Eugene, Oregon, Register Guard profiles Tom Hale, founder and president of Backroads, Berkeley adventure-guiding outfit.

Backroads began as a regional bicycle tour operation that offered glorified camping trips on which the guides set up tents, fluffed sleeping bags and cooked for clients, in addition to showing them the best routes.

Fueled by Hale’s intense drive, and a growing public interest in active vacations, the company gradually grew into a worldwide provider of epic, and sometimes exotic, experiences. Hawaii was added in 1984, New Zealand in 1986, Asia in 1989, Central America in 1993, and Chile and Argentina in 1995.

Now Backroaders bike in locales as diverse as Bali and above the Arctic Circle in Norway. They heli-hike in the Canadian Rockies and take ìmulti-sport” safaris in South Africa. They ride camels, elephants and surfboards, as well as Backroads’ own brand of Titanium-frame bicycles, supplied on all the cycling trips. The company’s 175-page annual catalog is a wish book for travelers looking for an escorted biking, hiking or paddling adventure.

Here’s an interesting one: trekking Norway. A steal at just $3,200 per person.