Stephanie Pearson is a freelance writer and contributing editor to Outside. Three of her Outside stories have been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing. She’s also received four Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. Pearson splits her time between the lakes of northern Minnesota and the mountains of the Southwest.
Last July, then 28-year-old Alexandera Houchin won the women's Tour Divide, a 2,745-mile race from Canada to Mexico over the Continental Divide. Next on her list? The new Dirty Kanza XL, a 350-mile unsupported race across Kansas.
At 1.1 million acres, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is one of the largest and most popular backcountry destinations in the U.S. and a longtime proving ground for adventurers. But now the region is facing the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining. Stephanie Pearson paddles into the wild.
As the U.S. battles over the fate of public lands, the Chilean government and Kristine Tompkins are doing something extraordinary down in Patagonia—setting aside millions of acres for stunning new national parks. And they aren't done yet.