The Übergirl Cometh
At six-foot-three and 172 pounds, volleyball player Gabriella Reece leads a pack of women who are currently redefining our image of the female athlete, inspiring a generation of young girls to take control of their bodies and pride in their strength. Of course, the fact that Reece is also a supermodel/TV personality doesn't hurt.
By Karen Karbo
Loving Them to Death
The rapidly growing "wilderness therapy" industry claims it can right the nation's wayward youths with a rigorous diet of minimalist survival training and boot-camp-style intimidation. But after serious allegations of incompetence and more than a dozen deaths, including at least four in the last five years, many seem to have crossed the line from discipline to outright abuse--and worse.
By Jon Krakauer
Holy Chiroptera, Batman!
In the East, they're a good omen, denoting wealth, happiness, peace, and long life. In the West, they're a harbinger of evil, unlucky and unclean. In Texas's dank, guano-filled Bracken Cave, Merline Tuttle, bat savant, knows them only as 40-odd million of his closest friends.
By Elizabeth Royte
The Whale Hunters
The techniques were learned generations ago, when the now-reviled trade brought a hard but lucrative living. Now, out on the Caribbean, the last of a dying breed sees no past and no future, no politics and no protests, just a lone man with an ancient weapon held high and his heart lodged in his throat.
By Sebastian Junger
For the Low, Low Price of $50,000, You, Too, Can Own a Share of Henry VIII's Sunken Flatware
Though Barry Clifford gained fame for raising one of history's richest treasures, many of his former partners say the self-proclaimed Pirate Prince falls short of charming. Now he's trying to find what may be the world's biggest submerged jackpot, and all he needs is 60 trusting souls willing to put up a rather princely sum.
By Alex Heard
Have the legendary Tarahumara Indian ultradistance runners--center of controversy at this year's Western States 100--forsworn American racing for good? Nervous Californians take aim at the mountain lion after a statewide spate of attacks. From carefully rinsed curds to the Kona pub crawl, an insider's look at the Ironman's Big Three. A latter-day Disney unveils The National Park, where roller coasters and food courts meet the American wilderness. Plus: Polar-exploration buffs champion the cause of a long-dead fallen idol, new species emerge from the primordial ooze of Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a 12-year-old girl becomes the youngest to summit Mount McKinley, Team Motorola reflects on a tragic yet triumphant Tour de France, and more
He was willing to do anything in the name of lasting recreational revolution--even deal with a hellish, pseudo-psychedelic world of blinding starbursts and bright-green swirls. On the flats of Florida in the dead of night, sight-casting for tarpon with our ever-persistent trailblazer.
The Wild File
Do ants scream? Why do old tents smell like vomit? Is there any truth to the old saw "Red sky by night, sailor's delight"?
New England's autumnal spectacle on two wheels or less: for those who prefer to navigate the fall foliage far removed from the exhaust-spewing tour buses, the Northeast's best spots for backpacking, sea kayaking, mountain biking, canoeing, fishing, paragliding, and, of course, just soaking in the arboreal pigment extravaganza
Taking on bad air: strategies for minimizing the dangers of working out in the pollution-laden metropolis. The EPA's most wanted: a rundown of the cities where your lungs will cry foul. A new breed of air purifier--ozone based!--that raises irony to an art form
Outerwear that won't slow you down: for dry-and-toasty workouts in the damp-and-cool season, the latest in lightweight, weatherproof-breathable shells. How to make sure your jacket's water-repellent finish stays that way. Plus: Compact shortwave radios that bring Beethoven into the backcountry; Painted Desert, Frederick Barthelme's funny, hopeful journey from the information superhighway to the roadless wilderness; Grassland, by Richard Manning; and more