On June 26th, fifteen family members ranging from 8 years old to 80 years old descended on Burnsville, North Carolina, on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest, 35 miles northeast of Asheville. We gathered to celebrate my father-in-law’s 80th birthday, expedition style. No, not your typical birthday party, but for this active and curious group, a five day adventure unlike any other.

I could tell you about the delightful bed and breakfast we called home for a week, their fresh squeezed orange juice and warm sausage rolls, and their flower gardens bursting with color. I could tell you about Open Ridge Farm where we ate our wonderful dinners under the stars each evening and played charades around an open fire. I could tell you about tubing down the crystal clear South Toe River, and the pure and refreshing joy we felt. I could tell you about the ooohing and ahhhing as we created fire by friction in a primitive skills workshop. I could tell you about the awe-inspiring views from the top of Mount Mitchell, with raptors floating on the thermals. I could tell you about the origin of chipmunks (a confrontation between a bear and a squirrel, according to our storyteller). I could tell you about the outdoor physics playground and its mesmerizing pendulum wave demonstration with sixteen bowling balls. I could tell you about the live music and dancing at the historic Orchard at Altapass. I could tell you about horseback riding and the thrill of ziplining through the canopy.

So many stories, so many pictures, so many memories. But it’s the hand-blown glass heart that says it all. Created in a small studio tucked in the forest, this simple but beautiful symbol represents why our family chose to spend a week together exploring the Black Mountains. Love. It also represents the energy and passion of the Southern Appalachian people, the many who opened their doors and introduced us to their crafts, their lives, and their community. And finally, it represents a company that was able to build such a genuine, immersive, and well-balanced experience for a group of fifteen, 8 years old to 80 years old. Thank you family, thank you Celo Community, and thank you Chill Expeditions.

MIKE BUDD

MIKE BUDD

EXPEDITION DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR at Chill Expeditions

As a husband, father, coach, and athlete, Mike is in perpetual motion. He will, however, pause for sushi, bacon, fried plantains, mint chocolate chip ice cream and a pint of Guinness.

READ MORE

Sample Itinerary: Cuba

Sample Itinerary: Cuba

Day 1. Arrival - Welcome to Havana!  Welcome to Havana, where we will be greeted by our Chill Expeditions guides. Start our adventure by traveling to the Morro Fortress to enjoy the Cannon Ceremony, an old Havanan tradition that marked the closing of the walls of the...

Sample Itinerary: Costa Rica

Sample Itinerary: Costa Rica

Day 1. Owning your Experience! Pura Vida! Welcome to San Jose and to this experiential learning adventure of a lifetime! You will be enchanted by this wonderful little country and the friendliest people imaginable. Savor a delicious tropical meal as your guides set...

Sample Itinerary: Belize

Sample Itinerary: Belize

Day 1. Owning your Experience; Belize Barrier Reef Your students will be challenged to take charge of their experience over the next 9 days in Belize, encouraged to engage in active learning and personal growth, and to have open minds to make the most of this...

WHY CHILL EXPEDITIONS?

Learn about what sets us apart from other expedition companies.

STAY IN TOUCH

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from Chill Expeditions.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Contact Chill Expeditions

We will send you a full 10-day itinerary and answer any questions you have!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Contact Chill Expeditions

Get in touch and a member of our team will contact you.

Thank you for contacting us. We will get back to you shortly.

Share This