Randy Long entered the working world as a travel agent, a vocation that whet his appetite for globetrotting, adventure, and haggling with airlines. When he became a father and husband, he passed a passion for thrill seeking on to his family, and their recent escapades include scuba diving in Barbados and dog sledding in Alaska. It was this thirst for exploration and a love of aviation that drove Randy to become an FAA-certified powered-parachute instructor and found Arizona Powerchutes.
Powered parachutes are comprised of two-seater, wheeled carts that float 20 feet beneath 40-foot parachutes. At sunrise—or sunset during the cooler months—Randy and a passenger climb aboard the cart, and Randy hits the throttle, gathering speed for about 100 feet before the parachute fully inflates and hoists the cart into the air. Randy adjusts the altitude to his patron's comfort level and steers crafts over the exotic plants and mountain silhouettes of the Sonoran Desert, averaging a speed of 26 miles per hour. After journeys, powered parachutes float to land safely, as they are inspected by the pilot prior to each flight and by an FAA-approved facility after every 100 hours of operation.
Arizona Outdoor Fun lets riders whip around winding lakes, trails, and tight canyons the way nature intended—atop landscape-chewing wheels. When not busy peddling a cache of extreme all-terrain Honda vehicles and dirt bikes, Rhino UTVs, and agile sport quads, their expert guides lead fun, scenic ATV tours around the Verde River and Bradshaw Mountains, sharing tidbits about local Native American culture, plants, fossilized cowboy hats, and wildlife. They also deal in aquatic sports with boat rentals including wakeboard boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats, small vessels such as jet skis, and kayaks and canoes that run on man power. Master mechanics at the shop’s garage keep all vehicles ready for adventure, drawing on more than 25 years of experience to repair personal ATVs and other recreational crafts, including scooters and go-karts.
In the shadow of the mountains of Tonto National Forest, Bartlett Lake watercrafts skid across 2,815 acres of the lake's pristine waters. The marina abounds with recreational facilities—its fleet of professional jet skis, pontoons, and ski boats sit parked along docks of grills, a general store, and a covered, floating patio. A 45-foot yacht towers over the rest of the rental boats, furnishing lively parties of up to 25 people with a slide, bar, and restroom, while a large houseboat floats along the lake peacefully—an impressive vessel complete with private rooms, a deck, and kitchen. As visitors navigate the lake or forage the surrounding area's desert terrain trails, they have the opportunity to admire indigenous plants and abundant wildlife.
Part of Southern California-based Boat Rentals of America, Tempe Town Lake Boat Rentals' fleet spans motor-, pedal-, and paddle-powered watercrafts. At its headquarters near Tempe Beach Park, boating enthusiasts outfit guests with vessels such as pontoons, kayaks, pedal boats, hydrobikes, and standup paddleboards. Tempe Town also sell fishing gear. For frequent water recreationalists, Tempe Town's team members organize the gold club, which gives clients access to boats without the hassle of feeding and grooming them each day.
Running with 1,500-pound bulls is inherently dangerous—the organizers of the stateside Running with the Bulls don't deny that. But that doesn't mean that the thrill of Pamplona has to come with the mistreatment of the animals, which is why participants who hit, slap, harass, or otherwise impede the progress of the bulls will be removed from the venue. With those distractions aside, spectators can focus on the essence of the run: watching 12 horn-swinging bulls dash through a quarter-mile course on the heels of runners who must have heard that this event was called Running with the Lambs. But the event gives the community more than elevated heart rates, as each three-day spectacle begins with a charity run that benefits Operation Hawkeye, an organization that supports the families of Special Operations forces who've been killed in combat.
Scorpion Bay Marina is nestled into the spot where brown hills roll right up to sandy beaches blending into the blue expanse of Lake Pleasant. From the marina, boaters sail over glassy surfaces reflecting mountain landscapes to fish, water-ski, and tube. To make those aquatic adventures possible, the marina's attentive crew rents boats such as pontoons that ferry up to 10 passengers, as well as sport and fishing vessels, and kayaks. They also man a convenience store and deli where recreational mariners can stock up on supplies for on-the-water picnics. At day's end, boaters pull into reserved covered or uncovered boat slips and head to the marina's dockside eatery, Dillon's, to refuel with Kansas City–style barbecue brisket, fish tacos, and half-pound burgers.