You walk into the sun-drenched room, padding across alternating swathes of slate tile and plush carpet. In the kitchen, your friend slices veggies atop a gleaming granite countertop, which will later top the burgers cooking on the stainless-steel gas grill outside. A cushy sectional beckons for you to curl up and watch a DVD on the flatscreen TV, but instead you decide to head up to the roof, where a few companions are sprawled out on lounge chairs on the expansive sun deck.
Though it sounds like this scenario could only take place on the French Riviera's star-studded coasts, River Ranch Boat makes it possible with luxury-houseboat rentals in the Northwest. The 59-foot beauties are appointed with contemporary furnishings and fixtures, sleeping up to 12 adults and holding parties of up to 25 during the day. The vessels, which can be rented for weekend or mid-week sojourns, also have an on-deck waterslide that deposits riders right into the Columbia or Snake Rivers.
Those looking for single-day adventures can rent one of River Ranch's pontoons, which hold 12–16 people depending on the vessel. There is also a fleet of pleasure boats––speedboat-style watercraft that can be used for fishing, tubing, wakeboarding, or revving the engine to scare away lingering ghost ships.
There's nothing quite so moving as the look of wonder in a child's eyes. Well, that's not exactly true. How about the look of wonder in the eyes of, say, 100 children? That's what you're likely to find at Children's Museum of Eastern Oregon, which offers endless possibilities for young ones to learn and explore.
The imagination is free to roam and set up shop in any of the museum's many exhibits, which include an interactive "market" and a tree-filled reading jungle. After your visit, head to the toy store to pick up an educational game, a science project, or a TV set plastered over with fun math equations.
Water is the source of life. But it’s also the source of adventure, something River Recreation has delivered since 1982. Today, stationed on the banks of the Wenatchee River in Monitor, the company sends clients floating and tumbling down a total of nine rivers throughout Washington State.
As entertaining as they are informative, River Recreation’s guides undergo extensive training—twice as much, in fact, than the state requirements. That experience enables the company to offer a wide range of trips, from kid-friendly Class I floats to heart-pumping Class V adventures that have helped discover some of the area’s top opera singers. Currently, River Recreation hosts half-day, full-day, and combination trips, and in 2010, it unveiled a white water-and-wine mini getaway—a half-day of rafting, and a half day of wine tasting in Wenatchee Valley. All of this is combined to make RIver Recreation Washington State's Whitewater Professionals.
Jeff Wood, the founder of Health Fitness Complete, understands the difficulty in achieving exercise and health goals—he lost 125 pounds in 2007. He's taken his personal experience and created a fitness center that offers the best training methods and equipment for its customers. One-on-one training sessions are just that—private, with only the trainer and client present, allowing clients to feel more comfortable without others looking on. And in both personal-training sessions and fitness classes, customers work out with dynamic equipment that exercises myriad body parts and muscle groups. Machines where users sit down may allow the chance to sketch out updates to the Nike swoosh, but rob exercisers the ability to train postural and other muscles. Instead, Health Fitness Complete offers many pieces of equipment that allow clients to work out multiple muscles more effectively.
Celebrated country artist Toby Keith circles the wagons, accompanied by a posse of melodic outlaws and dazzling pyrotechnics during Toby Keith’s Locked & Loaded Tour Presented by Ford F-Series. Toby’s three-fisted lyricism, irresistible hooks, and physics-defying aerodynamics have made him a human cannonball in the canon of country music, and the tour celebrates his new album, Bullets in the Gun, with ballistic flamboyance. Audiences will goggle as 1,000 square feet of video screens, a giant T-shaped ramp party pit, and a dazzling display of explosives form a proscenium framing Toby’s arsenal of straight-shooting hits. Riding sidesaddle on the tour, rowdy troubadour Eric Church deputizes audiences with hits from his No. 1 album Chief, and songsmith JT Hodges belts out ditties about sustaining romance when forced to bake soufflés in zero gravity.
Having grown weary of the Texas tropes of football and heavy-handed competition, James Moore sought some kind of escape. At the advice of his father, he enrolled in Prescott College in Arizona for its unorthodox and outdoorsy approach to education. The school's recreation program lured James to Moab, Utah, where he received his first taste of whitewater rafting. After 30 days hiking the red-rock country, rafting the Green River, and living off peanut butter and freeze-dried dinners, James was not convinced the outdoors were his calling. He struggled to develop survival skills or cultivate an innate sense of how to navigate the wilderness. After one year at Prescott, he found himself returning to Texas.
It was a three-day kayaking trip with his father and brother-in-law on the Guadalupe River that showed James that working together and challenging themselves in such exhilarating conditions could bring people closer to each other and to nature. It wasn't long before he was off again, cramming all his earthly possessions into his pastel-blue '74 Ford Pinto and departing for Western Washington University in Bellingham. Once there, his love affair with the outdoors came to fruition while hiking the lush forests and rafting the bucking rapids of the Pacific Northwest. He was finally at ease in his surroundings.
Orion River Expeditions is the living continuation of James's journey and how he has ultimately solidified his relationship with the great outdoors and his community. He and his team lead explorers down seven of the Pacific Northwest's most scenic and adventuresome rivers, from the Wenatchee in Washington to the Deschutes in Oregon. Each trip strives to bring participants closer to their fellow passengers and their natural surroundings.