Camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes - Aug. 19-24, 2012

Here we go with a 5-day tent camping
trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  What a great place to spend nearly a week at.  One of the most beautiful places on earth.  All kinds of things we can do!  Kayaking, tubing, bicycling, hiking, beaching, swimming and loads of fun!

North Manitou Island and South Manitou Island are also part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  It is possible to catch the ferry and do a day trip there, rather than carry all our belongings to spend the night.

$105 covers 5 nights camping, 5 breakfasts including cowboy coffee, and 5 dinners, s'mores and many hours of laughing by the campfire. Please bring some firewood!

Bring your own tent, sleeping bag and mattress and what ever you need for comfort for a few nights, along with recreation materials such as bikes, kayaks and jokes!  You'll need to bring your own lunches with your own cooler for lunch stuff.  We're in a group campsite, so there's room for 25 of the most fun people.

Some of our activities may include:

Bike Pierce Stocking Scenic drive

Canoe, Kayak and Tube down the Platte River

Hike Alligator Hill 

Pedal the Lakeshore with the Rangers
Bike the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail


Tent Camp at Sugarloaf and Ann Arbor Street Art Fair - July 20-22, 2012

The 2012 World Famous Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the 18th through 21st, so let's make a weekend of it.  Get out of work early on Friday or better yet, take the day off and head over to Sugarloaf Lake Campground for a great afternoon and fabulous evening around the campfire.

We'll have pot-luck Friday night.  After breakfast on Saturday and a morning walking the nearby trails, we're off to the Street Art Fair where we can spend the afternoon and evening. Of course, if you don't want to do the Street Art Fair, there are probably others that want to hike or paddle the area, so you're not alone.

Pinckney State Recreation Area is nearby.  Considerable number of day hikes.  Pinckney-Potawatomi Trail is worth doing for a full-day plus, hike.

We can hang around Sugarloaf Lake on Sunday where we can paddle, swim, hike and beach.

Two nights of camping with your own tent, sleeping bag and mattress and two breakfasts with cowboy coffee.  Please bring firewood.


Hike Canadian Rockies; Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper -Jun 16 - 24, 2012

Mountain lakes will be thawed and we will enjoy the brilliant turquoise color of their water.  Tourism will not have peaked yet!

We will enjoy all the comforts of home in the town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise, but we also will step out into the wilderness and the home of some of North America's wildest creatures, including Big Horn Sheep, Deer, Elk, Caribou, Grizzly bears, Caribou, Coyotes, Wolves and Mountain Lions. 

Hikes will include and introduction hike to Tunnel Mountain Path which has phenomenal vistas, Big Beehive to see Lake Louise, and Cirque Lake, which is hidden a short distance from the Icefields Parkway, the worlds most stunning roadway.

There are a total of eight lodging nights at hotels.  We will be staying nights 1 and 2 in Banff, nights 3, 4, and 5 in the Lake Louise area, nights 6 and 7 in the Athabasca area heading back to Banff for night 8. 

Yes, a passport is required!

Included in Cost of Trip
•    All ground transportation starting at Calgary airport and ending at Calgary airport
•    Eight breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners as on itinerary
•    Accommodations for eight nights at Banff, Lake Louise and Athabasca hotels

Not Included in Cost of Trip
•    Round-trip plane ticket from home to Calgary and back
•    Transportation from home to airport
•    Travel insurance (recommend to have your own travel insurance)
•    Personal expenses (telephone, laundry, alcoholic drinks)

•    Anything else not mentioned on itinerary



Natural and Man-made Wonders of the Isthmus of Panama - Feb. 16-24, 2012

On this nine day adventure we will investigate one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.  We will visit the world-famous Panama Canal and tour the Miraflores Locks.  Our guide will give us canal information in between canal broadcasted information.  It's great to read about the history of the Panama Canal.

We will take a minibus to the Chagres National Park and then take a dugout motorist canoe to an Emberá indigenous village.   We will be greeted with music from the villagers.  Our overnight stay will give us the opportunity to experience Emberá traditions, culture, dances and religion while we explore a variety of rainforest habitats, looking for wild life including monkeys, colorful birds, and two species of sloth.

For two days, we play Robinson Crusoe and stay on a San Blas Island, Isla Kuanidup, a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea.  Swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear water, viewing bird life, walking in the tropical jungles and visiting the Kuna Indians are an option.  They live on a tiny island and the only way to get there is by boat.

We will experience the best of Panama’s bio diversity by hiking in a cloud forest, stopping at the best biological reserve in the world managed by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island.  Barro Colorado Island alone is home to 115 mammal species, including 72 species of bats, 5 species of monkeys, agoutis, tapirs, coatimundis, sloths and peccaries. Its botanical wealth is similarly impressive: more than 1,200 plant species can be found on the Island.

Best of all, we will be there for Panama's Carnival which runs from February 18-22, 2012!!  Four days preceding Ash Wednesday.

This adventure will introduce you to amazing wonders that are the Isthmus of Panama!

Included in Cost of Trip
• Round-trip airfare from home to Panama City
• English/Spanish speaking multi-lingual guide
• 8 nights Accommodations and all meals
• Land transport as on itinerary
• All activity fees and guides
• All airport transfers in Panama
• Snorkeling on San Blas Islands

• Expedition boat tour to search for wildlife
• Round-trip airfare from Panama City to Playón Chico

Not Included in Cost of Trip
• Travel insurance (recommend to have your own travel insurance)
• Personal expenses (telephone, laundry, alcoholic drinks)
• Passport with room for at least 3 mos validity remaining

• Panama exit tax of $20
• Anything else not mentioned on itinerary
• Gratuities for Panamanian guides, (~$30)


A Visit to Barro Colorado

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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