Because of the diversity of topography and climates in Washington (desert, rain forest, coastal, alpine, etc.) the opportunities for various types of recreation are plentiful. Tri-Cities just hosted its annual Water Follies over the weekend on the Columbia River, there is great skiing in the Cascades, amazing hiking on Mount Adams and Mount Rainier, oyster harvesting at Wilapa Bay, 4X4 action at Surprise Lake, sailing among the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound, deep-sea fishing in the Pacific or in and around many of our inland waterways, and river rafting on the Tieton, Wenatchee, Skagit, Skynomish and Sauk rivers.

My favorite outdoor activity, though, hands down, is zip lining. There are several places to zip line in Washington ... most notably on San Juan Island, Bellevue, a beginner line at the Everett Mall or my new favorite -- just outside of Leavenworth near the tiny town of Plain. My wife, daughter and I got to fly among the evergreens on lines ranging from a first-timer practice line just shy of 89 feet to their longest line that is over 1,400 feet long with 45 seconds of zipping time. It's the most daredevil thing you can do without specialized training and it's a blast! If you've never tried it, it's well worth the money and the time is now because the lines close as winter approaches. Above is a video of my daughter Noel zipping down the longest line.