Culture Stories

Andrew Burr
In Their Wake: A Journey From Tahiti to Hawai‘i

Life on the deck of Hokule’a, the double-hulled canoe that sails around the world using only ancient wayfinding techniques.

Ka‘iulani Murphy
4 min Read
Rewriting the Myth of the West

Two women, Black and Indigenous, reflect on the myth of the American West after horse-packing through the Sierra.

Jade Begay & Patrice Ringelstein
10 min Read
Whitmore’s Legacy

Remembering the climber and conservationist.

John Long
6 min Read
Everyone’s Wildness

A wildlife ecologist reflects on the public lands that are his escape hatch and life’s work.

J. Drew Lanham
7 min Read
Bodies of Water

When a swimmer first knew she belonged.

Bonnie Tsui
5 min Read
Hair of the Dog

A skiing family’s shear joy.

Bonnie Tsui
3 min Read
She’s Taking Out the Trash

One woman’s decades-long fight for clean air and environmental justice.

Andrew O’Reilly
10 min Read
Low Water, Loose Stone

Traveling by canoe in a desert miles from nowhere.

Thorpe Moeckel
7 min Read
Why We Sit in Trees

Roping up for a global protest.

Robert Moor
15 min Read
Capture a Patagoniac

How we found our photographic style.

Jennifer Ridgeway
7 min Read
The Story of Fleece

A tale of tinkering.

Rachel G. Horn
6 min Read
What Comes Down Must Go Up

Melinda Daniels is huddled under the shelter of her purple tent waiting for the rain to start, which only seems odd when you consider the context: she’s in the middle of a farm on a blindingly sunny day.

Johnie Gall
8 min Read
The Guide of the Marshes

Returning endangered species to the wetlands of Argentina is good for humans, too.

Beth Wald
3 min Read
Sew-cial Distancing

Making face masks in the time of COVID-19: when “breathable face fabric” takes on a whole new meaning.

5 min Read
Heating With a Match

Building a house to withstand winter.

Sue Halpern
3 min Read
Rebels in the Dirt

Young farmers learn what it means to do essential work during a global crisis.

Johnie Gall
9 min Read
Frequently Asked Questions: Living in a Van on the Road with Kids

Three moms share the details.

Lydia Zamorano
12 min Read
Adventures in Motherhood

Jasmin Caton worried having twins might slow down her life in the mountains. Then she remembered what her parents did with her.

Jasmin Caton
4 min Read
Free Baby Returned

Guri Bigham has been a free spirit from an early age.

Bonnie Tsui
3 min Read
The Migration of Songs: Thoughts from a Birder

Welcoming Back the ‘Welcoming Noise’ Near the Arctic Circle

Håkan Stenlund
7 min Read
The Art of Loss: How Zaria Forman Draws Stunningly Realistic Polar Ice

It’s fascinating to hear Zaria Forman talk about ice, especially the way that it sounds. She describes the way it rumbles and thunders and cracks, even when you can’t see anything. It crackles and pops like breakfast cereal on high volume. “Ice crispies,” she calls it. “It’s a really beautiful sound.” Polar ice is possibly…

Meaghen Brown
4 min Read
Listen to “Fistful of Hearts” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

“We biked through wind, rain, and snow. If lightning struck, we kept going. We only stopped if it got too close.  We outran tornadoes in Oklahoma. We waited out a storm in an old horse barn in Montana, huddled like penguins, our bikes cast carelessly aside in the mud,” writes John Flynn. After John lost…

The Dirtbag Diaries
1 min Read
Sawdust Is My Glitter: The Story of Blind Craftsman John Furniss

Editor’s note: This post discusses anxiety and suicide. In a humble workshop in Washougal, Washington, a blind craftsman holds a locally harvested log that he has made into a blank with his miter saw. He turns it in his hands to feel its shape and weight. He measures and marks, measures and marks. A flick…

Jeff McElroy
7 min Read
“Life of Pie”: Jen Zeuner and Anne Keller Q&A

In a fossil-rich corner of western Colorado, set against lush agricultural fields, the big-box stores of Grand Junction and the sandstone formations of the Colorado National Monument, you’ll find Fruita. These days, the town is an international mountain-biking destination known for its ribbony, high-desert trails, technical routes overlooking the Colorado River and funky downtown where…

