe some pot or crack, and where the police stopped him immediately after, and found a few baggies of pot on him, and charged HIM with possession with intent to sell or deliver (PWISD). Those cases can be defended, so it’s not hopeless. But it’s important to remember that the more baggies the drugs are in, the more likely the police will accuse the defendant of PWISD and not a simple possession charge.

Finally, the most bizarre crime in North Carolina is the possession of counterfeit controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver. Here’s what happens. A snitch, CI, or “confidential informant” working for the Raleigh Police Department (RPD) or the Wake County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) or some other police agency goes up to some guy on the street and asks him for a couple of rocks. The guy (who becomes my client!) has nothing on him, but he wants to make a quick $50. So he tells the person that he’ll go “around the corner” to his stash to get some. He goes around the corner, picks up a few white/yellowish tiny stones, and comes back. The snitch (CI) gives him $50 in exchange for the “rocks” which are literally stones picked up off the ground, not drugs at all.

RPD swoops in, arresting the guy for either “sale or delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance” or “possession with intent to sell or deliver a counterfeit substance.” Obviously this is a nonsense crime. This is a crime where one guy has perhaps, at most, cheated the other guy out of $50 in exchange for some pebbles. Maybe it’s a kind of fraud. But it is not a drug crime.

But in Wake County, North Carolina, it may be charged as at least a Class I felony.

In Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Hurricane Shutters Are An Essential, Not a Luxury

Cape Hatteras is on the coast of North Carolina, and is one of the most dangerous areas to sail in the world. It's part of the Outer Banks, and the dangerous waters and many storms that strike the area are the reason it's so unsafe to sail there. So many ships have been lost off Cape Hatteras that the area is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. It's also notorious for being frequently stuck by hurricanes that move up the east coast.

One of the worst happened in 2003, when Hurricane Isabel ravaged Hatteras island, and actually created a new inlet. The inlet already there was washed out, and Hurricane Isabel tore a new one. It took two months for the new inlet to be filled with sand, and for life on the island to return to normal. Roads, electrical lines, and water pipes were all impacted, and residents had to wait for the original inlet to be repaired before they could fix any of these.

Because Cape Hatteras is so vulnerable to storms, if you live there permanently or have a vacation home in the area, hurricane shutters are a must. Because the area is hit by tropical storms so frequently, not having them on your home is a mistake. Hurricane shutters protect your home in a variety of ways – they protect you from high winds, from pressure changes during a hurricane that can actually rip your home apart, and from missile impact.

Much of the damage to your home during storms occurs when windows or doors break and the driving rain and wind is allowed free rein. Hurricane shutters are tested to prevent this, and they are easy to secure quickly when a storm is coming. When storms are imminent, permanent hurricane shutters can be closed in a matter of minutes, and this is important in an area where storms hit so frequently.

There are many types of shutters to choose from. Some of the most popular:

Rolling shutters – Convenient, motorized shutters that close at the touch of a button. They also have a manual option so that you can open or close them in case of power outages.

Accordion shutters – Shutters that open accordion style, and fold up unobtrusively beside the sides of the windows when not in use.

Colonial shutters – Southern-style shutters that are in two parts; they come together and secure in the middle. Very popular in the south, and very attractive.

Bahama shutters – Shutters with an island flair, popular in Florida and other tropical and sub-tropical areas. They're louvered and fasten at the top of the window, allowing them to be cranked out for shade when not in use.

No matter what kind of shutter that you decide on, if you live on Cape Hatteras, they are an essential requirement for your home. The area is vulnerable to the many hurricanes and tropical storms each year. Protect your home and family, and install hurricane shutters today.

Zoning 101 – Understanding Buncombe County Zoning and Real Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Zoning can be a confusing issue regardless of where you own real estate, whether it’s a large city like Charlotte (NC), a small city like Asheville (NC) or a rural area like Buncombe County Western North Carolina. Zoning is a tool used to designate individual areas of land for specific purposes. When used correctly zoning can help fast developing cities and counties create a smart growth plan. This is one of the reasons Buncombe County commissioners are implementing new zoning in the metropolitan region surrounding Asheville, North Carolina.

