“We love this song!! Our 4 year old is dancing in the kitchen,” commented one viewer, as singer/songwriter Matt Costa serenaded the virtual crowd with his feel-good hit song, Sunshine.
“Dr. Costa coming through with the daily prescription of love,” typed another fan during Costa’s opening song, Let Love Heal, a hopeful and positive track from his brand new album, Yellow Coat.
By all accounts, the inaugural Men’s Journal Social Concert Ft. Matt Costa powered by Fender was a smashing success.
The acclaimed singer/songwriter played a 30-minute set on our Facebook Live, straight from a studio inside his California-based cottage. But if you missed the show––or just want to watch it again––we’ve got the entire stream for you right here.
A huge thanks to Matt Costa, Fender and everyone who made this virtual concert possible. And if you’re interested, here’s the set list to Matt’s show.
With COVID-19 concerns still looming, Americans are changing the way they travel, or plan to travel in the future. People are skipping busy airports and train terminals in favor of road trips and camping experiences. Instead of crowded tourism destinations, they’re focusing on hidden gems and lesser-known locales. Even business travel and group conferences have transitioned to virtual formats. Countless hotels and resorts across the country have already begun implementing new sanitation protocols and increased safety precautions. But many travelers are opting for private home rentals in lieu of traditional hotel stays. In fact, despite travel advisories and say-at-home orders, Airbnb reported a surge in bookings this summer. Hosts in rural areas earned more than $200 million in June, indicating a staggering 25 percent increase compared to the previous year. And the trend is only expected to continue in the months to come.
To help inspire your next socially distant getaway, we’ve rounded up 10 remote Airbnb rentals that are off the beaten path, so you can unwind with peace of mind. From treehouse lookouts and tiny homes to cleverly converted outposts, each one is sure to impress (without breaking the bank).
Disclaimer: People planning travel of any kind should visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for the most current COVID-19 alerts and updates. Be sure to also review any travel advisories related to the destination(s) you’re planning to visit and keep yourself and others safe by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and bringing the appropriate food, drinks, and other supplies when possible.
Summer comes to an end at different times in different places—and at different times for different people. Seasonal transitions can pose some problems, particularly when trying to slap together a no-hassle cocktail or two. So we did the work for you with three easy whiskey cocktails.
Here are three supremely flexible drinks for every part of the final summer days (and nights). With just a few ingredients, a single glass, and a stir or a smash, you can welcome the cooler weather with a refreshing toast.
For the “Bonus” Dog Days: The Summer Garden
Takuma Watanabe of Angel’s Share in New York City has a delicious concoction of bourbon and things you wish were coming right out of your own garden. The best part of the recipe is how absurdly easy it is to make: All you’re doing is adding the ingredients to the likes of a mason jar, smashing them up, and topping with some soda water. It’s perfect for those oddball warm Sundays or that last beach trip of the season.
1.5 parts bourbon (recommended: Maker’s Mark)
3 one-inch Watermelon Cubes
4 basil leaves
.5 part simple syrup
Add all ingredients into a mason jar (except soda). Muddle. Add ice and top with soda water at the beach.
For the Sunny Start of Football Season: The Spire
Not content with more than 100,000 mint julep sales annually, the Woodford folks commissioned a new cocktail to be served at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby that (it must be said) may be a better drink. Bourbon balances out two refreshing and tart summer staples: lemonade and cranberry juice. It’s delicious poolside, or just in the shade before the sweaters must come out.
1.5 parts Woodford Reserve bourbon
2 parts lemonade
1 part cranberry juice
Lemon peel for a lemon twist to garnish
In a glass mix Woodford Reserve, lemonade, and cranberry juice with a bar spoon. Add liquid mixture into a copper cup, add crushed ice to the top of the glass, and serve with a lemon twist.
For Cooler Nights: The Ball Jar Penicillin
Smokey scotch and spicy ginger make this classic take on a whiskey lemonade pop. Laphroaig is the go-to standard for these drinks, which is appropriate, given its depth of seaside flavors and its briny character. What’s great about the penicillin served this way is that it’s infinitely forgiving. Melting ice will balance any harsh edges, and you can always give it a quick glug of whisky when it starts to feel weak.
To Make 1 Batch (5-6 cocktails) in a Ball Jar (no tools required)
2 – 2.5 parts Laphroaig 10 Year
1 part honey ginger syrup
1 part bottle lemon juice
Add Laphroaig to a 32 oz Ball Jar, then add syrup and juice. Stir. Add ice, or simply pour into single-serving glasses over fresh ice. Garnish as above.
