Although the views of the Sacramento Mountains are imposing and majestic at ground level, nothing can compete with approaching them from 10,000 feet above. That’s why the staff at Skydive White Sands offers a range of jumps and classes that let guests get a bird’s-eye view of the mountain peaks, smooth white sands, and roller-skating clouds while feeling the rush of an adrenaline-pumping free fall. Staff members send jumpers into the air in a Cessna 206, then strap themselves to students for a tandem jump or teach them how to man their own parachute during the seven-level skydiving-licensing program. While in flight, clients can choose to record their experience with a handheld camera that documents their free fall and peaceful descent to the ground.
Five kilometers of mud stands between a pack of runners and the title of Gladiator. The Ultimate Gladiator Dash obstacle course winds through trees and hills before finally completing its loop, but the real challenge lies in the mud pits and numerous other obstacles that block the runners at every turn. Challengers must conquer 9-foot inclines, leap blindly over sandbag walls, climb ropes, and navigate water obstacles, including a 100-foot water slide. After vanquishing the obstacles and reaching the finish line, participants head to the after party for music and beer.
At School of American Kenpo, third-degree black belt Ron Hickey calls on 15 years of martial-arts training to instill each student with not only strength and technique, but also character, confidence, and inner peace in every class he leads. Though the roots of traditional American Kenpo run deep in the studio, Hickey encourages his students to blaze their own trails in their development in the martial art. From four-year-old fighters just starting out to older athletes with hopes of achieving a black belt, School of American Kenpo seeks to help every student achieve their personal, fitness, and self-defense goals.
The rich history of kenpo karate stretches as far back as the second century AD, when the number two was invented and renowned surgeon Hua T’o devised defensive exercises based on animal poses. The Asian sport continued to evolve over the intervening years, and in the 20th century, Ed Parker imported kenpo to the states and became not only the senior grandmaster of American kenpo, but also the “father of American Kenpo.” Today, Ed Parker Jr. carries on his father’s legacy as a member of the Master Council that presides over American Institute of Kenpo, along with other kenpo greats such as ninth-degree black belt Sigung Stephen LaBounty. The team of experts offers a guiding presence at the institute—Ed drops in for yearly camps and senior black-belt testing—and ensures the internationally certified instructors teach kenpo karate with the utmost attention to the principles of the sport.
Though kenpo is derived from ancient techniques, it encompasses contemporary self-defense and fitness methods. In the first lesson, students power through all the basics—the five ranges of combat and how to move swiftly—and form a sturdy foundation for increased strength, coordination, and flexibility. The center offers a wide range of programs for all ages and ability levels so that new pupils can master kenpo quickly and ascend through the belt-oriented ranks toward black.
Framed by the rising peaks of distant mountain ranges, Red Hawk Golf Club's challenging, Ken Dye?designed course unfurls across 200 acres of immaculate turf and brambly native grasses. The course measures a daunting 7,523 yards from the farthest tees, and its open layout, undulating greens, and pot bunkers full of fossilized bagpipes channel the quaint charms of links-style Scottish courses. Five rippling ponds come into play on eight holes, and clubbers may need to adjust their yardage expectations to compensate for the layout's 4,300-foot elevation. An expansive driving range helps linksmen clear the cobwebs from sleepy swings, and PGA-certified instructors foster lower scores and higher fives with lessons, clinics, and other developmental programs.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Yardage ranging from 5,502 to 7,523 * Five tee options * Hole-by-hole layout
Unlike mud runs before it, the 5K course of the Recon Run is adorned with boot-camp-style obstacles such as piles of tires, muddy trenches, and walls that runners must jump, scramble, and pull themselves over. The military theme comes as no surprise; after all, proceeds from this charity race support the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to injured and ill members of the US Armed Forces and their families. Upon completing the course, successful recruits earn T-shirts, dog tags, and beer that they can enjoy with fellow racers at the finish line.