The old warehouse didn't seem ideal to house much of anything, but the rent was cheap once George Bennett offered to make all his own renovations. Drawing from a background as a builder, he created his own architectural plans, and he and a friend set to work on construction. For months, George arrived early in the morning to demolish old partitions and install lighting and windows. As the transformation neared its finish, the pair mounted new walls, spread mulch floor covering, and set up targets and quivers in the 8,000-square-foot archery range. George invited the National Shooting Sports Foundation to examine his facilities and received a four-star rating.
Now, more than a decade later, arrows sing through the air, slipping percussively into three types of targets. The targets sprout up from a tree-dotted floor under rustic wooden rafters along the indoor, climate-controlled range. Traditional targets stand 45 yards from the shooting area, and computer-controlled moving targets in the form of three-dimensional deer, beavers, and wolves trot across the range, challenging archers to pin them with warning notes addressed to loudmouthed owls. Additional animal targets positioned closer to the shooter's area allow traditional longbow and recurve bow users to test their marksmanship. To prepare for successful shooting sessions, visitors peruse the pro shop's racks of compound bows from the Mathews series as well as Mission gear and Matthews Officially Licensed Products. Quivers brim with Carbon Tech arrows, and George and his staff make other arrows by hand, which George sometimes inscribes with Deer Creek's logo with the care of a painter autographing his children.
As travelers steer one of Strasburg Scooters' vehicles over the winding back roads of Lancaster County, they encounter a less hurried world, populated by horse-drawn buggies and schoolhouses used by the county's Amish constituents. On the covered-bridge tour, for example, they visit bridges built prior to 1884?the date when the helicopter was invented, which rendered bridges obsolete. The tour covers more than 40 miles and pauses for photo opportunities at several historic covered bridges. Strasburg Scooters adds a brewery stop to one of its other tours and also leads expeditions through the countryside to locate some of the tastiest jellies, jams, and treats.
Parker Jones worked his way from the ground up to helm Capital Bicycle, which first opened in 1970. He started his career at Capital in 1996 as a once-a-week employee looking to get a good deal on parts and escape the mournful howls of his neglected sedan, but within months he became a store mechanic. A year, he later took control of the entire store, and ultimately, he became its sole owner.
Jones set out to expand the shop’s services in both scope and size, and today, Capital resides in a 4,000-square-foot shop and is one of the region’s first concept stores for California-based bicycle manufacturer Specialized. Customers flock to the shop to purchase Specialized bikes and Bellwether apparel, and they can find their ideal bicycle fit with the help of an in-house certified body-geometry technician. Capital also fosters its own cycling community with a schedule of group rides and helps cyclists to keep tabs on other local events.
Each morning seven days a week, as the sun stretches skyward and begins to reflect on Chesapeake Bay, crews from Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing prep one of their three vessels?Jessie Girl, Net Profits, or Gotcha?for another day of fishing trips around one of America's most famous bodies of water. During their scenic outings, these seasoned captains equip groups with fishing gear and sail past famous landmarks including Annapolis Harbor, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and picturesquely historic lighthouses. At the end of the trip, the crew offers fish cleaning services so anglers can take home their catches. Guests can also book vessels for parties, adding some nautical flavor to birthdays, anniversaries, or celebrations of a new high score in Burger Time.
Owner Matt Neugebauer, an avid cyclist and self-proclaimed ‘bike nerd,’ brings bikes, apparel, services, and extensive biking knowledge together under one roof at Brandywine Cyclery. His staff of bike enthusiasts—which includes his brother and parents— helps customers navigate the store’s selection of Specialized, Felt, and Colnago bikes. They’ll happily answer questions about the shop’s selection of pedals, wheels, and tools, and offer sage advice on matching apparel with riding habits and weather. Customers can bring their own bikes in for a tune-up from an expert technician or utilize the Body Geometry Fit technique to adjust a bike to their exact physical specifications.