Seven Summer Vacation Activities Inspired by Ooligan Press Characters

Memorial Day weekend just happened, which means one thing: summer is here! Soon enough, school will be out of session and summer vacation will be in full swing. But . . . what to do? Ooligan Press is dedicated to publishing amazing books that focus on the Pacific Northwest. Our history is interesting, our landscapes and natural areas are breathtaking, and the opportunities to take advantage of these things for summer fun are innumerable.

Emma in Eliot Treichel’s A Series of Small Maneuvers and Jesse, Wade, and Lorna in Robin Cody’s Ricochet River are a few teenage protagonists who know how to take full advantage of good weather, no school, and the plethora of outdoor activities available to them in the Pacific Northwest. River rafting, horseback riding, fishing—you name it; they’ve done it. Use this list based on their favorite activities to take yourself and your family on unforgettable summer trips!

  1. River Mill Lake is the real-life inspiration for the man-made lake in Ricochet River where Jesse, Wade, and Lorna see spawning salmon. Kayak or canoe in this beautiful gorge or go to nearby Milo McIver State Park for more Clackamas River activities.
  2. Emma and her father go camping in the evergreen-strewn wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. This article from Sunset magazine lists the forty best campgrounds in the Northwest, providing plenty of inspiration for your own camping trips this summer!
  3. Emma and her dad are also serious hikers, but with this list, you can take hikes ranging from easy to difficult in the Columbia River Gorge. See waterfalls, beautiful views, wildlife, flora, and all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
  4. Wade, Jesse, and Lorna are true river rats and spend much of their time in canoes and rafts. However, if you’re not as experienced as them, take a look at these family friendly canoeing trips. And for something a little more adventurous, kayaking in the San Juan Islands is not to be missed.
  5. Readers of Ricochet River will no doubt remember that Jesse, Wade, and Lorna share a dream of floating down the river, letting it take them wherever it will. Live out that dream with your friends this summer at the Big Float event in Portland on July 15, where you can grab an inner tube and float down the Willamette in style!
  6. Jesse and Wade enjoy fishing with Wade’s grandfather, Link. Keep an eye on this page to see upcoming family friendly fishing events, and check out the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “50 Places to Go Fishing within 60 Minutes of Portland.”
  7. Emma has a strong connection with her horse and enjoys trail riding. This link offers examples of horseback riding in the greater Portland area, so get out of the city and get riding!

We hope that you take a page out of these Ooligan Press characters’ books and enjoy summer in the Pacific Northwest to the fullest this year. Happy trails!

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