Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright-red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers—Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.
Healdsburg Golf Club carves through Wine Country, loping over undulating terrain marked by mature fir trees and views of Dry Creek Valley. Before taking the course, limber up on the all-weather driving range, with 18 stalls spread over three tiers that allow golfers to smack 300-yard drives or attempt to sink a two-story practice putt. The nine-hole course wraps well-manicured fairways around doglegs and surrounds greens with an entourage of bunkers and rolling mounds. Though suited for beginners, the course is a test for players of abilities, challenging golfers to hit a variety of shots, from long drives down par 5s to bicycle kicks past the goalkeeper on the eighth green. Golfers can relax after their rounds with a relaxing meal at the club’s bar and outdoor patio. The elevated patio overlooks the course as it fades into a sea of trees, misty mountains lining the horizon, and a wormhole leading to a secret nine-hole course on the moon.
Course at a Glance
A nonprofit organization dedicated to the celebration of the art, history, and science of pinball, the Pacific Pinball Museum welcomes hardcore enthusiasts and casual fans alike to learn about and play the popular game. Over 85 operational machines—all set to free play—line the walls of the museum, including electro-mechanical, wood-rail, and wedgehead models, as well as the newest digital machines. Along with historic games on display, such as an 1879 Montague Redgrave Parlor Bagatelle and a Gottlieb 1931 Baffle Ball, three playable clear cabinets reveal the inner workings of the engineering marvel, from the wires feeding the lights to the tiny steelsmiths forging new balls between every play. Enthusiastic guides conduct regular tours of the facilities, whose walls feature hand-painted murals celebrating the game’s diverse colors and symbols.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
The echoes of hooves clopping against loose dirt carry across California Riding Academy’s expansive training arena, where founder and director Jessica Harrell can often be found jumping warmblood ponies over fences or leading lessons in various riding styles. Jessica helms a staff of experienced instructors and trainers who all specialize in one area, technique, or style of horse-riding; students can team up with resident cowgirl Joanne Morrison for lessons in the Western riding style or trot alongside silver medalist Teri Dosen and her dutch warmblood during dressage lessons. Though their combined experience adds up to more than 100 years, the instructors would be nowhere without their stable of well-trained horses and ponies, who carry themselves with poise and dignity through competitions, summer camps, and stagecoach robberies.
Sonoma Pedicab's able-bodied cabbies employ eco-friendly leg power to chauffeur wine-enthused tourists through Sonoma's picturesque wine country. Departing from Sonoma City Hall, drivers propel vineyard-hopping guests through wine country, overflowing irises with views of rolling mountains and lush, green tree branches heavy with round, succulent marbles. Taste buds explore the aromas and flavors of local varietals, and a smorgasbord of cheese and chocolate keeps palates cleansed and appetites quenched during tours. As cabbies conquer miles of arresting landscapes, the pedicab's awning keeps rogue sunrays from hijacking sensitive oculars, and reflectors, shock-absorbent seating, and hydraulic brakes keep guests as safe and comfortable as an oyster slumbering in a Kevlar shell.