Outside Magazine, Feb 1997



In the evolution of the species known as hockey players, those indoor patches of brine-cooled, milky-white, Zambonied ice have spawned some very good athletes. But the truly great ones arise from the dense, black freeze of the neighborhood skating pond, where weekend duffers and future stars happily collide.

Along the 43rd parallel in North America, raising pumpkins isn't just a sleepy backyard pursuit—it's an extreme sport. And nowhere are the stakes higher, or the intrigues thicker, than at the annual weigh-off of the World Pumpkin Confederation, the Olympics of garden-patch gigantism.

Fitness ’97
The Guru Speaks. You Should Listen.
Mark Allen, six-time winner of the Hawaii Ironman and unrivaled exemplar of the exceedingly fit, has called his career quits. Now he’s spilling the workout secrets that made him a success. A 16-week program for ultimate fitness, as tutored by the master.
By Todd Balf

Pond Life
Site of pitched battle, of sudden glory and lingering pain, the backyard hockey pond gives rise to the coolest players of the game. And also to the warmest memories.
By Charles McGrath

South of the Border, Upside-Down Mexico Way
All right, so maybe traveling by rental car into the turbulent, guerrilla-filled heart of Zapatista country wasn’t the smartest thing a tourist could do. But what other way was there to make it to the counry’s most bizarre festival? Scenes from a Mayan mystery tour.
By Doug Stanton

Pumpkin v. Pumpkin
When the World Pumpkin Confederation squared off with the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth in the bruising race to break the mythical 1,000-pound barrier, you had to know there would be cheating, lying, and of course, the occasional exploding gourd.
By Elizabeth Royte

An Oregon rancher takes the Endangered Species Act to the Supreme Court, leaving environmentalists to await a ruling with potentially disastrous results. A shoe company’s one-million-dollar marathon prize brings cries of jingoism. The Wise Use movement comes up with a befuddling new tactic. World champion snowboarder Jeff Greenwood fights to be noticed. Backwoods-inventor-cum-backpack-entrepreneur Patrick Smith unveils his modular Revolution. Grassroots greens battle Hollywood moguls who want to pave L.A.’s wetlands-hey, what a great idea for a movie! Plus: A bastion of sexism comes tumbling down, as women make a splash at the Acapulco Cliff Diving Championships; a group of hallowed outdoorsmen, aka the Tenth Mountain Division, comes to life on the big screen; the Norman Schwarzkopf of forestry looks to carpet-bomb the world; and more.

Surf’s up, buckaroos: On the unheralded Gulf coast of Texas, “dude” may have a decidedly different meaning-but the sea breezes and sunsets are enough to make any beachcomber feel right at home. Five great Lone Star State spots for camping, fishing, sailing, sea kayaking, biking, windsurfing, and soaking in the sun. The prestigious British School of Falconry hangs its shingle at a plush New England retreat. Plus: The perfect home base for exploring the Vail of the Midwest; women-only snowboard camps at Vermont’s Sugarbush; a rare chance to dive in Catalina Island’s Avalon Harbor; and more.

Out There
What’s the most fun a white-knuckle flier can have? Try ten days in an overloaded single-engine Cessna with a bush pilot suspected of drug running, the ever-looming potential for gunplay, and a surprise invitation to take over the controls.
By Randy Wayne White

The best in on-the-go garb: Combining elements of casual clothing and technical outerwear, the latest travel togs weigh little, require minimum pack space, wash and dry easily, need no ironing–and, yes, even look sharp enough for those cocktail hours at the embassy.
From hats and shoes to belts and briefs, accessories to round out the practical traveler’s wardrobe.
Just in time for prime saltwater fly-fishing season, an array of entry-level and high-performance rods and reels, as well as a few convincing flies for the tackle box.
Plus: Patagonia’s weatherproof but stretchy Storm Cycle jacket and pants; versatile, goggle-like Pan-Optx Raptor sunglasses; a quartet of retrospectives on environmentalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner; Letting Loose the Hounds, by Brady Udall; and more.

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