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Holiday Gift Guide: Gear Up Your Gal This Season

Holiday gift guides abound this time of year. But they're mostly filled with gifts that you hope you'll get, not gifts you'll give. Stumped as to what to buy your lady this season? This guide is for you.

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1. NAU DOWN LOOPNER SCARF
She'll wear it as a scarf, and wear it as a shawl. Either way, this 650-fill goose down wrap will keep her warm all winter. Variegated quilt and stripe patterns add subtle style—she will too as she configures this infinity looped wrap the way she likes it. $90; nau.com.

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2. ICEBREAKER'S SKYLINE JACKET
This jacket is functional and beautiful. The merino shell has a wind-resistant membrane that keeps the heat in and the weather out. A zippered inside pocket stashes a wallet or passport, while the soft, stretchy internal cuffs give extra warmth. Simple, sophisticated, and at home in New York, Aspen, Paris, or Oslo. And to speak to her love of mountains, the lining has a subtle topographical map pattern. $350; icebreaker.com.

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A Road Trip Timelapse Across the U.S.A., With Background

Push Pop Press co-founder Mike Matas chronicled his two-week-long, 3,000-mile, San Francisco to New York City road trip in the above three-minute-long, 5,000-photo timelapse posted to Vimeo. We've shown plenty of such road trip videos on the site before, but what's different about Matas' project is that he also made a website where viewers can gather more info about each picture. On MikeMatas.com, you can click on buttons at the bottom of each photo to check the location, see the lens used, and order a print.

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Airstream Thanksgiving, Part I: The Chaco Canyon Saga

Action3 BAirstream in repose, Gallo Campground, Chaco Canyon (note trash bag window). Photo: Katie Arnold

This year we decided to do something different for Thanksgiving. Instead of traveling to be with extended family or entertaining them here, we opted to stay put in Santa Fe and keep it simple. But when we fished around for an invitation to a proper Thanksgiving dinner and came up empty, staying home no longer seemed so festive. What would be more exciting than turkey for four around our dining room table? An Airstream road trip!

All fall, we’d been wanting to go to Chaco Canyon, a rugged valley in northwestern New Mexico that, a thousand years ago, was a major trading center for Native Americans. Today it’s a wild, desolate landscape dotted with crumbling ruins, a campground and visitor center, and not a single tree. From there, we’d head to Canyon de Chelly, a 30-mile-long chasm on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. Both are World Heritage Sites and have major historical significance to the native peoples of the Southwest. It seemed a perfect, semi-spontaneous way to celebrate Thanksgiving—deep in the heart of Indian country, immersed in a culture that preceded our own by centuries.

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End Your Search for Outlets With Timbuk2’s Power Q Packs

Powerq

Finally put an end to searching for wall outlets, or carrying a bouquet of charging cables and converters for all the electronics in your bag. World travelers, itinerant wanderers, and absent-minded electronics users: with Timbuk2’s Power Q Laptop Backpack you get Timbuk2’s best-selling durable ballistic nylon briefcase backpack with a no-fuss built-in power supply.

Timbuk2’s Power Q has the features that travelers need, whether your voyage is from home to office, classroom to library, or LAX to Charles de Gaulle. The side entry computer sleeve holds up to a 17" laptop, and the zip bottom compartment keeps your power brick and other accessories from getting tangled with the rest of your possessions. Two large pockets, plus a cell/wallet pocket, allow you to stash everything else, including the Joey T1 Power Supply.

Joey

This power pack, which is just slightly bigger than a computer mouse, will charge any USB-compatible device in your bag with no need to remove the power or the device. Charger cables thread through a port in the bag from the power supply pocket. Unlike other chargers, the Joey won’t overheat, and it’s button-free, so it won’t accidentally turn on when you don’t need it. Charge it pre-departure, and the Joey will keep your phone, point and shoot, GPS, iPad, and other electronics fired up for weeks.

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Native American Tribes: Stewarding Land for Parks and Recreation

Frog_bay_beachFrog Bay Tribal National Park. Photo: Grandon Harris

If you’ve been near the Red Cliff Reservation in Wisconsin’s northernmost reaches, you were likely there to visit Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a stunning collection of 21 small islands in Lake Superior. But as of this summer, you can tack on a visit to an adjacent 89-acre tract of transitional boreal forest and lakefront called the Frog Bay Tribal National Park.

"It's not affiliated with the National Park System, [the name is] the tribe's own designation," says Chad Abel, natural resource administrator for the Red Cliff tribe. "The tribe wanted to call it 'national,' based on conservation values they're instilling at the park and because all of the general public has access to the land, which is somewhat unusual for tribal land."

The park was made possible thanks to the generosity and foresightedness of husband and wife team David and Marjorie Johnson. David, who is in his mid-90s, purchased the tract in the 1980s for $34,000. Since the couple were advancing in age, and because they did not think their children could afford paying the high property taxes, they wanted to ensure the land would remain protected and undeveloped, as it had been since they purchased it.

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