The following is an excerpt from the book Reports From Hell, a gonzo ride through the Middle East with Chas Smith, the award-winning author of Welcome to Paradise, Now Go To Hell. In this chapter, our fearless correspondent arrives in Yemen in 2003, looking to answer the one question literally no surfer had ever asked: Were there any waves in Osama Bin Laden’s ancestral home?
We treat al-Mukullah over the next ten days the way sloppy Germans, Danes, and Poles treat Mallorca, ambling around in the heat of the day between shops that sell ice-cream and internet caf?s, driving out to the wave for a surf, driving back for a massive chicken lunch, driving out to the wave for an evening surf, driving back for a dinner of fried fish balls and banana mush next to the mosque.
Major Ghamdan mostly stayed in his room as far as I could tell and seemed resigned to whatever would happen, throwing up his hands and letting God decide our fate, really and truly getting into the “inshahallah” spirit the way all good Muslims and Calvinists do.
Irate younger men would approach semi-regularly, especially after evening prayers, eyes burning, and tell us that George Bush is a dog. Yemen was severely punished by George Sr. for holding the position that Arab nations should not intervene in the business between Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War and even more severely punished by Kuwait and her neighbors as thousands of working Yemenis were expelled without warning.
George Jr. had just taken Baghdad in the second Gulf War not two months ago as the Global War on Terror found a new theater and was saber rattling through the rest of the region, demanding that nations were either for us or against us, and if they were against us—well, things would not go well.
Depending on our collective mood we would either argue back that the Bush family was a proud American legacy or agree and either way the conversations would end with warm proclamations of friendship and hand-holding beneath the starry skies of Mukullah, a striking town that grows better with experience.
The way the light bathes it in the day, the way heat radiates off every surface at night. The mix of Indian, British, Persian, Indonesian, and East African influences. Architecture, food, and dress harkening to the days when it was a center of the trading world. Osama bin Laden’s family chose their region well, and my desire to live in the Hadramawt grew unchecked.
Most nights belonged to music videos or accidentally CNN’s international version. The Horse did indeed have televisions and not one but two music video channels from Saudi Arabia and from Lebanon, which worked brilliantly when one switched to Live from Mecca programming unless they both switched to it at the same time. It blew my expectations out of the water, and even though Josh would semi-regularly reference how epic the hotel by the mosque was and how it was also closer to fried fish balls, we all feasted on Stone Temple Pilots, Ricky Martin, Alicia Keys, Incubus, Uncle Cracker, Nelly Furtado, and Enrique Iglesias with equal relish—especially the Enrique Iglesias video featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Mickey Rourke in an epic ballad that brought me near tears every time it played, particularly when Enrique Iglesias looked deep into Jennifer Love Hewitt’s eyes and said, “I can be your hero, baby. I can kiss away the pain.”
One evening, as we traipsed back to our hotel from fried fish balls, a group of young men followed us into a small, empty corridor and unsheathed their jambiyas, flashing the curved steel and yelling that we were Americans. Josh lowered his shoulder and ran at them like a corn-fed University of Michigan fullback. They tossed them into a nearby bush and took off sprinting, and the whole scene felt wonderful, harkening back to a simpler, less litigious time when back-alley street fights between rival hoods were commonplace.
“When you’re a jet you’re a jet all the way!” I shouted as they rounded the corner, Josh hot on their wedge-sandaled heels.
Another evening as we sauntered back we saw a massive crowd out front the shopfront where we bought our morning coffees. A sea of turbaned heads sitting cross-legged on a piece of Astroturf rolled out for the occasion. As we got nearer we saw they were all watching a tiny rabbit-earred television, and as we got nearer still saw the television was showing a pro surf contest from Hawaii the year earlier.
I couldn’t believe it. Here in al-Mukallah—a thousand miles from the nearest semblance of surf culture and ten thousand miles from Oahu’s North Shore—a few hundred men were silently basking in the Pastime of Kings. I elbowed one wearing a particularly neat turban-skirt combination, pointed at the television, and told him that’s what we did, what those men were doing on the television, riding tables on the ocean exactly like them. His eyes widened and I almost invited him to watch us live the next day but thankfully caught myself, realizing that while we indeed rode tables on the ocean exactly like the men on television, our surfing looked very different. So different, in fact, that it might have been confused as a separate water game altogether. One not so graceful or exciting. Still, the entire scene was so gorgeously surreal it made me positively giddy for days afterward.
And then, one hot morning, it is time to move on.
We have been in the country for just over a month, have experienced the highlands with gorgeously terraced qat plantations, mist-shrouded crags, gingerbread houses, deep valleys, quaint towns, and bustling cities. And also the guns, skirts, ninjas, banana milk, and rotisserie chicken, of course.
