Adventure Travel Love for You and KOTO

Hiking Mt. Wilson:  Adventure Travel at Its Best in Colorado

Hiking Mt. Wilson, a 14er: Adventure Travel at Its Best in Colorado

I think it’s so cool that we have some of the best adventure specialists based right here in Telluride, Colorado. It makes sense, since Telluride and the outlying region provide the perfect terrain for heading out and exploring the great outdoors whether you’re cycling, hiking, skiing, fishing, climbing or jeeping. Some of these guiding greats have done so well in the region that they also conduct tours beyond southwestern Colorado, as far away as the other side of the globe, in fact.

A few of these companies have generously offered tours to KOTO’s current fundraising campaign. I’ll be chatting more about these adventure specialists on tomorrow night’s Travel Fun, a special live edition of my talk show on travel, which airs Thursday, September 17, A LITTLE EARLIER THAN USUAL at 6:20 pm mountain time.

I have been doing this show for almost eleven years and you can find many of my interviews posted on my blog as podcasts. If you have enjoyed Travel Fun, I encourage you to contact me to make a pledge or a donation. You can also show your love by snatching up one of the below tours at a deeply-discounted price. Thanks to Lizard Head Cycling Guides, Telluride Mountain Guides, Telluride Adventures/San Juan Outdoor Adventures and Telluride Offroad, here’s what I have to offer:

A Bike Tour Pause

A Bike Tour Pause

Lizard Head Cycling Guides provides vehicle-supported road and mountain bike tours through some of the most stunning and wild parts of the American West from Oregon to Colorado to Arizona. John Humphries, founder of this nationally-recognized company, is generously offering a six-day bike tour, good for any confirmed departure in 2014 and 2015, for the killer price of $900. Valued at $2,695., you may choose from any one of John’s twenty-four itineraries for this inclusive package of six nights lodging (with shared room occupancy), meals, shuttles, entry fees, guide service–contact me about the whole shebang! Built into that price is a fabulous donation to KOTO. And as a special bonus to this KOTO offer, if you sign up a second rider, he or she receives a 10% discount.

More Great Southwest Scenery Viewing with Lizard Head Cycling Guides Tours

More Great Southwest Scenery Viewing with Lizard Head Cycling Guides Tours

Ready to Roll on a Lizard Head Cycling Guides Tour

Ready to Roll on a Lizard Head Cycling Guides Tour

If all goes well, John will be calling into the show tomorrow between 6:30 and 7:00 pm. He’s on the road this week doing one of his tours in the company of renowned cyclist Jan Ullrich. Thanks to John, Jan and a bunch of other top cyclists will be joining in on the Mountains to the Desert Bike Ride that goes from Telluride to Gateway, Colorado and the stunning Gateway Canyons Resort. Spectacular mountain views and desert landscapes punctuate this event, which has been benefiting the Just for Kids Foundation for over a decade.

Skiing with Telluride Mountain Guides

Skiing with Telluride Mountain Guides

Peter Walker, founder of Ryder-Walker and Telluride Mountain Guides, has been turning people onto the mountains for three decades. It’s many people’s dream to climb a fourteener–a mountain with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet–although to many, it’s a daunting feat. Peter is donating to KOTO an ascent of a local 14er or another one of his adventures such as a backcountry ski or a rock or ice climbing excursion. Based on availability and good through 2014-2015, this exploit, valued at $600., can be yours for $300. when you contact me; all proceeds go to Telluride’s favorite community radio station. To learn more about Peter and his passion for the mountains, read about and listen to my interview with him at Ryder-Walker:  Global Trekking Specialists.

Climbing with Telluride Adventures

Climbing with Telluride Adventures

Telluride's Via Ferratta

Not for the Faint of Heart:  Telluride’s Via Ferrata

Tara Butson, from Telluride Adventures/San Juan Outdoor Adventures, another long-established guiding company, is offering a half-day climbing tour for two, valued at $300., for $250., which also includes a donation to KOTO. Based on availability and good through 2014-2015, this deal is on any of their half-day climbing tours, including rock and ice climbing as well as the Via Ferrata. Let this Telluride adventure specialist show you the nooks and crannies of our magnificent mountains. Contact me to give your donation in exchange for this two-for-one.

On Top of the World with a Telluride Offroad Adventure

On Top of the World with a Telluride Offroad Adventure

Our little slice of paradise here in southwestern Colorado is well known for its jeeping. Getting up into the high country is one of the best ways to enjoy our spectacular scenery and learn about our mining heritage and geology. Since many of the old mining roads rate as some of the most challenging in the world, I suggest you let an expert take you there and provide you with a proper tour. Herb Manning, founder of Telluride Offroad Adventures, offers excursions in Swiss Army Pinzgauers, super solid vehicles that assure a safe and reliable journey on these rugged rides. Herb is donating a half-day 4 X 4 ride for two, based on availability and valued at $170. Contact me with a KOTO donation of $120. and it’s yours.

