Once deemed an eyesore, the winding, 46-mile-long Stonycreek River has undergone a transformation. Today, it abounds with natural life, such as beavers and smallmouth bass, as well as the longest stretch of continuous rapids on the East Coast. With its fleet of inflatable kayaks and tubes, Coal Tubin’ provides a variety of ways for customers to experience the area’s scenery. Knowledgeable guides lead group tours inside inflatable kayaks, whereas inner tubes leisurely float under bridges and down gentle waters lined with pine trees and perplexed coal miners who took a wrong turn. Outdoors adventures also unfold on land, where guided hikes trek to nearby vistas.
The escaped inmates’ hearts pump hard in their chests as they zig and zag through a forest, evading the grasp of a guard in hot pursuit. Scuttling up the mud-lined slope of a hill, the fugitives holler with frustration as the guard closes in on them, ripping a flag off their belts before retreating back into the trees. Though this adrenaline-filled scene could be from a blockbuster film, it’s a common sight at the many Fugitive 3 Mile Escape Runs held across the country.
Before taking off in their race heat, runners of all ages, dubbed inmates, slip into flag belts festooned with three flags. They leap, roll, crawl, and do-si-do across the course toward their freedom, seeking out the elusive finish line while avoiding the flag-grabbing hands of the race’s resident guards. Water and aid stations throughout the course ensure that inmates remain hydrated and safe, and supportive loved ones can hand nail-file-filled cakes to their favorite inmate from the spectator section. Once safely on the other side of the race, participants revel in their accomplishment at the freedom celebration, where live music, food, and drinks bolster the festive post-run atmosphere.
The Laurel Highlands, where Huddleson Court resides, is composed of a seemingly contradictory mix of rugged terrain and creature comforts. Visitors can take advantage of the surrounding unspoiled wilderness with whitewater rafting in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. After a day of adventure, they can return to their suites at the Huddleson, where amenities include full kitchens and wood-burning fireplaces. Just a short block away from the inn rests Green Gables Restaurant, winner of an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Its elegant decor, including antiques and statuary, perfectly complements the fine-dining entrees, which change to feature seasonal ingredients.
The senses are stuffed with aural and visual excess as English tribute act Brit Floyd recreates the sonic mind expansion and visceral enlightenment of a real Pink Floyd show. The band of highly trained virtuosos and a quintet choir of chanteuses does justice to its subject like a jury of smitten rock critics, nailing every note and nuance of Pink Floyd’s signature sound. Rollicking through all of The Floyd’s epic oeuvre, the British group performs a catalog of timeless hits from landmark prog-rock albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, and Wish You Were Here. The elaborate stage setup replicates The Division Bell tour, replete with metamorphic lasers and lighting, avant-garde screen projections, and a mammoth ocular stargate, giving fans the closest thing to seeing a Pink Floyd show without being miniaturized and injected into their uncle’s subconscious.
On the verdant green of Sandyvale Memorial Gardens, the Sandyvale Wine Festival celebrates nature's bounty with the fruits of local wineries. Attendees savor sips from tasting glasses as they wander the stalls, perhaps even inspired to purchase bottles and cases for their own cellars. Caterers dispense palate-cleansing bites and artisan cheese. Wandering magicians, musicians, and palm readers keep the evening alive with wonder, while tethered hot air balloons allow riders to aerate their chardonnays with ozone. From two stages, a lineup of live bands aurally indulges its audience.