The new zoning, adopted in May of 2007, impacts property owners throughout Buncombe County, as well as future homebuyers, sellers and real estate investors. A clear understanding of the zoning ordinances and restrictions is essential if you are going own real estate. It affects the value of your home and the choices you can make when selling or building on your property. This applies to residential real estate as well as commercial property owners.

Zoning Rules for Real Estate in Asheville, NC: The Importance of Community Accountability

In a video entitled “Will Zoning Affect You?” on the Buncombe County web site, [], Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton explains the county’s motivation for implementing new zoning in the spring of 2007 and describes the proposed zoning changes. He also confirms that concerns about the increasing number of county residents, real estate developers and homes being built on the tops and sides of mountains have compelled Buncombe County and city of Asheville officials to make zoning a priority.

Creighton begins by defining an Open Use zoning designation. Open Use, or OU, is zoning usually found in rural areas. Land considered available for Open Use means property can be purchased and sold for a wide variety of residential and commercial purposes with the exception of certain restricted uses. The uses restricted on Open Use land include incinerators, concrete plants, landfills, asphalt plants, chip mills, mining operations and motor sports facilities.

According to Creighton these types of businesses have a large impact on the community, as a whole, so any real estate investor or property owner interested in these ventures must present a project proposal at a public hearing. This allows other property and homeowners in the Asheville area to hold Western North Carolina business and real estate developers accountable for the impact they have on existing neighborhoods and residents.

How Does Zoning Affect Buyers and Sellers of Mountain Homes and Land Near Asheville, North Carolina?

The comprehensive zoning throughout Buncombe County and Asheville, NC also changed in 2007. Comprehensive zoning differs from Open Use because it separates residential and commercial areas into designations like R-1 and R-2 residential districts, employment districts, and neighborhood and commercial service districts. Buncombe County and Asheville homebuyers and sellers can find their property’s zoning designation using the county’s online GIS system. The system can be found at [].

Property owners and real estate investors interested in changing the zoning designation of specific land can approach the Buncombe County Commissioners and Board of Adjustment. Public hearings are required if an Application for Variances or Conditional Use Permits or an Application to Amend the Buncombe County Zoning Ordinance Text or Maps are submitted. In order to obtain a building permit for any zoning district other than Open Use real estate investors and property owners must file for Certificate of Zoning Compliance. The cost associated with these applications varies.

Size Does Count! Downtown Zoning in Question on Merrimon Avenue

The most recent zoning debate taking place in Buncombe County is actually happening in downtown Asheville, NC. In an article written by Mark Barrett in the January 15, 2008 issue of the Asheville Citizen Times the Asheville City Council will explore two major zoning matters in 2008. First, the developers of the Horizons Project, which would erect nine buildings including two 10-story towers, have asked to postpone a public hearing until July in order to evaluate neighborhood opposition and economic conditions.

Barrett also writes that the Asheville City “council is scheduled to hear from city staff on zoning proposals for the 2.4-mile stretch of Merrimon between Interstate 240 and North Asheville Library near Beaver Lake.” “The city had considered creating a new zoning district for much of the property along the street that would encourage taller buildings closer to the street,” Barrett continues, “but several property owners and some residents objected.”

As Buncombe County moves forward into the future growth is inevitable, but the real effects zoning will have on real estate in Asheville, North Carolina is yet to be seen. Local homebuyers and sellers can achieve more real estate success the more they educate themselves about zoning restrictions and changes. To learn more about zoning or buying and selling real estate in Asheville, NC visit

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 entry to 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 U.S. 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 drought I sought out further forms of outdoor adventure employment. It seemed 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 requirement 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 unlikely.

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?

