North & Central America

The Big Sweep

You've been a wonderful audience. Thank you and take special care. Or so the Pacific gray whale seems to say by flourishing its tail flukes in the final moments of a whale-watching cruise....

The Big Sweep

About a million years ago, Palos Verdes was a near-shore channel island. A few earthquakes and tectonic plate shifts later, it's a canyon-riven peninsula with a sheer coastline of striated shale...

The Big Sweep

With all this Pacific, you've got to get on, in, or under the water. A recent half-day romp in a rented 22-foot sloop ranks among my lifetime best short sails. The stiff northwesterly breeze, a...

There's Something in the Rocks

I have found the rock of truht (sic), but you probably won't. Oh, it's out there, one of several hippo-size stones in the sea of rocky desert that is Joshua Tree National Park. Just walk about...

There's Something in the Rocks

There's no Going-to-the-Sun Road in Joshua Tree—which is to say, there's no true hub to the place. But Hidden Valley comes closest, given its accessibility and the access it in turn...

There's Something in the Rocks

The name would seem to be a synonym for most of Joshua Tree, but this campground about eight miles east of Hidden Valley is in fact home to several hundred-foot-high pates of monzonite granite...

There's Something in the Rocks

Like plenty of other J-Tree climbers, I cut my teeth—and fingertips—at Indian Cove, on the northern fringe of a vast, dazzling maze called the Wonderland of Rocks. The Wonderland...

There's Something in the Rocks

End your Joshua Tree sojourn by making a stab at finding this most evocative of sites. It won't be easy: since it's not marked on the USGS maps, you may have to beseech a ranger to circle it for...

Temple of Zoom

"THE BIG DAY," John said."It is," I replied.My climbing partner and I were standing on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at three in the morning and aiming the...

Have Gun, Will Travel

The Maldives One day in 1973, Tony Hussein Hinde became the luckiest surf rat in history when the boat he was taking from Sri Lanka to Réte;union Island ran aground on an...

Have Gun, Will Travel

South Africa's West Coast Unless you're willing to risk your five right fingers trespassing on De Beers diamond lands in Namibia, the stretch of frigid sea along South Africa's west...

And a Cast of Thousands

Caribou Each March or April, 129,000 caribou leave their wintering grounds on the Porcupine River in the Canadian Yukon, point their noses northwest, and don't stop until, ten days, 350...

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