2013 Preliminary Tour Schedule for
Betsy Robinson and Steve Gehman
Costa Rica: January 4 – 15, 2013. Once again, we decided to offer this trip for a third time due to popular demand. This eleven day trip explores different regions of Costa Rica, with a focus on natural history and birds in particular. We start in the rainforest on the Pacific Coast, then visit an active volcano in the Arenal district. From Arenal we travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest preserve and the grand finale is a raft trip on the Pacuare River to our exquisite lodge on the banks of that river.
Spellbound in Big Bend: March 31 – April 6, 2013. Big Bend is the most remote park in the lower 48. This vast park is the finest example of the Chihuahuan Desert, and the trip provides stunning vistas of the desert, the mountains, and the Rio Grande River. The beautiful landscape, with many species of cactus, also is home to many species of wildlife including the rare Chisos white-tailed deer, and javelinas.
Yosemite in Spring: May 19 – 24, 2013. In spring, the waterfalls are spectacular with runoff from the melting snow in the high country. We spend two nights at the historic and charming Wawona Hotel near the Mariposa grove of giant sequoias. From there we travel to Yosemite Valley where we spend the next three days viewing the famous sights, including El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridal Veil Falls and Yosemite Falls, as well as some of the lesser known corners of Yosemite. This trip is with the National Parks Conservation Association.
Wildlife in Alaska: July 2013. This is a really, really special trip. Both Betsy and Steve have worked in Alaska over the years, including a summer spent studying grizzly bears on Kodiak Island. Over the many years of working and leading tours in Alaska, they have picked out the very best places to see and best lodges. We begin in Fairbanks, taking the train to Denali National Park where we will spend three nights at one of only three lodges that are situated in the very center of the park, and the only lodge that is allowed to take their clients back into Denali for hiking and wildlife viewing. From Denali we take a private bus back to Anchorage where spend the night. The next day we are off to Homer, stopping for views, photos, and some walking along the way. From Homer on the next day we will fly across Shelikof Straight in chartered float planes to spend the day viewing coastal grizzly bears in Katmai National Park. We fly back to Homer for the night, and the next day we will drive to Seward, a small town in a spectacular setting. In Seward we will catch a boat that will take us out to see a glacier where it meets the ocean, and if we are lucky, we will see it “calve” huge blocks of ice into the water. There will be time to stroll around in Seward before our farewell dinner. The next day is our last, and we drive back to Anchorage for flights home.
We do not have our schedule set for August and September yet, we will fill you in with a mailing in December. We may also have one or two additional tours in winter and spring, and we will have that information in December as well.
Tallgrass Prairie and Flint Hills: September 26 – 30, 2013. The tour is offered by the National Parks Conservation Association to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the creation of Tallgrass Prairie. Here in the Flint Hills of Kansas is where the tallgrass prairie makes its last stand where the National Park Service has protected a nationally significant remnant of this endangered ecosystem. There were originally over 170 million acres of tallgrass prairie; now only 4% remains. Over a long weekend we will explore this 10,000 acre park and learn about the complexity of grasslands, and also visit a historic 1881 farm house and learn about human history in the area.
November means – Australia! Steve and Betsy are in Australia all of November, seeing the sights and laying plans for a tour of Australia next November, which will last approximately two weeks. We don’t have definitive dates yet, but the trip will end in time to get everyone home in time for Thanksgiving, and also miss the craziness of Thanksgiving travel.
Wild Things Unlimited Tours in 2011 and early 2012
With Steve Gehman and Betsy Robinson
May 29 – June 3: Wolves and Bears of Yellowstone; our annual spring wildlife extravaganza! Yellowstone National Park holds more wildlife than any other park, and most species are visible from the road system, making Yellowstone a unique place on earth, and spring is the most amazing time of year in the park for wildlife, with the birth of all the baby animals, return of the migrants, bears out of hibernation and wildflowers beginning to make their appearance. The days are long and full, and worth every minute. This will be Betsy’s last time guiding this trip, so if you are on the fence, now is the time! Offered through Off The Beaten Path.
August 7 – 13: The Wonders of Yellowstone and Grand Teton–Offered by National Geographic Expeditions through Off The Beaten Path. Beginning in the north in Mammoth Hot Springs, we will explore Yellowstone from top to bottom, staying at Old Faithful before traveling south to the fun town of Jackson Hole. Here we explore Grand Teton National Park with a grand finale of a scenic float trip down the legendary Snake River!
September 4 – 9: Pacific Northwest Hiking Adventure – Offered by Smithsonian Journeys through Off The Beaten Path. Beginning in Portland, OR and ending in Medford, OR, we will explore the volcanoes of Oregon, with a trip to the Ape Caves near Mount St. Helens as well. We will stay 2 nights at the fascinating and historic WPA-built Timberline Lodge, spend a night in Bend, Oregon while we visit Newberry Crater and the High Desert Museum, then it’s on to Crater Lake for 2 nights. Our lodgings here are in the historic Crater Lake Lodge, perched right on the rim of the lake. We will travel to Medford for a day to visit a family-run farm that grows pears for Harry& David, as well as a vineyard and winery, with a personal tour by the owner who is an old friend.
September 17 – 24 and September 24 – October 1: Yosemite in Autumn, for National Geographic Expeditions through Off The Beaten Path.
October 9 – 15: Canyons of Southern Utah – this is a truly special trip that we put together by special request. We visit some of the lesser-known but incredibly spectacular areas of southern Utah. We will explore Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the gorgeous and very historic Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. The variety of beauty found in the rocks, cliffs and canyons of this region are almost more than the eye can take in. Come see for yourself. WTU exclusive trip.
January 2012: Costa Rica! This trip proved so popular in 2010 that we have put together a second year. This is an eleven day trip that explores the different regions of Costa Rica, with a focus on natural history and birds in particular. We will visit Monteverde Cloud Forest, Arenal Volcano, Corcovado National Park on the southern Pacific Slope; we’ll also take a white water rafting adventure to a spectacular ecolodge in the jungle. WTU exclusive trip through Off The Beaten Path.
May 2012: Spring in Yosemite! Spring is the ultimate time to visit Yosemite, as melting snow makes the valley’s famous waterfalls thunder! We will walk the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequias, see all the amazing waterfalls and also visit some of the quiet, secret corners of Yosemite Valley, and top it off with dinner at the historic Ahwahnee.