Hike Through Mystifying Sedona I - Oct 29-Nov 5, 2011

Soak in the vortex powers as we hike for six days among the Red Rocks of Sedona!  We will all meet in Phoenix and drive in our vans to Sedona, where the spectacular scenery and dramatic red rock formations and cliffs will offer an amazing experience. 

Nearby is Bell Rock Mountain, which we did late in the day.  Nice climb.

Walk among the ruins of Palatki or possibly the ruins of Walnut Canyon and Wupatki, both a slightly different experience.  We won't want to miss Montezuma's Well, a very special and relaxing place to soak our tired feet in the warm mineral water stream that comes from the well and then an easy hike down.  Seems like a rinky-dinky place, but it's so unique.
 
We will visit Coconino National Forest and Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness to hike paths that meander lazily between canyon walls.  Hiking a wide valley surrounded on three sides by high red cliffs is a way to describe Secret Canyon.  It is split by many deep, hidden canyons, usually with a maintained footpath at least part of the way upstream.  

Some other canyons for us to see are Long Canyon and Secret Mountain.  Average elevation gains from 0-1000 feet with treks of 5-6 hours a day.   Amongst our hikes, we will leave time for visiting the town before we head back to Phoenix to leave for home. 
 

Included in the price:
• Transportation to and from home airport to Phoenix, Arizona
• Arizona ground transportation
• Park admissions
• Emergency evacuation insurance
• All breakfasts, most lunches, and dinners
• Hotel/Motel accommodations (double occupancy, private bath, outdoor pool)


Not included in price:
• Airport fees for additional luggage
• Airport departure tax if any
• Alcoholic beverages
• Optional Tours
• Transportation other than with the group


RECOMMENDED READING




RECOMMENDED APPAREL

Vasque Men's Clarion GTX Hiking Boot,Brown/Green,10 M US 
Patagonia Midweight Hiking Crew Sock Fraternal Stripe: Natural, XL 
Wigwam Men's Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Crew Length Sock, Charcoal, LG 
Bobster Road Hog II Prescription Ready Sunglasses,BRH2001-Black 



Grand Haven Beach and Pot-luck - September 10, 2011

Come join us for one more beach day before the cool weather!

Maybe one of the last great beach events of the season and September can be a beautiful month to hang out.  Join us for a pot-luck, walk the 2 1/2 mile boardwalk at Grand Haven and then head over to the Musical Fountain Show at 9 pm.

Bring a passing dish, drinks and lawn chair. I'll supply paper plates, cups, napkins and plastic wear. Party starts at the Grand Haven State Park in Grand Haven, MI at 3:30.

Cycle Loire Valley of France - Aug 27 - Sep 5, 2011

This 10-day trip to France will take us on a five day bike tour to the Best-of-The-Best of the Loire Valley!  We'll bike by glamorous orchards,  mesmerizing châteaux, several historic towns and best of all, we'll bike through numerous vineyards.   Before the bike tour, we will start the trip with two fabulous days in Paris, giving us time to enjoy the sights such as the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral.  We won't forget The Louvre to see some of the world’s largest and most diverse collection of sculptures and paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. 

Then we start our bike tour, from the town of Tours, after a short train ride from Paris.  From there, we will bike to the town of Amboise, the burial-place of Leonardo da Vinci and the mansion where he spend the last years of his life close to the castle.  We will tour the Château d'Amboise in a town of the same name.  Then we are off to the towns of Villandry, Chinon, and Azay-le-Rideau.  We will leave time to visit the  famous and absolutely gorgeous Château de Chenonceau, which is built on the river Cher.  After riding past Châteaux de Chinon and Azay-le-Rideau, we will head back to in Tours, where we return our bikes and stay overnight before catching our train ride back to Paris. 

This is light biking of 25-42 miles per day on flat terrain, which give us time to take pictures, mozy around and enjoy the fruits of the land.... wine!

Walk Paris in One Day



Please register early because plane tickets can be expensive.



Included in Cost of Trip
•    Lodging and all meals as on itinerary
•    Land transport as on itinerary (taxi service to transfer luggage)
•    Round-trip Train ticket from Paris to Tours
•    Hybrid bike, pump, repair kit, lock, rear rack, water bottle cage and helmet to use for tour
•    Entrance Fees to two châteaux (Ambois and Chenonceau)

Not Included in Cost of Trip
•    Round-trip plane ticket from home to Paris
•    Transportation from France airport to hotel and back to France airport
•    Travel insurance (recommend to have your own travel insurance)
•    Personal expenses (telephone, laundry, alcoholic drinks)
•    Passport with room entry/exit stamps (at least 3 pages) and at least 6 months validity remaining
•    Anything else not mentioned on itinerary



RECOMMENDED READING

         

Camp Mohawk State Park - Aug 5 - 7, 2011

It's that time of year, ready for another camping trip,this time it's in Western Massachusetts, where we can bike the moderately hilly area, hike Mount Greylock, tubing the Deerfield River, watch the extreme kayakers or hang out at the campfire, which is indeed a sport!

