I would love to take the week of Thanksgiving to go on a dog-sledding expedition in Alaska. What are the more affordable options? As odd as it may seem, last year many places in Alaska did not have enough snow on the ground for mushing until late November, said Amy Cockerham, a spokeswoman for Alaska Travel Industry Association. Because the time of the first snowfall varies from year to year, you will want to monitor snow conditions as winter begins and perhaps delay booking your flight until tour operators confirm that they will be running trips.
The price of dog sledding depends largely on the length of a tour, with one-hour trips starting at about $75 and half-day trips at about $250. For general trip information, visit travelalaska.com.
In Fairbanks, Sled Dog Adventures (907-479-5090; sleddogadventures.com) offers custom tours, including overnight trips and short excursions. A day trip might involve travel along the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race trail to Chena Hot Springs Resort. Day trips cost $300 to $425 a person and cover about 40 miles of trail.
Chena Dog Sled Adventures (907-488-5845; ptialaska.net/~sleddogs) about 40 miles east of Fairbanks, offers a 1 1/2 -day mushing adventure for $500 a person, including meals and one night's accommodation in a cabin. A two-day multi-activity trip, including one hour each of dog sledding and snowshoeing and your choice of a half day of ice-fishing, a swim in the Chena Hot Springs or extra dog-sledding time, costs $450 a person, including meals and two nights' accommodation. Shorter trips start at $35 for a two-mile tour.
IdidaRide (907-224-8607; ididaride.com), which operates from Seward and Sterling, Alaska, is run by the Seaveys, a family of dog mushers including Mitch Seavey, the 2004 Iditarod winner. Two-hour tours in winter include a visit to the family kennel and an hourlong ride (with a chance to drive the sled yourself) and cost $99. Custom tours are also available.
I am interested in a motorcycle tour of Greece. Harley-Davidson would be my first choice, but I'd ride other motorcycles. There are plenty of tours of Greece available, and while none of the companies below offers Harley-Davidson bikes, you may be able to arrange a private rental.
Greek Moto Adventures (718-406-5253; greekmotoadventures.com), founded by a Greek-American from New York, runs four to five trips a year in May, September and October. The 10-day tours take in the Peloponnesus; 2005 prices start at $2,280, including some meals, a one-day cruise and accommodation in a double room.
Motorcycle Tours of Greece (triumphbiketours.com) offers about five tours a year through the Peloponnesus or northern Greece. The eight-day Alexandrian Tour of Northern Greece covers fishing villages and alpine communities, including Delphi, the island of Levkada and Meteora; 2005 prices start at $2,125, double occupancy and including some meals.
Edelweiss Bike Travel (800-507-4459; edelweissbiketravel.com) offers two 12-day tours each September, taking in Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Kalamata, Githio and Nafplio; 2005 prices start at $3,360 double occupancy, including some meals. The company offers a variety of other motorcycling tours as well.