Upon returning from the battlefields of Korea, George Shin sought a way to maintain fitness and discipline in his life. He then discovered Isshinryu, a style of karate he still practices and teaches to this day, despite nearing his 90th birthday. For more than 40 years, those classes have been part of Washington Isshinryu Society, where George captains a squad of black-belt instructors each with 10+ years of training. Together, they teach students the fundamentals of the discipline, from proper stances to masterfully executed kicks. They also lead rebounding exercises, wherein pupils hop on mini-trampolines to gain muscle tone.
At Operation Paintball, Mother Nature provides the cover: massive tree roots bulge from the ground at the edge of a field, sheltering players from the gobs of paint whizzing past their ears. Beyond the natural bunkers, the five outdoor fields boast manmade obstacles—including barrels, old cars, and inflatables—behind which teammates strafe, dodge, and teleport their way to the safety of two-story towers. Play rotates among the fields throughout the day, presenting players with various scenarios such as Capture the Flag and Elimination.
Operation Milsim Paintball equips sharpshooters for four hours of weekend walk-on play on its 10 acres of outdoor fields. Pretend-mercenaries of all skill levels arm themselves with premium markers, air tanks, masks, and hot air balloon exit strategies before charging onto three fields dubbed TacTown, Bush, and OAS. There, players evade pigment-projectiles as they dodge behind stacks of tires, plywood structures, and abandoned cars, while referees maintain clean, safe games in adherence to Operation Milsim's rules and regulations. Visitors can restock their paintball palettes for an additional cost ($40 for 500 rounds) and check out the company's FAQs before arrival to enhance their experiences.
Perry and Penny grew up together near Prosser, Washington in the 1970s, and were close friends throughout elementary school. More than 20 years later, the two rekindled their friendship but it wasn't all smooth sailing from the start. That year, Penny started making fortified blackberry wine, which Perry described as, "indescribably undrinkable." More than a little annoyed by this harsh judgment, Penny challenged Perry to do better. The result of this winemaking challenge was four cases of merlot that won a second-place ribbon among the amateur entrants at the Puyallup Fair. Stina's Cellars grew from this initial success, and over time production grew and grew, until finally the team was able to move into a small facility and officially open the winery for business in 2006.
At the winery, Perry and Penny—joined by helpful family and friends—make small batches of wine using grapes grown throughout eastern and western Washington. The type of wines they make changes frequently, but past bottles have included a dark and fruity syrah balanced by its bold tannic structure as well as an amber-hued roussane with hints of poached peaches and a pronounced nuttiness reminiscent of sherry. These wines appear on store shelves and restaurant menus throughout the region, but can also be sampled inside Stina's Cellars tasting room. Visitors are encouraged to stop in, try some samples, and attempt to guess which wine bottle contains a wish-granting genie.
Today, Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad stands as a bridge to the past, whisking passengers through timbered foothills, alongside mountain streams, and across wooden trestles aboard trains led by restored locomotives. But roughly 30 years ago, the company was just an idea bouncing around the head of Tom Murray Jr., who made it his mission to preserve the sights, sounds, and experiences of a bygone era.
With the help of a friend, and later, many volunteers, Tom established MRSR as a tourist train service, a title the company retains to this day. As a result, the last three decades have been filled with seasonal weekly excursions that send customers chugging around the forestry that unfurls in the shadows of Mt. Rainier. Volunteers still maintain the majority of the organization, and with every ride, passengers are reminded that railroads have linked the United States in a manner that airplanes, cars, and gas-powered pogo sticks never could.