Where do I start and what do I say…

Walker County Messenger - - Worship Directory -

On Jan­uary 3, 2017, I started my ar­ti­cle like this…I’m So Ex­cited, I Just Can’t Hide It…and in­cluded this within my ar­ti­cle…

I ended 2016 and start­ing 2017 with a trip to Wil­liams­burg, Vir­ginia. As much as I en­joyed my trav­els and the beau­ti­ful state of Vir­ginia, I am ex­cited about 2017 and what our com­mu­nity is do­ing.

Walker County seems to be at the place where ev­ery­one is work­ing to­gether to get things hap­pen­ing in and around our small towns. Ev­ery­where I go and ev­ery­one I talk to is talk­ing about what is hap­pen­ing this year in Walker County. For the first time in years, I am putting things to do in 2017 on my cal­en­dar in Walker County be­sides work sched­ules and events.

If feels good to know we are be­com­ing a com­mu­nity where peo­ple want to travel, sight see and spend time in the great out­doors.

Walker County has a wealth of nat­u­ral beauty and re­sources that fit into nu­mer­ous out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. We have hid­den trea­sures that are begin­ning to be shared and en­joyed by many.

So yes, I am so ex­cited and I just can’t hide it!!! I am ready to walk, run and bike all over this place! My New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion is to “Bloom where I am planted and to wa­ter those oth­ers around me”!

As of to­day, I had to start writ­ing about “Where do I start and what do I say…” See, I spent the last day of 2016 in Char­lottesville, VA bring­ing in the New Year on our jour­ney to Wil­liams­burg, VA. We stayed the night, toured, hiked and en­joyed the beauty of this com­mu­nity. I was heart­bro­ken to hear what evil and hurt­ful events hap­pened in this beau­ti­ful city in Au­gust of this year. And then to see what hap­pened just days ago in Las Ve­gas, NV. For the first time this year, my hus­band and I vis­ited Las Ve­gas in Fe­bru­ary. We had just kicked off the New Year in Char­lottesville, VA and then just over a month later, we spent sev­eral days in Las Ve­gas and were ex­cited about all we were able to do and see in­clud­ing the drive to the Grand Canyon. It was such a beau­ti­ful and friendly place with all the out­door scenery to keep us en­gaged for days. We don’t gam­ble, so we didn’t even try that. How­ever, I did come out 5 cents ahead be­cause I found a nickel in the air­port on the way home and filled my mind with all things beau­ti­ful!

So as I was pre­par­ing for a write up of all things pos­i­tive in North West Ge­or­gia, re­ally bad things have hap­pened in our coun­try. But here is where I will be­gin. While not ev­ery­one like the same ac­tiv­i­ties, we all ben­e­fit from all the beauty that sits in and sur­rounds our area. We have dif­fer­ent de­sires, but we are one com­mu­nity. We are dif­fer­ent races, re­li­gions, sex, ages, etc., but we all live in the same com­mu­nity and have de­cided to call it HOME. Where I might not touch on what you like to do, in­clude do­ing noth­ing, I will share the things I like to do and the changes I love to see hap­pen­ing.

First Iron­man comes through my county, Walker County, 3 times a year now and where it is not ev­ery­one’s idea of a won­der­ful event, I think it is great. I am thrilled Iron­Man loves our com­mu­nity. The ath­letes love our peo­ple, our views and sur­round­ings and they love to ride here. Where it can be an in­con­ve­nience to some due to slow­ing traf­fic, it is such a ben­e­fit to our fam­i­lies and es­pe­cially our youth to see there is more to life than drugs and al­co­hol. I have rid­den with young peo­ple that are en­cour­aged by watch­ing these ath­letes and are train­ing for the time when they turn 18 and can par­tic­i­pate in this In­ter­na­tional event lo­cally here in Walker County. I would say it is one of the big­gest pluses in ad­di­tion to our lo­cals that train to par­tic­i­pate be­cause this event is here in our com­mu­nity. Some would not be able to par­tic­i­pate if they had to pay the cost of travel. So be­sides our own res­i­dents get­ting a tremen­dous healthy ben­e­fit, our busi­nesses ex­ceed nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties and sales. I wit­nessed my­self the pur­chases and food sold through­out Walker County in the range of the bik­ing route.

