|D E P A R T M E N T S|
America Burns: The Western wildfire season was barely a month old when fire officials ranked it among the worst in the nation's history.Two million acres had been incinerated, and two of the fires had come disturbingly close to nuclear waste sites. As new conflagrations loom, we sift the cinders for answers.
Also: Smokey's debut; the first smoke jumper; and other great moments in wildfire history.
| ||Infernal Combustion: How a smoldering tuft of grass grows into an 1,800-degree inferno.|
|Map in Flames: Plotting the most notable disasters, and which forest may burn next.|
|PLUS: Meet the techreationalists! Armed with gadgets and a bad case of summit fever, dotcom types are storming California's Mount Shasta.|
The Wild File
Is "Harvest Moon" the only lunar moniker? Does water freeze at a different temperature at higher altitude? Can your body tell one sugar from another? Can a daddy longlegs grow back a lost limb? By Stephanie Gregory
The Hard Way
Pinned more than 200 feet high on a canyon wall in the Australian Blue Mountains, with no way up or down, three mates confront the enduring truth of Aussie adventure: In extracting yerself from one nightmarish pickle, yer likely just pullin' yerself into another. By Mark Jenkins
Going Deep: Venture into Mexico's remote Copper Canyon—a network of seven gorges that is deeper in places than its more trafficked Arizona cousin—and you'll find unexplored caves, hikes in lush forests, and singletrack beaten into the earth by the indigenous, peripatetic Tarahumara Indians. Bonus: unraveling the mystery behind infamous revolutionary Pancho Villa's bullet-riddled Dodge.
| ||Sydney, Beyond the Games: Olympic'd out? Hop a morning flight from Sydney to Heron Island—one of the Great Barrier Reef's southernmost islands—and dive with sharks.|
Also: Summit Sydney Harbour Bridge, or hightail it out of town to six of Australia's highly accessible national parks.
|Steals:West Virginia—an affordable place to bike, hike, and fly-fish your heart out, mountain mama.|
|Fresh Tracks: The search for a Canadian lake serpent; Reinhold Messner attempts the seven holy summits; African nations let wildlife roam free.|
Attitude Adjustment: After six months of (mostly) sticking to the nation's leading psychological fitness program, our motivational guinea pig Paul Keegan checks in again with the guru of mental toughness. Is he ready to take on the world, or just delusional?
Shell Shocked: Recent innovations in water-shedding fabrics are turning up in a new crop of lightweight jackets that'll fend off whatever you can throw at 'em, come light drizzle or thrashing monsoon. The latest outerwear offerings.
| ||Backcountry lighting options, batteries not included.|
|A bigbombproof case to protect your longboard.|
|Behold, the pinnacle of sleeping bag design.|
|The easily portable 3/4-size Baby Taylor guitar.|
|PLUS: The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory, by Peter and Leni Gillman; Midnight Sun, by Elwood Reid; Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon, by Patrick Tierney; and The Last River: The Tragic Race for Shangri-La, by Todd Balf.|
Between the Lines
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