Since 1975, Helm of Sun Valley has outfitted outdoor enthusiasts with seasonal supplies, rentals, and gear from brand-name manufacturers. Prepare for a snow- surmounting winter with a trove of cold-weather essentials ($20+), including gloves, socks, hats, and metronomes that keep chattering teeth on a steady beat. Ski- and snowboard-rental packages ($20+) equip thrill seekers for the slopes, whereas thorough tune-ups ($35) and an array of other services ready personal planks for airborne adventures. Patrons can also mine the store's racks for specialty items such as snowboarding pants ($100+), or attempt to impress neighbors and fanciful pool floats with high-end outdoor furniture for summer months.
At Almaden Valley Window Washing, a small, family-run business operating for more than three decades, technicians use only child- and pet-safe cleaning products to oust gunk from homes' interiors and exteriors. Grime fighters free windows of light-blocking filth and relieve gutters of accumulated foliage or broomstick fibers dropped by migrating witches. The handy team can also refurbish houses' insides with home repairs or remodeling. Always attuned to homeowner's satisfaction, the company's landscape architects use meticulous techniques when coiffing hedges, installing gutter protectors, or painting decks with glow-in-the-dark bull's eyes for arriving UFOs.
Since 1976, the environmentally conscious staff at The Futon Shop has stocked futons, furniture, and frames built from chemical-free cotton, natural latex, and hybrid soy foam, among other virtuous ingredients. Cushy mattresses, vibrantly shaded futon covers, and platform beds preserve the earth’s bounty as effectively as they accommodate human bodies and under-the-bed monsters. Homeowners can also illuminate domiciles with eco-friendly Eangee lamps, which have a carbon footprint of nearly zero and are manufactured by workers who earn a living wage. Even little ones can enjoy the environmentalist furnishings by napping on an organic crib mattress nestled in a bunny white baby crib.
Caution stand-up paddling encourages seasoned surf-riders and new-wavers alike to take to the waters with a multitude of nautical recreation equipment. Test ride a plethora of watery rides from the 2011 collection as you learn the ins, outs, ebbs, and flows of riding a stand-up board, a hybrid craft that combines the sleek style of a surfboard with the regal dignity of a paddle staff. Friendly instructors guide students through one hour of instruction, followed by one hour of self-paddling through the calm waters of Santa Cruz Harbor, dispensing wisdom nuggets on basic paddleboarding techniques, postures, and proper etiquette when courting eligible waves. If weather permits, aquatic athletes can take to Monterey Bay to more closely commune with otters, seals, and dolphins. For 14 days post lesson, newly enamored paddlers can apply a $120 credit and opt to adopt their own pet board from Caution's stable of coastal fillies (board prices start at $1,115). See the online store to peruse the collection. Classes are based on availability, so call ahead to secure a spot amongst the gentle swells.