From the category archives:

Adventure Travel

Robin Hood Adventures: 4 Extraordinary Experiences Where Green Tights Are Optional

by Alan Rider
Thumbnail image for Robin Hood Adventures: 4 Extraordinary Experiences Where Green Tights Are Optional

While I’m not much for jaunty caps and green tights, I have to admit that I kinda dig the “another day, another adventure” spirit that runs through the whole Robin Hood legend.  And, if the crazy number of times Hollywood has retold the story of the world’s most famous outlaw hero is any indication, apparently I’m not alone in this.
Like a lot of the cool adventures portrayed in movies and television shows, however, watching the exploits of Robin Hood and his band of merry men on the big screen this past weekend got me to thinking about one of XTRORD.com’s most important guiding principles.  Namely the one about how reality [...]

Read More →

Lewis And Clark: 3 Extraordinary Expeditions Let You Walk A Mile In Their Moccasins

by Alan Rider
Thumbnail image for Lewis And Clark: 3 Extraordinary Expeditions Let You Walk A Mile In Their Moccasins

Standing atop a steep sandstone bluff overlooking a broad expanse of central Montana’s still-wild Missouri River, it’s not hard to understand why the journals of Lewis and Clark’s Corps Of Discovery are filled with entries that convey a sense of wonder:

“This senery already rich, pleasing, and beatiful was still farther hightened by immence herds of buffaloe, deer, elk and antelopes which we saw in every direction.”
— Merriwether Lewis,  September 17, 1804

To put these wide-eyed moments into perspective, you have to remember that the vast swath of land known as the Louisiana Purchase was little more than a blank spot on the map when Merriwether Lewis and William Clark set off [...]

Read More →

Take Your Best Shot: National Geographic’s Ultimate Photo Contest

by Alan Rider
Thumbnail image for Take Your Best Shot: National Geographic’s Ultimate Photo Contest

In an era where any schmo with a cell phone can snap a blurry image and post it online for all the world to see, having one of your photographs published in the pages of National Geographic magazine still remains the gold standard for serious photographers everywhere.  If you agree, stop what you’re doing, dust off your camera gear, and take your best shot at the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest.
This third annual version of the competition, which ends June 30th, offers talented amateur photographers the chance to enter photos in six categories, including Animals/Wildlife, Nature, Travel, People/Cultures, Weather, and Action/Energy.  If you need a little inspiration, you can check out [...]

Read More →

Tooth Or Dare? Where To Swim With Crocodiles

by Alan Rider
Thumbnail image for Tooth Or Dare? Where To Swim With Crocodiles

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to get into the water with some pretty amazing wild creatures, from playful manatees to spouting beluga whales. Now, however, there’s a new interspecies encounter I’m eager to add to my list of extraordinary experiences—swimming with giant saltwater crocodiles!
Much like shark diving, participants are separated from these toothy 20-foot-long beasts by protective enclosures. While these devices add a margin of safety, being submerged in either the clear acrylic “Cage Of Death” at Darwin, Australia’s Crocosaurus Cove or the metal basket used in the Croc Cage Diving Encounter at Oudtshoom, South Africa’s Cango Wildlife Ranch is still bound to get your heart [...]

Read More →

Extraordinary Ecotourism: How To Make This An Earth Day To Remember

by Alan Rider
Thumbnail image for Extraordinary Ecotourism: How To Make This An Earth Day To Remember

Sitting here on the eve of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, I know you’re already being bombarded with endless suggestions on how to mark the occasion, from local Earth Day celebrations designed to raise awareness of the planet’s plight to simple environmentally-friendly lifestyle changes you can make to show Mother Nature some love. Unfortunately, based on prior experience, I also know that most of our friends and neighbors are likely to have forgotten all about the subject by this time next week.
Which is why I’m suggesting that you spend just a few minutes on this Earth Day considering a handful of once-in-a-lifetime adventures that offer the opportunity to feel [...]

Read More →

Adventures In Aviation: Zeppelin Flights

by Alan Rider
Thumbnail image for Adventures In Aviation: Zeppelin Flights

In a world where many people have come to view flying as an ordeal to be endured, there are still lots of us for whom the act of leaving terra firma behind remains an adventure to be savored. If you’re one of us, you owe it to yourself to book a seat on the first zeppelin to take to the skies above the U.S. in more than 70 years.
The company responsible for the zeppelin’s return to America, Airship Ventures, offers one- and two-hour flight-seeing tours around San Francisco Bay in the 246-foot helium-filled Eureka, as well as occasional cross-country flights as they reposition the zeppelin for tours in [...]

Read More →

Pony Express Redux: How You Can Saddle Up To Ride Horseback In The Hoofprints Of History

by Alan Rider
Thumbnail image for Pony Express Redux: How You Can Saddle Up To Ride Horseback In The Hoofprints Of History

Hoof-beats ring out in the night as the trail-hardened Pony Express rider approaches the lonely Nevada waystation. In one fluid movement he leaps off his tired mount, grabs the mail pouch stuffed with urgent letters from points east, vaults aboard his fresh horse and is off again at a gallop before the cloud of dust he’s stirred up even has a chance to settle.
In the 150 years since the first horse and rider left St. Joseph, Missouri on April 3, 1860, the Central Overland & Pike’s Peak Express Company—better known as the Pony Express—has become an undeniable legend of the Old West. What few people realize, however, is [...]

Read More →