Visiting an Old Mining Camp

Visiting an Old Mining Camp

I’m happy to welcome Herb, from Telluride Offroad Adventures, and Tara, from Telluride Adventures, on my show to chat about their tours and adventure travel in general tomorrow at 6:20 pm. mountain time. Feel free to call in at 970-728-4333 with questions and/or comments for him at that time.

My Travel Memoir:  My Own Travel Adventure

My Travel Memoir: My Own Travel Adventure

Thank you to all the above adventure specialists and well-regarded fun leaders for your generous donations to KOTO. Thank you also for making our spectacular surroundings more accessible to all.

And last but hopefully not least, I’ll be offering a few signed copies of my travel memoir, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through Francein exchange for a $20. donation to KOTO. It represents a big outdoor adventure for me and I’m delighted that it has inspired many people to go on their own in France–even for just some short pedals and sips of wine around the vineyards of the French provinces. It has a 4.3 rating (out of 5) on amazon, so folks seem to be enjoying it. I’ll be sure to chat about it as well on tomorrow night’s Travel Fun.

To you my listener and/or reader, please contact me with your donation and/or pledge. For the above offers, the first one that responds, receives the premium.

Once again, if you’d just like to show your support for KOTO and Travel Fun, I’d love to hear from you in the form of a donation, pledge or even just a kind word.

Woo-Hoo-ing it in Colorado

Going for it in Colorado


My Mom: A True Original

My Mom:  Mary Ellen Trigger Rogers Clemente

My Mom: Mary Ellen Trigger Rogers Clemente

“I was great for telling stories,” my mom, née Mary Ellen Rogers, told me as we sipped frosty beers and munched on chips and salsa in an old cowboy bar in Scottsdale, Arizona. “When I was a  young girl, my neighbor had a beautiful horse called Suntan,” she continued. “I dreamed of having a horse, so I started telling the story that Roy Rogers was my uncle. It was a plausible story, since my father was from Wyoming and, of course, my last name was Rogers.”

As I listened to my mom recount this tale—one that I had heard before but was relishing even more beneath the sweltering summer heat of Arizona here in this beloved watering hole where so many had come before–I sensed that she had lived this story so much that she almost believed it to be true. “When I was in the sixth grade, I had a leather belt with letters that hung down, spelling out TRIG. You know, as in Trigger, Roy Rogers’s horse. I was tall with long, bushy, blond hair, so I did sort of look like a horse.”

“I remember people calling you Trig,” I said.

“Yes, a few people—those that are still alive—still do,” my mom added as she scooped up the chunky salsa with her tortilla chip.

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Two Brief Stays in Santa Fe

The Cathedral Basiica of St. Francis of Assis in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assis in Santa Fe, New Mexico

My boyfriend, Steve, and I have managed to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico—an almost six-hour drive from Telluride, Colorado—twice within the past year and a half and we’re already plotting our next trip. (That one will surely include exploring the ski mountain.) Each trip was short—only two nights a piece—and we didn’t even step foot in one of Santa Fe’s amazing museums, but still, we felt far from cheated. For us, it has been enough to just chill and breathe in the heartwarming, southwestern ambiance for which this town is known. Just like going to Paris and whiling away time in a corner café instead of scouring the Louvre, in Santa Fe during both stays we just strolled around and admired the beauty of this magnificent city, the oldest incorporated state capital within the United States.

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For Off-Season and Year-Round Enchantment: Taos, New Mexico

Contemplating Nature's Beauty at Hacienda del Sol in Taos

Contemplating Nature’s Beauty at Hacienda del Sol in Taos, New Mexico

Ahhh-hhh, off-season. Anyone that has lived in a resort town knows the true meaning of off-season. Whether it occurs in the winter or summer, spring or fall, this lull in peak travel times provides a much-needed respite from the busy-ness of high season. In Telluride, Colorado it means tons of available parking spaces, no lines at the Post Office or grocery store and a certain quietude akin to a ghost town, something that delights some and bores the heck out of others.

Most don’t mind this downturn of activity, since many take advantage of our seasonal slowdown (during the spring and fall) to go off and seek fun for themselves elsewhere. Since the mountain closed two weeks ago, we’re in the throws of off-season now, also referred to as shoulder season and in the case of the spring off-season, mud season.

Many people take off for exotic locales for as many as six weeks travel; others find their bliss within a two- to six-hour drive from our southwestern Colorado mountain town. Indeed, we’re located just a few hours away from some of the best recreation around in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, all sunny and warm destinations this time of year where spring arrives with the intensity of the desert sun.

