C O V E R
ROAD TRIPS 1999
The Here-Comes-Summer Fever and the Four-Wheel Cure
The pavement isn't really the point. It's the wind in the hair, the feet out the window, and the mapless quest for a random grail. So rev up and slow down for our guide to open-highway and big-country fun.
- Mississippi: My Delta, Myself
Way down south in the land of cotton, where the horizon is wide and the Bug Muddy is boss.
By Ellen Gilchrist
- Utah: A Little Good, Clean Lust
And there appeared out of the redrock desert a golden-tressed apparation. (Cue Mormon Tabernacle Choir.)
By Mike Steere
- Maine: Wave Good-bye to the Fiberglass Moose
In search of the real Maine, the tough Maine, the land of eight-track tapes and Stephen King scenarios.
By Peter Nelson
- Montana: The Dry Run
Brace yourself for Swan Valley with a pair of aces and a huckleberry shake.
By Bill Vaughn
- New York: Birch Bark in Excelsis!
Summer in the Adirondacks means Kodachrome picnics, vintage mountains, and bears on the lam.
By Jo Ann Beard
- Florida: I Brake for Spelunkers
When the lazy river calls, the only question is, Sink or swim?
By Bucky McMahon
- Oregon: Borne-Back Blues
Along the Columbia River Gorge, a haunted road revisited.
By Timothy Egan
- Indiana: Honk if You're Irrational
In which two lunatics set off in pursuit of a few good place names, notably Floyd's Knobs. (Hint: Ask to "see them.")
By Marshall Sella
PLUS: On-the-fly mechanics, roadside weirdness, and traveling tunes form Michael Stipe, Wilco, and more.
S P E C I A L F E A T U R E
Last December, fired by dreams of adventure, American journalist Philip True set out on foot into the isolated canyon country of Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental, home to the Huichol Indians. Two weeks later he turned up dead, and his murder raises any number of questions about what happens when an interloper —however well meaning— crosses the line.
By Paul Kvinta
I Am Elena. You Will Fly Me Now.
The Russians have landed in the Arizona desert, and they're here to show us a thing or two about aerobatic flight. Things like inverted corkscrews and screaming dives. Strap in, American flyboy, and mind that your altimeter doesn't zero out.
By Peter Maass
A Long and Brutal Assault
Epic achievement or bald-faced lie? Ninety years after Frederick Cook claimed to have summited Mount McKinley, the debate over his disgrace rages hotter than ever.
By David Roberts
The Few. The Brave. The Capitalists.
What's a poor rich adventurer to do now that someone else's balloon has circled the globe? You'd be surprised.
By David Rakoff
||D E P A R T M E N T S
Dispatches: News from the Field
In Pakistan, a scrappy young climbing team attempts the world's meanest wall.
The Wild File
What is heat lightning? Why do wetsuits reek? And do ostriches really bury their heads in the sand?
By Hampton Sides
You've got your QE2, your own cedar-strip canoe, and any number of aesthetically pleasing boats. And then there's the Flueve Congo, an eight-barge abomination meandering down Africa's steamiest river, ferrying (by our man's desperate count) 780,000 passengers and one functioning toilet. Is this purgatory on pontoons? God only knows.
By Tim Cahill
In the proud and chic Eternal City, one might be surprised to find the fauna running rings around the populace. But Rome is no stranger to living rough, as evidenced by the 300,000 feral felines that roam among the ruins, dining on fetuccine and proving that "urban" and "tame" are not at all the same
By James Hamilton-Paterson
The ideal isle: With its pounding Pacific surf, mist-shrouded inlets, and old-growth rainforests, Vancouver Island just might be the West Coast's best-kept secret. An adventurer's guide to sea kayaking, mountain biking, and otherwise exploring British Columbia's wild and accessible playground.
If you've ever face-planted while skating over a curb or running a rocky trail—and who hasn't?—chances are you can benefit from working on the little-known muscles that support your inner gyroscope. Try our thrice-weekly program and banish the klutz within.
Trout v. technology: They're clever little bastards, those most finicky and revered of fish. Good thing, then, that there's a sleek new batch of troutworthy rods, reels, and lines from G. Loomis, L.L. Bean, Orvis, Powell, Rio, Sage, Scientific Anglers, Seaguar, St. Croix, and STH.
||You can take it with you: seven all-purpose car racks that more than pull their weight when it's time to take big gear on the road.
||At last, a three-season sleeping bag with plenty of elbow (and shoulder, and knee, and ankle…) room.
||It may walk like a cell phone and talk like a cell phone, but it's really a multifunction GPS.
||PLUS: The Man Who Tried to Save the World, by Scott Anderson; Some Horses, by Thomas McGuane; The White Bone, by Barbara Gowdy; and more.
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©1999, Outside magazine