Ahead is the lightly tamed hinterland. The paved portion of our journey will conclude in a hundred or so kilometers and we’ll be alone in a mountainous coastal desert or maybe a rain forest. Josh had said the monsoonal flow hits the coast where Yemen touches Oman, but it is difficult for me to believe him. Even if I stretch my imagination all the way out I can picture neither rain nor forest. We are in dry lands, and wild, untamed dry lands await. Dry lands that even the heartiest Yemeni has never seen. That nobody has ever seen.
We buy qat from Mukullah’s qat souq before leaving, and though it’s early, it also guarantees the quality of our purchase. Cole had already been a sommelier before we arrived, but a sommelier unburdened by price. It took a hot minute, but we figured out the game, and it serves us now. We begin chewing as Major Ghamdan points the Landcruiser northeast and continue chewing through an almost fun wave we discovered right past an oil facility thirty kilometers past al-Mukala owned by a Canada-based firm. We surf for an hour, cheeks filled with qat, at an almost very fun beach break we dub “Oh, Canada” afterward. Naming each break we discover is very important in the moment, not that any other surfer on Earth will ever follow. Still, very important. When watching a movie about Everest or Half Dome or whatever, the nomenclatures are set to memory. I know the “Hillary Step” without having climbed a day in my life. I know “Monster Offwidth” thanks to the mad man Alex Honnold. Names mean something even when they don’t.
We have the honor and privilege of naming every break we surf, since we are the first to surf them, and I dutifully scribble their names in my notebook, gazing at it with pride as the list grows longer. After “Oh, Canada” I draw a maple leaf. Cole leans, studying my work, and says, “I like weed too.”
“How much for a Cheech and Chong meatsa-meatsa?” I ask him. “Oooooh, a total ten.”?“Gross, Cole,” Josh says without looking back.? And then like that the road ends. We stop for a moment and study a dirt path that crawls up the horizon and disappears around a giant boulder planted into an even bigger mountain, rugged and wild. A lazy checkpoint attendee casually strolls over, takes the tasrih, studies it for a moment, pokes his head in the car, examines us all in the same way we’d now been examined fifty or so times at each of the fifty or so checkpoints we’d passed through so far, puffs air into one cheek, points to it with a crooked finger, and slightly widens his dark brown eyes.
“Aiwa,” I say. “Ana…” but Josh cuts me off before I can say “Yemeni.”
Major Ghamdan presses the pedal and we crunch forward into the even greater unknown.
I lose track of time as the magic of our surroundings overwhelms me. We climb mountains pocked with caves and ease down their backsides. We cut across wadis and large open expanses of sand. Josh takes the wheel while Major Ghamdan snoozes, his burgundy beret pulled over his eyes. Dust fills the Landcruiser’s cabin, coating us all in a fine layer that accents our already robust tans.
When night finally conquers day, the sky explodes with stars, more stars than I have ever seen in my life—galaxies of stars, a whole universe of stars—and we all lie on our backs and watch satellites crisscrossing, some of them likely beaming music videos back to Earth.
“How do you say ‘stars’ in Arabic?” I ask.?“Nujoom,” Josh and Cole say in their usual unison. ?I wake in the middle of the night absolutely starving. We’d purchased enough supplies for a few days—bread, candy bars, banana milk, a jar of peanut butter—and I dig in, dipping a few of the candy bars into the peanut butter and washing it down with two boxes of banana milk. I would have felt a little bad, taxing our not altogether robust resources, except I’m the skinniest of the group and suffer from skinny man’s disease. A true and self-diagnosable medical condition, I tell everyone, that makes me hungry for candy and shaky if I don’t eat candy. Neither Josh, Nate, nor Cole could possibly understand the burden I carry.
And we’re all up early, as soon as the sun pokes over the mountains, hammering us with its heat. We eat some candy bars, except for Nate because there isn’t enough, and climb back into the Landcruiser without a word. Up and down, across and over. Kidneys starting to revolt. We stop at a few waves and surf. One requires so much paddling that we name it “Paddlewheel.” One has a rock outcropping that looks like Bill Cosby so we name it “Sweaters.”
Just before noon we hit our first hinterland checkpoint. Its soldiers lounge in the shade of a few scrubby brushes, the raggedy non-descript trees, the guard shack, and the shadow their black, white, and red Yemeni flag casts. An important superior with military shirt unbuttoned revealing a sparkling white wifebeater approaches and he and Major Ghamdan carry on a lengthy, serious conversation with much gesticulating and head shaking.