Helpful Tips For Passing The North Carolina Real Estate Exam The First Time

Passing your North Carolina real estate exam the first time is the best way. It costs sixty one dollars to take it again. Spend that money somewhere else besides at the exam site.

The first thing you need to do is study. Study a lot. Study in the morning. Study at night. Put your family on notice that you will be busy studying until the exam. Turn the television off. Turn Facebook off. Turn the video games off. Turn the study lamp on.

Make flash cards. Flash cards are an easy way to study. Take a three by five card and write a question on one side of the card. Write the answer on the back of the card. Write a question like,” How many members are on the North Carolina Real Estate Commission?”. Write “nine” on the back. Make about five hundred of these flash cards. Use the questions in the back of your chapters in your textbook to find questions. Look in the glossary of your textbook for questions. Many of the questions on the North Carolina real estate exam are testing your vocabulary. Look in the glossary. Find a word like appurtenant. Write on the front of the card,” What do we call something that adds value to a parcel of real estate in an auxiliary way?”. Write “appurtenant” on the back. Making the flash cards is half of the learning process. The real value of flash cards is how easy they are to use. You can use them in the car while you are sitting at a red light. You can use them during the TV commercials. You can use them almost constantly. Make yourself some flashcards.

If you go to You Tube there are several videos posted to help you do the math that is on the North Carolina real estate exam. The math is fifteen per cent of the North Carolina exam. Many North Carolina real estate instructors teach the math too fast. Many instructors assume that you know basic math. That is cool if you do. If you find the math difficult, watching a video is a great way to learn. You can watch it once or twice or three times. You do not have to raise your hand. Embarrass yourself. Let everyone in the room know that you don’t understand. You just hit replay. It is very difficult to pass the North Carolina real estate exam if you miss most of the math. Also, you have to balance a R.E.S.P.A closing statement. Take the time to watch the North Carolina real estate math videos on You Tube.

Get together with your classmates to study. This can be fun. It also forces you to study. If you meet three of your friends at the library, you are forced to study. If you had stayed home alone, you may have watched TV or some other goof off activity. Ask each other questions. Explain concepts like joint tenancy to each other. Studying together is a good thing.

Read the textbook. Many students do not read the textbook. I suggest that you read the textbook before you go to class. If you prefer, read the textbook after the instructor goes over the material. Read the material sometime.

Speaking of real estate instructors, you may be lucky enough to have an instructor that is knowledgeable, fun, witty, and charismatic. If not, make the best of a bad situation. Pay attention in class. Do not daydream. Look at the instructor while he is talking. Ask questions if you don’t understand. If you are reluctant to ask questions in class, write your question down and give it to the teacher during the break. Please do not skip class. You have paid your tuition. You did not pay to be entertained. You paid to learn what is on the North Carolina real estate exam.

When you think you are ready for the North Carolina real estate exam, take a practice test online. Taking a practice test has several advantages. The obvious advantage is you knowing how you are doing. Many times students think they are ready. They take the practice test and score a sixty. Think again. Another advantage of taking a good practice test is that you learn, at least, one hundred concepts. You either confirm that you knew these concepts already by getting those questions right or you learn something that you did not know when you grade your paper. The most important thing that you learn by taking a practice test is whether or not you need to study more.

Do not worry about over studying. This will not happen. I have heard many stories about people barely failing. They made a 74%. That has to feel awful. In North Carolina if you pass the exam, you do not get a grade. Did you make a 75% or 99%? Who cares? You passed. You are finished studying for the North Carolina real estate exam.

Top 5 Trip Planner Sites

Trip by budget is so useful. Who needs 5 star hotels, elegant restaurants and expensive extras? I found out that they are my favorite vacation spots near the house, on the American soil. Since I had such positive experiences, I wanted to share some of my favorite places with you. Although I did not have to clean up my savings account or go break for these "on budget" one of the destination types, they are well worth every penny i spent. Here are 5 of my best places to travel, whether you are on a budget or not.

