Whether casting a line or navigating the churning rapids, the staff at Toads Guide Shop curate experiences that give visitors an unobstructed glimpse of Western Colorado's stunning scenery. Float through the Black Canyon of Gunnison Gorge during float and fish trips, during which guides lead groups toward lively fishing holes to reel in catches, and provide tents, meals, and equipment for those who opt to stay in the woods overnight. To stay closer to land, adventurers can angle for trout during fly-fishing sessions in the Pacochupuk Tailwater, or venture inland to hunt deer and elk. Daytime rafting expeditions of the Uncompaghre River take place over the course of up to three action-packed hours of splashing through rapids, maneuvering around obstacles, and shouting for momma.
Nostalgia Ballooning puts heads in the clouds, accompanied by licensed pilots soaring giant, kaleidoscopically colored hot air balloons. Packages include private and group voyages over mountainous landscapes and include memorable touches such as champagne toasts. For those left enthralled with the skies, Nostalgia Ballooning also offers introductory piloting lessons, prepping the airborne for a life amid the birds.
The small South African town of Prince Albert may seem like an unlikely member of the culinary vanguard, but its arid farmland—known as the Great Karoo—supports an unusually vast array of plant species that flavor the local fare. The owners of Bergwater Vineyards, the region's only winery, prepare palates with a vino tasting before a gourmet picnic lunch. Visits to the Weltevrede Fig Farm and Prince Albert Olives teach tasters how to make jam, press oil, and create authentic crop circles. Between jaunts, the African Relish houses sojourners in luxurious quarters amid a fully functional cooking school, where aspiring cooks learn to spin regional specialties such as Karoo lamb and venison dishes.
Before taking lessons in a one-room schoolhouse, a visitor hops aboard a stagecoach, interviews a worker at a uranium mine, examines authentic adobe pottery, and heads inside a saloon. Such is the scene at Museum of the West, one of the three campuses of the Museum of Western Colorado where curators eschew the notion of “look, but don’t touch.” From the interactive labs at the Dinosaur Journey Museum to the live demonstrations of early 20th-century life at the Cross Orchards Historic Site—whose buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places—the staff encourages its guests to get up close and personal with the region’s past.
Though some participants choose to run and others to walk, everybody who participates in the Color Dash experiences a transformation. As participants make their way through the 5K Color Dash and UVSplash courses they are subjected to bursts of color; additional events include Zombies by Color Dash, which adds the undead to the equation. Though the color will wash away, the memories will remain forever in the minds of all participants who aren't goldfish. Proceeds from Color Dash events benefit local children's charities and organizations.
The licensed trailblazers at Adrift Adventures have safely guided adventurers on boat, horseback, and jeep tours of Canyonlands National Park and the surrounding areas for 33 years. The half-day river excursion draws paddlers down the Colorado River through an august landscape along rapids suitable for rookies and swashbucklers alike. Two daily departure times afford rafters different takes on the area's natural beauty. Birds and fish rub sleep from their eyes and amid river and canyon panoramas as morning excursionists cast off at 8:30 a.m., returning about four hours later. The afternoon ride provides rays for sun-fueled eye feasting and lunch for carb-fueled mouth feasting, embarking at 11:15 a.m. and returning about five hours later to a planet of sentient apes.