Cole leans forward, trying to pick it up, and I ask, “What are they talking about?”
“Pirates,” he answers.
We all get out and the superior explains to us that pirates had come ashore at the nearest village and are busy sacking the town. There is absolutely no way he can let us though. We try all the tricks we had learned, absolving him of responsibility, promising that we won’t blame the government for our possible demise, demand that surf history needed this moment, before retreating to the patchy shade of another nearby nondescript scraggly tree in order to reassess our options.
While waiting, throwing pebbles at a plastic bag crucified on a bush, a truck comes rushing up in a cloud of dust. It is the first car we’d seen in the past fifteen hours, at least. As it nears the checkpoint then stops, I can see clearly that it is being piloted by two United States Special Forces operatives. Regardless of these being early days in the Global War on Terror, their uniform is already iconic: tight green T-shirts, bulging biceps, overgrown beards, dusty baseball caps flipped backward, wraparound sunglasses, and dirty black-and-white checked keffiyehs acting as fashionable neck warmers in the thousand-degree heat.
I watch them argue vigorously with the same commandant who told us about the pirates, but they too are rebuffed and retreat a little farther back than we did, staying in their car with the air-conditioning pumping. I don’t know if they see us since their wraparound sunglasses really do the trick, but I wonder what they think. I’m basically naked at this point, only wearing an increasingly worn pair of Op trunks and a pair of Spy sunglasses.
“I bet they wish they had Spy sunglasses,” I tell Josh. “It would be very on brand. Aren’t you happy we have them rather than too much money?”
He doesn’t answer.
After thirty minutes of rock throwing and arguing the proper numbers on Anastacia, a particularly difficult one to nail down seeing as she was never big in America but was in Bolivia and evidently Lebanon, the commandant ambles over casually, buttoning up his military shirt, and tells us we can head through. We load up without asking questions, thank him profusely, and creep past a bunched-up spike strip pulled off to the side.
The Special Forces truck comes roaring up hot and we can see the commandant step in their way, arms raised, as they slide to a halt. We watch them arguing maniacally through the back window as our Landcruiser climbs up and over the next hill, arms swinging, heads thrown back then thrown forward, and it’s the last we ever see them, even hearing weeks later that they had been frustrated at every turn and left the country without achieving any sort of goal.
Special Forces were, more and more, becoming the sharp end of the Global War on Terror. Their abilities to move stealthily in and out of tricky situations combined with a Chuck Norris–meets-MacGyver skillset made them an easy sell to both purse-string-holding politicians and the general American public, and while their value is undeniable, there is something about watching them operate outside the wire that made me question our supposed tactical advantage.
That afternoon we eat our chicken lunch in the freshly sacked town, bullet holes still smoking in the whitewashed walls. The proprietor shrugs and tells us the pirate sacks happen so often that nobody cares. They generally go after other smugglers or insurgents trying to snag televisions, golf carts, and pallets of Chocodiles and Twinkies headed illegally across the Empty Quarter into Saudi Arabia. No big deal.
We find an epic left breaking off a shipwrecked tanker later in the evening that we name “Tetanuses” because the takeoff backwashes into a gaping black hole ringed with rusty, jagged, menacing metal.
Here at Men’s Journal, we constantly test the latest gear to find the best new products you should know about to take your next adventure, workout, wardrobe, and every other part of your life to the next level. That includes everything from the best new adventure gear like a kayak that can double as a fishing boat to the absolute coolest gadgets and innovative tech you should own like a must-have soundbar to upgrade your home theater setup or a pair of bookshelf speakers. Here, check out our editors’ favorite picks for Gear of the Week.
[Editor’s Note: Check back each week to see an updated list of our favorite new products, along with all the previous weeks’ gear picks.]
Right now, the best way to stay in shape is to workout at home. One of the best ways to do a home workout is to get an exercising jump rope. It offers a vigorous workout and it is convenient to have in the home, taking up little space. As with any workout equipment, not all are made the same.
There are a ton of exercising jump ropes for you to choose from out there. To help you make a choice quicker, we have selected a few of our favorites you can find below.
Looking at all the options for exercising jump ropes out there, we fell upon this one as the best overall for a few reasons. For one, these are very affordable. You won’t have to spend too much picking these up. Another is that it is very durable. You don’t want it falling apart on you when you workout. It’s also just designed very well, making the whole jump rope process as smooth as butter. Those handles are ergonomically designed to make it easier to go for as long as you can. You won’t get tangled up with this. For those reasons, this is the best you can find.
