Established at the beginning of the 1900s by then-adventurer, later president Theodore Roosevelt, the vast and beautiful acreage of the Far West became America's national parks and forests, protected by Roosevelt who said famously, "Leave them alone. They cannot be improved."  OARS is a California-based white-water rafting company that has been around for 50 years. They have guided hundreds of thousands of explorers on Western rivers through and over over Class I to VI rapids, through some world-class canyons,
managing the delicate balance between public and private ownership among
the breathtaking natural beauty of the place.
 For an example of the guides' competence, take the kids for a combination rafting/archaeological experience on the San Juan River Class II rapids for 3,4, or 6 days from March to July. Camp, paddle the river, hike the trails and encounter abundant evidence of some of the earliest American Pueblo dwellers, for whom building straight up in the safe rocky canyon was a natural lifestyle.
Excellent guides supply just about all you need; from $674. grandcanyoncoloradonpsphoto.jpg
Or put your trust in your experienced guides and hike down the south Kaibab Trail of the Grand Canyon to the unbelievably quiet Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon. Sleep well, because the next day, you gird youself with twice as much water, energy, and focus to hike back up, along the Bright Angel Trail. Eat well that night, next day you hike along the rim of the Canyon like conquerors, your lungs full of air, your soul refreshed by beauty. Four days, from about $1,600, April to October.
Call 800-346-6277 or see www.oars.com.
 The Colorado River twists, rushes, and
sometimes trickles through the Crand Canyon. (Photo©psphoto)



 Photo: NASA Bill Ingalls

Sun's corona barely visible over Oregon.
Picture taken from Gulfstream III at 25,000 feet on August 21, 2017.
Photo: NASA/Carla Thomas
The Great American Total Eclipse might be over, but why stop there?
There's another Total American Eclipse April 8, 2024. It won't conveniently cross the whole country, but it might be worth taking the day off to catch it as it slides up
If you can't wait for that one, there is a Total Eclipse in Chile/Argentina July 2, 2019. And another one 17 months later in the same place. See https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2019Jul02Tgoogle.html

Or, for an Annular Eclipse Solar_annular_eclipse_January15_2010_in_JinanRepublic_of_China.JPG(when the Moon almost covers the center of the Sun, leaving a ring of light encircling it) [left], check out the one in the western U.S. on October 14, 2023.

 Partial Eclipses (below, right)  are exciting as well; look for one on January 14, 2029. 
For a list of eclipses by decades, see: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html
Betchart Expeditions regularly runs very popular eclipse trips. See http://www.solareclipsetrips.com/
Safety glasses for eclipses are ISO 12312-2. Shop early.
LUNAR ECLIPSES have their own charisma. 
Annular Eclipse: 2010 Jinan, Republic of China. Wikiimages.
Partial Eclipse: 2012, Salt Lake City, by Christopher Ayres/Wikiimages.
Lunar Eclipse: 2015, California, bt Alfredo Garci/Wikiimages.
 They Can't Black Out the Moon:
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