From a news­let­ter writ­ten by Joe Legge of the Walker County Com­mis­sioner’s of­fice,

“Iron­man events re­turned to Walker County this month, in­clud­ing the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship show­case event. 91 coun­tries, re­gions and ter­ri­to­ries were rep­re­sented by the 4,500 com­peti­tors tak­ing part in the two day race. Nearly three times that many vis­i­tors came to the area to ex­pe­ri­ence the event.

This was the first time in four years the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship had been on U.S. soil, although sev­eral qual­i­fiers have taken place here. Sole Com­mis­sioner Shannon Whitfield wel­comed the triath­letes to Walker County, pro­vid­ing them with a brief over­view of what they could ex­pect along the 56-mile bike course.

Cy­clists en­tered the county on Red Rid­ing Hood Trail, near Rock City Gar­dens, turned left onto Lula Lake Road, road about 15 miles and then cut over to High­way 341, via Look­out Moun­tain Scenic High­way/High­way 136.

The route took cy­clists through down­town Chicka­mauga, past Gor­don Lee Man­sion and Coke Ovens. Triath­letes then ven­tured up High­way 341, be­fore turn­ing right onto High­way 193 and head­ing back into Chat­tanooga.

The event pro­vided great ex­po­sure for Walker County, con­sid­er­ing com­peti­tors came from hun­dreds of miles away. 279 made the trek from Cal­i­for­nia, 264 from Canada, 232 from Aus­tralia, 213 from the United King­dom and 151 from Florida. This com­pe­ti­tion will also be broad­cast on tele­vi­sion later this year, giv­ing oth­ers the op­por­tu­nity to soak in the stun­ning scenery of Walker County.

From a di­rect eco­nomic stand­point, it’s un­clear just how much Walker County ben­e­fits fi­nan­cially from Iron­man events. The last study done by UTC on the eco­nomic im­pact of Iron­man lumped Walker County to­gether with Chat­tanooga and Hamil­ton County, pro­vid­ing no in­di­vid­ual break­down.

All emer­gency personnel ex­penses are re­im­bursed, the Iron­man Foun­da­tion gave the county’s dis­as­ter as­sis­tance group (COAD) a $2,000 grant and the nearly dozen or so school and com­mu­nity groups that vol­un­teer re­ceive be­tween $200 and $1,000 for their or­ga­ni­za­tions. Book­ings at Moun­tain Cove Farms also re­ceive a boost dur­ing Iron­man events.

The five-year con­tract with Iron­man runs through 2018, with the po­ten­tial to ex­tend. The next re­gional event takes place May 20, 2018.”

As far as my opin­ion, we are blessed to have such an in­ter­na­tional out­door event in our area and I hope to see it en­cour­age all ages to get out and en­joy our beauty!

And now we hit Oc­to­ber in full fall blast!!! Here in our North West Ge­or­gia Moun­tains and Val­leys, there are ac­tiv­i­ties galore. Just this week­end, you could choose be­tween Har­vest Day’s in LaFayette, to Rock­to­ber­fest at Rock City or over to Cloud­land Canyon for Fall-Fun Hayrides, just to men­tion a few of the ac­tiv­i­ties. The next cou­ple of months will be filled with fes­ti­vals, fairs, food and foot­ball here in the South!

So as I was pre­par­ing for a write up of “all things pos­i­tive” in North West Ge­or­gia coun­ties, we had the hor­rific shoot­ings in Las Ve­gas and I was sad­dened, con­fused and heart­bro­ken for this kind of evil in our coun­try. It took me days to be able to write about “pos­i­tive things” in such a week of great loss, but I know that it is im­por­tant to stay hope­ful and help­ful in these dif­fi­cult times. The one thing I can do is share a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude while shar­ing the ex­cit­ing pos­i­tive events hap­pen­ing around us. We don’t stop, we con­tinue on and I am thank­ful for that. I will pray for those in­volved and ef­fected by this tragic ac­tion as so many oth­ers are do­ing. They will not be for­got­ten, but evil will not win. That bat­tle has al­ready been won. Just a thought… 1 Pe­ter 3:9. Do not re­pay evil with evil or in­sult with in­sult. On the con­trary, re­pay evil with blessing, be­cause to this you were called so that you may in­herit a blessing. And en­joy the fall, ya’ll! Ar­ti­cle writ­ten and sub­mit­ted by Lisa J Heyer, Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens Real Es­tate-Jack­son Realty, Bro­ker/ Owner

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