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By Pam Calderwood

We’ve always been “city” people. My husband, Gregg, is a physician in private practice and I am a mom. We were both raised in Iowa, but in towns with little exposure to country life.

Our daughter, Sarah, was close to turning four and we were looking for a memorable vacation for her and our ten-year old son, Collin. I was thumbing through a magazine of the 100 best family vacations and noticed that there were a wide variety of adventures available, such as rafting, hiking, biking, climbing, and riding.

From Scared Kid to Professional Rafting Guide My Story

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By Joan Petit

I cried the first time I went whitewater rafting. I was about eight years old and my family was vacationing in Colorado. I gulped when my dad said he had planned a rafting trip for us on the Colorado River.

Although a bit of a tomboy (I loved tree climbing and bug hunting), I was not a brave soul. And it seemed to me that any river that had the same name as a state must be scary. The splashing rapids disguised my tears and my terror-so well in fact, that my dad organized another trip for us the next summer, to raft down the West Branch of the Penobscot, in Maine. My only memory of that trip is when the guide yanked on my arm to keep me in the raft as I started to slip into the frothy waters of a big rapid. The rest of the family had a fantastic time.

MY STORY LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM

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By Fiona Harding

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon in January; the spirit of Christmas was long gone and I was feeling rather miserable. What better way to cheer myself up than plan the summer vacation? It had to be something special–I had just turned 40, my husband Colin had reached the big 5-0, and it would be our last big family holiday before our eldest daughter Lucy went off to University. I pushed our son Fred off the computer and set to work.

I thought–if I could be anywhere in the world, away from this gray, cold London, where would it be? My mind turned to the vast possibilities that America has to offer. As a family we love adventure, and having roamed the Alps on several occasions, doing our best impression of the von Trapp family, I knew the holiday had to be challenging and fun. River Wild, with a helping of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, seemed to fit the bill. I set to work searching websites for ranches and rafting companies. I printed off yards of information and finally narrowed down my choices and sent off my e-mails.

My Story

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by Andy Crisconi

It was a beautiful, late August morning as we started our thirteen-mile drive into Mount Kenya National Park. We were about to begin a six-day trek up Mount Kenya’s Chogoria Route, when, seven miles into the drive, our jeep goes belly up in the mud. I mean, the jeep is literally rocking back and forth on its belly, with all four tires spinning in the air, splattering chunks of black mud over everything. After an hour of unsuccessfully trying to free our jeep, Moses, our six foot plus, Kenyan guide looks at me and says in a deep voice, “Andy, I think it best if you and the clients start walking. We will free the jeep, and pick you up down the road.” Because it was 1:00PM on a sunny afternoon, I thought nothing of the walk. I was rather tired of driving, anyway. So, we shouldered our packs and started walking towards the “bandas” (cottages) where we were to spend the night, before officially beginning the trek the following morning.

The Family Adventure Travel Directory interviewed Lorna Massie, who took a rafting trip down the Colorado River in August of 2000.

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Lorna was accompanied on the trip by her husband and two grown children and about a dozen close friends and family who had wanted to share in the experience. In total, there were about 27 people on this particular trip. According to Lorna, it was a trip that changed her life… FATD: What made you […]

Memoirs of an Adventure Mom-Part 2

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By Chris Dean

We were heading into the jungle with Fernando, our guide, his refrain of “trust me” echoing through the forest, when we stopped to observe termites scurrying to enlarge their already huge nest on the side of a tree. Fernando stuck his finger into the nest and then popped it into his mouth, flashing us a huge grin. “Anybody want to try?” he questioned the group. My eleven year old son, who eats nothing but grilled cheese (with no burn anywhere!) barely missed a beat and quickly said, “I will!” “You will not,” I chimed in. “It’s good for you,” Fernando laughed. “Well, alright,” I hesitatingly agreed, hardly believing that this was the same kid who was, by my standards, a fussy eater. He popped the termites into his mouth and declared, “minty,” like a food critic sampling exotic cuisine. Within moments, all the kids and some adults gathered around to sample the tasty treat.

Memoirs of an Adventure Mom…Not!

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by Chris Dean

Recently I was on vacation in a beautiful area in Mexico-a little town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. My family and I generally take “adventure” vacations, but we decided that, for this vacation, we all needed to just kick back, swim, read, eat wonderful food, and not exert ourselves.

Our three children, ages ten, thirteen and twenty-five, all agreed that we would rent a place to use as a “home base” from which we would take adventure day trips, when we felt like it. The town itself was “touristy” and it was spring break, so there were an unusual number of kids in party mode. The streets of the little town had a carnival atmosphere, but, once we got out of the town, to our condo on the beach, the landscape was beautiful and the mountains beckoned.