Lance and the Texas Hill Country
What could be better than a long road ride? Try a long road ride interspersed with a yuk-it-up session with Lance Armstrong himself. You'll be treated to a 20-mile "morning spin" with the six-time Tour de France winner, just one of the highlights of this eight-day whirl through the Texas Hill Country from San Antonio to Austin. You'll spend 30 to 45 miles a day in the saddle, overnighting at a dude ranch and the Hangar Hotel before settling in at Austin's superluxe Driskill Hotel. There you'll join 8,000 volunteers and survivors in the weekend-long Ride for the Roses, a 100-mile Lance Armstrong Foundation benefit for cancer research.
High Point: Spinning wheels with Lance.
Low Point: Parting with a whopping $10K, half of which goes to the Ride for the Roses.
Travel Advisory: You're in Texasdon't mess with it. Outfitter: Trek Travel, 866-464-8735, www.trektravel.com
When to Go: October
Royal Canadian Rails Fly-Fishing Odyssey
Board the Royal Canadian Pacific Railway luxury train for a six-day, 650-mile loop from Calgary to some of the Canadian Rockies' most pristine rivers. Accompanied by local guides, you'll float in driftboats down the Elk River and chug through the most scenic rail corridors in Banff and Yoho national parks. Spend nights exaggerating your catch over Scotch and bunking in vintage 1920s Pullman cars.
Outfitter: Off the Beaten Path, 800-445-2995, www.offthebeatenpath.com
When to Go: August
River Soul Journey Through Hells Canyon
This five-day, 34-mile raft trip down the Snake River is a Class IV adventureand an inward journey. Days begin with riverfront yoga, and shore time allows for journal writing, side trips to view Nez Perce rock art, and meditation. But cleansing your mind doesn't mean you can't indulge in the arsenal of lasagna, Idaho trout, and double-fudge brownies.
Outfitter: ROW (River Odysseys West), 800-451-6034, www.rowinc.com
When to Go: September
Mountain-Biking the Umpqua River Trail
The 79-mile Umpqua River Trail, completed in 1997, is a line of undulating singletrack from southern Oregon's Maidu Lake to Swift Water Park, perfect for a five-day blast through Douglas firs, cedars, and ferny hillsides. You'll chase the river along sheer drop-offs and to low points where you can cool your feetas a chase van ferries your gear to camp.
Outfitter: Western Spirit, 800-845-2453, www.westernspirit.com
When to Go: July to September
Hiking the Torngat Mountains
Northern Labrador can be as hard to reach as parts of the Arctic, but after 12 years studying caribou herds there, these outfitters have the place dialed. Following a two-day boat ride from Maine to the Torngat Mountains, you'll carry your own pack off-trail for eight of the trip's 18 days, camping under the northern lights, crossing river valleys, and absorbing the solitude of this remote coast.
Outfitter: Nature Trek Canada, 250-653-4265, www.naturetrek.ca
When to Go: July to August