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Do you have a need for speed this weekend?

It’s mid-August, people—the office is a ghost town. Knock off early on Friday and slake your thirst at the 11th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival in Overlook Park. Turn your back on the city below you as you quaff organic brews from your moral high ground at this sustainability-focused fest. Such suds should leave you set for Saturday’s annual adult Soapbox Derby, where otherwise sane individuals hurl themselves down the winding roads of Mount Tabor in garage-crafted vehicles, fueled by gravity and some brand of crazed competition. If you’re not quite up for your own entry, there are ample spots for spectators on the grassy slopes, but claim your spot early: thousands turn out for this annual harebrained hell-raiser. If that sampling of speed whets your appetite for some adventure, Sunday should find you signing up with Willamette Jetboat Excursions for an exhilarating ride along downtown’s riverfront. Still channeling your inner James Bond? Finish up with happy hour cocktails on the roof deck at Departure. Shaken, not stirred, obvs. 

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Start making plans for next weekend, and catch the wind!

As the summer sizzles, the waterfront beckons, and you—along with a few thousand of your friends—are invited to the season’s biggest splash-side party. MusicFest NW is adding a Friday show this year, so you can get pumped up with headliners Foster the People, and catch locals Lost Lander before blowing town on Saturday. There’s only one way to recover from a night of beer and boogying in soaring temps, however: a restorative ride down the 20-foot, naturally occurring rock waterslide into the bracing pools of Opal Creek. Sure, you have to drive a couple of hours and hike up a bone-dry road to get there, but a plunge into the sparkling, blue-green river is plenty reward. Invigorated by that baptism? Maybe on Sunday it’s time to take action on those sailing lessons you’ve been talking about for years. Scovare Expeditions offers a 90-minute introduction to sailing on the Willamette, while Portland Sailing Center navigates the mighty Columbia. As Mark Twain said, “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” We totally agree.

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