A fantastic tale of man vs. beast persists in the Pacific Northwest: the book, the film, the gold diggers and the scientist; the believers and the non-believers; stories of first-hand sightings evidenced by blurry photographs. Do you believe in Gigantopithecus?Read more
About: Ariel Kazunas
Ariel Kazunas has been a Trip Leader at Backroads for seven years, leading everywhere from Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah and California to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Argentina. She’s passionately convinced that travel and exposure to different lifestyles, cultures and points of view are the best thing we as a world can do to heal what ails us. She calls Jackson, Wyoming home each winter, where she revitalizes by skiing the Teton Mountains backcountry. She also believes that wilderness is more vital to human health and happiness than medicine, and encourages everyone to get up and go play outside!
Recent Posts by Ariel Kazunas
Backroads Leaders in Central Oregon reveal SIX INSIDER REASONS why you should visit the city of BEND as soon as possible!Read more
Why go on a camping trip? Why choose to sleep on the ground instead of a bed, in a tent rather than hotel, and some may say, a whole lot of nothing over an assortment of delightful amenities like TV, WiFi, room service and those fancy miniature soaps? What's the upside of staying outside? The…Read more
South America is home to an impressive array of animals living in nearly every type of environment from cactus-filled deserts to glaciated mountain peaks. Here are five of our favorites!Read more
Active travel is immersive. It's tangible. It awakens every one of your senses. You're not on a tour bus with a window between you and what's around you. As Backroads founder Tom Hale puts it, "On foot or on a bike, you can really get a visceral sense of place. Without any filters, you're free to truly be where you are." In my experience, it doesn't matter if where you are is sitting at a roadside café sipping a perfect Italian espresso or hopping in the Backroads shuttle so you can freshen up before taking a tour of an Oregon brewery. The beauty of the Backroads approach to active travel is that you'll always have the freedom and flexibility to create your perfect adventure, with all the details and logistics planned to perfection by Backroads so that you can stay focused on what matters--the memories you're creating.Read more
The view from a mountaintop is always worth it and it always inspires us. But the strange thing is, the view from the top always seems to obscure the actual, physical toil it took to get there. Inevitably, we find ourselves lacing up our hiking boots again or putting our cycling shoes back on to climb yet another peak, seemingly oblivious to the incredible challenges ahead. Of course, climb a mountain – including the world’s most iconic ranges – with Backroads and the joy multiplies: logistics, gear, route-planning, lunch stops and guides will all be taken care of so that you can focus simply on finding your stride or cadence and achieving your best day, whatever that means for you.Read more
Writing about the "why" of picnics at Backroads in a recent blog post got me thinking about the "how..." I certainly wasn't born knowing how to create a bountiful spread for 20+ people in the middle of nowhere, and our guests are always curious where this seemingly magical skill comes from when they roll up to an overflowing lunch table. So here are a few tips and tricks I use when creating some of my favorite dishes. Try them the next time you're tasked with pleasing a throng of long-lost relatives or picky eaters and bring some Backroads organization, aesthetics and deliciousness to the table!Read more
Game hunters in Africa originally coined the phrase "Big Five" to describe the five animals deemed hardest and most dangerous to hunt on foot: the elephant, lion, rhinoceros, leopard and buffalo. Because of their size, aggression, intelligence and speed, these animals were trophies that came with significant risk, and were therefore prized above all others. Safari operators now use that same phrase to describe the animals they know their clients hope to "shoot" with their cameras.Read more
As Backroads leaders, we wear many hats in a given day: concierge, mechanic, translator, chauffeur, navigator, motivator… the list is infinite. One of my favorites to don, however, has to be that of “chef,” because that’s when we get to perform the magic that results in the famous Backroads picnic lunch!Read more
As a Backroads leader. I rely on books to help connect me more deeply to the social and natural histories I encounter along my hikes and bike rides, which makes each step or pedal stroke feel that much more meaningful. For anyone heading into the open skies west of the Mississippi this summer, here are five terrific reads that will enhance your travel experience.Read more
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