Beneath the looming curve of a balloon rippling from the heat of a 12-million BTU propane burner, FAA-certified Lighter Than Air pilot and mechanic Layne Wolters takes hot air balloons soaring into the Missouri skies with the skills only years of experience can build. Possessing more than three decades of involvement with the larger-than-life balloons, Wolters mans daily flights at Hard Times Ballooning, ascending at sunrise and 2 1/2 hours before sunset for the best views of superheroes flying to and from home in their street clothes.
Pro Fitness is a sprawling athletic facility, with rows of professional exercise equipment, racks of free weights, and a private cardio theater. Within workout studios, certified trainers lead an array of group fitness classes, including yoga, Zumba, and boot camp. The instructors also offer personal-training sessions, tailoring workouts to accommodate each client's unique abilities and goals.
Bass fishing seems to be in Jay Grave's blood. Jay inherited his love of angling straight from his father, who taught him how to catch and haul in the large fish in the Iowa Great Lakes before he could even walk. When he grew up, it was no surprise that Jay would enter the world of career fishing. After fly-fishing stints in a few western states, he returned to the Midwest to compete in tournaments, winning Southwest Minnesota Bass Casters Club's Big Bass Payout in 2011. Eventually, Jay settled in Lake of the Ozarks, founding Grave Fishing, LLC to teach others how to fish in the bass-rich waters. He even offers tournament-style experiences, in which he competes with his passengers in a contest to see who can snag the most fish or Jimmy Hoffa pinky rings.
Battle Creek Paintball's six fields see prismatic warfare in the form of recreational woodsball to fast-paced speedball year-round, rain or shine. On any of the five outdoor woodland fields, squads of players mimic firefights with flanking maneuvers and extended periods of playing dead. An indoor urban-assault course captures the adrenaline rush of room-to-room fighting, and the speedball course matches competitive-level excitement with mirrored bunker layouts and closely refereed games. With normal admission, the staff provides Tippmann 98 markers and all the protective equipment needed to survive a mural to the face.:m]
Since launching off from the shores of Fort Myers Beach in 1982, Paradise Parasail’s signature smiley-face parachutes have become an iconic image in the sky, now flying high above the waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Lake of the Ozarks. USCG-licensed captains navigate each of the company's boats as riders trail behind at heights of up to 500 feet. With feet flopping in the wind, thrill-seekers are free to wave to their friends, family, and nearby migratory birds. Parasailers can also pose for photos and videos captured by the company's onboard photographers.
Located within a 3.5-hour drive of Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield, the 54,000-acre Lake of the Ozarks has a become a weekend destination for kayaking, fishing, or parasailing. About 300 natural caves surround the lake, with the Ozark Caverns tours taking visitors to see unusual cave phenomena. About 20 miles away, Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park leads one-hour tours that show off towering columns, stalagmites, and stalactites.
A largely digital publication, The Bowfisher magazine champions piscine bow-hunting with recommendations on nationwide chartering businesses and guided ventures in the Ozarks. The editor-in-chief also charters his own local trips, immortalizing each adventure with complimentary digital-photo packages and toasts over a basket of quick snacks and beverages. As bow-fishers engage in a thrilling test of skill, they also take aim at invasive species such spotted gar, buffalo fish, and swamp things. Archers across the country can keep abreast of the sport's latest happenings in The Bowfisher's six digital issues a year, and peruse the online store for polarized glasses and promotional wear.