Most Popular Service: Group and private lessons
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Pro Tip: The key to dancing is transferring your weight from one foot to the other - right to left, left to right. In the case of two left feet, just go from left to left
The rivalry between Ducks fans and Beavers fans is built right into the Ducks vs. Beavers Rivalry Clash's race course. Supporters of the two teams, decked out in their most spirited gear, kick off the chip-timed race at separate starting lines, and begin the race by running straight towards each like old armies. Instead of a head-on collision, the two groups funnel into a single mass, sharing a race course as they vie for the fastest times on the 5K or 10K route. The speediest school wins a donation to their university's laptop scholarship program, plus the right to refer to their rival school as "our satellite campus."
Regardless of the results, everyone buries the hatchet at a tailgate-style afterparty, where entertainment ranges from a tug-of-war to the most beloved of collegiate pastimes: a flip-cup tournament. The flip-cup games, as well as corn-hole and other competitive events, give racers a chance to earn more glory for their schools. There are also awards for the fastest individuals, the team of five with the lowest combined time, and the school with the lowest overall score (as determined by the sum of the top 100 runners' places).
After spending time in Quaking Grass's furnished loft studio, you learn why some of the yoga, Zumba, and holistic-dance instructors refer to the space as their "big living room." Once inside the studio, you find yourself in a sprawling, high-ceilinged loft. Natural light spills in from tall windows and onto green walls, where African art and decorative Asian fans hang. Scanning the room, you see plush furniture, a kitchenette, and a massive Native American dream catcher, painted white and hanging 6 feet to the floor.
Quaking Grass is home to the Healing Arts Collective; many of its members left positions as businesspeople, teachers, and lawyers in favor of a more relaxed lifestyle. According to director Heather Straube, they each felt called to help others through techniques such as massage, yoga, and dance. Instructors lead students through progressive poses in Vinyasa yoga, dances set to Latin and Caribbean beats in Zumba, and blends of meditative martial arts and freeform movement in Earthquake Ecstatic and Nia dance. Though they guide some classes step-by-step, instructors emphasize free exploration over adhering to a strict routine—reminding students that they can meditate silently, pair off with partners, or dance alone to practice leading and following at the same time.
Once each month, Quaking Grass's members also host an open community clinic, experimental salon, and potluck. Practitioners stationed throughout the space introduce curious guests to basics of tarot-card reading, massage, hypnosis, quantum touch, and a host of other holistic methods—with the hope that visitors, like babies balancing their first checkbooks, experience something new. Individual members, artists, or community practitioners may also lead workshops or lectures explaining their craft.
The Fire Dash doesn't simply test participants as runners?it tests them as if they were probationary firefighters ("probies") completing tasks actual recruits would have to accomplish. The 5K obstacle course begins with a flat-out sprint and then finds probies crawling through tunnels obstructed by smoke, fire, and lost kittens. Although each obstacle can be completed individually, some are more easily tackled by teaming up with fellow runners?as the firefighters who designed the race say, "leaving others behind to get to the finish line isn't a good trait for firefighters."
To honor the race's inspiration, a portion of the proceeds are donated to organizations such as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and local benevolent funds.
It's hard to believe that Portland ever lacked a dearth of quality paddle outfitters, considering the many evergreen-lined rivers and nearby coastline. But back in 1986, the founders of Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe felt there were too few options serving the area, so they launched their own garage shop. Their passion for the outdoors and paddle sports steadily built the company, and today, a staff of equipment experts advises guests on kayaking, canoeing, standup-paddleboarding, and rafting supplies. Beyond selling gear from vessels to apparel, staffers lead on-the-water classes and organize group trips. The shop also outfits customers for independent exploration with a fleet of rentals.