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You gotta love a woman who tells her boss that she refuses to make coffee for him – in the 1970s, no less. No surprise, then, that Carole Latimer, an adventurous entrepreneur from California, was subsequently fired from her job – and went on to found Call of the Wild (www.callwild.com), a women-only outfitter that blended her passions for adventure travel and empowering women.
Latimer, who now serves on the advisory board, was clearly on to something when she started the company in 1978. Women's-only travel has since exploded, especially in the adventure sector, and Call of the Wild was a pioneer in that growth. It's the longest-running company of its kind, with an impressive repeat client booking rate of 55 percent.
In fact, there's a good chance that CEO and owner Kate Reid, a go-get-'em globetrotter and adventuress herself, will be among your group, too. Says Reid: "Very few [of our clients] travel with coed adventure companies once traveling with all women. It's too much fun – they are hooked."
The upcoming fall/winter season is chock full of enticing adventures, starting with Hiking the Everest Region, from Nov. 18-28. I was mentally checking my calendar as I read the description: "An adventure that is well suited for those in good physical condition, this exciting trek through the Sherpa community homeland to witness the splendor of Mt. Everest is a trip of a lifetime. By staying at inns, clients are able to interact with the local community while viewing peaks such as Thamserku, Amadablam, Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse."
From Dec. 4-11 is a multi-sport trip to Guatemala, designed for "women who enjoy lots of activity during the day and a comfortable bed at night." You'll explore this vibrant country on bike, horse, foot and sea kayak, staying at inns in the evening and dining at local restaurants.
Or you can kick off 2011 in California's Sequoia National Park, snowshoeing by day (beginners welcome) and dining on delectable cuisine at comfortable lodging by night, on a weekend trip from Feb. 11-13. Other popular 2011 trips include a weeklong backpacking trip that culminates in a summit to Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the country, and another weeklong trip on the spectacular John Muir Trail to Yosemite National Park.
And if the prospect of bonding with gal pals in such exquisite natural surroundings isn't enough motivation, consider the cuisine: linguine with pesto, fettucine alfredo, chicken piccatta, coconut Thai Tom Yum soup are among the regular dishes, with nary a freeze-dried pouch in sight.
Guys, if you're getting depressed about missing out, don't fret: Call of the Wild also offers customized trips open to everyone.
For more great-value adventures, check out our Sports and Adventure Travel Deals.