1. Arizona

This American hot-spot is a great place to go whenever you can. We all know the power of experiencing the Grand Canyon, but there's more to it, whether it's spring, summer, autumn or winter, Arizona gets plus of me from the terrible climate to the many things I can see and do. It can be very hot, so pack some casual clothes. because if you're like me, it's best to be out there. The state has done a terrific job of creating hiking trails, botanical gardens, camps, outdoor excursions and other natural excursions. The state is full of big cities and small towns full of art, culture and history and delicious food. For example, Tucson, Arizona is full of Southwestern and Mexican heritage. There are very few or no entry fees to see places like Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park, and then head over to Sedona, Arizona, for an opportunity to see 100 plus art galleries and events happening all the time. They are amazing places to see if you are an art lover or not.

2. Baltimore, MD

I've visited Baltimore many times and it's far from one of my favorite places to see. Seafood is fresh and tasty, like everyone in the city, and for those of us on the budget, the dollar goes a long, long way. I eat crab like no other in the world. The National Aquarium is beautifully located on the Baltimore Harbor, and the day spent there is well done. Beautiful, family-oriented scenes, scents and sounds are unique! The Harbourplace and Gallery are located near the harbor and offer an amazing shopping and hospitality facility where you can choose what's right for your wallet and taste. Depending on the age of the year (remember that winter in Baltimore is cold) there is even a free party. The American Visionary Museum is worth a short trip from the harbor. They charge a fee to go in, but the building itself and the estate are full of sculptures and art that you can look for free. And while you are in this family-friendly city, there are so many other museums that you can visit.

3. Hershey, PA

Hershey, Pennsylvania has become one of the most renowned destinations in our country, offering so many free and cheap things to do. There is a world class amusement park, a shameful day spa that can be but pricey, but there are also many unforgettable affordable things to do. Hershey Chocolate World is a ride to Hershey Park, but is totally free. It is a beautiful historic ride that is both pleasant and instructive. If you are traveling with children they will get a free sample of candy at the end of the ride, where you will be left in the gift shop. There is also a Hershey roller coaster that will translate you along the city along with the lights in the form of kisses kissing the streets. It was started by Milton Hershey as he planned the city and continues to date … well worth your time. If you have time (and I would suggest making time) visit ZooAmerica, Hershey Gardens, Milton Hershey School and other fantastic museums located in Hershey, PA.

4. Dallas, TX

In a city that is famous for its great size, the cost of visiting is not that bad. We had a bit of adventurous spirit so we booked the city's PASS which offered discounted prices in some of the most popular city attractions. We could not hit them all, but we saw George W. Bush (he was president) of the Library and Museum and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Pretty cool to add a little culture to your vacation. My travel partners are happy to visit zoos, so we went to the Awesome Zoo in Dallas and met two beautiful African elephants and fed the giraffes. In this zoo there are many family events and presentations, you may have to stay more than a day. The market of farmers in Dallas needs to be seen on the market. Foods, sellers and an incredibly unforgettable experience as if there was no other market I visited. If you go, grab a street taco at La Ventana or tamale in El Mero Mero. I have to mention the Trinity River Audubon Center for all you walkers and enthusiasts in the open. This hardwood forest city is a departure from the city into a recognizable Texas field.

5. Nashville, TN

Nashville, home country music, American history and so on, so much to see and do. First, unavoidable of all the seas-see the Country Music Hall of Fame and the notorious Grand Ole Opry. Only the view from the outside of these famous buildings must be seen. When you're full of country music, go and go to the beautiful university universities of Vanderbilt University and Belmont University or go to the Adventure Science Center or Belmont Mansion and spend the afternoon learning something new. Campuses are full of history and tradition and a perfect place to enjoy nature. We did not even mention the food of Nashville. Nashville has to be a kitchen pot. There are all kinds of cards that satisfy all the palate. My favorites were found on food trucks that offered fast, tasty and cheap meals on the go. If you have spots for the pie, I recommend a peach or a pecan.