BioLite Firestarters represent the best of the outdoors, humanitarianism, science, and adventure. With the help of their CampStove, they bring energy everywhere and create stories along the way. Chad, our first FireStarter, did just that. Using his skills as a forensic photographer, he captured some awesome photos. Here are the highlights of his trip:
Mammoth Cave National Park
This spring, Chad travelled to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, doing everything from cavern excursions to backpacking treks across the countryside. Mammoth Park is a great place for any outdoor enthusiast. It's home to the world’s longest cave system, spanning almost 400 known miles. But although Mammoth Park is famous for its underground features, it's also home to the Green River and over 70 miles of beautiful surface trails. More than 2 million people travel to Mammoth Park every year.
Chad's CampStove kept him company the whole time, cooking dinners and charging his cell phone to keep him connected. Most importantly, Chad used the CampStove to roast some delicious s'mores (A must-have for any successful camping trip).
Lookout Mountain and Raccoon Mountain
Chad's next stop was Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he travelled to Lookout Mountian and Raccoon Mountain. Lookout Mountain is home to some pretty cool sights, including Rock City, a 1700 foot ridge with its own waterfall and Swing-A-Long bridge. It's said you can see seven states from Rock City: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. We don't know if that's true, but we do know that Rock City hosts an annual Rocktoberfest, and that sounds awesome.
Like Mammoth Cave National Park, Raccoon Mountain is home to some amazing caverns. Its cave formations are 100% natural and Chad experienced them first-hand. He stayed overnight in the caves and participated in intense spelunking excursions during the day. Other than various cavern-dwelling animals (most likely everything from bats to salamanders to cave spiders) Chad's only company was his girlfriend and their tour guide. Everywhere they went was pitch black; the only light they saw was what they brought. Spelunking can be dangerous and a bit frightening, (it's the setting of tons of horror movies) but these guys jumped right in and had a blast.
Stone Mountain Park
After his spelunking experience, Chad continued south to Atlanta, Georgia, where he explored Stone Mountain Park. Stone Mountain is home to the largest adventure course in the United States and the world's largest laser light show. It even provided venues for the 1996 Summer Olympics. But more importantly, it hosts a diverse landscape full of uncommon plants and wildlife.
Stone Mountain Park offers train rides around the mountain and cable cars that take passangers straight to the peak. Chad bipassed these options and instead decided to trek all 1686 feet to the top, where he enjoyed a well-earned meal overlooking the beautiful view. Making the achievement all the more exciting is the fact that Chad hails from sunny Florida where the highest point is Sugarloaf Mountain, measuring in at 312 feet. (Stone Mountain is over five times as tall.) From the top of Stone Mountain, you can also get a close up of the Confederate Memorial Carving, the largest bas relief sculpture in the world. The carving towers 400 feet above the ground and measures 3 acres, which is more than the area of two football fields combined. All in all, Stone Mountain is an awesome place to visit.
Chad's trip was full of adventure and stories, and he describes it as an inspirational awakening. To learn more about his trip, check out his blog post with Outdoor Nation, or visit his website. Huge thanks to Chad for sharing his journey with us and embodying what it means to be a BioLite FireStarter.