Partnered with a ground crew predominately made up of fellow pilots, Dick Guisto, Mike Florio, and Vinnie Melling harness their commercial-pilot expertise for each Aerostat Promotions flight. After a half-hour of balloon inflation and preparation, up to four guests join their pilot at sunrise or 2.5 hours before sunset for an hour-long flight that affords aerial views of the Pioneer Valley’s breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and residential homes. Meanwhile, a chase team tracks the balloon from terra firma as it traverses approximately 10 miles of sky. Once visitors and their pilot rendezvous with the team, balloons are packed into a truck or twisted into to-scale elephant balloon animals before the group shares a champagne toast and appetizers.
Internal Network Group’s Fly Fishing Adventures introduces anglers to the Farmington River. On half- and full-day fly-fishing trips, guides and their charges wade through its tree-lined waters, casting for trout, which run rampant in the river. The guides boast intimate knowledge of the fish’s favorite gathering spots and help their fishing adventurers capture them with ease. Fly Fishing Adventures also serves the community at large by donating a portion of its profits to the Disabled American Veterans organization.
An outdoorsman since birth and G. Loomis–endorsed guide, GSOutfitting's owner, Eric Gass, grew up hunting and fishing the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Eric returned to guiding and now fishes and hunts with his faithful gordon setter, Duncan, by his side.
Eric leads fly-fishing trips aboard his 13.5-foot Aire drift raft, as well as local hunting trips for turkey and grouse. GSOutfitting also trains gun dogs and companion dogs, ensuring every hunter will have a loyal sidekick during the season.
Frogs aren’t exactly known for being fierce, but The Bone Frog Challenge’s namesake skeleton frog makes more sense when you know that it is the unofficial mascot of the Navy SEALs—the creators of the rigorous race. The mascot honors the SEALs’ predecessors: the Underwater Demolition Teams of World War II, who were dubbed “Frogmen” for their ability to work underwater.
The Bone Frog Challenge challenges everyday civilians to act like SEALs, with an emphasis on functional fitness. While the muddy, timed races measure up to 12 miles long, they require more than speed and endurance. The military-style obstacles force participants to draw on reservoirs of strength, agility, and creativity to scale walls, swing on ropes across trenches, and slither under netting through puddles of mud. Although the races champion hard work, they also focus on fun, welcoming competitors across the finish line with music-filled after-parties complete with spreads of food and beer.