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Telluride, Monument Valley and the Oscars

In Living Color:  Monument Valley

In Living Color: Monument Valley

How about those Oscars? Wasn’t it a great show? I was thrilled that I had seen most of the films nominated for an award here in our little mountain town of Telluride, Colorado way back in September. Yes, just as in recent years, many of the movies that gained high acclaim from the Academy of Motion Pictures were shown here in T-ride—either as premiers or sneak peeks—during the Telluride Film Festival (TFF) long before they were officially released. Telluride’s selection of films seems to be filled with Oscar contenders more so than the lineups presented at other renowned film festivals in New York, Venice and Toronto.

Much of the Oscar buzz takes place before and after this annual awards show. I was thrilled to tune into CBS Sunday Morning, one of my all-time favorite TV shows, to see Monument Valley:  Mother Nature’s scene stealing movie star, last Sunday. It was a wonderful segment that featured the extraordinary sense of place of this iconic site and the many Oscar-worthy movies filmed there including “The Searchers,” “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” “Back to the Future,” “Forrest Gump” and many more. This majestic landscape has appeared in dozens of films as well as countless commercials. Almost a half a million visitors go to Monument Valley every year, largely because of the prominence it has enjoyed in the movies. Thanks to Harry Gouding and his wife, Leone (known as Mike), film director John Ford discovered Monument Valley and its perfect setting for great western movies and feature films. This was highlighted in the CBS piece although Goulding’s Lodge and its terrific Trading Post Museum, which also showcases the history of movie-making in the area, were scarcely mentioned.

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Dogs on Vacation

DaVinci & Valentino Heading Out on One of Their Road Trips

DaVinci & Valentino

Mighty Valentino Testing Out the Red Rock in Moab, Utah

Mighty Valentino Testing Out the Red Rock in Moab, Utah

Warning:  This story includes tons of adorable photos of pups.

Woof, woof. Bark, bark. I’ve never seen so many happy dogs in my life as those that have padded, trotted and trounced through our little mountain town of Telluride, Colorado these past weeks. Little, big, short-haired, long-haired, well-groomed or scruffy, they all have an air de vacances, a certain joie de vivre that makes it clear they’re happy to be a part of their mom and dad’s vacation as well.

As a confirmed cat person, I hadn’t had much experience traveling with dogs up until over a year ago when I went on a road trip with my friend Mary Dawn (MD) and Valentino, her beautiful Bernese Mountain dog. Our travels, which I recount in my story, Travels with Valentino, culminated with the choosing of DaVinci, a new brother for Tino. As of last fall, we thought DaVinci was big enough to accompany us on a couple more trips:  one to Moab and Salt Lake City, Utah; the other to Denver, Beaver Creek and the Vail Valley. I tell you, these dogs get around. And wherever they go, they are greeted with a fanfare of enthusiasm that makes me happy to just be tagging along. Here are some of the highlights from the best pet-friendly properties we visited on our jaunts:

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The Lone Ranger Showcases Monument Valley, Southwest Colorado and More


The Lone Ranger and Tonto in Monument Valley

The Lone Ranger and Tonto in Monument Valley

“Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!”

Such are the famous words shouted by the Lone Ranger as this masked man gallops off on Silver, his handsome white stallion, the same words shouted by kids throughout the decades as they head off on an adventure. Ever since the original radio show aired in 1933, through the popular TV series of the forties and fifties, across the pages of comic books and then highlighted in films, “Hi-Yo Silver!” has captured the excitement and dashing spirit of the West for the better part of a century.

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Take Me to the River Especially on a Rafting Adventure

Little Duckie You're So Fine

Little Duckie You’re So Fine (Note the Snow-Capped Peaks in the Distance)

The rivers are running hard and fast in Colorado and other parts of the West right now. As our snowpack melts, creeks and streams swell and massive quantities of water surge into rivers, splicing through red rock canyons and verdant riverbanks. Rivers such as the Gunnison and the Colorado render near barren lands fertile thanks to clever irrigation systems, many of which were created over a half century ago. Western states such as Utah, Nevada and California delight in and depend on Colorado’s winter snowfall. Indeed, the appetite for this pristine supply of water has become so great that by the time the mighty Colorado arrives in the Gulf of Mexico, it is nothing but a trickle.

Before this happens, however, our rivers provide fabulous recreation for river runners—from serious oarsmen to casual day trippers—all in search of a good time. Whether you’re looking for a jaw-dropping adventure over gnarly rapids or a casual float along a wide swath of still waters (often possible late summer), rafting on the river promises some of the best fun around. And you can bet that views from the water are often more glorious than those appreciated from land.

I try to get out on the river at least once a year, not much in comparison to many people that head out on week-long river trips as soon as ski season ends. But for some, a river rafting expedition represents a once-in-a-lifetime occurence. Either way, river trip memories rank as some of the best.

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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