Posts Tagged ‘outdoor’

Outdoor Archery

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IMG_1533What’s to Love:  I have many fond memories of shooting bow and arrow as a kid. My dad made this target out of hay bales, cardboard, and canvas. We’d haul it out to the schoolyard next door and hit everything EXCEPT the target. I remember purposefully shooting arrows as high as I could up into the sky with my friend trying to catch them before the hit the ground. What were we thinking?

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Gym to Crag – Portland Rock Gym

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broughton7What’s to Love:  Around 1987/88, I walked into an indoor climbing gym called “Inside Moves” in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was a college student looking for something different to do in my free time. On my first visit, I climbed up a 15 foot wall wearing hiking boots and feeling terrified that my belayer would never be able to catch my fall. When I got to the top, it took me awhile to actually let go of the holds. I was literally frozen with fear. I felt like if I let go, I might free fall quickly to the floor.

Minutes later and safely on the ground, I had that feeling of true love. I knew that climbing would be a part of my life for as long as I’m able to physically do it.  I was 19 years old during that first experience, I’m now 44 years and climbing is even a bigger part of my life now.

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Leavenworth, WA – Summer Edition

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Leavenworth, WashingtonWhat’s to Love:  If your family is into outdoor adventure, Leavenworth, WA is an ABSOLUTE must!  It’s a relatively-short, 5-hour drive to some of the best outdoor recreation you could possibly imagine: mountain biking, road biking, whitewater rafting and kayaking, hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, traditional rock climbing, sport climbing, and some of the best bouldering in the country.  For outdoor enthusiasts, Leavenworth is like a dream come true. 

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Windells – Off Season Access

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What’s to Love:  Located 12 miles SE of Sandy, Oregon on the flanks of Mt. Hood, Windells is a training camp for kids (and adults!) interested in skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, BMX, and free riding.  The sheer magnitude of the outdoor skatepark (aka “concrete jungle”) is enough to make most kids’ jaws drop to the ground in awe. I hope to write about the camp experience (academy, residential, and day) in the near future, but the focus of this article is off-season/day-use access for the general public, which is well worth the price of admission and drive from Portland.

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Trackers PDX – Summer Camps

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I was just at a conference on teaching and learning in Chicago, IL (July, 2010).  The keynote speech had a profound and urgent message.  The message was that “play,” not as a concept, but an actual act,  especially imaginative/creative play, is vital to our well being.   The speaker said, “There are consequences of play deprivation…” and cited some truly disturbing examples that I won’t get into here.  I think the fear-based culture has ultimately led to a decline in play.  TrackersPDX offers some innovative and unique summer camp programs that will take your kids on wonderful journeys both in their minds and on their feet (usually at the same time).

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Pier Park: Disc Golf, Skateboarding and Swimming

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Pier Park is yet another excellent North Portland Park featuring an challenging 18-hold disc golf course, an outdoor skate park, and an outdoor pool! This destination park has a little bit of everything for the whole family. If you have yet to visit, I suggest heading up to St. Johns before the rainy season hits in North Portland.

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Rock Climbing at Smith Rock!

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If climbing with kids at Smith Rock, I recommend Jim Albao of Chockstone Climbing Guides. Jim has over 18 years of experience and works well with children.

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Leavenworth, Washington

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Leavenworth, WAWhat’s to Love:  Located about 2 hours east of Seattle with less rain, more sunshine, and a lifetime-worth of outdoor recreation, the small town of Leavenworth is the “Bend, Oregon” of Washington state.  If that were not enough, Leavenworth is one of the most family-friendly towns I’ve ever visited.  While gas is cheap, I highly recommend taking the family on a 5-hour drive for some exciting winter fun including (depending on your experience): snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, downhill skiing, sledding, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, and some of the wildest tubing you’ll ever experience!

Downtown Leavenworth, WA has a nice Bavarian-style villageSure, you could just drive up to Mt. Hood; however, Leavenworth provides a small, Bavarian-style village that will make you feel like you’re on a trip in the alps (well…almost!).  All the winter activities can be had right in town or within a 45 minute drive.  This town provides a cozy, winter wonderland that you just can’t experience at larger destinations.

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