At this time each year, every media outlet the world over unveils their definitive "Best of 2003" lists. To avoid accusations of self-promotion, we default to the editorial expertise governing The Best American Travel Writing, who selected four stories from the pages of Outside for their 2003 edition.
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Pope on a Rope Tow
Once upon a time, Pope John Paul II played hooky to grab powder turns in the Tatra Mountains. Now, carving His Holiness's home slopes, the writer finds that Poland remains a heavenly place to ski.
By Lisa Anne Auerbach
The Respect of the Men
Forget the magic tricks, the boot-kissing, that funny cowboy dance. When you lead a group of guys into the woods, respect has gotta be earned.
By Jack Handey
Seattle: City of software, coffee, and, each December, swarms of tiny, ink-squirting squid that rush the waters off Pier 63. Welcome to the high-octane urban sport of squid jigging.
By Steven Rinella
In the Amazon jungle, the rainforest war rages again. Now the battle prize is rare mahogany, and the body count is rising. An exclusive report from the front lines.
By Patrick Symmes