The List

Dec 1, 1998
Outside Magazine

54: Explore Antarctica.

54. Explore Antarctica
Not on some froufrou cruise liner where the disco blares downstairs while you're trying to commune with penguins, but on a Russian icebreaker, or a 38-passenger ship, or a smaller skippered yacht. For the first two, contact Quark Expeditions (800-356-5699) or Mountain Travel-Sobek (800-227-2384). For a yacht—and a more flexible itinerary—try the French company Croisieres Australes (011-33-2-99-23-67-41).

55. Take an Epic Ride
-In the Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, North Carolina.
-On the slopes of Mammoth Mountain, California.
-On the Hermosa Creek Trail near Durango, Colorado.
-On the abandoned logging roads of the Ouachita Mountains west of Little Rock, Arkansas.
-On the Porcupine Rim Trail outside of Moab, Utah.
56. Distill Your Own Vodka
Grain, molasses, or corn will do, but potatoes work best. Pressure-cook and grind into a mash; then cool and mix with water. Add malts and enzymes to convert the starch to sugar. Add yeast. Ferment. Distill for about a week, guarded by wolfhounds. Chill. Enjoy.

57. Cape to Cairo
In the 1970s, before he became a photographer for magazines like Geo, 21-year-old George Steinmetz dropped out of Stanford and spent two years hitchhiking Africa. He traveled by lorry and dhow, learned Swahili and trucker's French, saw the Ngorongoro Crater, attended a wrestling festival in the Sudan, boozed in Nairobi's expat pubs, herded cattle with Dinkas. "I even got amoebic dysentery," he says, "but it was worth it. The kind of self-sufficiency I developed—dealing with everyone from foreign ministers to pygmies—has shaped everything that's come after in my life. Got a hell of a tan, too."

58. Memorize "Jabberwocky," but in German
Here's your first stanza:
"Verdaustig war's, und glasse Wieben/rotterten gorkicht im Gemank./Gar elump war der Pluckerwank,/und die gabben Schweisel frieben."

59. Overnight in a Fire Tower
Two options: Rent a decommissioned perch, such as the McCart Lookout in Montana's Bitterroot National Forest (406- 821-3201) or Idaho's Shorty Peak (208-267-5561). Or actually sign up to scan for smoke (check with forest offices). In any case, for a megajolt of adrenaline, try to synchronize your visit with a thunderstorm. Seriously.