Outside Magazine, Jun 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.

S P E C I A L   F E A T U R E
Culture Clash
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.

A ritzy new club threatens to turn Yellowstone into the Hamptons West.
The fight to cleanse southern California's best surfing breaks takes a most righteous turn.
Synthesized crickets and digitized frogs, from America's only all-natural politican-composer.
Will Christo's next exhibit get squelched? Only a herd of high-strung bighorns knows for sure.
PLUS: An illustrious canoe-maker takes a cue from Crayola; Lake Erie biologists ponder the mysteries of extinction—with help from a very old, very cold, very dead pike; and more.

The Wild File
What is heat lightning? Why do wetsuits reek? And do ostriches really bury their heads in the sand?
By Hampton Sides

Out There
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

Field Notes
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.

  Escaping the wrath of summer in Australia's nordic-friendly "Alps."
Fat-tire rambling and posthike pampering in the Berkshires.
PLUS: The hubbub over new scheduled flights into already-crowded Moab, early-summer savings in Montana's Glacier country, and why there's no better time to jet off to Thailand..

Balancing act:
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.

  A new apparatus that simplifies stretching.
Can that oldest of saws, mind over matter, make for a stronger you? The surprising results are in.

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