C O V E R
X Marks the Spot
Will it be a sugar-sand beach, a wilderness retreat, or maybe a forest sanctuary just 90 minutes from Manhattan? Our insider's guide offers a multitude of breathtaking options; all you've got to do is choose between the best and the best.
By Stephanie Gregory
S P E C I A L F E A T U R E
Environmental Groups Primer
Near to the Ground
Something big is changing the face of environmental activism: a small-is-beautiful insurgency of local and regional grassroots groups. Agile, zealous, and increasingly potent, the movement is posing a bold challenge to the lumbering megagroups that once ruled the green world. An indispensable millennial guide to the revolution next door.
Scorching the Earth to Save It
With its brawling, lawsuit-brandishing, no-compromise approach to battle, the highly successful Southwest Center for Biological Diversity has earned as many critics as victories. Meet the regional firebrands who proclaim that extremism in defense of the environment is no vice.
By John Skow
The Report Card
Our roster of the key players in the small-groups movement, and the unvarnished scoop on what they're doing to make a neighborhood stand.
By Florence Williams
The Old Guard
Money, size, and friends at the top still count, and even the big dogs can learn new tricks.
O T H E R F E A T U R E S
Dan Osman invented his own death-defying sport, earning a certain celebrity as the rising star of "free-falling." Until the day he reached the end of his rope, and kept going.
By Craig Vetter
Twilight of the Dogs
Ben Givens — surgeon, soldier, mountaineer, husband — has lived a long, crowded, bittersweet life. Now, with time growing short, he's taking his fate into his own hands. Fate, however, has other ideas. From the new novel by the author of Snow Falling on Cedars
By David Guterson
Would You Be, Could You Be, Won't You Be (and Why in Hell Does Anyone Want to Be) My Neighbor?
With Alaska's finest scenery right outside the door, the only drawback to life in Whittier is the hellish cabin fever stalking you all winter long. Actually, here's one other catch: There's only one cabin in town and it's 14 stories tall.
By Mike Grudowski
Go West, and Preferably at Race Pace
It's no mirage — those fast-moving apparitions under the New Mexico skies are the very real heralds of clothing fit for spring.
Photographs by Rob Howard
||D E P A R T M E N T S
Dispatches: News from the Field
How best to watch surfers battling 40-foot waves, skiers hucking off 30-foot cliffs, and boardsailors catching 40-foot air? On an 80-foot screen, say the makers of IMAX's Extreme.
The Wild File
If the Earth is constantly eroding, why are older civilizations buried instead of exposed? Does garbage give off heat? What causes my fingers to go numb during long hikes? And why do all those worms come out after a rainstorm?
Searching northern Patagonia for the long-lost (OK, not so lost) hideout of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, our man discovers that untangling the web of history can be downright addictive.
By Tim Cahill
What kind of klutz suffers a dislocated hip, a compound radial arm fracture, and eviscerated bowels in a single weekend? Only a rare and selfless thespian. One who'll fake all manner of backcountry trauma so that fledgling doc-jocks will one day be able to save your sorry ass.
By Ken Kalfus
Bodywork: No gym required:
Want to get a jump on your competition before hitting the playing fields this spring? Then master this program of high-intensity calisthenics — and no, we don't mean jumping jacks — for fast (and vast) improvements in balance, strength, endurance, and speed.
Review: All fun, all the time
Today's river kayaks are shorter, lighter, and more responsive — ideal for surfing steep waves and perfecting your whitewater tricks. They're called playboats, and if you're worthy they'll take you from beginner to rodeo stunt artist in no time. Eight sprightly models from Dagger, Necky, Perception, Prijon, Pyranha, Riot, Savage, and Wave Sport. Plus: ten riverine playgrounds to test your moves.
||Buying Right: The best paddling clothes, PFDs, river sandals, and dry bags — no matter what your kayaking style.
||The Other Stuff: A roadside emergency kit that no self-respecting SUV should be without; solo camping made simple, compliments of Bibler's bivy-tent hybrid; and treatments that transform your leaky rain jacket into a stalwart shell.
||Books: Peter Matthiessen's Bone by Bone, Edward Hoagland's Tigers & Ice, Bill Barich's Crazy for Rivers, and more.
Between the Lines
Active Traveler Directory
©1999, Outside magazine