Some of Marshall Hosea's earliest memories involve water lapping gently about the ankles of his oversized boots as he waded into a river or creek for some classic fly-fishing with his father and grandfather. What started as a childhood pastime became a lifelong passion, and Marshall began experimenting with all kinds of boats to enhance his fishing experience. He loved feeling close to nature and the water as he cast lines and baited hooks, and he found the kayak offered him the best experience. As a bonus, the paddle-driven craft left no trace upon the natural beauty he so loved.
Now, he teaches others the joy of kayaking and fishing as the owner and head guide of Texas Kayak Guide. He takes passengers down rivers and creeks, or skimming across bayous and bays, showing them raccoons hunting shellfish, osprey darting into the water to snatch fish, and porpoises swimming alongside the quiet craft. While on the water, he also teaches the finer points of fishing, including everything from how to spot a fish to changing one's tactics to match the seasonal behavior of one's prey.
With a quick flick of the wrist, baited lines arc through the air and plunk into the still waters of Lake Conroe. Stretching from a boat along the bulkheaded shoreline, those lines soon dip with the weight of bites. Various species of bass, as well as catfish, bream, crappie, and hungry scuba divers nibble away as anglers receive reel them in under the instruction of Just Fun Fishing Adventures' licensed guides. These guides also provide all the necessary equipment so anglers need only bring food and drink.
The Sam Houston National Forest lines the north end of the shoreline, treating passengers to sweeping views of wildlife, including ospreys, buffleheads, loons, and occasional bald eagles. As such, Just Fun Fishing Adventures offers half-day bird-watching tours to help interested parties get closer to the airborne action.
Big Boar Tactical doesn't train its clientele with typical stationary, paper targets. Instead, the trainers?each of whom has more than 12 years of professional armed-bodyguard experience?take beginners through drills that teach relevant skills. These might include learning to draw a gun, move, and shoot during the intro to handgun class or honing one-handed accuracy and using cover and concealment during the tactical combat handgun training course. These instructors can also help customers obtain concealed-handgun licenses or master the use of various other firearms.
Bo Poole's family farm is a working farm—complete with harvests of sweet corn, eggplant, and purple-hull peas—but it is also a family destination for autumnal fun. The farm's country store also allows visitors to stock up on honey harvested onsite, pumpkin-cake mixes, and corncobs that may be taken home and popped or planted in hopes of sprouting a popcorn bush. Along with developing P-6 Farms' yearly harvest, Bo develops the public's agricultural know-how with an annual fall festival filled with family-friendly activities. Tractor-drawn hayrides give passengers a first-hand look at farm life, and the 8-acre corn maze allows them to get up close and personal with America's most celebrated crop as they navigate twists and turns in search of the exit. Other autumnal amusements include a life-size human spider, target-shooting with a kid-friendly water canon, and a pumpkin patch.
Award-winning ice sculptor T. Jay Maclaskey and his wife, Carol, open their doors to the public yearly, inviting carloads of families to attend their ranch and the festival known as The Ice Cutter's Christmas. They take kids on jingle bell hayrides across the 40 rolling acres to see sights such as a 109-year-old barn, known as the Fire and Ice Hall, bedecked in lights and light sculptures of holiday scenes in the woods. Inside, their extensive freezers house a glittering collection of ice sculptures created by the owner, and visitors can watch as he carves a brand new one before their eyes. Storytellers spin holiday tales and visitors sing Christmas carols as mini horses, goats, and Ziggy the llama jostle to be petted and fed. Finally, staffers put a button on each evening with a big chilly showdown known as the Great Texas Snowball Battle.
Held each year as winter's cold gives way to spring's new beginnings, the Dream Weddings Bridal Show helps brides-to-be plan the wedding they've envisioned. Each show features an army of vendors from across the spectrum of wedding production, all ready to team up with soon-to-be-weds and get down to details. In one large space, attendees can network with dance instructors for some pre-wedding waltz polishing, check out the handiwork of local photographers, and compare the prices and selection of several different cake artists. While visitors listen to DJ music selections and scrutinize the penmanship of invitations vendors, a fashion show for both men and women showcases the latest in wedding dresses and formal attire.