Rare Earth Adventures' staff of outdoor guides leads clients on expeditions through the scenic wilderness of the Pacific Northwest in hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and snowshoe treks. With extensive training and certifications in environmental sustainability, wilderness medicine, and risk management, the guides ensure safe passage as their charges hike through the unspoiled woods of the Umpqua National Forest or scale the 848-foot face of Beacon Rock. In addition to year-round voyages near their home base in Portland, they steward a variety of international trips, leading guests on sojourns to the jungles of Thailand, the volcanoes of Mexico, and the airports of Maine.
Those hoping to demystify the backcountry on their own can enlist in one of Rare Earth's many educational programs to improve their outdoor acumen. Rather than attempting to quell an upset stomach by asking a bear for antacid tablets, guests can become their own doctor by gaining their wilderness medicine certification or learn to avoid unsafe situations while completing the outdoor leader certification.
Audubon Society of Portland's mission was solidified in 1902, when a few like-minded conservationists came together to found the organization. In their own words, this group set out "to use any and all lawful means for the protection of the wild birds and animals for the State of Oregon and elsewhere."
Their first success came quickly, when the Society helped pass the Model Bird Law in 1903, which protected native birds from being shot and sold. Since then, the Society has advocated for countless creatures, from northern spotted owls to wild salmon, the latter of which kind of look like birds if you squint really hard.
Today, the Society stands more than 14,000 strong. The support of these members helps maintain nature sanctuaries with hiking trails, fund educational initiatives, and run a care center. The care center is an especially vital resources, as it rehabilitates approximately 3,000 animals every year and responds to thousands of wildlife-related injuries.
In her two-plus decades in the fitness industry, master trainer and owner of Miss Fit Adventures Nikki Becker has compiled a pretty impressive resume filled with certifications and specialties. But perhaps her most important attribute is her genuine desire to help others reach their goals.
Using the canyons, mountains, and rivers of the Pacific Northwest as her playground, Nikki along with the Miss Fit Adventures team leads fitness enthusiasts into the wild during rewarding outdoors experiences. The team also leads one-on-one training sessions and fitness classes under the sturdy roof of the Miss Fit studio in Portland, which keeps extraterrestrials from learning too much about human fitness routines.
Lily-Rygh Glen wears many hats. She is a flexibility coach, a yoga teacher, a personal trainer, and the owner of Flexible Fitness. There, her diverse fitness background shows during personal-training sessions. Held at either Loprinizi's Gym or an outside location, a typical session may include weightlifting exercises, Thai massage, yoga, body-weight intervals, and boxing drills such as running around Mike Tyson 10 times fast.
Cascade Pack & Paddle, LLC calls Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument its playground. Permitted by the US Forest Service, Cascade’s guides can lead kayak tours through Coldwater Lake within the preserve, where they introduce visitors and locals to sweeping views of majestic mountains and lush surrounding foliage. They also helm other kayak tours in local waters such as Yale Reservoir, Speelyai Bay West, and the Lewis River. If the preferred method of transportation is by foot, Cascade’s guides shepherd groups on hiking tours, some of which are canine friendly, around area trails such as Coldwater, Blue Lake, and Windy Ridge.
The Sand Blaster 5K Obstacle Fun Run sends teams of up to 100 runners on a fun-filled 5K run, jump, climb, and crawl, all for the benefit of the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. Participants scale net walls and ledges, slosh through mud, and leap over sand dunes before crossing the finish line and relaxing with a complimentary beverage, goody bag, custom medal, and commemorative finish-line photo. Kids enjoy sports activities stations while adults enjoy a beer garden, and participants of all ages enjoy barbecue and DJs. In addition to challenging themselves on the racetrack, participants show off their strength in events such as the tire pull and tug of war.