All across California, Western Bowling Proprietors Association sends pins scattering at a network of bowling alleys, each with its own personality. In addition to open bowl on automatically scored lanes, many locations host special events that heighten the experience with enhancements such as vibrant lights, lively music, and laser systems that do double duty protecting the alleys' diamond collections. The alleys also house refreshment facilities, pro shops, and diversions that range from arcade games to billiards.
With roots stretching back to 1933, the Marysville Stampede barrels forward each Memorial Day weekend with two days of rodeo festivities. The Marysville Stampede, backed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, showcases modern-day ranchers who ride bulls and break broncs to the thundering sound of cheers. Competitors also mount horses bareback, wrestle steers with their bare hands, spur steeds around barrels, and rope cattle in teams or using tie-down techniques. Youngsters can take part in the Mutton Buster event, in which junior ranchers aged 4 to 7 gain bravery from the encouraging roar of spectators.
At various points throughout its history, the cavernous interior of Hermann Sons' Hall has served as a schoolhouse, a roller rink, and a music hall. Today, the echoes of those past incarnations can hardly be heard over the whizzing of paintballs as players take cover from multicolored crossfire behind manmade barriers. Shooters All-Season Paintball’s owners have certainly put their mark on the building, which now joins five outdoor battlefields as part of their sprawling paintball complex.
When they aren’t crouching behind the indoor field’s obstacles, players test their luck against the trees and thickets outside on more than 23 acres, enlisting woodland creatures as scouts and greeting opponents with a barrage of paintballs as they emerge from their leafy hiding places. Shooters is also redesigning their attach & defend field to go along with the newly redesigned and enlarged hyperball field. Showing respect and gratitude to Mother Nature for allowing them to play in her backyard, the company equips players with eco-friendly, nontoxic paintballs and biodegradable BBs. Shaded picnic areas allow visitors a chance to rest and relax after working up an appetite on the fields.
A stress-shedding family-friendly sport for splatter soldiers of all types and stripes, paintball grants its combatants the perfect backdrop for one-on-one duels or group-oriented maneuvers. Spread out your tickets over six solo sessions, or round up five friends, coworkers, or NBA starters for a fast-paced adrenaline-fueled jaunt across unique indoor and outdoor terrains that can include pastoral fields and themed villages. Each trek arms guests with a battle mask and goggles, semiautomatic paintball marker, hopper and tanker, and orientation that lays out the rules, safety precautions, and the symbolism behind to Jackson Pollack’s early work.
Breezes swirl down a corridor made by trees standing up to 100 feet and perched atop levees, which form the banks of the 200-year-old Bear River. Above rustling branches and the calls of nearby eagles, the hum of an engine cuts through the tranquil air. Dave Jewell of Blue Sky Powered Paragliding takes thrill-seekers—some as old as 80 years of age—soaring up to 500 feet above rolling, farm-dappled country and between Bear River's banks on propeller-powered parachutes. Though currently surveying Californian skies, Dave has led flights and organized clubs in Japan, Nigeria, Mexico, Germany, and France, and he continues to draw on knowledge of flight mechanics from extensive Air Force parachute training. Today, Dave takes off from 24 acres of campground, where a paragliding club meets occasionally to heckle poorly shaped clouds.
A sweeping bonfire pit, rustic picnic tables, and grassy swathes for RVs welcome campers waiting their turn to fly. Dave also mans a parachute and equipment shop where he conducts repairs and reanimates the corpses of dead kites. Dave insists that he never tires of his sport, as the weather and surrounding terrain are always changing, making his higher-altitude experiences "terrifying without being terrifying.” With a small wingspan, the motorized parachutes can also approach wildlife more closely than other aircraft; on one flight Dave found himself flanked by two bald eagles, beating their powerful wings just 20 feet away.