Celebrating your 40th birthday outdoors

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 12-18, 1998
Bareboat cruising in the Caribbean
Taking survival courses through BOSS
Canoeing Boundary Waters in August
Celebrating your 40th birthday outdoors
Booking a hut in Yoho National Park

Celebrating your 40th birthday outdoors
Question: Two of my best friends from high school and I are turning 40 this year. We are all fairly active and want to do a trip we will remember for the rest of our lives. We're definitely not the Vegas or Florida beach types, nor are we into luxury accommodations and five-course dinners. We're more the "fear and loathing" types. We're thinking along the lines of hiking or biking and want to leave sometime between March and August. Any suggestions?

Teresa Burkett
Tulsa, OK

A trip down the John Muir Trail in California ends at Mount Whitney
Adventure Adviser: Your question begs a few questions. Do you want a foreign or domestic trip, do you want an outfitted or independent trip, and how much money do you want to spend? Without these guidelines, I'm afraid I can't be of much help, but I would like to point you in the direction of Outside's January 1998 Tripfinder, a special travel section that highlights 50 of the world's best destinations.

Not only will the Tripfinder point you in the direction of some spectacular hiking and biking itineraries, it will also give you ideas about types of trips that you may not have considered.

The trips are broken down by continent with a brief description of each trip as well as the price and some pertinent details such as when the trip is offered and how difficult it is. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Backpacking the John Muir Trail in Calfornia. You'll negotiate the heart of the Sierra hiking passes above 10,000 feet, finishing off with a bang by climbing 14,495-foot Mount Whitney, one of the highest peaks in the Lower 48. The 23-day trip is offered in July by Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, and costs $3,245 per person. If 23 days sounds too daunting, SYMG offers shorter trips. You can reach them by calling 800-231-4575.

Biking the Cabot Trail. For five days you'll pedal a spectacularly scenic paved loop on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, past Acadian fishing villages and massive stands of coniferous forest, with side excursions to Cape Breton National Park. Considered one of the most classic bike tours in North America, this fits into your criteria of a "memorable trip." The trip costs $919 per person. Call Freewheeling Adventures at 902-857-3600 for details.

For more information on bike trips throughout the United States, consider calling the following outfitters: Backroads (800-462-2848), Pedal the Parks Bicycle Tours (800-983-3263), Bicycle Adventures (800-443-6060), Roads Less Traveled (800-488-8483), Western Spirit Cycling (800-845-2453), Rim Tours Mountain Bike Adventures (800-626-7335).

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