Working out at a gym may not be the smartest thing right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to work out alone. You and your partner can workout together with ease. All you need to do is get this 2 pack to supply you and your partner with some high end and durable jump ropes. Durable, comfortable, and tangle free is the name of the game with these ropes. So for the foreseeable future, you can be apart of a physically fit couple.
A big problem when it comes to jump ropes is how hard they can work on your hands. Dealing with calluses or bruises or anything like that can really throw a wrench into your workout. You won’t be able to go as hard as you need. But with these handles, you really won’t have a problem at all. It’ll feel like your jumping rope with a pillow on the handles. With the great handles, you’ll get an amazing workout with this highly durable rope that won’t end up leaving you tangled during an indepth session. So pick these up now if you have sensitive hands.
Working out with a jump rope is great, but it isn’t gonna help you out all that much if you wanna bulk up. Building muscle doesn’t have to be a problem though when you have this heavy jump rope in your home. The heavier rope means you gotta go a lot harder to use it. So the reps you could do with a lighter jump rope will give you a much tougher workout. So you can burn calories quicker while adding some muscle to your arms by swinging this around. Add a little muscle to your body during the pandemic with this amazing heavy rope.
If you don’t wanna spend too much money but you want a good jump rope, then look no further. Usually, this isn’t the cheapest jump rope on the market. But right now, you can pick this up for almost no money at all. Which is great, because it gives you an amazing workout. It’s just a simple and classic jump rope. Padded handles to give you a ton of comfort when you’re working out. A lightweight steel wire rope that won’t get all knotted up on you when you’re going for it. And it’s adjustable. So if you wanna budget yourself out without sacrifing effeciency, then this jump rope is for you.
Are you looking to add some new equipment to your home gym? Then you should add a pull-up bar to your home gym. It is very convenient and adds a ton of options to your routine that will go a long way to making you reach your goals. But not all pull-up bars are up to snuff for a purchase.
To help you make the right pick for your needs, we have gathered a good selection of pull-up bars that should fit any specific needs.
We feel like this is the best overall for a few reasons. For one, it is very affordable. You won’t break the bank with this pull-up bar. It’s also highly durable, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking on you. Convenience is key here too because it isn’t in the way and it allows you to work out with a good variety of grips. You can get an amazing workout in with this in your home. Overall, this just hits everything you want from a pull-up bar.
Sometimes, you just need simplicity in your life. A pull-up bar isn’t the most complicated piece of equipment in the world, but this may be the simplest. No over-elaborate grips or anything like that. You hang this down from the frame of your doorway and you can get into a workout in no time. Durability is high and it won’t take up too much space when you aren’t using it. If you’re just looking for a simple workout, this is the pull-up bar for you.
If you are on a budget, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. You just need to nowhere to look and you need to look right here. For while this may be the most affordable pull-up bar here, that doesn’t mean it is any less durable. You can work out as hard as possible and this will handle the duress. Even better is that you don’t need a doorframe to hang it from. You can adjust it to the width of any doorway (24.5 to 36 inches) to get your workout in. It’s also the easiest to store anywhere, as it is ostensibly just a metal bar. For a budget, you really can’t go wrong with this pull-up bar.
There are plenty of simple pull-up bars out there. But if you want a super elaborate setup, this is the best one you can get. You don’t just hang it from a door frame. You need to bolt it into the wall so it doesn’t move around. That way it can handle up to 800 pounds of pressure. The durability of this is very high, so you don’t have to worry about that. The main element of this is that it offers you a ton of different options for a workout. So many different grips offer you a more elaborate and rigorous workout than a simple pull-up bar.
There are plenty of people out there that don’t have the sturdy doorframe they need to use a pull-up bar. Others may not have the money or space to pick up an expensive setup that needs to be bolted into the wall. If you just have a doorframe, then this is the pull-up bar for you. That is because this pull-up bar is adjustable. It can stretch out in a doorframe from 28.4″ to 37.8″. No hookups needed, no strain on a doorframe. And there’s no worry about slippage, because the most pressure you put on it, the tighter it gets to the wall. Any doorframe in your home can become the go-to place for a sick workout.
“I’m so sick of the smoke,” Alex Gloor from Eagle Eye Tree Service told me this morning over coffee on his way to work. “I can’t see the surrounding hills; it feels like a prison here.”
Gloor is my neighbor here in Mariposa, the town of 2,173 people nestled in the Sierra foothills and located 40 miles north of the Creek Fire –– a blaze that started 12 days ago and has grown to nearly 245,000 acres as of September 17. Mariposa is a gateway town to Yosemite National Park, which is currently inundated with thick smoke.
