At its core, the Adventure Park at Redhook is a "jungle gym built for adventurers." But more than that, it provides visitors with an escape from the everyday drudgery of stuffy offices, boring paperwork, and tedious leg-walking. For the park?s creators, the lush Pacific Northwest countryside that stretches out around the park is the office. They?re a band of adventurers themselves, and they designed Adventura as a way for others to experience the growth, laughter, and connections that seem to bloom naturally outdoors.
Of course, Adventura puts its own spin on spending time outdoors by filling Woodinville Wine Country with a series of sky-high exploits. With the park typically booked 45 days in advance, visitors can be found leaping from decks, balancing precariously on cables 50 feet off the ground, or scaling cargo nets throughout most of the year.
Stan Barrett already had a winery and a passion for French cuisine when, in 2002, he found himself in need of a winemaker. He found Sean Boyd, who had worked at wineries in France, New Zealand, and around the world. As of today, Boyd's favorite part of the wine-making process is the final blending stage, when he gets to tap into his creative side and combine fermented juices into their final state. He still learns new techniques and oversees every step of production at Woodinville Wine Cellars, where the staff specializes in crafting small-batch, additive-free wines using only grapes sourced from Washington vineyards. They let the wines age for up to 18 months in French oak barrels, which allows them plenty of time to take on complex flavors and read Madame Bovary.
It's this dedication to detail that has earned Boyd various accolades for more than a dozen wines, including the deep cabernet sauvignon, peppery rose, and rich Last Man Standing malbec. Over time, the selection has included more than 45 styles, some of which are produced only rarely. Most of the small batches that are currently available, though, are uncorked during tastings at the winery's creek-side tasting room. Barrett also owns Art Culinaire, the North American importer of Lacanche ranges.
Baseball players can't skimp on their hitting, pitching, and catching skills if they want to dominate the game—a fact that the instructors at Northshore Sports Complex know well. In 1982, Cody Webster earned the title of MVP while playing for the Kirkland Nationals All-Star Team—the first US team to win the Little League World Series. He continued to play throughout high school and college, and went on to coach for Pepsi Baseball. His cohort, Eve Gaw has spent a combined eleven years with the University of Washington softball program
as a student athlete, volunteer assistant coach in the late 90’s and assistant coach from 2005-2008. Together, the duo shares the task of teaching students the fundamentals of the game inside batting and pitching cages.
Surrounded by a chain-link fence and divided by safety nets, their astro-turfed cages shelter machines that launch baseballs and softballs straight down the plate. These projectiles can reach speeds up to 85mph, which would be really scary if the baseballs weren't tranquilized beforehand. Sans the machines, pairs can take to the cages to hone their pitching and catching abilities.
Rijo Athletics—founded by former Mets player, current St. Louis Cardinals scout, and the author of the popular Creating Winning Relationship Through Sports
Jose Rijo-Berger—helps baseball and softball players, teams, and coaches polish up their craft with a variety of skill drills, camps, and hands-on practice sessions at reasonable prices. Pitchers perfect not only their form and speed, but also their techniques for reducing injury risk, and batters develop their own unique swing pattern in the state-of-the-art batting cages, whether they're a power hitter, contact hitter, or telekinetic hitter. Batting cages are 20 feet high and 15 feet wide with white tops for maximum performance fit for baseball, fast pitch, and slow pitch softball, and simulated video pitching system ProBatter help fast pitch and softball pitchers hone their delivery. Players perform their feats of athleticism in one of eight indoor batting cages and on a full sized outdoor field turf field.
Before Darren and Melissa Des Voigne started Des Voigne Cellars, they honeymooned in Italy, staying for a week at a winery in Castellina in Chianti. Their stay coincided with the release of the historic 1997 Chiantis, and drinking the excellent vintage hooked the couple on the wine industry. When they returned to the States, Darren decided to turn his wine-making skills—which up until then had been limited to making wine in his garage—into a full-blown career.
He succeeded. Today, Des Voignes Cellars is a full decade old, and Darren is the house wine-maker. He crafts traditional and creative varietals with equal aplomb, and as an extra flourish, shows his love of vintage jazz records through his wine labels. The labels of his "Untitled" wines boast lines of sheet music, whereas his 2009 Montreux's label depicts a thoughtful drummer, probably contemplating what terrible drumsticks wine bottles would make.
The Outdoor Adventure Center's wildly experienced guides have led groups off the grid for more than a quarter century, pursuing rugged fun in the scenery and fresh air of mountains, rivers, and coastlines. Explorers at heart, the staff boldly launch kayaks into the ocean around the San Juan Islands and conquer the frothy waters of the scenic Skykomish River, known for its beginner-friendly rapids, migrations of spawning merpeople, pool and drop areas, and breathtaking views of 5,000-foot mountain peaks. Horseback and hiking trips delve into the lush woods, and nature photography excursions pause to celebrate the beauty of the wilderness near Index. The core team of 14 guides takes safety seriously, most with certifications from the American Canoe Association, training in wilderness first aid, CPR, and swiftwater rescue, and life vests tattooed over their chests.