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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Colorado River Rafting

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The Arkansas River in Colorado is America’s most popular river, and for good reason. With trips ranging from family-friendly to adrenaline-pumping, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy whitewater rafting in Colorado.

The river is known for having exceptional trout fishing, including Cutthroat, Brown, and Rainbow trout, as well as some of the best whitewater rafting in the world. The Arkansas River runs parallel to the Continental Divide, winding its way through mountainous terrain that includes the highest concentration of 14,000 foot peaks in the lower 48 states.

If you’re looking to step up the intensity level a bit, then The Numbers or The Royal Gorge would be right up your alley. The Numbers (Class IV/V near Buena Vista) is the northernmost section on the Arkansas, offering tight channels, steep drops, and non-stop white-knuckle action through an amazing high-alpine environment.

Are you looking for a way to enjoy the beautiful Colorado scenery without any of the rapids? Then a Family Float trip would be perfect for you. With a minimum age of 5 years old, the Family Float (near Buena Vista) includes rafting through the “Milk Run”, just above Browns Canyon, and viewing amazing vistas along the Continental Divide.

Colorado river rafting definitely should be high on the summer “To Do List” for anyone interested in combining breath-taking scenery and world-class whitewater. Whether it’s breathtaking scenery while rafting Browns Canyon, adrenaline-pumping whitewater while rafting The Numbers or Royal Gorge, or family-friendly rafting through Bighorn Sheep Canyon, once you spend a day on the water with American Adventure Expeditions you’re guaranteed to leave with a lifetime of memories.

Arkansas Wine Country

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Over 135 years ago, many German-Swiss immigrants traveled well into the south central United States to stake their claim. And back in the 1870′s, the beautiful Ozark Mountain area of northwestern Arkansas seemed an appropriate place to begin. Rolling mountains, while not quite the height or splendor of the Swiss Alps, offered a reminder of home.

And so, a large German-Swiss settlement blossomed in the west/northwest area of Arkansas, “The Natural State”. Now, almost a century and a half later, this European influence is still felt in a unique area of the state, roughly between Little Rock in the state’s center and Fort Smith, at its’ western boundary. Not far off of Interstate I-40, about 50 minutes east of Fort Smith, you’ll find Arkansas Wine Country.

Traveling west/northwest out of Little Rock (actually, North Little Rock) on Interstate 40, it’s about 140 miles to the heart of Arkansas wine country. As you travel outside of Little Rock, you’ll notice the topography changing … lush valleys and rolling mountains … a perfect subclimate for grape growing and wine making. Approximately two hours outside of Little Rock on Interstate 40, look for exit 41, Arkansas Route 186. Go south about five miles on 186 and you’ll enter the charming and historic town of Altus, heart of Arkansas wine country and home to four area wineries. Let’s take a closer look.

Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards and Winery: Directly on Rt. 186, actually just two miles off I-40 and before you reach the town of Altus,is Chateau Aux Arc, the world’s largest propagator of Cynthiana grapes. Be sure to check out their gorgeous tasting room, situated on top of St. Mary’s mountain. Enjoy the view of the Arkansas River Valley while you taste the fruit of Chateau Aux Arc’s labor.

Mount Bethel Winery: Three generations of the Post family have proudly guided this beautiful historic winery. Just 1/4 mile east of the town of Altus, Mount Bethel Winery offers a full selection of reds, whites, and fruit wines. Since Arkansas is a renowned fruit producer, we decided to try the Elderberry and Blackberry wines, both produced from fruit grown and hand picked by the Post family. Both were sweet, tangy, and quite enjoyable. Mount Bethel is also renowned for their port wine, Big Daddy Port.

Post Familie Vineyards and Winery: On to downtown Altus, where one block north on Rt. 186 stands the Post Familie Vineyards and Winery. They say the scenery in this area is just as beautiful as Napa Valley and we wouldn’t disagree! Post Familie is known for their muscadine wines (a southern specialty), as well as a very nice Pinot Grigio.

Wiederkehr Wine Cellars: A pioneer in the U.S. wine industry (Wiederkehr is Bonded Winery #8), Wiederkehr Wine Cellars is an introduction to the Swiss winemaking heritage. Housed in an Alpine lodge, Wiederkehr offers 45 minute winery and cellar tours for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into winemaking. We enjoyed a German-Swiss lunch in their onsite restaurant, the Weinkeller Restaurant. As for wine, try Wiederkehr’s deliciously dry Johannisberg Riesling or their unique, crisp Verdelet, a white wine made from a French developed grape variety.

Cowie Wine Cellars and Museum: Our last stop takes us to the smallest winery in Arkansas, Cowie Wine Cellars and Museum. Located three miles west of Paris, Arkansas on scenic Rt. 22, Cowie Wine Cellars is a must stop, not just to taste and buy their wines, but also to see their museum, dedicated to the art of Arkansas winemaking and Arkansas wineries.