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Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean - A Guide to Fifty Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler
(National Geographic) ISBN 978-1426202780 1426202784

Don Mankin and Shannon Stowell describe more than fifty adventure trips that encourage readers to get out of resorts and off cruise ships to discover other cultures and experiences.

Stories describe adventure travel experiences such as a rafting trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, inn-to-inn sea kayaking on the south coast of Crete, trekking near Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and the Phobjikha Valley in the Kingdom of Bhutan and overnight camping at Patriot Hills Camp in Antarctica.

How to organize an adventure trip

Half the stories in this adventure travel book are first-person descriptions by experienced travelers over 50. The other half are shorter reviews of walking, biking, rafting and kayaking trips.

Each adventure holiday is enticing and appealing. Trip details include history, background information, why travelers should go, special issues and challenges (e.g., high altitude, rustic accommodations and climate extremes), suggestions for variations and options and a list of resources (websites, phone numbers and tour operators).

Eleven color images depict adventure activities in Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean.

Travel insurance

In his foreword to A Guide to Fifty Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler, Richard Branson explains that adventure is for everyone, not just the rich, famous and risk-takers. He challenges readers to experience the world to understand what it offers, to appreciate what humanity might lose, to test their limits and to learn about other cultures. As Sir Richard Branson notes, adventure travel is sustainable, low-impact and provides intimate travel experiences with the natural world and various cultures.

The introduction describes how to get into shape for adventure travel, how to insure your trip and the differences between luggage, rollaways and backpacks.

Adventure travel destinations

The final chapter predicts the future of adventure travel: sustainable tourism, volunteer adventure trips and upcoming destinations. The latter includes Southeast Asia (Thailand beaches, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Laos hill treks), the five "Stans" (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan), Libya and Iran.

Joan Merrick describes her Copper Canyon tour by rail, van and foot in the Sierra Madre mountains, Mexico. Her group hiked and encountered local Tarahumara Indians at train stops. The hike to Basaseachic Falls description includes terrain (steep and rocky), scenery (views of rugged cliffs and deep canyons) and accommodations (Noritare Lodge).

Rafting in Alaska

Don Mankin describes his rafting trip on the Hulahula River to the Arctic Ocean with a group of environmentalists and a biology professor. While traversing the oil-rich controversial Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, he details his encounters with wildlife (grizzly bears and the porcupine caribou herd). Other highlights of this Alaska adventure trip include a bush flight through the Brooks Range mountains and rafting Class IV rapids.

Hazel and Charles Furst explain how to charter a boat to travel through the forty islands in the Kingdom of Tonga. They describe going to church in Falevai and enjoying a community feast and kava (a calming, lip-numbing social drink made from pepper plant roots). During their two weeks in Tonga, they visited Nuapapu, famous for its coral gardens, Nuku, which has turquoise waters, and Ofu, known for its shells.

Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean


Preface - Rediscover Adventure
Introduction - Get Ready!
  • North America
    • Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean (Alaska)
    • Touring the Islands of the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada)
    • Sea Kayaking Baffin Island (Canada)
    • Packing into the High Sierra Backcountry, the Easy Way (California)
    • Floating through Time in Dinosaur National Monument (Utah)
    • Sea Kayaking Gwaii Haanas in the Queen Charlotte Islands (Canada)
  • Latin America
    • Copper Canyon by Rail, Van and Foot (Mexico)
    • Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (Peru)
    • Slowing Down on Isla de Ometepe (Nicaragua)
    • Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez (Mexico)
    • Exploring the Hidden Gems of Brazil
  • Europe
    • Hiking the Outer Hebrides (Scotland)
    • Cycling - and Eating and Drinking - through Tuscany (Italy)
    • Greenland and the Reluctant Wife
    • The Camino de Santiago: An Adventure of Body and Soul (Spain)
  • Africa
    • A Walking Safari in Zambia
    • Tracking Mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
    • Exploring Tunisia's History, Culture and Desert Scenery
    • Custom Safari in the Okavango Delta (Botswana)
  • Asia
    • Temples and Treks in the Unreal Reality of Bhutan
    • Scenery, Serenity, History and Culture in Laos
    • Ethnic Tribes and Outdoor Adventure in Guizhou (China)
    • From the Brahmaputra River to the Malabar Coast (India)
  • Oceania & Antarctica
    • Visiting the Jungle Tribes of Papua New Guinea
    • Sailing in the Kingdom of Tonga
    • Hanging Out in Antarctica
Twenty-six Additional Trips, in Brief
What's Next in Adventure Travel


Don Mankin is an adventurer-traveler who has visited Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe. Shannon Stowell is president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

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