They're the first line of defense in our never-ended war on fire, men and women who respond to the earliest signs of trouble in our forests. To these smokejumpers, the recurrent blazes of the West are both friend and foe, a humbling force that humanizes even as it kills--and year after year keeps them coming back for more. By Michael Paterniti
The Unmuzzled, Untested, Self-Proclaimed King of the Middle-Distance Runners
Twenty years after his death, the presence of Steve Prefontaine--perhaps the best American track athlete ever--still lurks at Eugene's Hayward Field as if awaiting a rightful heir. Now Marc Davis has come to Oregon to prove that he's the one. But can he overcome the curse of having tarnished the very legend he wants so badly to succeed? By John Brant
Death in the Ruins
As the latest not-to-be-missed stop on Asia's shoestring-budget travel circuit, Cambodia has come to be seen as a kind of paradise: pristine beaches, cheap dope, the highly charged atmosphere of a nation in flux. But young Westerners are learning there's no such thing as immunity in a land where the rules of home don't apply. By Philip Gourevitch
Off Belay, Deano!
From the soaring spires of Zion National Park, a neck-craning chat with John Middendorf, leader of the dirt-loving, deodorant-shunning, granite-cuddling cult of big-wall climbers. By Craig Vetter
In the age of on-line expeditioning, Richard Weber and Misha Malakhov strike a blow for minimalism with the first-ever unaided overland round-trip to the North Pole. Fresh off the summit, out correspondent delves into the details of Everest's busiest year. The Forest Service puts its guard up after being hit by a rash of anti-fed violence. A former mountain-bike champ displays heart--and a footlong scar--in his comeback from an aortic aneurysm. Plus: A new breed of SUV conquers hill, dale, and carjacker alike; a fat-tire endurance specialist sets a new 24-hour distance record--then tries to have it struck; and more
They're full of fun and nice as hell, denizens of a pretty, pastoral land far removed from the jet-set world of international yachting. So what would the good folk of New Zealand want with the America's Cup? At the Kiwi compound on San Diego Bay, our admittedly biased man revels in a befuddling triumph.
The Wild File
Why does the Earth turn? What causes those car-rattling ruts that run across dirt roads? How do porcupines make love?
America's best-kept secret: The Great Lakes are vast enough to flood the nation, yet they've somehow remained the private domain of the flatlanders. Along the endless shores of the northern Midwest, eight little-known spots for sea kayaking, backpacking, mountain biking, fishing, sailing, diving, and yes, even surfing. From Michigan's U.P. to southeastern Ontario, unique lodging with the Great Lakes at your doorstep. Plus: Bulletins A by-women, for-women sailing camp in the Caribbean, adventure-travel outfitters set their sights on India's upcoming total eclipse, and more
To get fit fast, take a seat: an introductory guide to the strength-building, calorie-burning, full-body workout of rowing. Stroke for success: a four-step approach to mastering the ideal sculling motion. Mobility drills to shake up your pre-workout stretching ritual. Plus: A gut-level approach to efficient breathing; multigrain alternatives to the ubiquitous energy bar; per doctor's orders, a therapeutic massager that runs hot and cold; and more
Racks of refinement: Whether mounted on hatch, hitch, or roof, the latest car-bound carryalls are smoother, better fitting, and even easier to install. Cubic feet to spare: roomy, adaptable cargo boxes that turn your car's roof into a second trunk. Plus: The delicious anger of Charles Bowden's Blood Orchid, a behind-the-scenes view from Defenders of Wildlife's Hank Fisher in Wolf Wars, and more.
Between the Lines