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Mountain Metro

Come along on our journey across Roanoke County, with an extended conversation with Kaelyn Spickler about the sights, sounds, and places that make our community special.

Oct 25

Conquering Treetop Quest

Posted on October 25, 2022 at 10:41 AM by Kaelyn Spickler

I am writing to you, RoCo, with sore muscles and an adrenaline rush! Why? I am just getting back from TreeTop Quest at Explore Park, and my friend Keara joined me! 

Heading into it, Keara and I thought this was going to be a breeze, and I definitely would not have said I’m scared of heights. I still wouldn’t say I’m scared of heights but I will whole-heartedly admit I do have a phobia of falling. Luckily, though, I did not fall!

Keara and I got harnessed up and taught the basics on the “ground school” course. When I made it across the zipline, which couldn’t be more than six feet off the ground, I realized I had my eyes closed as I zipped across… This was only the beginning!

We started off on the beginner, level one course with Keara leading the way. We were much higher off the ground for this course and everything was more wobbly than I thought it would be. I took it really slow and then we got to a part where we had two ropes that would crisscross… and we had to go across. It was terrifying!! Once I started across though there was no going back and I eventually made it across! Some other elements of the course were various stepping stones, a zipline or two, some netting, and a rock-climbing wall. Each element led us to a new challenge until we made it all the way through the course. 

We took on the zip line course next, which I thought was going to be a relaxing break. We were really high in the trees, so this produced a whole different anxiety, but once we got the swing of things, each zip became a breeze. Keara had a GoPro camera on to catch some sweet footage

We went jumping on the net trampoline as a fun reward for conquering our fears up in the air. The trampoline is large, so there’s plenty of room to safely jump around nestled in the trees! 

Was my anxiety through the roof 90% of the time? Yes. Do I wish I had remembered to log an exercise on my watch before beginning? Also, yes. Would I do it again? Yes, again! One of the first things I did when getting back from this adventure was call my sister to tell her she had to visit before the month is up so we could go! 

Now that my fear of falling is conquered (at least with regard to TreeTop Quest), I can’t wait to go back again to soak in the challenge! Who wants to join me?

Catch me next time on the roam!

Your learning-to-be-adventurous-gal,


Oct 25

Touring Cave Spring Station #3

Posted on October 25, 2022 at 10:39 AM by Gray Craig

Happy National Fire Prevention Month, RoCo!

To kickoff the national celebration, I decided to celebrate with none other than some of Roanoke County’s fire and rescue team. In doing so, I got to spend the better part of a day with the B shift team at Station 3, who you can meet here. 

One thing that immediately stood out was how welcoming they were. I could see the excitement they had when talking about their time in the field, and the comradery was especially obvious. 

Captain Ferris took me on a tour of the station which was interesting to see. The kitchen was very nice, which made sense because the team does spend a good bit of time there cooking and eating together. Not all stations have a fire pole, but this one does so I got to slide down the fire pole! It really is much faster than taking the steps. 

The first thing I wanted to do was put on the suit. When Firefighter Ferguson brought over the tank of air, I asked how heavy it was. To which he responded, “4,500 pounds of air.” He got me on that one! The fact the guys get the suit on in 90 seconds blew my mind. I struggled to even zip up the jacket. Thanks to Firefighter Irvin, we eventually got me all suited up and ready to go. The captain said about a week is spent just going over and practicing how to put on the suit during the academy.

Next, Firefighter “Nacho” showed me the ins and outs of a firetruck. They really have anything and everything you could possibly need. The coolest thing to me was the infrared temperature gun.

Every year, they test out the hoses on the truck to make sure there aren’t any holes and that everything is working properly, and lucky me that I got to be there for that! It’s a long process that takes coordinating. I kept thinking we would get a call while we were testing them, but that didn’t come until right when we finished (if we would have gotten a call, there was a second truck we would have hopped on to go). 

The call came in, and two guys hopped in the ambulance and Lieutenant Ferguson drove the captain, Firefighter Irvin, and me in the firetruck. Just like that, the guys helped a citizen out of their car onto the gurney and took them to the hospital. Us in the firetruck headed back to the station. 

I came back later that day to cook dinner with the team. I always thought it was so fun how someone from the team/the whole team cooks dinner together and then eats at the table, just like a family dinner. “Nacho” grilled up London broil, Firefighter Irvin took care of the green beans and mashed potatoes (I helped occasionally), and Firefighter Cooper took care of the chores upstairs. While we were cooking, I asked them for a nickname because all of them had nicknames and I wanted one too, LOL! They decided on Sprinkler which is new one for me, so I appreciated that! 

We ate dinner and chatted, and that wrapped up the day! It was definitely fun to spend the day with the team. We are lucky to have such an awesome team working to keep our community safe! 

Catch me next time on the roam! 

Your honorary firefighter,


Oct 25

Camping 101

Posted on October 25, 2022 at 10:35 AM by Gray Craig

Camping your way - at Explore Park.

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