The seasoned head guide of Oregon River Excursions and the McKenzie River are worthy adversaries. Armed with 10 years of guiding experience and secure rafts, he leads groups down through portions of the river's churning rapids on full-day excursions. On trips, rafters come ashore for a fully catered lunch or to test whether their arms have turned into flippers yet.
The Eugene Generals’ deftly sharpened skates flash across the slick surface of Lane County Ice Arena as players battle other USA Hockey Junior A hockey teams in pursuit of the Cascade Cup. With a roster 20 players deep, the Generals perform feats of puck wrangling in front of cheering spectators, mascots, and renegade pucks of all ages as the young stars prepare to compete in college and professional leagues across the country. Special events throughout the season stir up additional excitement with free giveaways. Fans replenish energy depleted from repeatedly starting the wave at the snack bar and quench parched throats at the on-site beer garden. Groupon holders for the first two options receive vouchers for hats or T-shirts when picking up their tickets, picking up the team-pride accessory of their choice at the merchandise counter.
Bryan Gill grew up fishing the Umpqua River, and has more than 35 years of experience capturing its finned inhabitants. As the Umpqua Angler, Bryan shares his vast knowledge of the river and its surrounding areas by leading fellow fishermen on trips throughout the year. During those adventures, Bryan targets fish according to the season, navigating groups to prime areas and deploying unique lures to bait bites from trophy catches.
Valley Vintner & Brewer supplies budding and experienced home brewers all the equipment and recipes needed to concoct tasty batches of beer and wine from the comfort of their kitchens. Each home brewery basic starter kit contains fermenting necessities along with The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, an instructional tome chronicling beer’s mighty rise to prominence as America’s go-to shower beverage of choice. Your experienced vintner instructor will guide guests through a three-hour home-brewing class, answering all grain-related queries from, "How are hops grown?" to "Can I still drink my beer if it develops human emotions?" With gear and guidance from Valley Vintner's expert ale aficionados, beginner beverage barons can raise their glass-fulls from bottle-dependent infancy to full-flavored adulthood.
Among the forests and hills of the Willamette Valley, Highway 58 Golf Range fills with the staccato pops of launching golf balls as golfers there practice every aspect of the game. Guests tee their range balls up year-round on either natural-grass tees or covered mats, sending the balls soaring toward Mount Pisgah in the distance. A short-game area allows for focused practice of near-green finesse, complete with a putting green, a chipping area, and a bunker where golfers perfect saves and practice guessing how many grains of sand are in a jar to win it.
Helping youngsters succeed in gymnastics comes as second nature for husband-and-wife coaching duo Rosen Manolov and Neli Manolova, whose own daughters, Rali and Iva, grew up practicing gymnastics under their direction and now lead classes at The U.S. Gymnastics Academy. Rosen’s stint as the men’s gymnastics coach for Bulgaria at the Sidney Olympics and Neli’s years of competing internationally are experiences they call upon while guiding aspiring gymnasts toward their personal goals, whether they be to join an Olympic team or to dramatically end conversations with back handsprings.
The U.S. Gymnastics Academy’s sprawling 13,000-square-foot facility provides enough elbow room for fledging flippers to flourish, and its in-ground trampolines, foam pits, and high-quality equipment ensure a safe and fruitful learning environment. The world-class coaches also host various fun and creative summer camps, where kids tumble, draw, and learn to build campfires by high-kicking kindling in rapid succession.