Kelly O
Figure 8 Racing

NASCAR is ungodly boring until a driver crashes. The sound of a good car crash can make your heart skip a beat. Figure 8, NASCAR's scrappier little brother, will not only make your heart race—you may wet your pants. It's the most exciting race there ever was. Equal parts oval racing and demo derby, cars fly around a track shaped like an "8." The center of the 8 is called "the crossover." As the first car catches up with the last, it becomes nearly impossible NOT to crash in the crossover. The crazy-heads at Evergreen Speedway spice it up by adding races with school buses and cars that pull boats. If you've never seen a beat-up stock car smack into an old fishing boat at 60 miles an hour, you're missing out. The July 4 race includes fireworks and a demo derby. Happeh birthday, 'Merica! (Evergreen Speedway, 14405 179th Ave SE, Monroe, www.evergreenspeedway.com) KELLY O

Deep-Fried Kool-Aid at the Puyallup Fair

The only thing better than standing around in the hot sun watching a bunch of little kids aged 3 to 6 try to ride around on a bunch of pissed-off sheep is watching it while enjoying some refreshing deep-fried Kool-Aid. Adults can figure out a way to bastardize just about anything from our collective childhoods (see also deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried Oreos, and deep-fried Coca-Cola). I only wish someone would bring deep-fried beer to the Puyallup. It's a real thing. Forget deep-fried butter (which they do have), WE WANT BEER! (Sept 7–23, Puyallup Fairgrounds, 110 Ninth Ave SW, Puyallup, www.thefair.com, fair admission $9) KELLY O

How to Cheat at Fishing

In the summer, rich folks go to hotels and water parks. And po' folks? They go camping! I could never fit all my favorite campgrounds in this space, because the state of Washington is a redneck paradise. I can recommend one, though—the Clear Creek Campground on the edge of the Sauk River in the North Cascades. The campground is nice enough, and the mountain views are unbelievable—but you wanna go here for the fishing. Every year, a group goes up there, and we all bring our fishin' poles. Every year, I sneak over to the Cascade Kamloops Trout Farm—a well-stocked pond where "You Keep What You Catch!" for 50 cents an inch, and I get me a nice fish. Then I sneak back and pretend to pull it out of the Sauk River. I win every time! (Clear Creek Campground, 3.5 miles South of Darrington on Mountain Loop Highway; Cascade Kamloops Trout Farm and RV Park, 1240 Darrington St, Darrington, 360-436-1003) KELLY O

The Shooting Range

The first time I ever shot a gun, it was my grandmother's .38 five-shooter pistol. I was too little—maybe about 7—but I begged and pleaded, and I think my dad thought if he didn't let me, I might get Grandma's gun out of the cupboard above her refrigerator and try it by myself. He showed me how, and I fired. The kick knocked me flat on my back in the dust. I didn't cry. If, like me, you're a bleeding-heart liberal with a secret love of (and respect for) shooting, may I suggest you exorcise those urges from time to time at Wade's Eastside Guns or the Issaquah Sportsmen's Club (bonus: an outdoor range). (www.wadesguns.com, www.issaquahsportsmensclub.com) BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT

Horseback Riding

When I was a little redneck in Michigan, horse riding wasn't a treat, it was an after-school chore. It was always a little terrifying because my babysitter would make me ride the smallest pony. That pony was an asshole. He'd always try to bite me, and he once stomped my left foot. Down in Long Beach—road trip time!—there's a little place called Skippers that will sell you horse rides by the hour. Skip Kotek, originally from the Black Hills of South Dakota, takes terrific care of his animals, and they're not assholes at all. His walk and trot rides are fun and safe, and the trail is on the sandy beach along the Pacific Ocean. It's worth every penny of your babysitting money. (Skippers Equestrian Center, 307 Sid Snyder Dr, Long Beach, www.skippersequestrian.webs.com, $25–$50) KELLY O

Buy a Cheap Red Ryder BB Gun

You might not think of yourself as "a gun person," but I have yet to hand my Red Ryder BB carbine to anyone and fail to make an instant convert. Just cock it, point 'em in the general direction of a beer can, and they'll be shooting for hours—it's the adult version of a pacifier. Pro tip: Hang an aluminum can from a string for group shooting. As the party riddles the can with holes, it opens and twists in grotesquely gorgeous ways. And it's a party game—the one who shoots the final BB to cut the can in half gets a prize! (You can buy Red Ryder BB guns on the internet and various gun shops for $20–$70; don't shoot anyone's eye out) BRENDAN KILEY