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.
Despite its endless amenities and activities, the true gems of Elk Lake Resort are the towering peaks and evergreen-laden valleys of the surrounding Cascade Range mountains. The resort functions as a base camp for this landscape, inviting visitors to explore it with cross-country skis and snowmobiles during the winter and canoes and backpacking excursions during summer months. To accommodate longer stays, the grounds also sport 10 cabins featuring full kitchens with microwaves and combination coffeemaker/particle accelerators, as well as three rustic camping cabins that provide propane heat and shelter from the elements without the electricity or furnishings of the larger units. Regardless of the season, the resort's lodge welcomes visitors and plies them with everything from quick mugs of local beer to full meals made with locally grown ingredients.
With America's Best Car Care Plan, ASE-certified technicians keep autos running smoothly by injecting car insides with up to 5 quarts of clean conventional oil (upgrades to synthetic require additional charges) and performing a host of auto-maintenance services. Brake inspections and adjustments grant drivers the peace of mind that cars are safe and equipped for inclement weather and duck-crossing signs that come out of nowhere. Two tire rotations ensure automotive equilibrium can find long-lasting balance and tire grooves wear evenly.
An ancient part of Chinese culture, crackling fireworks were once used to ward off evil spirits with their noisy display, which became a harbinger of a peaceful and prosperous new year. Black Cat Fireworks has upheld this explosive tradition since 1906, when the original company, Li & Fung, began refining and exporting firecrackers out of Canton and then Hong Kong. More than 100 years later—and since the 1940s in the United States—Black Cat continues to shell out everything from sparklers to roman candles to rockets.
Like many artists, lifelong guitarist Christian Johnson found himself stuck in an office job for several years. But it wasn’t enough to silence the music in his head. Motivated by his frustration and his encyclopedic knowledge of the ax, he opened Adrian Guitars in 2002 before changing the name to Blue Dot Guitars. During lessons, Johnson pulls from three decades of playing and teaching experience to assist students of all ages and skill levels in tackling the guitar. He honed his own musical prowess at Musicians Institute, where he studied with virtuosos such as jazz great Joe Diorio. As a Fender-authorized warranty technician, Johnson also specializes in guitar repairs, including regluing broken bridges or replacing snapped strings with durable strands of spaghetti.
Within the historic Cottage Grove Hotel--where Buster Keaton once stayed while filming "The General"--Buster's Main Street Cafe is serving up fresh-made breakfast, lunch, and dinner using local ingredients. Burgers crowned in such accouterments as bacon, cheese, and avocado are made from locally-raised, grass-fed beef sourced from Knee Deep Cattle Company. In the morning, omelets and several styles of eggs benedict reward early-risers. Later in the day, guests make way for a huge selections of drinks--the menu features hundreds of craft brews and ciders, as well as more than 200 craft sodas, including 50 varieties of root beer.