Though Mariposa’s skies are thick with a heavy plume — where the Air Quality Index peaked at 504 this week — Yosemite Valley has it much worse. I just got off the phone with a Yosemite Hospitality employee who said, “as I look up from my cabin, I see a red sun over Glacier Point, but I can’t see Glacier Point.”
“I’m getting out tonight. It’s so bad I just want to breathe some fresh air. I’m heading to San Francisco, where the AQI is 28. Our index in the park was at 749 when I checked at 11 a.m. today,” the employee added.
The growing Creek Fire is adding to the already chaotic times in Yosemite, which is currently under restrictions due to the pandemic.
He continued, “It’s a feeling of uncertainty here. Due to COVID-19, our department is understaffed, and I’ve recently had to move to a new place in employee housing to comply with CDC single-occupancy guidelines. The company is trying to separate everybody.”
The plume surrounding Mariposa feels like low-lying fog, and though it’s terrible here, the families in Oakhurst and the small neighboring town of Sugar Pine — which are butted up against the Creek Fire — have it worse. Rumors of AQI in the 700s are reported in Sugar Pine, home to Jason Torlano, his wife and their two kids.
“My son Jeremy has been helping me chip wood and clear the surrounding property so we can hopefully make it through,” Torlano says, adding that the Creek Fire is burning six miles from his home. “This week 16 people came out from Yosemite and the surrounding foothills to help do fire clearance. I feel blessed to have the tribe we have in Yosemite, people who at the drop of a hat show up to help.”
Mariposa resident Ken Yager, 61, says, “It’s smoky, burny, you can smell burning wood. Eyes are burning; my lungs feel tight from breathing it all day and night for the past ten days. It gives you a feeling that you have a cold, which is scary during COVID.”
Yager, founder of the Yosemite Climbing Association and the annual Yosemite Facelift event (which this year has gone virtual) splits his time between Mariposa and Yosemite Valley. “I’m seeing more animals being hit by cars. Animals are trying to escape too,” he says.
“Yosemite National Park announces that the park will close to all visitors and vehicular access due to significant smoke impacts and hazardous air quality throughout the park. All park entrance stations and roads will close beginning at 5:00 pm tonight, Thursday, September 17, 2020.
With air quality projected to be in the unhealthy to hazardous range over the next several days, the park anticipates the closure to be in effect at least throughout the weekend. The park will continue to assess the smoke impacts, air quality index, and fire activity throughout the region. Yosemite National Park will reopen to visitors when conditions improve, and it is safe for visitors and employees to be in Yosemite National Park,” reads the official statement from Yosemite National Park.
The Creek Fire is moving east toward Mammoth Lakes. As of September 17 at 2 p.m., it’s only 15 miles as the crow flies from town. Natalie Morrow, Fire Marshal for Mammoth Lakes Fire Department, told me earlier today, “It’s a waiting period now. We have to see what the fire’s going to do.”
“We have no evacuation orders in place right now [but] we do have a wind event that will potentially start at 2 p.m. through 2 a.m. on Saturday if anything happens, if there is an evacuation, people will be notified.”
Even without an evacuation order, the smoke is so thick that some Mammoth residents are leaving for cleaner air. “I’ve never seen smoke conditions like this,” Morrow says, “You’re looking at 2.5 million acres burned in California alone.”
Whether you’re a van life veteran or looking to explore the great outdoors for the first time, these 13 essentials will turn whatever you drive into a fully kitted escape vehicle.
