Future Reflections Spring 1992, Vol. 11 No. 2

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TOURS WITH ALLURE IN CHARLOTTE

                       by Wayne E. Shevlin

     From the Editor: Wayne Shevlin is the First Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina and the man in charge of organizing the special tours during the 1992 convention.

     It won't be long now until it will be time for our national convention in Charlotte, and that means tours. We think we have several things lined up this year that you will really enjoy.

Sunday, June 28—

The North Carolina Zoo
     The first tour is a visit to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, about a two-hour ride from Charlotte. This will be an all-day trip. The North Carolina Zoo has been called one of the best habitat zoos in the world. Visitors are not separated from the animals by fences but by moats and other natural barriers. Besides the aviary, where you spend time among the birds and small animals who live there, the Zoo includes gorillas, elephants, zebras, giraffes, rhinoceros, many types of deer, and many other species of animals. You may take a tram from place to place in the zoo. Wheelchairs and scooters are available for those who need them. The cost of this tour is $18, which includes transportation and admission.

Carowinds
     The other activity we have planned for Sunday is a visit to Carowinds. This is an eighty-three-acre theme park outside of Charlotte. The park includes water rides; a monorail; a sky ride; and the Vortex, a five-and-a-half million dollar roller coaster on which passengers stand to travel along two thousand feet of track. In addition to the rides, there are also several shows offered depending on the day. These include Country and Western, Broadway, and Tribute to Rock and Roll Shows. The price of admission is $28, which includes transportation, all the rides, and whichever shows are playing on that day. This tour will also be offered on Thursday afternoon, July 2.

The Charlotte Tour
     We have one more item of interest planned for Sunday. This is a tour of the City of Charlotte, which is known as the Queen City. This is a bus tour and includes a visit to the Mint Museum, the first Mint in the United States; a ride through Myers Park, which is listed in the National Register of historic neighborhoods; a view of the rapidly-changing skyline of the city; and many other points of interest. You can get to know Charlotte, the host city of the 1992 convention. This tour will be offered again on Tuesday, June 30, and will cost $15.

Monday, June 29—

The Railroad Museum
     We have a tour of the Railroad Museum in Spencer, about an hour-and-a-half from Charlotte. Spencer, halfway between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, was at one time the main repair facility for Southern Railways and is listed as a National Historic site. This tour consists of such things as the roundhouse; several restored posh antique railroad cars; other transportation from a dug-out canoe to a single-seater airplane; and the highlight of the tour, a ride on a train. On Monday, the train will be pulled by a diesel engine, but if your plans allow you to take this tour on Thursday, July 2, the train will be pulled by a restored steam locomotive. As mentioned, this tour will be offered again on Thursday, and the cost is $15 and includes transportation and the price of admission.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway
     For those of you interested in the NASCAR circuit, we have a special treat planned for Monday, June 29, a tour of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, home of the second most attended spectator event in the U.S. See racing memorabilia from the past and present, and visit the collection of vintage cars. Ride the same track that has thrilled thousands; visit behind the scenes; meet and talk with one of the drivers; and, to top it all off, enjoy a delicious dinner. The cost of all this is only $45, which includes everything. Sorry, because of the NASCAR schedule, this tour can be offered only once.

Tuesday, June 30--

Old Salem

     We will offer a tour of Old Salem, which is an eighteenth- century town founded by devout Moravians and is recognized as one of the most authentic restorations in the country. You can smell the bread baking as you visit the Winkler Bakery, hear the gentle taps of the tin smith's hammer, visit the Old Salem Tavern, and smell the smoke of the wood fires from the Market Fire House. Knowledgeable hosts and hostesses, some in dress of the period, are stationed in each building to welcome you, demonstrate crafts, answer questions, and provide information. You will have plenty of time to shop for arts and crafts. There will be about a two-hour ride each way to Old Salem, and the cost will be $25, which includes transportation and the tour. Remember, we will also be offering the Charlotte tour again on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 2--

The Pig Pickin'

     We have an activity planned called a Pig Pickin'. You might well ask what's a "Pig Pickin'"? It's what we in these here parts call a Bar-B-Q. North Carolina Bar-B-Q pork is unlike any Bar-B-Q you have ever tasted. Along with the food there will be beer and music provided for your Thursday evening entertainment. Y'all come. We will also be offering the Carowinds and Railroad Museum tours again.

     Please fill out the Tour Registration Form, which follows, or provide the following information along with your payment: tour, date desired (if offered more than once), number of tickets for each tour, and total payment due. We also need your name, address, and telephone number. Please make your check or money order payable to National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina (NFB of N.C.), and mail to NFB of N.C. Tours, P. O. Box 18087, Raleigh, North Carolina 27619.

     Tour registration forms and payment must be received on or before May 15 so that we can make the final preparations. Check with the North Carolina suite after you arrive in Charlotte for the convention for updated information about tours and about where to pick up your tickets.

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