Tough-love wilderness camps come under scrutiny after a 16-year-old dies in Utah. Brash talk and alarming legislation from the loosest of Alaska’s Capitol Hill cannons. A legendary California birdman tries to hang-glide across Wyoming. ESPN brings a new generation of wacky, high-speed sports to couch potatoes across America. Plus: Dinosaur-hunter Peter Larson wins his battle with the feds; as mountain biking prepares to go Olympic, U.S. and Canadian riders win gold in the Pan Am Games; roadkill makes its way onto the plates of Vermont’s gastronomes; and more.
If you have a garden, you don’t need a newspaper–all the violence, death, survival, and frustration you can handle lie right outside your front door. Observations from a newly obsessed green thumb, basking in victory’s glow after thwarting the hornworm invasion. By Randy Wayne White
The Wild File
Can you determine the temperature from the pace of a cricket’s chirps? What purpose do male nipples serve? How come fish aren’t electrocuted when lightning strikes the water?
Glitz-free outdoor sports resorts: for the nine-iron- and Bermuda-shorts-impaired, ten comfortable home bases for paddling, climbing, biking, hiking, fishing, and sailing. Also, resort programs to keep the kids happily busy, too. Summer sailing perfection on Canada’s Great Slave Lake. What to know before you let your pets run free in the wilderness. Plus: An outdoor photography workshop in Colorado with one of the best in the business, archaeological day-tripping along Peru’s remote northern coast, and more.
Saving your feet: supporting, strengthening, and cushioning strategies for a summer on the run. Five exercises to help you develop a more supple, powerful reach. Plus: Tips on taking the sting out of backcountry bites, from the man who literally wrote the book; the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture and its cutting-edge role in today’s sports medicine; and more.
Easy-to-transport, easy-to-operate sailboats and sailboards that are just right for novices but leave plenty of room for growth. Also, the seven best waterproof sunscreens and lip balms for the nautical set. Polarized sunglasses that block the glare, not the light. REI’s new firm but conforming climbing harnesses. Plus: Light, roomy, and versatile three-season tents from Bibler; When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, by Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy; The Company of Wolves, by Peter Steinhart; and more.
Between the Lines
It’s a Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun Country
From Maine to New Mexico, they’re at it: the bikers, the Basques, the rock jocks, the pig wrestlers. Road-tripping through summertime America, land of the free, home of the serious recreationalist. By E. Annie Proulx
They are the Fab Five of the sprinting world, human bullets whose single aim is to propel their bodies as fast as humanly possible–and then faster still. A look at an elite culture of high-strung thoroughbreds and its unfathomably pure 100-meter act of creation, in which medals, glory, and money are parceled out to the abstract cadence of the hundredth of a second. By Daniel Coyle
What Are You Whining About?
Got a bad case of saddle sores? Sidelined by shin splints? Pity. Now meet some folks who are the very definition of athletic stick-to-itiveness, men and women who really know what it means to take a licking and…well, you get the idea. By Paul Kvinta
The Sea, C’est Moi
In the wake of his heroic yet controversial feat, a Franco-American chat with transatlantic swimmer Guy Delage, scientist, patriot, champion of the fishes. By Jack Hitt
A Park Boy Is Born
When the romance of Yosemite’s summer-job cornucopia beckoned, he heeded the urgent call, fluffing pillows, crushing aluminum, and ladling out Stroganoff to help keep a national treasure’s mighty engines stoked. An inside view of life at John Muir’s piney cathedral. By Jack Barth
Guide to Summer
A skill-enhancing, endorphin-releasing, sunscreen-slathered, thoroughly field-tested primer on: whitewater canoeing, longboard surfing, hosting a picnic, spur-of-the-moment camping, picking a summer rental, and running in the heat. By Marni Jackson, Bucky McMahon, Pete Nelson, Elizabeth Royte, and Lynn Snowden