Katie Klingsporn
7 min Read
What a Road Trip Breakdown Has to Do with Mars

Rule #1 of a road trip: Vehicle may break down. Rule #2 of a road trip: You may break down along with it. Near the Ruby Mountains in Nevada, Gordon and Meredith Wiltsie were struggling with wrenches and wire after the muffler came loose on their old International Travelall. As their 4-year-old son, Nick, whacked at…

Bonnie Tsui
2 min Read
The Long, Happy March of Barefoot Dave

Dave Murray lives in a wooded mountain valley in western Montana with his wife, Connie; a labradoodle rightly named Loki, after the Norse god of mischief; and a bunch of mules. I live 140 miles north near Glacier National Park. He and I met on a float trip down a wild river in northern British…

Doug Chadwick
16 min Read
Restoring a Traditional Hawaiian Koa Canoe on O’ahu

Restoring a traditional Hawaiian koa canoe. Ka Wahine u‘i O Hale‘iwa, which roughly translates to “Beautiful Young Woman of Hale‘iwa,” is the pride and joy of the Manu O Ke Kai Canoe Club here in Hale‘iwa on the North Shore of O‘ahu. Carved from a single koa tree, U‘i’s life began at 5,400 feet on…

Ben Wilkinson
5 min Read
Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee: A Conversation with Co-Director Len Necefer

Indigenous communities across the United States are increasingly confronted with threats to their sovereignty and to the places they rely on for their culture and way of life. Nowhere is this threat felt more than in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A new short film, Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee, looks at the Gwich’in people’s work to protect…

Mădălina Preda
9 min Read
Under the Mud

A story of a customer whose photo ended up in our catalog.

Rachel G. Horn
3 min Read
Life of Pie: How Hot Tomato Pizza Unites a Mountain Biking Paradise

Friday night at the Hot Tomato is not for those in a hurry. Hungry customers grip pints of beer and compare notes on the day’s rides in lines that spill into the parking lot. Music pumps and the staff whirls behind the counter, tossing floury dough, yelling requests to the kitchen, giving each other shit.…

Diane French
4 min Read
Nose to the Wind

Steve House joins forces with coach Scott Johnston and athlete Kílian Jornet to develop a comprehensive approach to finding the joy and the payoff of intense training. Even lunges.

Steve House
6 min Read
Listen to “The Van Fan” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Jeanie Adamson, a 50-something mom, decided to switch things up last year for spring break. When she told her son, Luke, she wanted to ski at every resort between Dallas and Lake Tahoe, he offered up his newly-renovated 1990 Dodge Ram van, Sherrod, for the job. The two of them threw in their skis, buckled…

The Dirtbag Diaries
1 min Read
Following Mule Paths by Bike in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains

Following ancient pathways in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains. According to our local guide, Samir Ahmoudou, to travel anywhere in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, you only need to know three Amazigh words: sow, gow, ich—“eat, sleep, drink.” Hospitality will take care of the rest. Such advice seems simple to the point of unlikely, but the piles of…

Leilani Bruntz
9 min Read
Where Is She Now? The Famous Flying Patagonia Baby

Jordan Leads wants everybody to know she is alive and well. When she was six months old, she had her picture taken with her family at Joshua Tree’s Turtle Rock: a baby in midair, swaddled in a puffy purple jumpsuit, thrown over a disturbingly large gap between boulders. (Her parents, Jeff and Sherry, were the…

Bonnie Tsui
3 min Read
Listen to “Novel Inspiration” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

After falling in love with John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Charlie Turnbull and Leon Morton set out to recreate the 1,615-mile journey described in the novel – but on bikes. In July. With camera gear and a few buddies in tow, they followed historic Route 66 from Oklahoma to Southern California. And along the way,…

The Dirtbag Diaries
1 min Read
Listen to “Mountain Hollow Dreams” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

“I’d built it up in my head a lot—being a professional climber. This felt like the consummation of those dreams. I found the valley, I envisioned the trip, I got the funding, made it happen, stood at the base, picked the line, climbed it, sent, we were at the top and it wasn’t feeling the…

The Dirtbag Diaries
1 min Read
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