Family travel five: It’s time to treasure nature together – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

sfp-family-travel-five-its-time-to-treasure-na-001Earth Day provides an annual reminder to treasure our natural resources. Here are five ways to appreciate this beautiful planet.

1. Visit a national park. You may already have a favorite, or perhaps you yearn to visit Yosemite or Glacier. This year, the list of possibilities got longer with the addition of seven new parks in eight states plus the District of Columbia.

While several of the newbies await land acquisitions or design approvals, others are ready for your arrival.

Check out the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park in Massachusetts for river rafting, canoeing, kayaking and cycling. You’ll also get the chance to honor the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The area hosted the first successful water-powered cotton-spinning factory, a symbol of the nation’s transition from farm to factory. Ask about adventure packs to help youngsters explore the region.


2. Raft a river. Find your way to Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness and commit to an unplugged week on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. As you float, fish and splash through 100 miles of spectacular scenery, you’ll be treated to unexpected luxuries. Relish the fresh air of morning as your crew delivers hot coffee or cocoa to your cozy tent. Later, warm up in a hot spring, dine on organic, seasonal specialties and plan for the next day’s adventure under a starry sky.

3. Hike the Rockies. Make a plan to take on a trek that will reward your clan with stunning vistas, wildflowers and a sense of accomplishment. The 12-mile trail between Crested Butte and Aspen crosses over the Maroon Bells pass (12,500 feet) and through splendid scenery.

A package created by Crested Butte’s Nordic Inn and the Limelight in Aspen simplifies logistics for travelers. It offers a comfortable night’s sleep, breakfast and assistance in transport to and from the trail heads. Your complimentary use of a satellite-assisted device makes it possible to track your progress, enabling an easy pickup at the end of the hike (and SOS capability in the off chance things go awry).


4. Consider a farm stay. A stay at the Flint Hill Farm, which is on 28 acres in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh County, means you and your family will learn about country life dating back to 1850.

Find out what it means to run a certified raw cow and goat milk dairy and how artisan cheese, butter and yogurt are made. Collect eggs for breakfast and then, if you like, assist with feeding and handling the horses, chickens, pigs and sheep.


5. Camp under the stars. Keep your carbon footprint low by setting up your tent close to home. Teach the kids what it means to “take only pictures and leave only footprints.” Bring reusable utensils and containers and leave the campsite better than you found it.

While exploring, discuss the importance of staying on marked trails to protect fragile ecosystems.

BY: Lynn O’Rourke Hayes
The Dallas Morning News

5 trips even teens will think are cool – SEATTLE TIMES

teens4_0608Whether they suffer from FOMO or just need to relax, these trips are perfect for teens — and the rest of the family.

Teens can be a picky lot. But they’re at an age when they will remember family vacations, and great memories can be made. Here are some teen traits and how to accommodate or battle them on your next trip

Your teen may suffer from FOMO

That’s Fear of Missing Out. Sure, there’s the big game on Saturday, Heather’s birthday party and Jason’s gathering to consider. But won’t there always be some can’t-miss event on your teen’s calendar?

The flip side is they’ll have plenty to share on social media after the family boards a high-tech über-ship like Royal Cabibbean’s Anthem of the Seas for an island-hopping cruise through the sunny Caribbean.

Or perhaps your son or daughter would prefer exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage. Expect photo ops on ziplines or while dog-sledding across icy glaciers.

Your teen may relish the rewards of unplugging
You won’t know for sure until you try. But once there is no Snapchat to send or sports scores to check, the conversation may flow.

So buckle up your personal flotation devices and share the thrill of a trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River with Far and Away Adventures, where trout are plentiful, hot springs provide a welcome warm-up and frothy rapids get the adrenaline pumping.

Share stories around the campfire and catch the star-filled show overhead.

Your teen may be stressed

It’s a complicated world. And then there are colleges and careers to consider. So, for now, why not relax, old-school style?

Head to southern Maine’s Migis Lodge on the shores of Lake Saranac, where families have been bonding since 1916. Swim, paddle, float, ski or sail by day.

Then, gather your clan for a lobster or clambake before a settling in for a fireside game night in your cozy cottage.

Your teen is curious
So why not explore someplace new together?

A textured city such as New Orleans offers rich cultural, historical and adventurous outings. Check out the spooky vampire and haunted house tours and visit compelling movie sets.

Sample new styles of music in all-age venues like House of Blues and Preservation Hall. Stir up some spice-filled fun in a Cajun cooking class before testing your skills in an Audubon Institute ropes course.

Your teen will be gone before you know it
You’ll be moving your fledgling adult into a dorm or apartment in no time. So for now, pack your suits and sunscreen and enjoy quality island time.

In Hawaii, explore torch-lit paths, indigenous birds and flora, and a world-famous luau at the Big Island’s Hilton Waikoloa Village. Dig in for toes-in-the-sand dining and hula dancing on Kauai, snorkel on Maui, or surf and swim while relaxing on Oahu.wa

By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes
The Dallas Morning News (TNS)

LA Times Article, Idaho: Bottoms up! Bourbon tastings on this Salmon River rafting trip

la-trb-idaho-bourbon-salmon-river-rafting-2015-001Talk about bourbon on the rocks! Idaho rafting trip teaches the basics of bourbon while on the Salmon River

If you like your bourbon on the rocks, go white-water rafting. Bourbon lovers and neophytes will learn a lot about the American whiskey this summer while being immersed in nature on Idaho’s Salmon River.


Idaho-based operator Far and Away Adventures specializes in what it calls “wilderness luxury.” It has crafted a six-day trip, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, called Bourbon on the Middle Fork that combines rafting and catch-and-release fishing with daily bourbon tastings and Bourbon 101 tutorials.

During the trip, participants sip and compare different types of bourbon, then sample changes in flavor when they’re served “neat, cut and on ice.” Discussions center on topics such as new techniques in bourbon making (barrel storage, blending, etc.) and how bourbon fares in cocktails.

“Emphasis will be placed on tasting protocol and influences as well as common vocabulary and how to taste and enjoy bourbon,” a trip description says.
If it sounds a bit hedonistic, relax. Part of your trip cost will support an organization devoted to protecting the state’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area. (The nonprofit organization is ponying up two pros to provide the bourbon content of the trip.)

By day, participants can expect to run the river on the Salmon River, which was designated a Wild and Scenic River in 1968.

The cost is $2,950 per person, plus $120 for the flight to the Middle Fork and a 3% National Forest Service fee. It covers all ground transportation, rafts, guides, meals and, of course, the bourbon.

Info: Far and Away Adventures, (800) 232-8588

Read Full LA Times Article

A Beautiful Client Testimonial

Annie and Steve….

What a perfect way to celebrate our 50th!!! We thoroughly enjoyed the terrific team you have put together…everybody in the family echoes this feeling….could not have been better experience! We all have great memories which will be talked about at family gatherings to come.
Here are the watercolors, now finished, for your use and sharing with the crew.
Don Brandenburger

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Outside Magazine and the launch of Outside Go

Far and Away was named as the outfitter to travel with in their selection of  25 TRIPS OF A LIFETIME. It includes the Middle Fork of the Salmon as one of the three initial American adventures.

“Our vision is to embody the Outside spirit and tradition of seeking out and unearthing travel experiences that truly matter.  To set an intention that inspires travelers to create awesome stories of their own, to become nothing less than simply the coolest adventure-travel company in the world.”