In 1975, four friends with hearts full of the great outdoors decided they needed a place to get gear indoors. This quest for adventuring equipment lead Bubba Sloan, Gerald Marshall, Denny Mays, and Ned Buxton to found High Country Outfitters as a gear shop for all manner of activities performed under the sun. These days, Bubba runs the retail side of things in Buckhead, while Gerald continues to captain daring cruises down the Ocoee River's relentless rapids. The store kits out customers for safe communing with nature with tools and togs from manufacturers including The North Face, Patagonia, and Big Green Egg, whose verdantly painted smoker grill creates hot meals in the midst of a long trip or particularly boring wait in the airport. Meanwhile, guides lead expeditionary parties along on waterborne trips down the Middle and Upper Ocoee’s burbling banks, recapturing the sun-dappled fun that inspired the store's creation in the first place.
Though most kids dream of one day being a pilot, very few ever get a chance behind the cockpit. The team at American Flyers seeks to change that by training students to obtain a pilot’s license or merely try out their skills in an introductory lesson. The flight schools’ numerous locations feature flight-training software, online courses, and pigeon mentors to grant students numerous ways to learn how to fly.
At Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, 27 challenging holes test the putting skills of players of all ages while steeping them in 18th-century pirate lore. As balls bank off rails and roll between obstacles such as boulders, the greens wind past colorful flower gardens under shady evergreens and a towering pirate ship. Throughout the course, a waterfall cascades into a stream that flows under wooden bridges, recalling how Blackbeard made his prisoners slowly walk the plank before doing a cannonball, for everyone's safety.
At Fairhope Stables, owners Rick and Valerie Adams train professional show horses and guide students through lessons tailored to their individual skill levels. Instruction centers on basics of saddle seat riding and driving. Indoor and outdoor facilities allow the teaching team to host lessons throughout the year. In addition to personal instruction, the duo welcomes aspiring riders between the ages of 7–17 for summer-camp sessions. Campers enjoy riding activities and discussion of topics such as safety, breed characteristics, and whether or not horses understand irony.
Skaters of all ages sail across Hot Wheels Skate Center's recently coated roller rink, surrounded by bright murals lit by the glow of disco lights. The large skating rink provides a smooth surface and ample room to glide, and black-light-activated carpet designs entertain off-duty skaters. Rentals catapult feet across several millennia of evolution, fueled by molten pizza cheese. Disco lights dance off the floor's reflective surface, and murals of painted cars riding along rainbow roads burst alive from the walls just like the painting of Great-Grandma does after everyone is asleep.
An ECHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, the Gwinnett Gladiators skate constant circles in pursuit of the Kelly Cup. After joining the league in 2003, the team reached the playoffs in seven of its first nine seasons, netting one trip to the finals. Since its inception, the team has played at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, entertaining up to 13,000 fans with fast-paced hockey action and tense moments when the Gladiator's goalie sticks his tongue to the ice at crucial moments.