The Rawhide continue to stampede through the 2012 season while carrying on a tradition of baseball in Visalia that stretches back more than 100 years. As a Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Rawhide have helped nurture 175 players from their humble beginnings as buried sunflower seeds into fully grown big leaguers, including current stars Justin Upton and Evan Longoria. Through 44 games this season, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Jonathan Griffin have pummeled opposing pitchers, combining for 17 home runs and 50 RBIs while claiming real estate among the California League’s leading sluggers.
At Metro BMX's weekly bicycle-motocross practice sessions, seasoned BMX vets and neophytes alike hone their racing chops on a well-maintained dirt motocross track. Racers bring their own BMX bikes (without pegs) to the course for two hours of open ride practice, during which BMX'ers can train for future races, fine-tune their skills, and conquer one of the newest Olympic sports. Riders as young as 3 (with a parental waiver) and as old as 60 frequent Metro BMX, allowing for high-octane family bonding and cross-generational understanding without awkward rides through the park on a bicycle built for nine. Metro BMX encourages riders to bring along their own helmets, though loaner helmets are available at the track.
Featured in Bakersfield Life for its summertime thrills, River's End and its certified and experienced rafteraunteurs lead thrill-seeking water wanderers on fun, exciting, and safe adventures down Kern River. During the two-hour Blaster trip, rapids-romantics begin their journey at the mouth of the Kern Canyon and encounter Class-II (moderate) and Class-III (moderately difficult) rapids, suitable for voyagers of all skill levels. River’s End’s energetic adventure guides will navigate and talk about the river’s wildlife and propensity to gurgle ‘70s lite-rock as rafters head down to Lake Ming on a 3.5-mile jaunt. The tour departs four times daily and is suitable for groups, families, and gung-ho whippersnappers aged 6 and up.
The male and female firearm experts of American Home Defense shape their shooting and self-defense classes around legal regulations with an emphasis on personal safety. In private shooting lessons, students learn to handle three of the most common handguns and home-defense classes equip participants with the know-how to protect their families from intruders or a neighbor's moat monster.
McDermont Field House wears a lot of hats. It's a fitness center that houses more than 50 cardio machines. It's an indoor soccer field that hosts open play and league games and a skate park that lures skateboarders with ramps and rail slides.
Elsewhere, its Eagle Mountain rock-climbing wall challenges visitors to scale more than 50 feet. But it's not a traditional wall. Instead of colorful foot and handholds, the indoor wall looks much like a real mountainside: the grey, cragged peak is unmarked, and climbers must figure out their own ways to the top. The field house also brings the ocean to the San Joaquin Valley with a FlowRider wave simulator that buoys surfers and body boarders.
Every Saturday and Sunday, Air Warriors Paintball opens its four outdoor playing fields to the public for simulated combat. Three of the four battlegrounds play host to adrenaline-fueled matches that pit players against each other in scenario games. Obstacles include tire mounds, corrugated metal, and dugout trenches. The facility also features an inflatable-packed speedball arena that’s perfect for fast-paced games. Much like a college student who has trouble scrounging up quarters, Air Warrior’s speedball field changes once a week.
Johnny Cash, one of the world’s most beloved musical storytellers, gets a fitting salute in The Cash Tribute Show featuring James Garner, a heartfelt production that honors the life and the legend of the Man in Black. With a backup band that pegs the “boom-chicka-boom” sound of the Tennessee Three, lifelong Cash fanatic James Garner (not the guy from The Rockford Files) leads fans on a delightful travelogue through Johnny Cash’s travails. From Cash's youth as a scrappy foghorn to the day he found his melanoid wardrobe, The Cash Tribute Show intersperses anecdotes and personal accounts of Cash encounters between Garner's renditions of his hit songs. With lungs full of respect and big shoes to fill, Garner eschews the shtick of impersonation and the redolence of method actors by singing Cash’s classics with a true fan’s passion and reverence, making the hearts of the happy audience swell like a perfectly cooked Folsom Prison soufflé.