Outside Magazine, May 1999



Two-wheel trekking through the Baja backcountry

Small child grows up, learns to surf better than anyone ever, finds fame, gathers wealth, forms a band, lands on television, dates starlets, grows bored, moves on. Just another success story, peculiar to America.


Are You Where You Ought to Be?
There's no place like home, but when the same-old doesn't quite cut it anymore, home is the place you must go find. A drumroll, please, for the best town where you can…
By Mike Grudowski and Curtis Pesmen

S P E C I A L   F E A T U R E
From the Wonderful People Who Brought You the Killing Fields
Ah, the romance of motorcycling through Cambodia, where the minefields are marked (if you're lucky), the Khmer Rouge karaoke rocks, and fear is best left unmedicated.
By Patrick Symmes

Eat My Backwash, Señor!
When the world's toughest marathon swim series churns through a labyrinth of Borgesian proportions along Argentina's rivers, the waterborne partying never stops.
By Ken Kalfus

Epitaph for a Crusader
Terence Freitas dedicated his life to a good cause in a dangerous place, but doing the right thing had the wrong ending. A tragedy from the Colombian cloud forest.
By Mark Levine


  D E P A R T M E N T S
Dispatches: News from the Field
What do you get when a man called "The Hammer" launches a long-distance rowing race as brutal as his name? Sore butts and blisters–and perhaps new respect for a long-ignored sport.

DuPont puts a price on keeping a hallowed preserve mine-free–and it may cost taxpayers plenty.
The fight to save hunters from extinction goes high-tech. (Two words: virtual venison.)
A lone explorer's quest to unravel a baffling Arctic mystery.
Giving a new twist to "do not disturb," the country's greenest luxury hotel opens its doors.

The Wild File
So just what is the "music of the spheres"? Is scuba diving bad for your bones? And why does moss grow on rocks?
By Hampton Sides

Out There
To discover his fate, literature's greatest explorer made a detour to the dim underworld of Hades. But in repeating this odyssey some 3,000 years later, who'd have guessed that the road to hell would be strewn with kamikaze cabbies, Texan tourists, and the black holes of an agnostic mind?
By Mark Jenkins

Field Notes
When you're the backwoods barbarian running wild in the land of the lockstep salaryman, it's easy to make yourself heard. But whether Japan is listening to its unlikely ecosavior–a very large, very loud, very uncompromising Welshman–is another matter entirely.
By Jeffrey Bartholet

Forgotten Baja: Though not far from the glitzy resorts of Cabo San Lucas, the East Cape is worlds away, with unpaved roads, sleepy beach towns, and easy access to some of the area's best sports and wildlife. An essential guide to diving, mountain biking, kayaking, and otherwise reveling in the true Baja Sur.

  A Canadian Rockies centennial celebration with an intriguing bottom line: The guiding services are gratis.
At these Internet auction sites, travel bargains are just a click away.
Streamside digs at Montana's Rainbow Ranch.
the Caribbean's prime boardsailing grounds, and more.

Improving your focus, literally:
In the keen pursuit of athletic prowess, it's easy to overlook two crucial assets–your eyes. Enter vision therapy, a new training regimen that'll help you sharpen your game without breaking a sweat.

  Laser-sharp clarification: surgical options for taking you from blind bat to eagle eye.

Want a better bike? Having the coolest, fastest two-wheeler on your block means either treating yourself to a new ride or sprucing up your old one. Our fail-safe guide to the best of both.

  Six of the season's optimum steeds from Bianchi, Gary Fisher, GT, LeMond, Salsa, and Specialized. (Because sometimes you need to start from scratch.)
Clipless pedals that guarantee surefooted stability no matter what the terrain.
The latest suspension forks for maximum travel and minimum hassle.
Antigravity wheels to lighten your clunker.
Seat-friendly saddles to smooth out the long haul.
PLUS: Book Reviews of Close Range: Wyoming Stories, by Annie Proulx; Three Miles Down, by James Hamilton-Paterson; High Exposure, by David Breashears; and more.

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©1999, Outside magazine