Though it may not catch on anytime soon here in the Rogue Valley, Portland boasts a unique pedal-powered "party bike" that accommodates 16 people. This takes tandems to a whole new level.
Amidst varying opinions as to the origin of standup paddling, or SUP, no one disagrees that this versatile water sport is riding a huge wave of popularity. According to the Outdoor Foundation's 2013 Outdoor Participation Report, SUP was listed as the nation's most popular outdoor activity among first-time participants, even topping boardsailing and windsurfing.
Pete Schaefers has loved the water since he was a kid, but it wasn't until he was 43 that the Coos Bay resident decided to try kayaking. He took a beginners' paddling class in 2003 at a local community college and was hooked.
The course is set on several acres of ranch land — obstacles including ropes and cargo nets to climb, barriers to scale, mud pits to crawl through and tunnels to slither in. Participants pace anxiously, ready for the battle to start. For several miles, they will test their strength, endurance and willpower — fighting to conquer a course that would challenge an Army Ranger.
Hiking with the kids can be one of the most fun and rewarding things to experience as a family or it can be a complete disaster, depending upon how well you plan and implement the hike. A little preparation and a lot of flexibility can make it a memorable experience for children, even one that instills a life-long love for the great outdoors.