Explore the Western N.C. towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire like never before with Jackson County’s new hiking map. Visitors can pick up the map at the Dillsboro Visitor Center or the Jackson County Visitor Center. In addition, the map will be located in area retail shops, restaurants or accommodations, the Smoky Mountain Host Visitor Center, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel, as well as any state visitor center or chamber. The map will also be available on the Jackson County website for download early this winter.The map, released this fall, includes directions to 19 waterfalls, nine hiking trails, three multiple-use trails for riding or biking, five semi-private and public golf courses, three whitewater rafting and watersports outfitters, three horseback riding locations and eight recreational rental service locations.There are several popular scenic destinations emphasized in the new map. Richland Balsam, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, is the highest point with an elevation of 6,410 feet. Waterrock Knob, an almost 2.5-mile round-trip hike, showcases breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains with an exciting steep trek to the 6,292 foot peak, and Whiteside Mountain features the highest vertical drop of 750 feet in the Eastern U.S. Popular waterfalls on the map include Cashiers Sliding Rock, Silver Run Falls and Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall in the eastern United States.Jackson County is located approximately 2 to 3 hours from major cities such as Atlanta, Greenville and Charlotte. Plan your mountain getaway and get more information about Jackson County at mountainloversnc.com.Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire are the distinct locales that make up Western North Carolina’s Jackson County, a place of lofty peaks, rushing water and spectacular scenery. Each of these Blue Ridge Mountain towns provides rich natural beauty that invites visitors to experience the idyllic North Carolina Mountains. Explore miles of hiking trails surrounded by unspoiled forests or discover the area’s shopping, dining, culture, and hometown atmosphere. Experience the thrill of river rafting and tubing or the more laid back adventures of fly fishing, boating, golf, or a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.“As one of the premier outdoor destinations in the south, we pride ourselves on creating the most active and visitor-friendly environment,” said Robert Jumper, chairman of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority. “The new hiking map showcases some of the best outdoor tourism attractions and scenic views that Jackson County has to offer. Visitors can now more easily plan their trip activities for the entire county. And best of all, they are invited to ‘Play On’ in our amazing county.”
By Dialogo April 30, 2010 Rolando Chaparro grimaces as he whips the crowd into a frenzy with the powerful sounds created by furiously flicking his pick across the strings of his electric guitar during the song “Kamba King.” But as Chaparro whips out chord after chord with stunning clarity, this much is clear: If Chaparro isn’t the biggest driving force behind the emergence of Paraguayan rock, he’s definitely in the discussion. Why? Because he constantly incorporates his country’s musical roots into his records and concerts. His 2005 live album “Afropolca” put a contemporary spin on old classics to keep them relevant. Chaparro, however, also is a realist. He knows Paraguayan rock is going through a rebuilding process and it could take years – maybe even decades – for the country’s music to infiltrate foreign markets. “National rock is going through a good musical moment; I can see it quite clearly,” he said. “Unfortunately, during the last few years there has not been an important festival to help the growth of groups. At one time, Pilsen Rock was able to gather about 80,000 people at its annual music festival.” Chaparro said his country lacks the abundance of record labels and producers prevalent in other countries. “The public is there,” he said. “But a greater structure is what’s missing. Quality is optimal, excellent, and the professionalism is higher now. One can see an evolution in musicians.” The sweet sounds of rock bands such as Pro Rock Ensamble, Kaos, Faro Callejero, Skoff, Ni los perros, Deliverans, Enemigos de la Klase and Funeral fueled the country’s music scene in the 1980s and 1990s. But at the turn of the century, a movement that began in Asunción began to spread its heavy metal and pop rock wings. Bands such as Área 69, Revólber, Pipa para tabaco, Flou, Gaia, Paiko, La Secreta, Orcháblex, Vecindad Autopsia, Gent, Peter Punk, The Profane and Slow Agony have tried to put their country on the musical map. But Paiko is leading the way. The group has toured South America several times and played in Europe. Last December, Paiko will celebrate ten years of infusing Latin American pop rock with its harmonies. “Before, national rock was very under and then it turned massive,” said Enrique Zayas, lead singer for Paiko. “Now, there are tours around the country’s cities, more songs are played on the radio, and there is a bigger movement as far as the public is concerned.” Crowds are flocking to concerts and instead of creating fan clubs to cheer for artists such as Nickelback or Linkin Park, they are worshipping their homegrown idols by wearing their merchandise – an act unthinkable just a few years ago. “Before, there was a certain disdain for national rock and now that has changed,” said Felipe Vallejos, who plays guitar for the band El Tiempo. “On the contrary, young people feel proud of what is ours, and the public identifies so much with their favorite band.” The emergence of local record label “Kamikaze” has played an important role in expanding the country’s rock scene. It’s provided a place where aspiring – and proven – artists can make music and make sure their compact discs reach the masses. “We made local media cover our concerts, but it would be nice if radios would provide more information, explanations of which national group the song they are broadcasting belongs to,” Vallejos said. “In television, there is almost no space for Paraguayan rock.” Still, Paraguayan music has to experience a tremendous growth if it’s to be mentioned in the same breath as the music of Brazil, Argentina and Chile. “There are a lot of promising groups and everything is getting better,” Zayas said. “To continue working and improving is what we need to cross beyond our borders. I am sure that any time now there will be a breaking opportunity for Paraguayan rock groups to become known throughout the world.”
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