I am not sure how many of us will be this crazy to kayak after they let the dam out, but if any of us do, we will be sure to watch you! We may even water tube with the rest of the people out there, but we will definitely hike Mount Greylock and enjoy the fun at the campfire.  $45 includes 2 nights camping, 2 campfire breakfasts and 2 campfire dinners.

RECOMMENDED READING

 Charlemont, Massachusetts: Frontier Village and Hill Town

A Walking Tour of North Adams, Massachusetts (Look Up, America!)

The Mohawk trail; its history and course 


Hike, Pot-luck, and Hike Picnic - Jun 11, 2011

I think a nice summer idea would be to have a pot-luck at the beach.  There are nice trails and a nice beach at North Beach Park in Spring Lake at North Ottawa Dunes.  Please bring a passing dish, maybe in a cooler.  It doesn't really matter what people bring, because I have found that it always works out. :)

We'll meet at 10:00 and hike around for a couple of hours an then back for lunch.  Of course people can show up at any time.  Bring a lawn chair too for hanging out at the beach.  The south section of the pavillion is available first-come, first-serve, so hopefully we will get it.


Directions
North Ottawa Dunes is located in Spring Lake Township and the City of Ferrysburg. From US 31, take the Ferrysburg exit and go west on 3rd Street to North Shore Drive. Turn west on North Shore Drive and travel about 1 mile to the City of Ferrysburg’s Coast Guard Park. Enter Coast Guard Park and look for the North Ottawa Dunes trail head.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Complete Guide to Michigan Sand Dunes

Fifty Hikes in Lower Michigan: The Best Walks, Hikes and Backpacks from Sleeping Bear Dunes


North Ottawa Dunes Trail Map

Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Apr 16 - May 1, 2011

Join us as we bike from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to
Hanoi from fertile, green paddy fields of the pancake-flat Mekong Delta in the south, to long stretches of sandy beaches along the coastal area, with highlands and mountains in the north. Warm and friendly people will welcome us as we explore quiet villages and bustling cities and experience a unique blend of rich heritage and modern tourist facilities.

We will have a local Vietnamese guides, who call themselves adventure managers. They speak English and Vietnamese, so we don't have to worry about the language barrier.

We will start the bike tour in Saigon and travel to Da Lat, Nha Trang, Tuy Hoa, Quang Ngai, Hoi An, Hue, ending the trip in Hanoi. We will bike most of the trip with the longest day being 63 miles and the shortest day being 16 miles, which is in Hanoi, and 26 miles in Saigon. Those are the only days where we are in very big cities, at the beginning and end of the trip.


The hilliest part of the trip goes from Da Lat to Nha Trang, from Nha Trang to Tuy Hoa and from Hoi An to Hue. The longest climb goes from Hoi An to Hue and is called Hai Van Pass. Hai Van Pass is a 1,640 foot climb over 6.2 miles. This bike tour will go deep into rural areas where a classic trip can't be reached. 

Some villages have never see foreigners before, so the bike adventure is really adventurous. A hybrid bike, helmet, gel seat-cover slip and a single water-bottle cage is provided, in Ho Chi Minh City, for the trip. Of course, you can bring anything you want to make your ride more comfortable.

Yes, you do need a passport and a visa. The visa application is provided with the trip application. The second step to getting the Vietnam visa is taking the acceptance letter to the airport with a passport photo and $25. I will provide you with the acceptance letter.

video





RECOMMENDED READING


 


Included in Cost of Trip
• English/Vietnamese speaking multilingual biking guide
• Visa application and fee (info. supplied to Vietnamese Embassy by leader)
• All Accommodations and almost all meals as stated on itinerary
• Picnic lunches
• Land transport as itinerary (one bus/van to carry bikes & bikers)
• One-way plane ticket from Hanoi to Hồ Chí Minh City (Saigon)
• Train ticket from Hué to Hanoi
• Hybrid bike and bike helmet to use for tour
• Water, snacks, fresh fruits, cool towel for cycling days
• All entrance fees and boat trip along Perfume River in Hué
• First aids care and bike mechanic
• All airport transfers in Vietnam

