As Halloween approaches, dozens of macabre vistas appear across the country, frightening but somehow also beckoning groups of visitors. The masterminds behind these apparitions? America Is Haunted, a company that has fear down to a science. That starts with the element of surprise, as each location holds its own secrets and scares. Six terrifying mazes, eight mini-shows, more than 300 monsters, goblins, and ghouls including larger-than-life rats, spiders, and gargoyles, as well as interactive experiences, gory vignettes, and costumed actors await throughout each attraction. The escorted journey may begin with a disorienting, technicolor maze where each turn brings guests face to face with some new horror. Other locales might include a maximum-security prison where the inmates run wild or a grocery store where the cereal is all the healthy kind.
After more than 20 years in business, what began with one aircraft shepherding fishers through the Idaho backcountry has blossomed into a gleaming six-Cessna fleet offering charter service deep into the wilderness. Overseeing the whole operation is SP Aircraft?s founder, Scott Patrick, a charter-industry veteran with many close contacts in the backcountry-outfitter, river-guide, and tour-company arena. The outfit?s trip packages dispense wild majesty and creature comforts in equal measure, much like receiving a foot massage from a grizzly bear. The Sawtooth Air Tour and Backcountry Brunch, for example, begins with a 90-minute flight over the Sawtooth Range, Dagger Falls, and the Deadwood Reservoir and culminates in a multicourse brunch. Meanwhile, the Mackay Bar Overnight Steelhead Fishing on the Main Salmon River trip invites travelers to try their luck on the ?River of No Return??so-called because, unlike most rivers, it only flows one way.
Ponderosa Aero Club has sent Boise residents skyward for more than 35 years and acquaints aspiring pilots to the blue beyond with discovery flight lessons. A licensed flight instructor first debriefs students on the fundamentals of taking off, maneuvering, landing, and using radio equipment to order a frisbee-tossed pizza. Attendees then approach the club's fleet of Cessna and Piper Cherokee Archer aircrafts for a preflight inspection. As guests climb into the cockpit alongside their aerodynamics mentor, they can enlist the help of a camera to keep midair memories intact. Planes soar over Boise during a 30- or 60-minute scenic flight, the latter of which includes a tour of Snake River, Swan Falls, and Lake Lowell before a complimentary lower view of a cloud's reproductive system. Patrons can shoot postflight pictures upon their return to earth while staff members award them a logbook and certificate of completion.