Winter 2014

Nature’s Path: Going Beneath the Surface

Nature’s Path: Going Beneath the Surface

Thanks to a limestone belt that stretches across  northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee, this area boasts one of the heaviest cave concentrations in the United States – and some of the most beautiful subterranean scenery you’ll find anywhere. by ELIZABETH MANNING “Misery ahead” isn’t a phrase one likes to hear when going on a weekend excursion outdoors.
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History Book: Jewels of the Valleys

History Book: Jewels of the Valleys

The Lookout Mountain region’s classic theatres reflect an optimistic era in history and hold myriad promises for tomorrow. by KATHRYNE SLATE MCDORMAN “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure-dome decree…” – “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge In the 1880s and ’90s, America was an increasingly prosperous and self-confident country. Enriched by waves of
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Lookout Georgia: SHANGRI-LA

Lookout Georgia: SHANGRI-LA

A hidden valley long cherished by a lucky few is now open to the public, offering a restaurant, event venue, recreation opportunities and vacation cottages. story by KATHRYNE SLATE MCDORMAN | photos by BARBARA ADKINS, GREG BEASLEY and Mountain Cove Farms Resort SHANGRI-LA DECADES AGO AS MY PARENTS RAMBLED AROUND THEIR beloved Lookout Mountain, they stumbled quite
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Mountain Melodies: Original Sound

Mountain Melodies: Original Sound

After a transitional period of self-discovery, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Keef is emerging as a solo artist by playing his music his way. by ANITA STIEFEL If you don’t recognize his name, you will soon. Ryan Keef has established himself as one of northeast Alabama’s premier performing musicians, and with the recent release of
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Kid’s View: The Jump Park

Kid’s View: The Jump Park

You can play dodgeball and basketball, swing into a pit of foam squares and do tricks on the trampolines at this awesome indoor arena. by LYDIA MCCORMICK, AGE 10 | photos by JULIE MCCORMICK and The Jump Park Have you ever wished for a perfect place to have fun with your family or friends? If
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Tying the Knot: Simple Beauty

Tying the Knot: Simple Beauty

The Hay Barn offers a versatile canvas of rolling hills and mountain scenery, and its proprietors encourage couples to make their wedding celebrations as unique as themselves. by BRETT JAILLET | photos by AMBER HOLRITZ AND IAN RILEY of the lifestyle photographer

The Homestead: Consummate Host

The Homestead: Consummate Host

For Tommy Milham, ‘settling down’ on Lookout Mountain has involved building three cabins and a lake – and sharing his property with vacationers he quickly calls friends. story by LARUE HARDINGER | photos by OLIVIA GRIDER and Salil V Photography Tommy Milham is a robust, jovial lover of people – and his constant companion, Bo, a
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What’s Cookin’: Local Favorite

What’s Cookin’: Local Favorite

Using only word-of-mouth advertising, Kati Thai Cuisine is hooking a growing number of customers who shower praise on the restaurant’s authentic dishes made from fresh ingredients and cooked when ordered. story by ANITA STIEFEL | photos by ANITA STIEFEL and RANDY GRIDER Frankly, I didn’t know what to expect when I walked through the door because the
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Life on Lookout Mountain: Winter 2014

Life on Lookout Mountain: Winter 2014

text and photography by JOHN DERSHAM There is something magical here, indefinable yet very noticeable. So what is it? The Lookout Mountain region, as we call it, is tucked away at the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains. This area is close to quite a few major population centers, including Atlanta, Birmingham and Huntsville, and
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Artist Spotlight: Visual Poet

Artist Spotlight: Visual Poet

  With an energy equal to the vivid colors on her canvases, Lydia Randolph shares the beauty she sees in nature, people and the commonplace. by OLIVIA GRIDER

Doing Buisness: Southern Brew

Doing Buisness: Southern Brew

Back Forty Beer Company leads Alabama’s craft-beer industry by cultivating a homegrown philosophy. by RANDY GRIDER Jason Wilson’s product line might be craft beers, but what he is really marketing is something deeply ingrained in his roots – Southern culture. The founder and chief executive of one of the fastest growing businesses in his native Gadsden, Ala.,
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Editor’s Note: Vacation Local

Editor’s Note: Vacation Local

It might sound like an oxymoron, but odds are places in your own region offer experiences that rival those requiring a much longer trip. During the previews at a movie theatre several years ago, I had the out-of-body-like experience of watching a tourism video about the city where I had lived for 10 years. Not
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Feature: Buy, Sell or Barter

Feature: Buy, Sell or Barter

Thousands flock each week to Collinsville Trade Day, a culturally unique event featuring one-of-a-kind items and just about everything else. story and photos by RANDY GRIDER Growing up on rural Sand Mountain, the 20-mile trip to Collinsville (Ala.) Trade Day offered an opportunity to find the necessities of life – camo, rappelling rope, a prop for
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Inn for the Night: Rejuvenating Retreat

Inn for the Night: Rejuvenating Retreat

DeSoto State Park offers a wide range of lodging options, giving guests of all stripes – even those who insist on modern conveniences – an opportunity to commune with nature. story by MEREDITH CUMMINGS | photos by BRITTNEY HUGHES and MEREDITH CUMMINGS To say I am not an outdoorsy person would be an understatement. I’ve
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Folklore: Fly

Folklore: Fly

  by CHUCK BUCKNER She sat there on the bluff rock about 40 feet above  the first bench below. One slip and she would be too injured or too dead for me to be able to help, even if I could get to her. Why are you sitting there? I have sat there before, maybe
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