Adam Ball literally grew up on the water—he can’t remember ever not living next to it, and most of his fondest memories involve being on the water with friends and family in some way. “If I go for three or four weeks without being on the water, I don’t feel right,” he said. Through happenstance, Adam’s passion for the water transformed into a business. After discovering paddle rafting, he started taking out whoever would go with him: friends, coworkers, friends of coworkers who had a cousin who knew this guy who said his mailman mentioned something about wanting go rafting. Then people started calling to book group trips. And thus Adam became a business owner.
Today, he and his team of experienced guides take adventurers out onto North Santiam River, which drops 27 feet per mile as it races along the Cascade Mountains. Guides prepare guests for the Class II and III rapids—sporting nicknames such as Rock & Roll, Upper and Lower Escalator, and Jaws—which provide safe yet challenging obstacles for passengers of all skill levels. The river winds past sights that range from canyon walls to opulent homes. Wildlife sightings abound, such as osprey that swoop to snatch salmon, river otters that lounge on the shore, and duck and geese that ride alongside the boat through the rapids. A local rottweiler also makes regular appearances, lumbering down to the shore to bark and solicit lunch money.
Having traversed the Santiam River for more than 30 years, Bill Sanderson and his crew know every rock, every twist, and every rapid by heart. With 50 miles of navigable waters, explorers can choose their own adventure?whether it's a half-day jaunt through the rapids or a three-day camping trip?led by the knowledgeable guides of North Santiam River Trips. In warmer months, rafters can fish for steelhead, rainbow trout, and chinook salmon, or simply cruise along the river keeping an eye out for elk, otters, and beavers along the shore.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
Staffed entirely by DMV–certified instructors, Oregon Driver Education Center has been filling potholes in the knowledge of novice and experienced drivers since 1987. The center's masters of the open road send teens and adults on the path to earning their driver's licenses and maintaining clean driving records with comprehensive DMV drive test prep courses and defense driving classes. With an intimate understanding of the unique challenges facing Oregonian motorists, ODEC also offers an Xtreme Driver Control course that focuses on navigating vehicles through rain, ice, and throngs of rabid snowmen. Additionally, the center's specialty courses teach precautionary practices to medically at-risk drivers.
During the growing season, the gently sloped roofs of Hoffman Farms Store's historical barns and quaint country store barely peek out over the farm’s acres of lush fruit fields, as if politely looking for prospective visitors. Since its founding in 1983, the farm has seen a handful of renovations, including the building of raised vegetable beds and the conversion of an old silo top into portable shade for patrons who come to pick their own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The rustic country store is stocked with locally grown produce, including pre-picked berries, homemade salsas, and delectable cobblers, so visitors can leave with something sweet even on rainy days or days when it’s raining men.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.