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Adventure is out there with the Northwest Adventure Center at JBLM

Northwest Guardian

Published: 03:30PM July 31st, 2014

Coming Up

AUGUST

Snoqualmie Tunnel Bike Ride

Saturday, Aug. 2

$50

Minimum Age: 14 (Trip with NAC expert guides and popular with families).

Ape Cave adventure

Sunday, Aug. 3

$45

Minimum Age: 12

ATV RiderCourse

Sunday, Aug. 3

$35

Minimum Age: 16

Open water scuba

Monday, Aug. 4-10K

$195

Minimum Age: 15

Mountain bike single-track skills class

Saturday, Aug. 9

$35

Minimum Age: 12

Hike Fremont Lookout

Saturday, Aug. 9

$45

Minimum age: 7

Seattle Aquarium/Pike Place Market

Sunday, Aug. 10

$40

Ages 4-12: $35

Ages 0-3: $15

Accommodates people with exceptional needs

Kayak Cutts Island

Sunday, Aug. 10

$45

Minimum age: 12

Open water scuba

Aug. 11-17

$195

Minimum age: 15

Bungee jumping

Saturday, Aug. 16

$135

Minimum weight: 90 pounds

Orca whale watching

Saturday, Aug. 16

$120

Ages 3-12: $80

Ages 0-2: $30

Raft the White Salmon River

Sunday, Aug. 17

$130

Minimum age: 10

Hike Paradise

Sunday, Aug. 17

$40

Hope Island day kayak

Saturday, Aug. 23

$225

Minimum age: 18

Skydiving

Saturday, Aug. 23

$225

Minimum age: 18

Hike Mount Rainier’s Camp Muir

Sunday, Aug. 24

$50

Minimum age: 12

Explore Victoria; B.C.

Sunday, Aug. 24

$100

Ages 5-11: $85

Ages 0-4: $55

Passport required

Visit Seattle Outlets and Tulalip Casino

Saturday, Aug. 30

$45

Waterfall tour

Saturday, Aug. 30

$65

Ages 5-12: $40; Ages 0-4: $15

Hike Fremont looking

Sunday, Aug. 31

$45

Minimum age: 7

Introduction to mountain biking

Sunday, Aug. 31

$35

Minimum age: 12

SEPTEMBER

Sea kayak Ketron Island

Saturday, Sept. 6

$40

Minimum age: 12

Snoqualmie Tunnel bike ride

Saturday, Sept. 6

$50

Minimum age: 14

ATV RiderCourse

Sunday, Sept. 7

$35

Minimum age: 16

Discover Mount St. Helens

Sunday, Sept. 7

$40

Ages 7-15: $30;

Ages 0-6: $15

The Pacific Northwest holds many gems and jewels for outdoor exploration – and much is explored thanks to the Northwest Adventure Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

However, some upcoming adventures are selling out fast.

The wine, kayak and beer tour is one of their newest and best-selling tours.

For that trip, NAC recreation assistant Kaweka Stoney said they go to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodland to do wine tasting, then go kayaking nearby and end with beer tasting and dinner at the Redhook Brewery.

“Our August 2nd trip for that is already sold out, but since it’s so popular, we will definitely be offering it sometime in September,” Stoney said.

Other upcoming adventures include the Ape Caves Aug. 3, which Stoney said are popular with families because they put on headlamps and walk and climb through lava tubes.

On Aug. 10 adventure seekers can kayak to Cutts Island and explore the area or go on a separate tour of the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market.

Another always-popular summer adventure at NAC: rafting the White Salmon River, where attendees can experience Class III rapids on the way to the 10-foot high Husum Falls Aug. 17.

Other popular adventures the NAC offers include, but are not limited to, bungee jumping, mountain biking, hiking, ATV Rider Courses, skydiving and open-water scuba diving.

Because there are no reservation lists for events, those interested must sign up for the events on a first-come-first-serve basis, and pay for the event to hold their spot.

“So popular events can sell out quickly,” Stoney said. “But we do have waiting lists for sold-out events in case people drop out.”

Stoney said NAC provides competitive incentives for the JBLM community to book their adventures with them.

“We provide all of the transportation for all of the trips – which is a great incentive – as well as the gear and sometimes instruction,” Stoney said. “We are always thinking of new adventures to offer. The only thing we don’t provide is lunch.”

NAC can also do private, customized trips as long as there’s at least five people attending. The minimum attendance for events is five people and maximum is 12 people.

“We recently did a family trip where I helped them come up with a kayak-and Ape-Cave trip,” Stoney said. “We love to put together adventures, and the more time we have to help people plan – the better.”

Trips and activities NAC offers are geared toward anyone with a DOD or DOD-civilian card.

“You can sponsor guests, as long as someone on the trip has a DOD card,” Stoney said.

Before becoming an official NAC employee, Stoney volunteered at the center for years.

“I’ve been on all of the trips multiple times,” Stoney said. “I love that I get paid to do these trips, and I enjoy meeting new people and helping them experience the outdoors.”

NAC renting and licensing

Along with offering toured adventures, NAC also offers rentable gear, and cabins and equipment; such as boats, wakeboards, jet skis, RV’s and ATV’s.

“They can rent cabins along American Lake, along with equipment to enjoy activities on the lake,” Stoney said.

Discover, hunting and fishing passes can also be purchased at the NAC.

“Our mission is to get service members and their families out to enjoy the outdoors and utilize our equipment, skills and trips,” Stoney said. “We have shooting ranges, ATV courses, storage lots and our open-scuba department can help people get certified in open water through basic classes with our classrooms, pool and dives in local areas.”

Volunteers

Stoney said there aren’t many activities and adventures NAC can’t do, and they’re always open to new volunteers and ideas.

“Without our volunteers, it wouldn’t be possible,” Stoney said.

Anybody with a DOD card can volunteer.

Stoney said they a lot have a lot active and retired military and spouses volunteering.

Interested volunteers can register at Army One Source (www.myarmyonesource.com) or come into NAC to discuss what they want to volunteer for.

A benefit of being a volunteer is going on trips for free.

“You just have to help drive, clean equipment and set everyone up,” Stoney said.

Stoney said they average around six to 12 volunteers throughout the year.

For more information and to see a list of upcoming events, visit their website at www.jblmmwr.com/nw_adv_ctr.html. For the monthly Focus Magazine that also features a list of upcoming events throughout JBLM, visit www.jblmmwr.com/focus.html. To see photos of the trips visit their JBLM Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/jblmmwr/sets/.

To contact NAC, call 253-967-6263, email JBLMAdventuretrips@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SeeYouOutsideJBLM.

NAC is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on JBLM Lewis North, Bldg. 8050 on NCO Beach Road.