Not Included in Cost of Trip

• Round-trip plane ticket from home to Hồ Chí Minh City (Saigon)
• Travel insurance (recommend to have your own travel insurance)
• Personal expenses (telephone, laundry, alcoholic drinks)
• Passport with room for visa exit/entry stamps, and at least 6 mos validity remaining
• Visa fee of $25 paid at airport along with passport photo
• Anything else not mentioned on itinerary

• Gratuities for Vietnamese bike guides, (~$30)




RECOMMENDED APPAREL

M-Wave Bicycle Saddle Bag (Small)
X-Socks Men's Biking Ultralight Sock,White/Black,Large
CEP Women's Compression Allsport Sleeve Socks (Black, 12.5 - 15- Inch)




X-Country Ski - Pigeon Creek - February 26, 2011

Come join us for a day of x-country skiing at Pigeon Creek! Snow should

be great and we'll have a fun time. No charge for parking or skiing, if you have your own skis. If you don't have skis, no problem, you can rent them for only $8 for two hours of use.

The NY Times is getting people psyched for the Olympics. Here's a blurb about x-country skiing.

We will meet at the entrance on Stanton Street, between 120th and 128th Street at 10:30 am on Saturday.



RECOMMENDED CLOTHING

Duofold Men's Mid Weight Single-Layer Thermal Tagless Bottom 
Lorpen Unisex Tri-Layer Superlight Ski Overcalf Sock

Mapquest:
Pigeon Creek Park
12601 Stanton Street
West Olive, Michigan

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.



Belize: Ruins, Caves, Jungle Trails - Jan 15 - 24, 2011

The journey takes us to San Ignacio, the center of the Cayo District, where we will stay in a lovely small hillside resort that has been carefully selected for its high standards and cleanliness. The resort overlooks the town with a distant vista of the Maya Mountain Range. Here, we will explore Mayan ruins and fantastic caves, one time via a canoe and one time hiking. A half-day canoeing down the Macal River will give us a chance to see huge iguanas and many species of birds. It will allow us the true Belize experience and personal attention as we become acquainted with the gracious local people and their culture.

All of our activities will be conducted in small groups with licensed local guides to provide the maximum educational content and safety. One of the highlights of our week will be a day trip to Guatemala to visit the world famous ruins at Tikal, part of the Guatemala National Park.

Imagine paying up to 86% LESS to stay in some of the nicest resorts in the world?              Click Here!   
 
There we will have the added benefit of a Guatemalan guide to steer us through the jungle trails surrounding these vast ruins, perhaps pointing out the occasional howler monkey, as well as, educating us in Mayan history culture and symbolism. Our last three nights will be spent at a resort on the beach of the Caribbean Sea. Snorkeling, biking, kayaking, canoeing and afternoon tea are all provided at no extra cost. Free time can be spent with a good book in a shady hammock, enjoying the infinity pool overlooking the Maya Mountains or joining the leader to explore Hopkins by a short bike ride or San Ignacio, a short walk away. Perhaps, we'll visit an Amish farmers market.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS TO READ


         




RECOMMENDED WEB INFORMATION

General Information on Belize

Yes, you do need a passport, you do not need a Visa.


This will cover the following items:
• Roundtrip airfare from the U.S. east coast to Belize City, Belize (estimated at $800 but subject to change due to airport of choice or extreme price fluctuations)
• One-way airfare from Dangriga Airport to Belize City on the last day (estimated at $75, but subject to change due to price fluctuations)
• ALL hotel accommodations, taxes and tips
• All meals beginning with dinner on arrival day to breakfast on last day
• All local transportation
• All activity fees and guides
• Emergency evacuation insurance

NOT included in trip price:
• Trip cancellation insurance
• Your personal transportation to your US departure airport
• Alcoholic beverages
• Belize Departure tax (estimated at US$30)
• Border fees going to Guatemala (estimated at US$20)
• Appreciation tips to guides or staff for “extra” services, approximately $30


Planned Vacations, What a Concept !

Sure, there are maps and tour guides and the Chamber of Commerce, but wouldn't it be nice if we had trips already planned and we knew what we wanted to do at those locations by others recommendations. I have been leading vacation trips with OutsideNE and the Appalachian Mountain Club for over ten years.
Hiking the E4 Trail in Crete


Rockland Maine

Hope you are able to go on one of these trips and add some information! Happy Vacations and Weekends!








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