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Guyana at a Crossroads: Will It Tap Ecotourism or Natural Resources?

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Kaieteur Falls, Guyana. Photo: Wilderness Explorers

Newsweek said last week that visiting Guyana should be on your Bucket List. Then USA Today said just about the same thing. We first sang Guyana's praises back in 2009.  

Guyana is emerging as an ecotourism hot spot because it is English-speaking, politically stable, nearly completely covered in rainforest and boasts great birdwatching and fly-fishing. The number of tourists it hosts each year is (for now, anyway) minuscule compared to other tropical Latin American destinations.

But Guyana is rich in other resources, as well. Some of it in the form of oil resting under the Atlantic off the country's lush coastline. Guyana recently granted exploration rights to a Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which will look for drilling sites. Exxon and a number of other oil companies are doing the same thing. Gold and timber are also being exploited, and not always legally. Domestic and foreign agribusiness interests are looking to greatly expand water-intensive rice farming as a cash crop along previously pristine waterways.

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The Ultimate Mountain Biking Base Camp for the Whole Family

By Emily Brendler Shoff

It’s easy to find an outdoor adventure in the Rockies. What’s not as simple is finding an adventure base camp for the whole family. For mountain biking, there may be no better place than Boggy Draw.

This camping and biking Mecca, located in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan National Forest, outside of Dolores, Colorado, is the perfect spot for a multi-age group to play. With singletrack rides for all abilities, lakes for wading in and catching fish, and fields for little ones to ride and run around in, Boggy Draw is a great three-season road-trip destination.

Boggy Draw Fishing
"Fishing" at Boggy Draw. Photo: Emily Brendler Shoff

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Giro Donne Day 3: Passo Dello Stelvio

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Passo dello Stelvio may be the best known stage of the Giro d'Italia, and for roadies it’s the crown jewel of climbs in the Italian Alps. Today we rode the ninth stage from the 2010 Giro Donne, Livigno to Stelvio, finishing with the classic climb and descent.

A few weeks ago, during the 2012 Giro d'Italia, Thomas DeGendt, a Belgian riding for the Vacansoleil team, executed a bold breakaway solo on the Stelvio16.5 from the top of the climb. He held his lead to the top of the mountain to win the stage, pulling himself from eighth to fourth place overall.

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Giro Donne Day 2: Chiavenna to Livigno

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Fifty-eight miles through the Alps. That's what was on the agenda for today when we rode the eighth stage of the 2012 Giro Donne. And about 50 miles of that was a climb—nearly 8,000 feet total—over two significant passes.

The owners of farmhouse bed and breakfast Acqua Fracta in Chiavenna stuffed us with fresh eggs, house cured meats, homemade jams and cakes, warm breads and steaming coffee. Then we started off on our route, which climbed for nearly the entire day. The grade was mellow for the first several hours, through farmland and cobble-street villages, and past craggy cliff bands.

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Giro Donne Day 1: Como to Albese

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We arrived last night at dusk, pieced our bikes together from their boxes and hard cases, and devoured primi, secondi and dessert plates—pasta with oil and garlic, roasted pork and pannacotta—before passing out jet-lagged with exhaustion, hoping to get maximum sleep before our 6 a.m. departure.

Today we rode the seventh stage of the 2010 Giro Donne, Como to Albese.

On the bikes, we wove through early morning traffic in Como, closely following our Renault rental car with the videographer jammed into the back, hatchback hanging open. The four other riders, Jane McInnes, Eryn Nolan, Sarah Cary and Collyn Ahart, live in the U.K. They ride and train and race together. I am the new kid in town, not a racer, and today I rode in a pack with the other girls for 120km, learning how to train and ride with a group, and riding handlebar to handlebar with women I had just met.

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