For the record, I think "sports" is a not-quite-satisfactory subject tag for this post, but it turns out we spend more time tweeting about comic books, shopping for ankle boots, and watching music in basement venues than we do writing about "nature," "fresh air," or "exercise."

That changed this week, when we put out our first ever EXTREME! ACTION! SUMMER! GUIDE! Now, I know what you're thinking, but this little patch of drizzled and disturbingly large gutter puddles is just a setback to the summer that's coming. Or here. Or, more like, was just here but stepped out for a sec. Besides, the good thing about rainy days in having time to plot out your plans for the sunny days, which is where we come in, with more ideas on how to spend your summer days than you probably have days to fill.

The key? ACTION! You gotta grab this summer by the throat and throttle as much adventure and adrenaline out of it as you can. This guide is about doin' stuff, not just sitting around drinking jungle juice while getting sun burnt. You already know how to do that. But you may need a point of entry for...

ULTIMATE HIKING: We turned to not one but two experts on hiking in the Portland area, including Adam Sawyer, who wrote the just-released Falcon Guides' Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon, and 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland author Paul Gerald. Don't leave home in hiking boots without 'em.

SWIMMIN' & FLOATIN': Everyone's got their spot, but it doesn't hurt to shop around, and our guide to how and where to get wet includes some spots you probably haven't checked out, along with a reminder that we can swim right here in the middle of town. Try it!

PADDLING AND KAYAKING: More readily accessible fun comes in the form of Alder Creek Kayak over by OMSI, which will rent you stand-up paddle boards and kayaks by the hour. It's right there! So easy.

EXTREME... LY PEACEFUL BIRDING: Most readers can probably tell that we tend to prefer stroking kittehs to hunting elk, but there are other ways to pursue wildlife without all the tears and bloodshed and accidental face fulls of bird shot.

BEING A JERK: If softly chuckling at eccentric bird names doesn't have enough "asshole" for you, don't worry: We've also put together a list of the most obnoxious summer activities around, and where and how to do them. On the list: Jet skis (ultimate dick move), drag racing, and ax throwing.

BEACH TIME: Headed to the coast? Be sure to try out the ocean's answer to mountain snowboarding, sandboarding! Bailing on the dunes all day will make you hungry, though, so don't forget to learn how to procure your dinner from the sea, while you're at it.

PONIES!: See the countryside from the back of an amiable, kindly beast by plugging into some of the area's most reputable horse stables.

WILDCRAFTING Multitask your hiking excursion by learning a bit about native plants and turning them into useful things you can use at home or as gifts: Portland Apothecary's Kristen Dilley tells you how to get started.

Plus, artwork by James Mitchell throughout!

  • James Mitchell