Outside Magazine, Sep 1999



Where the Suwanne hits the Gulf, a bygone Florida thrives in the wilderness

Ah rowing—the serene sport of gentlemen. Climb inside a boat beating toward the world championships, however, and you'll find yourself enduring mind-numbing pain and exhaustion—not to mention unrelenting, hostile competition from your own teammates.

  September 1999

Blood in the Water
None of the boys of summer are tougher than those trying to secure a seat on the U.S. National Rowing Team. While bad-ass coach Mike Teti heaps abuse upon their heads, exhaustion rules, muscles fail, and minds get blown, all for one holy cause: picking the fastest, strongest, winningest rowers. And this year, two superhuman athletes are fighting a red-hot duel for the same seat in the coveted heavyweight eight boat. Who's in and who's out?
By Max Potter

Good, Clean, Dangerous Places
As Ed Abbey rightly said, "Civilization needs wilderness." With that in mind, Outside set out to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and along the way discovered a few key things: There's a new wilderness consciousness poised to reignite green activism; there's still plenty of land that needs protection; and when it comes to the politics of wilderness, everything old is new again.

  • The New Wilderness Land Grab
    An unlikely but potentially earth-shaking movement is afoot, and its rumblings are just beginning to be felt in Washington, D.C. Fueled by youthful energy, its adherents are laser-focusing on a single issue—creating new wilderness—and discovering a potent new ally: big bucks.
    By Elizabeth Arnold
  • Virgin Land: A History
    A wilderness timeline, from Bob and Aldo to George W. and Al Jr.
  • The Wild Bunch
    We've already got 104,702,547 acres of officially designated wilderness in the United States. Sounds like plenty, right? Hell, no. Outside respectfully submits its master list of amazing places that could still be destroyed by the hand of man—and damn well shouldn't.
  • The Wild Bunch, Cont.
    After making our list and checking it twice, we came up with another 30 deserving candidates. (We just couldn't stop ourselves.)

O Look at All the Fire-Folk Sitting in the Air!
It was love at first sight. Two scientists went into the woods around Elkmont, Tennessee, on a cold-hearted mission to document firefly nookie. What they found instead was a dreamlike gathering of bug-smitten onlookers and a wondrous symphony of light.
By Bill Donahue

The Low-Tech, High-Speed, Retro-Manic Simple Life
Eustace Conway talks to horses. He also bites horses. He catches trout with his bare hands. He has never bought a roll of toilet paper in his life. Eustace Conway is trying to set a land speed record for circumnavigating the Great Plains. Is there a message here? Yep: Being a Type A mountain man ain't easy. (And being his girlfriend is even harder.)
By Florence Williams

Fall Fashion: Hang Time
Newton's Law of Gravity states that what goes up must come down. We have a corollary: When coming down—especially from, say, about 13,500 feet—it's important to look sharp.
Photographs by Jorg Badura

Dispatches: News from the Field
He's French, digs Mariah Carey, and likes to cook bouillabaisse. Does that make downhill mountain biker Nicolas Vouilloz a cream puff? Hardly. He's the fastest man in a sport that just keeps getting faster. How does he do it?


  David Lynch's new movie about one old man's journey on a tractor is trumped by the real-life saga of a young man, a lawn mower, and a cross-country odyssey.
Want to convince 17,000 hungry seabirds that maybe it's time they stop eating 15 million Columbia River salmon a year? Play them love songs.
Express ice screws? Check. Petzl Tibloc ascenders? Check. SportStat pulse oximeter? Check. Pay attention: Climbing gear is going high-tech—fast.
More drug talk at the Tour de France—and an astonishing phenomenon called Lance Armstrong.
PLUS: Dead snakes bite back; the X Games's newest rival goes prime-time; heavy breathing; and more.

The Wild File
How many people can the Earth support? Does the full moon really drive animals wild? What's the biggest hailstone on record?
By Hampton Sides

Out There
The news on our smiling friends the dolphins is hardly fit to print: They're violent. They're promiscuous. And they don't really like us. What did you expect—Flipper?
By Tim Cahill

The Hard Way
In the dark of night, a thief slices his way into snoozing campers' tents with ghostly stealth. But someone is watching—someone who knows that sleep is no sanctuary, and that the line between predator and prey is not always clear.
By Mark Jenkins

Hidden Panama: Just beyond the Canal Zone lies an adventurer's dreamland—deserted Pacific playas, steaming volcanoes, toucan-studded rainforests. Whether you're looking to swing with howler monkeys or snorkel with green sea turtles, the world's most important isthmus will leave you feeling muy tranquilo. Plus: Diving with convicts (and marlin and hammerhead) off untamed Coiba Island.

  Leave contemporary Florida behind and drive backward in time to sleepy Cedar Key, where seabirds outnumber snowbirds.
Looking for a mobless Moab? Utah's Brian Head is worth a detour.
PLUS: Glitz-free ski packages to Aspen; mastering tai chi in Hong Kong; and more.

Hip Moves: The secret to a perfect spike or a lightning-fast sprint is a swingin' set of hip joints and some downright groovy pelvic muscles. How to tap your inner Elvis? Try our thrice-weekly regimen.

  Zap! An electrifying new therapy to treat tendinitis.
Common-sense fitness for 14,000-foot peaks; and more.

Let's get technical:
Used to be you'd don a high-performance rain shell and the whole world would know it—blinding colors, overblown extras, noisy fabric. But the latest crop of everything-proof outerwear conquers the elements, and may even impress the fashion police. The season's staunchest from Arc'Teryx, Ibex, Marmot, Moonstone, Patagonia, Pearl Izumi, RLX Polo Sport, Sierra Designs, The North Face, and Zoic.

  The long and short of it: Lights that keep you biking long after the sun goes down.
One small telescope, one giant leap for stargazers everywhere.
Compliments of K2, an in-line skate with a cool hinged blade that opens the door to control and speed.
PLUS: Catfish and Mandala, by Andrew X. Pham; A Life on the Edge, by Jim Whittaker; Isaac's Storm, by Erik Larson; and more.

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©1999, Outside magazine