The Outside Blog

Dispatches : May 2012

National Bike Month: Coaxing More Commuters Out of Their Cars

National_bike_month_Vanc_CMCritical Mass in Vancouver. Photo: ItzaFineDay

Last week I visited a friend in the hospital, where she'd been since an SUV had hit her days before. The driver, who turned left as my friend was biking—quite legally—straight through the intersection, broke her tibia, fibula and topped it off with a compound break to her ankle. Then the driver had the gall to declare that it wasn't his fault.

Thankfully, many pedestrians witnessed the crash and informed him, in no uncertain terms, that hell, yes, it was his fault. She had the right of way. And when the cops came, they'd gladly share what they'd seen. The driver changed his story.

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Adventure Video of the Week: Across the Ocean

This week, a bunch of international news outlets reported on the movement of debris from the Japanese tsunami around the Pacific. This interactive graphic from The Guardian mapped the path of the marine debris best. Around the time the reports we're swirling around the Web, Sundry Productions put out a seven-minute short showing one of the communities affected by the tsunami.

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Expedition Watch: A Honeymoon Crossing of North America

P6190077

On March 21, 2010, 35-year-old Dave Freeman and 30-year-old Amy Freeman, veteran guides for Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, welcomed 100 people on skis, dogsleds and ice skates to their wedding just outside of Ely, Minnesota. Less than a month later, the couple took off on a three-year honeymoon crossing of North America by canoe, dogsled and foot. We called the couple halfway through their 11,700-mile quest to see how things are going.

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Before They're Gone: Exploring America's Most Threatened National Parks

GB1-146 Us in Johns Hopkins Inlet, Glacier BayDodging grizzlies and calving glaciers in John Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park 

Yesterday I caught up with Michael Lanza, author of the season’s must-read new memoir about bringing up adventure kids in the age of climate change: Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks

Lanza is a longtime editor at Backpacker magazine, creator of The Big Outside blog, and a devoted outdoor dad who’s logged hundreds of trail miles with his two young kids. Back in 2009, dismayed by scientists’ dire predictions that Glacier National Park’s namesake ice could melt by 2020, he hatched a plan to visit the 10 national parks most threatened by climate change.

But this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill family drive-by. He and his wife, Penny, and their kids ranged from Alaska to the Everglades, Rocky Mountains National Park to Joshua Tree, venturing deep into the backcountry on foot or kayak for days at time. To say that Lanza’s offspring, seven-year-old daughter Alex and nine-year-old son Nate, are hardy adventure kids would be selling them way short: Those two paddled through days of driving rain and dodged grizzlies in Glacier Bay, skirted treacherous ice-slicked trails in the Grand Canyon, and spent what amounted to weeks on end in the company of their parents, without electronic diversions. Hard core.

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