1. Luno’s improved Air Mattress 2.0, customized to fit the backs of certain car models, turns trunks to beds by utilizing support cubes that fill the cavities behind front seats. The independent 4-inch-thick inflatable pads pair together so bedmates can adjust individual firmness. $225; lunolife.com
2. Sleep unconstrained in Therm-a-Rest’s light-but-cozy hydrophobic-down Vela Double 32F. Perimeter baffles prevent drafts while side snaps can attach to a partner’s quilt, or to a fitted pad sheet. $300; thermarest.com
3. Given how easy and comfortable it is to sleep in the car these days, ditch the big tent and go light with a versatile Noah’s Tarp for backup. $60; kelty.com
4. Better yet, hang out. The spreader bar on Eagles Nest Outfitters’ SkyLite Hammock creates a supportive platform. Comfy with or without a sleeping pad, its integrated no-see-um-proof net has an oversized door that zips out of the way. $170; enonation.com
5. GSI’s Pinnacle Pro Stove is the MacBook Air of camp stoves. $199; gsioutdoors.com
6. Stanley’s stainless steel Even Heat Camp Pro Cook Set nests everything needed to fill five mouths—two pots and a pan with vented lids, plus a pack- able spatula and spoon, collapsible cutting board, and silicone trivets that double as hot pads—all locking into the largest pot. $140; stanley-pmi.com
7. A kitchen kit is not complete without a cutting surface. The Primus CampFire Cutting Set’s timeless oak board and handled knife wraps in a rugged Fj?llr?ven canvas roll. $70; primus.us
8. When space is at a premium, Hydro Flask’s superlight 3.2-pound 24 L Unbound Series Tote jams into overstuffed cars, tucking neatly behind front seats for easy reaching into the accessible hinged top. Think: a few days, not weeks, of cold. But don’t underestimate a capable, watertight soft-side cooler that fits 47 cans. $200; hydroflask.com
9. Go big with a supportive, high-back camp chair you can lean into without worry. The Big Six Armchair’s shock-corded poles pack down to the size of a yoga mat. $200; bigagnes.com
10. BioLite’s collapsible, dual-sided tabletop BaseLantern XL connects via Bluetooth for app control of brightness and color. Two charging ports also re- boot phones and other e-necessities. $130; bioliteenergy.com
11. The updated lunchbox look-alike Yeti 500x packs enough juice (505Wh) to power the whole site (plugs for portable fridges, phones, cameras, just about anything with AC, 12-volt, and 60w USB-C PD), and recharges at home, in your car, or with Goal Zero’s portable solar panels. $700; goalzero.com
12. Light weight, durability, and clean aesthetics make Snow Peak’s Bamboo My Table hard to leave home. $129; snowpeak.com
13. Bring a classic campfire to any site with Fireside Outdoor’s packable 3-pound personal pit approved for use on BLM, USFS, and national park lands. The Trailblazer Firepit minimizes cleanup with efficient fires on steel mesh, plus doubles as a cook system with a folding grill. $100; firesideoutdoor.com
We’ve all read stories about the guy who dropped dead while running his first marathon, or the athlete who almost crossed the finish line of his triathlon—but had a heart attack instead. Sounds alarming, but the number of fatalities in endurance sports is still relatively low, according to new research by the American Heart Association.
“The 50-year-old former college athlete with known or hidden heart disease who’s been sedentary for years and decides to do a triathlon is at the greatest risk,” says lead study author Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D. Some more facts: Almost half the people who have a heart attack during a triathlon are first-timers. Men are four to six times more likely to have a heart attack (and die from it) during an endurance event than women, possibly because, on average, they may be older and running at a faster pace, stressing their hearts more, suggests Franklin. And half of all exercise-related cardiac events occur during the last mile of the marathon.
“There’s a huge temptation to think, ‘I’m almost done, let me sprint as hard as I can and beat my best time,’ ” he notes. This major increase in heart rate and blood pressure increases the likelihood of a heart attack either because the heart isn’t getting adequate blood flow, or plaque in the arteries can rupture.
Franklin’s advice: Train progressively and don’t sprint to the finish.
A legend in the snowboard industry and pioneer in big mountain freeriding, Jeremy Jones has conquered some of the biggest, baddest mountains on the planet. In 2010, he founded a new company–– Jones Snowboards––that designs and builds freeride-oriented snowboards, bindings and accessories. National Geographic even nominated him as one of their Adventurers of the Year in 2013.
Now, the 45-year-old father-of-two is focused on another, more urgent mission––saving the planet from climate change.
Jones is not new to the environmentalism space––he started the non-profit organization, Protect Our Winters (POW), in 2007. But while his organization continues to spread awareness about the devastating effects of climate change on our planet, the political divide about this issue is greater than ever.
In order to better understand where the political divide over climate science stems from, and how to bridge it, he began work his latest film project––Purple Mountains––which was released this week and is now available to stream for free. We caught up with Jones to discuss the film, what he’s learned, and where we go from here.
MJ: You just released Purple Mountains to the world, what can you tell us about the film?
JJ: It’s my journey to understand why we are so divided as a country on climate change. It’s actually the most divisive issue in the country, even more than guns. So, it’s about how we got so divided on something like clean air, clean water and a healthy planet.
MJ: Why is climate change such an important issue?
JJ: It’s important because at the end of the day, science has been really consistent that the current path is the wrong path. Our society is now seeing the effects of the mass consumption and burning of CO2 in the atmosphere. We need to make changes as a society and the only way to make major changes is to do it collectively. For that to happen, we need the world’s leaders on board because it’s not a simple change.
MJ: Where does the name Purple Mountains come from?
JJ: I came up with the name Purple Mountains because we realized with this election that we need to win in a handful of key states. They aren’t red states, they aren’t blue state, I call them purple states. That’s been our focus with Protect Our Winters, just putting our efforts in areas where a couple thousand votes will be the difference between a climate champion in office or a climate denier in office.
