Several years ago, Branndon Bargo and his brother set out on a mammoth adventure. Not sure what they were after, they biked 4,000 miles to Baja, Mexico from Alaska and found themselves submerged in the open waters of the Pacific, scuba diving with great white sharks. After a harrowing climb of Mount McKinley in Alaska, Branndon began questioning his motivations for staying at his desk job. So in 2005, he gently kissed his cubicle goodbye and founded Live Adventure as a means of encouraging others to challenge themselves while discovering deeper connections with the world around them. Within Cedar Hill State Park, Brandon organizes team-building programs and encourages groups to kayak, synchronize swim, and fish on Joe Pool Lake. Other expeditions include rock-climbing outings and custom guided jaunts around the planet.
Since its opening in 1988, Ellen's Amusement Center has provided visitors with a full range of family fun, including mini golf, go-karts, and paintball. The 18-hole miniature golf course is littered with such whimsical obstructions as a diminutive oil rig, a mini rollercoaster, and the obligatory windmill. Racers negotiate hairpin curves on the tire-lined go-kart track. A crossfire of chromatic projectiles enlivens four paintball fields, where players dive behind bunkers on the speedball courses or camouflage themselves as commando squirrels on the woods field. The facility also boasts batting cages equipped for hardball and softball as well as a redemption arcade filled with two stories' worth of video games.
House of Courage exists as one of the area's only schools certified in C.O.B.R.A. self-defense, a method intended to promote personal safety and confidence with techniques that anybody can learn and store in their bag of tricks. Halt potential attackers after six hours of training, which is based on law-enforcement tactics and criminal-psychology theory and intended for use in plausible situations, such as being mugged or thwarting an evil genius from illegally double-parking his zeppelin. House of Courage's versatile instructors boast experience in karate, CPR, mixed martial arts, and righteous one-liners. The one-day clinic generally takes place on Saturdays, and the school's full schedule is available here.
After visiting BNB Jet Ski Rental, up to three wave wranglers per group can straddle a 2009 Sea-Doo watercraft for two hours of heart-racing fun. The buoyant personal cruisers volunteer their breeze-butchering services to riders of any age, allowing even children to forget about pending marriage proposals and let loose alongside adult drivers. To ensure the safety of each ebb conqueror, BNB adorns operators and passengers in sink-free, Coast Guard–approved safety vests that must be worn at all times and for all yearbook photos. A valid photo ID is required for rental, and BNB will not rent out speedsters to anyone intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or blinding power trips over subservient whitecaps.