From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 22, more than 100 local and indie vendors will crowd Last Chance Craft Fair, selling handmade crafts amid seasonal festivities at the Croatian Cultural Center. Last-minute buyers can browse seemingly endless rows of vendors showcasing jewelry, housewares, children’s items, and clothing.
Fishing can be a solitary pursuit, but Swiftwater Guiding's team knows that sturgeon fishing is a team sport. It can take three or four people to hold a Fraser River sturgeon—the behemoths can measure up to 12 feet long and often weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Even more impressive, sturgeons are known for their verve, executing spectacular leaps when pursued, and chomping on bait so hard that bystander fish feel proud of their own table manners.
Swiftwater Guiding's heated aluminum jet boats—always helmed by an experienced guide—also pursue more docile aquatic life. Salmon trips can capture chinook, pink, coho and sockeye fish during the few days they are in the river. Fly-fishing trips, meanwhile, can target salmon or other species such as the rainbow trout, which is known for swallowing whole rainbows. The boats leisurely glide down a breezy stretch of river between Fort Langley and Hope, which was also an old fur trading route.
The extreme athletes at Feral Kiteboarding School harness and fuse the raw powers of wind and water to fuel kiteboarding sessions. Driven by a passion for the outdoor lifestyle, they have also studied the demands of their environment to design apparel and equipment for the sport. Lessons with a BKSA- and IKO-certified instructor take place along the sandy beaches and shallow waterways of White Rock. Wave-cresting staffers also specialize in introducing beginners to the pastime, organizing equipment packages complete with trainer kites, instructional DVDs, and jars big enough for students to trap their own gusts of feral wind.
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.
In the perfect world, Aron Delucry would start his day with snowboarding in the morning, followed by an afternoon of wakeboarding and wakesurfing. At Rider Watersports, he and a team of veteran instructors can at least emulate this dream afternoon, towing water-sport enthusiasts across Green Lake behind a Super Air Nautique 210, a boat outfitted with more than 1,000 pounds of water ballast and a GPS. For newbie wakeboarders and wakesurfers, the team also offers introductory sessions, which cover the basics of boat safety, stance, board control, and how to politely ask seagulls to go fetch your sunglasses.
Great West Fitness & Tennis Club helps its members get or stay in shape with cardio and weight training equipment, a slate of group classes, and both indoor and outdoor tennis facilities. Divided into ladies-only and coed sections, the gym provides options both for the solo exerciser and for those who prefer to bond over mutual sweatiness. The former can build or tone muscles using the club's weightlifting machines and free weights or gaze at mountain vistas through extralarge windows while they trot in place on a bank of treadmills. Classes, led by Great West's certified trainers and instructors, include yoga, boot-camp, Latin-flavoured Zumba, and cycle classes designed to strengthen midsections and enhance apple-slicing skills. You can receive a free fitness assessment administered by a personal trainer or relax in an infrared sauna with complimentary towel service.