Biking the Slow Road from China to Laos – Part 5/5

With additional writing by Will Stauffer-Norris  In five or ten years, we will come back to this place and zip from Kunming to Luang Prabang in mere hours on the new train. Maybe we will take a houseboat out for a spin on one of the Nam Ou dam reservoirs, or a zip line from peak…

Biking Along a Soon-to-Be-Dammed River in Laos – Part 4/5

With additional writing by Will Stauffer-Norris  Running the length of remote northern Laos’ Phongsali Province, the Nam Ou River is one of the Mekong’s largest tributaries. But the river that provides vital dietary protein and transport to people throughout this largely roadless watershed is about to be transformed. The Lao government has contracted a Chinese company…

A Surfer’s Reflections From on a Decade at Sea

For the last decade, Liz Clark’s home has been the ocean. The exploratory surfer-sailor set out on Swell, her 40-foot sailboat, from the coast of Santa Barbara in October 2005 to seek out unknown surf breaks and live a life acutely attuned to weather and the vast blue ocean. Clark now spends most of her time…

Ultrarunner Scott Jurek on Carbo-Loading, His Favorite Races, and Pushing Through Adversity

Legendary adventure runner Scott Jurek has said that running is a solo sport requiring absolute mental focus. But, if there was one person this 2016 Adventurer of the Year would want on the trail with him, Jurek would choose Mahatma Gandhi—another master of psychological endurance. Over his 20-year career, Jurek has helped popularize the sport…

Pedaling Along Power Lines in Northern Laos – Part 3/5

What would Daohu think? This question stuck with us through the days and weeks after meeting such an ambitious and inquisitive Hmong youth, at 3,600 feet, on the side of a mountain. We were seated in miniature plastic chairs, eating cucumber, the only alternative to the ubiquitous processed Chinese snacks sold in rural roadside shops…

How to Hike the Backcountry With Your Furry Best Friend

On his multiweek hikes through Utah’s canyon country, Ace Kvale always brings his custom GPS, or Genghis Positioning System, also known as his dog, an Australian blue heeler named Genghis Khan. “He’s always very solid, always there, but never in the way. A really good partner at all times,” says Kvale, a longtime adventure photographer…

One of Yosemite’s Leading Climbers Also Saves Babies’ Lives

When Libby Sauter leans over a small child in an operating room, his chest cut open to reveal his tiny heart for surgery—the most vulnerable, unstable patient in the entire hospital—the room is tense. “You have to try and be super, super organized to keep everything together because there’s so much going on,” Sauter says.…

This Man Is Living Your Tropical Island Dream Life

See all the #InaWeekend Bahamas videos. Charlie and Joyce Beede are as warm and cheerful as anyone I know, and we laughed at offhand jokes and reflected on the day’s adventure amid the crackling sound of fire and the smell of roasting garlic cooking with the fish. There was a scar here, though, and Charlie…

Biking on Laos’ Future High Speed Rail Route – Part 2/5

With additional writing by Will Stauffer-Norris Following the proposed route of a high-speed rail—by bicycle, in the uplands of Southeast Asia—proves to be a challenging prospect. But our trek is necessary to truly understand how the massive new railroad would change the region’s cultural and physical landscape—its friction of terrain. We gawk at the landscape,…

Biking the Course of Southeast Asia’s Future High-Speed Railway – Part 1/5

It was 7:30 in the morning, and we were already blanketed with a thin film of fine red dust. Any relief the high-altitude provincial capital of Phongsali had given us from the mid-May heat was long gone. Our jet-black bicycles, gear piled atop them, were orange and silty as we rolled up, unexpectedly, to the…