Patagonia: Journey to the End of the World

Shooting across Lake Nordenskjold at The Towers. Copyright Donnelle Oxley

Once upon a time an enterprising rock climber launched a line of clothing for extreme sports. He named it “Patagonia,” a word that triggers a visceral reaction in adventurers and wannabes. Even the armchair traveler experiences a shiver visualizing one of the wildest regions on earth, a faraway place with strange creatures, rugged terrain and […]

Simply Grand: Rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

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I’m sitting just inside the lobby of Las Vegas’ Paris Hotel to escape the sweltering heat that seems to radiate from the sidewalks and buildings as well as the sun. I would like to cover my ears to block out the sounds of slot machines, sirens, traffic, and raised voices. I feel as if I’ve […]

Orlando: Magic Kingdom for Adults

Diving in the aquarium with Epcot DiveQuest. Courtesy Walt Disney World

My breath whooshes out, sending a cascade of bubbles toward the water’s surface. One of the passing sharks turns and cruises toward me, mouth agape in an exceedingly toothy grin. He’s so close I could touch him—if it weren’t for the mesh barrier. When he loses interest I swim over to a window, where my […]

West Virginia’s New River Gorge National River

West Virginia's New River Bridge

If you’re a Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964), mention of the New River brings to mind intense whitewater adventures under Spartan conditions. If you didn’t experience it, you heard about it from friends who rafted or kayaked the Lower New in the 60s and 70s. They talked of paddling Class III-V rapids, eating soggy baloney sandwiches […]

Nature’s Roller Coasters

West Virginia's Gauley River, Pillow Rock. Copyright Donnelle Oxley

Nature makes the best roller coasters. Rafting is wet, wild and exhilarating—and no two rides on a whitewater river are ever the same. Today’s upscale outfitters won’t guarantee that anyone will stay dry—or even stay in the raft—but they do promise indulgences at the end of the day. In the 1970s whitewater rafting was a […]