Le Bon: Adventure travel has become something quite fantastic. Now there are literally thousands of adventure-travel operators all over the world focusing on their little neck of the woods. It's a worldwide revolution. There are so many specialty companies now - skiing, bal- looning, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, spelunking. But vision is lacking. Many companies are all doing the same kind of trips. But I will tell you, there is plenty more. I believe the possibilities are just as endless now as they were 30 years ago. Adventure is in the mind of the beholder, inside of all of us, what we decide to create. I don't want to go into details, but I'm working on a project.

American Way: A last word?
Le Bon:
Think of a place you want to visit, study it, pull out the charts and the maps, and pack your rucksack and a sleeping bag and put on your boots and off you go and see the world.

a fine time to go
adventure travel has never been bigger, and the competition never more fierce. good news for you, as quality outfitters abound. a few of the best:

backroads this company made its name with bicycling - and still focuses primarily on two-wheel touring. but, bikes in hand, they have jumped into adventure travel - pedal past glaciers and geysers in new zealand, anyone? - while still applying the lessons it learned via its tamer cycling trips. folks like a grand adventure better when it's followed by a soft bed and a first-rate meal. (800) 462-2848; www.backroads.com

boojum expeditions smaller, but first-rate, boojum offers wonderful trips to the edges of civilization. try riding with mongolia's kazakh eagle hunters (hunting with the hooded golden eagles, not for them) or galloping along on empty beach on the macanao peninsula on isla margarita, off the venezuelan coast. (800) 287-0125; www.boojum.com