For proof of how frightening Psycho Ward & Nightmares Haunted House truly is, you need only look at the chicken list. It keeps track of the number of people who couldn't make it through the two eerie indoor/outdoor attractions without high-tailing it to the nearest exit. There were 265 fraidy cats in 2012 alone, although that should come as no surprise, given the property's assortment of ghouls and maniacs.
Inside Psycho Ward, the experiments of the mad Dr. Floyd Cranston are eager to reconnect with other humans after years of unspeakable treatments and surgeries. Meanwhile, in the nearby Nightmares Haunted House, fears come to life in all forms, from demonic clowns to a radio that only plays John Tesh songs. Naturally, it's recommended that only guests 12 and older venture onto the haunted grounds.
Captain Lee Robinson spent his childhood fishing Alabama’s inshore waters for trout, redfish, flounder and tripletail. His passionate pastime turned into a career—now a USCG-licensed boat captain with 15 years of fishing experience, Lee leads fishing trips for Mobile Bay Charters through the same shallow waters where he spent his youth. At the helm of his 24-foot Pathfinder, powered by a Yamaha 300-horsepower engine rather than a chariot of seahorses, he takes passengers to prime fishing spots in waters from Mobile Bay to Orange Beach.
Imagine holding a king salmon so heavy you can barely lift it for a picture, only to hear the captain yell a new fish just took another trolling rod down. The guides of Captain Hook's Charter Fishing venture into Lake Michigan for such trophies, taking anglers out for perch fishing, sport fishing, and salmon trolling. Operating one of the state's largest charter fleets, the captains can take up to 40 perch fishers on a climate-controlled party boat and accommodate smaller groups of 4–5 anglers on smaller crafts. A FAQ page preps guests before going out, covering topics such as how to get a fishing license and what pattern suit is customary fishing attire.
As the trees take on the fiery hues of autumn, the pilots at Grand Traverse Balloons help guests watch the transformation from the best seat in the house—a basket. For the last 25 years, the Fall Color tour soars above the tree line, awarding hot air balloon passengers a view of the forest at heights between 2,000 and about 3,000 feet. The tours aren't limited to the season, either, as the Federal Aviation Administration–certified staff flies its inflatable fleet year-round.
Group rides take up to 10 people for one-hour jaunts over Traverse City and the surrounding countryside of northern Michigan. The seven-story balloons float over scenic stretches of lakes, bays, vineyards, and woodland.
In addition to group flights, the pilots also host private charters and tethered rides, for which a balloon is tied to the ground and soars up to 150 feet and down again on a vertical path. But no matter what, every aerial errand ends the same way—with the captain celebrating a successful landing by sharing champagne and razzing the nearest flightless bird.
The Detroit River's international waters stretch out for miles in either direction, winding along the Detroit skyline and kissing the Canadian border. As ships snake their way through the current, they pass lighthouses on small green islands, bridges stretched across overhead, and workers milling about on the riverside docks. Building on 20 years of boating, the captains of the Diamond Jack, Diamond Belle, and Diamond Queen let passengers take in these sights to the tune of guided narration as their ships' white and sea-foam green hulls slice through the water. The three ships have proven impervious to squalls and Poseidon's road-construction crews since their maiden voyages in the mid- to late 1950s, and safely gather up to 250 passengers on their panoramic upper decks or in protected lower cabins. Today, passengers on these storied steel decks can sip beer, wine, and soft drinks or nibble on snacks from an on-board snack bar during tours. Captains also pilot each ship on private group excursions, as well as school field trips past the river's ships, yacht clubs, parks, and docks.
Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams—comprised of at least two people—vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race–style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
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