In her own words, Adina Roberts has dedicated her life to horses—in 2009, she even quit her job as an executive to work with them full-time. She'd been offering lessons on the side for years before that, but finally decided it was time to totally immerse herself in her passion. At Punk Rock Pony, she focuses all of her attention on training and teaching kids and beginner adults how to ride, as well as taking special care of ponies—including a friendly newborn who loves visitors—and problem horses with a history of covering stable walls in graffiti. She holds all of these lessons on a large acreage brimming with wildlife such as rabbits and oxes, providing an idyllic arena for people to connect with nature and the majestic steeds. For more advanced riders, she also offers the unique experience of riding "naked," a challenging style in which the horse is bareback and bridle-less.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum celebrates the thrill and wonder of hydroplane racing, and its the only museum of its kind in the United States. Along with historical books, race programs, trophies, and photos from the last century, its collection of hydroplanes from the past 70 years tells the story of the watery sport. The staff has brought seven famous Gold Cup and Harmsworth winners back to their fully operational states, and will even take members out on the water in one of their historical vessels for a Ride of a Lifetime.
Offering a glimpse back in time, they boast than 200 hours of racing footage dating back to the 1940s and share stories of legendary drivers including Mira Slovak and "Wild" Bill Cantrell, who was famous for solving crimes with the help of his artificially intelligent hydroplane.
However, the museum isn't just about the past. A lineup of regular events invites folks to show off their powerboats and hot rods to fellow enthusiasts, and races bring the excitement of the sport to the present day as boats cut through the waves vying for titles.
The buzz of motors rises and falls as bright-red blurs zip around the track at PGP Motorsports Park. Here, in the shadow of Mount Rainier, racers ages 15 and older loop around an 8/10-mile track at speeds of up to 48 miles per hour, leaning back in the ergonomic seats of Italian-built Birel N35 karts. The 30-foot-wide asphalt track can be altered to take on 12 different configurations and is centered in a velodrome, which puts spectators at an elevated angle so they get a good line of sight no matter where they sit.
For safety reasons, drivers should wear long sleeves and pants and closed-toe shoes. Drivers are equipped with helmets and driving suits, and since races take place rain or shine, they will also be provided with rain gear that includes waterproof gloves and booties.
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Handicap Accessible: No
Parking: Parking lot
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Though its amenities have grown significantly since its founding in 1958, Kent Bowl is, and has always been, all about one thing: bowling. At first, the 24-lane establishment sat next door to a livestock yard. It stayed in business thanks to bowling alone, with a mere three employees to its name, until Jack Zaborac took over. He and his wife cultivated the alley, adding a snack bar and eight more lanes and beginning to host tournaments. Their first tournament coaxed out 150 bowlers; to date, their largest summoned 8,900 aficionados of the sport.
The owners have organized competitions for sport and charity and operated a bowling program for the handicapped for more than four decades. These accomplishments has caused Kent Bowl to earn a reputation as a serious and family-friendly bowling ally, an aura they maintain today by not adding any video arcades or gambling games to distract from their feature attraction.
For both Sarah Matuszewski and Brittney Venhorst, a lifetime of equestrian practice and horse adoration has led them to their current roles as the head coaches at Freedom Run Equestrian Center. Their easygoing demeanors create a supportive yet challenging environment where students can grow into balanced and confident riders.
All students begin on the lunge line and participate in strength-training exercises to develop strong legs and steady hands before moving on to lessons in the disciplines of eventing, hunter jumper, and dressage. Students are expected to groom, tack, and care for their horses as a supplement to their saddle-based learning. This broad-based approach to horsemanship cultivates a sense of interspecies camaraderie that can come in handy during high-pressure dressage championships or old-timey bank robberies.
John Gustafson began skating at 5 years old, rolling along on squeaky wheels that would carry him toward a lifetime of high-speed competition. At 25, he became a professional skater, winning national championships in both speed skating and figure skating before settling down as the owner of Auburn Skate Connection. His love of skating hasn’t dimmed, though; even with his 69th birthday approaching, John continues to lace up his skates each day to gain an extra 2 inches of height and guide students in the sport he knows so well.
Alongside instructors that he himself recruited, John teaches the art of effortless rolling during private lessons on the rink’s solid-wood skating surface. The team imbues students with the intricacies of quad and inline skating while also focusing on the fundamentals of racing. Their dedication has borne some notable fruit. Olympic gold-medalist Apolo Ohno took his first glides at Auburn, working with John for three years before moving on to his life of ice-based glory.