The Outside Blog

Dispatches

Feedback, September 2012

PASS THE MIC
For our second-annual Interview Issue (July) we sat down with nearly two dozen outspoken personalities to talk about everything from the environment to doping to spectacular crashes (yes, we're talking about you, Jeb Corliss). Readers' reactions to the conversations varied considerably. On BASE jumper Corliss: "Another pompous jackass participating in a completely useless 'sport,'" said one on Facebook. (Others were more understanding: "If you're going to make a living in BASE, you've got to be like Corliss and be a bit out there.") On writer and survivalist Robert Young Pelton: "That guy rules." On sprinter Justin Gatlin: "Cheater." On filmmakers Robert and Jamie Redford and their new documentary, Watershed: "Here's to the revival of our rivers." And on decathlete Trey Hardee: "This guy is amazing!" Of course, not all readers were stoked on the cover image of a shirtless Hardee hoisting a javelin. "An armpit for an entire month?" wrote Bill Arrants, of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. "Give me a break. These issues with half-dressed men on the cover go to the hidden section of my magazine rack." "The human body is beautiful," wrote another reader. "But please, there's enough cheesecake in this world."

UNSOLVED MYSTERIES
While reporting "The Vanishing," about the disappearance of at least 18 women along a remote stretch of highway in northern British Columbia, author Bob Friel discovered that Canadian authorities were only including in the tally women whose bodies had been discovered within a mile of the roadway. Aboriginal leaders say the total missing from the area is closer to 43—and may reach much higher. Whatever the count, the story left readers disturbed. "I read the article at 2 a.m., and it kept me up all night," write Mike Walker on Facebook. "Truly haunting stuff." Some Canadian readers were glad the ongoing mystery finally got press outside their country. "Friel is to be congratulated on his article," wrote Sarah Giles of Ontario. "This story has been underreported—likely because the murders took place in the north and many of the victims are First Nations women. I find it amazing that an American magazine would cover such an important Canadian story and do it in such a sensitive manner."

IN THE DOGHOUSE
July's "The Ultimate Outdoor Companion" included a rundown of five canine breeds that are ideally suited for adventure. According to you, there were some glaring omissions.

"Border collies. No other breed compares!"
—Jayson Repko, Facebook

"German shepherds didn't make your list? You must be joking."
—Laurie Draper, Louisville, Colorado

"Schnauzer and labradoodle! Always adventure ready."
@hiking_w_mydogs, Twitter

"German shepherd/rot mix and a shepherd/collie mix. The best two dogs I could ask for!"
—Ed Weigel, Facebook

"Labramutt (we think border collie). He was a rescue."
—Brett Ashley, Facebook

"You missed Finnish Lapphunds; they really are the ultimate outdoor dogs."
@ckingimages, Twitter

"Mexican street-dog mutt! She's more breeds than I can imagine and one hell of an adventure dog!"
—Elma Gildenhuys, Facebook

"If my nine-year-old schnoodle could read, I suspect he would be less than impressed with your large-dog chauvinism. Merfy has been a tireless cross-country-skiing, mountain-biking, and trail-running companion. And at 21 pounds, he is highly portable."
—Jeffrey Eppler, Kelowna, British Columbia

E-MAIL OF THE MONTH: THE CASE AGAINST RUBBERNECKING
I have to say that I was disappointed by "Yellow Fever" (July), by Aaron Gulley. I found it appalling that one of the five reasons for watching the Tour de France this year is "extreme carnage." I have been following the Tour for over 10 years, and every time I see a pileup I get a sick feeling in my stomach. I still remember a crash from last year where several riders were lying in a ditch on the side of the road—one of them clearly unconscious. Seeing riders at the top of their game, working their hardest, pedaling for hours; watching them break away from the peloton and ride like mad until they're scooped up again; witnessing them battle for the win at the finish line—these things are worth tuning in for. The crashes? Not so much.
—Kris Minkewicz, Newton, New Jersey

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