The McKenzie River flows past some of Oregon's most awe-inspiring natural scenery?douglas fir?blanketed mountainsides, bald eagles diving to catch trout, and gargantuan boulders splitting the current into Class II and III rapids. Guides like Captain "Wild Matty" equip outdoorsmen with fly or spinning rigs and guide vistors on fishing trips on the McKenzie River, Siuslaw River, and Lake Creek to catch rainbow and cutthroat trout, spring- and fall-run chinook, and steelhead. The guides can also arrange lunch options for every outing, such as deli-style sandwiches, Wild West barbecue, or hot dogs on a hook.
The seasoned head guide of Oregon River Excursions and the McKenzie River are worthy adversaries. Armed with 10 years of guiding experience and secure rafts, he leads groups down through portions of the river's churning rapids on full-day excursions. On trips, rafters come ashore for a fully catered lunch or to test whether their arms have turned into flippers yet.
The Eugene Generals’ deftly sharpened skates flash across the slick surface of Lane County Ice Arena as players battle other USA Hockey Junior A hockey teams in pursuit of the Cascade Cup. With a roster 20 players deep, the Generals perform feats of puck wrangling in front of cheering spectators, mascots, and renegade pucks of all ages as the young stars prepare to compete in college and professional leagues across the country. Special events throughout the season stir up additional excitement with free giveaways. Fans replenish energy depleted from repeatedly starting the wave at the snack bar and quench parched throats at the on-site beer garden. Groupon holders for the first two options receive vouchers for hats or T-shirts when picking up their tickets, picking up the team-pride accessory of their choice at the merchandise counter.
The accolades accorded several of LaVelle Vineyards' wines in the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine serves as evidence of the diligent work of founder Doug LaVelle and his son, Matthew, who tends the vines today. After taking over the winery—then one of the oldest in Southern Willamette Valley—in 1994, Doug took it upon himself to make a number of improvements to its antiquated technology and distribution network. He started the wine club in 1995, and just recently started building a new wine bar in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room, which is scheduled to open in late October of 2013.
Doug's investments paid off. Today, with Matthew as lead winemaker, the winery ferments grapes both from its original Willamette Valley location and another site in the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington. The LaVelle Tap Room will have 30 wines from around the world, as well as several local beers on tap. And at the rustic Elmira winery, visitors can recline on the sunny deck, tour the winemaking facilities, or outsmart tipsy minotaurs in the garden's labyrinth.
Valley Vintner & Brewer supplies budding and experienced home brewers all the equipment and recipes needed to concoct tasty batches of beer and wine from the comfort of their kitchens. Each home brewery basic starter kit contains fermenting necessities along with The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, an instructional tome chronicling beer’s mighty rise to prominence as America’s go-to shower beverage of choice. Your experienced vintner instructor will guide guests through a three-hour home-brewing class, answering all grain-related queries from, "How are hops grown?" to "Can I still drink my beer if it develops human emotions?" With gear and guidance from Valley Vintner's expert ale aficionados, beginner beverage barons can raise their glass-fulls from bottle-dependent infancy to full-flavored adulthood.
At Crux Rock Climbing Gym, more than 9,000 square feet of climbing walls challenge guests as they tackle roofs, overhangs, and bouldering caves. Roped climbers are secured with auto-locking belay devices called grigris, allowing them to safely explore Crux’s many routes knowing their ropes are in extra-good hands. Climbs range from simple, juggy routes with easy-to-grasp holds to complex ascents that may require careful footwork or the flying leap of a dyno. Following a workout on Crux’s towering walls or in one of its three bouldering areas, visitors can dig into Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Asian cuisine at Ron's Island Grill, the gym's onsite restaurant. The gym also hosts summer camps, parties, and nights for female climbers only.
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