Since 1959, St. Helens Golf Course, just a short 30-minute drive from Portland, has enveloped golfers in a quiet serenity as they propel their golf balls along its nine holes. Before tackling the course, players shake the rust off their short games on the putting and chipping green and perfect their wind-ups inside the hitting cage. The course’s relatively short layout and lack of crowds enables players to finish a round quickly and leave the rest of the day for daydreaming about perfect putts and whittling tees into figurines of favorite golfers.
Course at a Glance:
The whoosh of baseballs against protective screens and leather mitts drifts through Extra Innings’ 11,000-square-foot facility even when rain is pouring down and baseball season seems far away. Athletes training for all levels of play can shut themselves in under the black meshing of eight multiuse batting and pitching tunnels, where they crush ball after ball to sharpen the minute movements of their swing. The tunnels, one of which is equipped with ProBatter ATEC7600 simulator, are all equipped with L screens and ping machines and are ideal for practicing sliders. A staff of current and former professional, college, and high-school athletes offers step-by-step instruction and on baseball- and softball-specific strength conditioning. In private lessons and group clinics, Extra Innings puts students of all ages on the path toward big-league skills such as hitting the curve and spitting sunflower seeds into the shape of a beautiful sunset.
A young woman is 30 feet in the air as she slowly stretches for a bright-colored grip. Grabbing hold, she makes a series of methodical movements, her limbs pushing and pulling her core up a vast wall. Her belay partner below takes up the last bit of rope slack as she climbs to the top of the wall. The climber raises her arms in triumph just as Johnny Cash sings the last few bars of "Folsom Prison Blues."
The Source Climbing Center staff often spins records by "the man in black" and other favorite artists. Playing tunes on the 6,000-square-foot facility's booming sound system is part of cofounders Michael Lary and Guruhans Kroesen's effort to create a pleasurable indoor ambiance for their clientele of outdoorsy climbing enthusiasts. The building, developed specifically to be a climbing center, keeps members busy with top-rope and lead climbing walls, plus 1,200 feet of bouldering terrain. They designed their air-conditioned rock scaler's paradise with a wall of east-facing windows 32 feet tall, allowing early morning sun to wash over visitors enjoying daybreak climbs, just as they do when climbing a faraway mountain or helping the Mount Rushmore presidents floss.
A short online video presentation and a computer-generated animated tour provide a closer look at the building's design features.:m]]
Rolling out bikes outfitted with rocket launchers and overdrive, Portland Bicycle Tours is the city’s oldest bike-tour company with experienced guides who prefer bipedals to bipeds and know the area like the back of a hand doubling as an unsanctioned cheat sheet. Regardless of your shape, size, or time dimension, a winsome fleet of two-wheeled rubber burners is gearing up to guide riders. During the River City Bridge Tour, pedal through the sound barrier, causing windows to smash all along the East Bank. There will be a quick pause at the bridge for some scenic snapshots and carefree bungee bicycling. The tour continues across the Willamette River to the roads of West Side and Old Town, where public art displays, parks, and swaying trees compete for the attention of your bucking mechanical beast.
At Natural High Rafting, they lead guided rafting and fishing trips on more than 12 of Oregon’s scenic and coastal rivers, including the Deschutes and Clackamas. The fishing trips also seek out fish by species, often encountering monsters such as steelhead, trout, and coho and chinook salmon.
Willamette Sailing Club's docks stretch out into the Willamette River, where novice nautical voyagers gain their sea legs on a fleet of small sailboats. Classes of up to 30 spend two hours on the banks with a U.S. Sailing–certified coach as students learn how sails work, the necessary knots, and important terminology, such as "port," "starboard," and "boat." The coach will also cover how to rig and de-rig a boat, as delicate a procedure as rigging a casino game or school-board election. The club curates a fleet of Laser, Opti, and 420 sailboats for the use of its sailing classes.