From Great White Shark Tours to the slippery Sierra catwalk, America has many amazing tours to quench any thrill-seekers’ thirst for adrenaline. Whatever adventure you may choose to, be sure to prepare the right equipment and apparel to avoid sustaining serious injury.
1. Take a tornado tour at Tornado Alley
Ever wondered if it’s truly calm in the eye of a tornado? Well, many have become inspired by Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, making tornado tours a hit! This yearly affair takes place in America’s Tornado Alley and attracts extreme weather enthusiasts for all corners of the world to see the beautiful destruction of Mother Nature. Tornado Alley is right in the heart of the United States, Although the official boundaries of Tornado Alley are not clearly defined, the main alley extends from northern Texas, through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The area sees the highest frequency of tornado occurrences due to dry air from Canada and the Mexican Plateau colliding with moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, which provides the most favorable conditions for the creation of supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Tornado tours take passengers on a once in a lifetime experience, that does not eliminate the risk of getting hurt, which is all part of the excitement! Due to the booming demand for these tours, more than a dozen companies have sprouted up in the last few years. However, this has added to increasing numbers of vehicles and congestion, putting storm chasers in tremendously dangerous situations. Hence, tour companies now place an even greater emphasis on safety. However, approaching the wild side of mother nature is always like drawing a wild card, where you would never ever be able to guess what might happen. Thus, even the most professional storm chasers may find themselves in life-threatening positions. Prime examples include the three storm chasers in Oklahoma in 2013 and another three in Texas during a vicious storm in 2017. Tornadoes are dynamic, switching directions in a blink of an eye without any signs of warning. Another threat would be the lightning and the golf ball-sized hail, that the severe weather may produce.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera, wind-breaker, and sense of adventure, to gear up for an unforgettable experience!
2. Take a white water rafting tour along the Colorado River
Tackling rapids can be an amazing, exhilarating experience, especially if you love having scenic views while getting a good workout! Plus, it is a great team or family bonding experience to work together as a team and tackle the raging rapids. But what about riding a raft down the Colorado River? Best of all, you would get to enjoy the great gorge from a completely unique– and rare – angle. Looking down on the shimmery slither water body that is the Colorado River from a mile up on the rocky rim, it is definitely hard to believe that the river could have carved the huge Grand Canyon.
But let’s be honest, it’s had about two billion years to do so! The endless slow abut steady erosion of the black-red-orange-purple strata created one of the natural wonders of the world! Therefore the best way to see the canyon’s truest form of beauty is to appreciate it from water level– the experience offers a far more intimate encounter than peering in from the top. Furthermore, you can get up close up and personal to appreciate the view of glorious geology.
Lees Ferry is the official launch point for a full run. This is situated at the north-east of Grand Canyon National Park, and it ends at the stunning Lake Mead, 443km further down. En route is side canyons, Puebloan sites, swimming holes, and sandy beaches.
Authorization to enter the water requires being entered into a ‘weighted lotteryʼ system, with a waiting list of several years, to secure a private rafting permit. So definitely do plan ahead! Fortunately, commercial tour-op trips, which offer one-day to three-week floats, are available! However, as with anything remotely popular, be sure to booking advance if you want to secure your rendezvous with all this magnificent work of nature.
The most opportune time to raft Colorado is May-October. Overall, but please take note that the river is graded an IV (intermediate), with many I-III rapids, including some Vs.
3. Lava boat tours in Hawaii
I’m sure everyone’s watched an epic adventure show before, where the cast ends up on a mysterious island. But Mother Nature lets them know who is boss and a volcano erupts, leaving them to run away for their lives from hot molten lava spewing out mercilessly from the earth’s core. Well, now, that could be you! Except that you would be on a boat, which is definitely many times safer than if you were right beside the volcano or worse, in it!
Watching hot lava flow is an amazing sight to behold. The vicious, yet soothing image of the lava flowing into the sea would definitely be interesting to witness. In Hawaii, they have lava boat tours that would allow you to be close enough to hear and feel the heat of the lava as it flows into the water and hardens when cooled. Sounds way better than any geography class you ever had? Of course! The first-hand experience beats everything. Although it may seem very safe because you are on a boat, this fascinating, up close and personal experience comes at a price. Lava is dangerous, so imagine if molten rocks rain on your boat. Well, that happened to 23 tourists, and it melted the roof of the vessel.
Many locals are holding the tours and can share the history of the volcanoes and even their personal stories about being affected by the destruction of the volcano.
Flirting with death always comes at a price, so be prepared not just physically but mentally. Like they always say, “you only live once,” so why not give these tours a chance?