MJ: If people take one thing away from Purple Mountains, what do you hope it will be?
JJ: Ideally, it would be understanding the urgency needed to act on climate change and making that a priority. Because long-term, as much as these other issues are really important, we are in the eleventh hour on climate. it’s switched into a climate emergency and we need urgency on that. We really need to get past this bi-polarization on climate change.
It’s a scenario where your grandkids could ask, ‘When our country was run by climate deniers, who did you vote for in that pivotal election?’ I think it would be hard to defend that vote.
MJ: As a professional snowboarder, how did you become involved with politics?
JJ: I realized that to have real action on climate change, we needed to move the needle with our elected officials. We aren’t just going to get there by changing our light bulbs and using reusable water bottles. We need large-scale, systemic change. And to do that we need policy and our policymakers on board.
MJ: What is the difference between Purple Mountains and your other snowboard films?
JJ: With Purple Mountains, it’s a real documentary. I’m definitely way out of my comfort zone with this film, which is both exciting and terrifying.
MJ: Why do you think people deny climate change is happening?
JJ: There has been this very concentrated and sophisticated effort to target certain people, to poke holes in the science. Hundreds of millions of dollars has been spent to add doubt to climate change. This dates back to the ’80s and it works. It’s not by chance, that was the goal of the fossil fuel industry.
MJ: Do you believe the public’s view on climate change has shifted in the last few years?
JJ: The biggest change is we are seeing these new voters––the 18-35-year-old generation––and they are serious about climate action. But traditionally, that age demographic has had a pretty poor voting record. So the real X factor is getting these 18-to-35 year olds out to vote and that’s where we’ve focused a lot of our attention at Protect our Winters.
To be clear, Protect Our Winters is a bipartisan group focused on climate action. When we go to DC, 70% of our meetings are with moderate Republicans that we think could possibly vote for climate action. Because at the end of the day, we need to get there collectively as a country.
MJ: What do you hope to see happen with climate action?
JJ: Clean water, clean air and a healthy planet are byproducts of climate action. So what we are pushing for is this transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. And I have optimism because we already have the solutions, and the solutions are job creators.
Right now, fossil fuel and clean energy is not on an even playing field, the subsidies for fossil fuels are much greater. So ideally, we would just love to see a fair market on energy.
MJ: What is the view on climate change in rural mountain communities across the West?
JJ: We are getting past the climate is not changing story, which really just happened last year. So that’s positive and a great statement to have made in 1984, but the sad part is we need urgency. In the next 30-40 years, the transition is happening because the economics are too good. But we need to have it happen in the next 8-10 years.
MJ: Talk about Protect Our Winters’ initiative with the Outdoor State?
JJ: We realize there are over 50 million people in this country that represent the ultimate swing state, which is the outdoor state. This is 50 million people whose lives are really connected to the outdoors in one way or the other, but they typically aren’t the greatest voters.
So we’re trying to explain that climate change is threatening people’s backyard paradise––which is generally on public lands––so you need to vote for the land that you love. And depending where you live, this land may also be under threat of extraction from the fossil fuel industry. One of the things that makes America unique is that we were so progressive with our protection of public lands, but they are under attack by the extraction industry.
MJ: How can people help with the fight against climate change?
JJ: Vote, get friends to vote, get more friends to vote. I will say, there’s a concerted effort to make voting as hard as possible this year, so you really need to make a plan. We launched makeadamnplan.com to help people make a voting plan and navigate the different requirements for voting in your area.
Since 2008, when Ralph Lauren Watches and Fine Jewelry launched, the brand has released many high-quality, stylish timepieces in addition to its well known apparel. That trend continues with the company’s latest collection: a set of four Polo-branded watches powered by Swiss-made mechanical movements and dressed in several eye-catching colors. If you’re a fan of the brand’s iconic take on menswear, you won’t want to miss these.
“When considering Americana style, no brand is more top of mind than Polo Ralph Lauren,” says Men’s Journal Fashion Editor Kevin Breen. “With the drop of its second watch collection, the brand offers a new slew of collectable timepieces that fuses its iconic logo with its heritage sport-prep colorways.”
The new Polo watches—a follow-up to the first Polo timepiece collection from 2018—marry Ralph Lauren’s bold, preppy style with Swiss watchmaking tradition. The first thing you’ll notice about them are the dials. Each one comes stamped with Ralph Lauren’s polo player logo brought to life in a multicolor, 3D-printed image, and it makes a clear focal point on the face of each watch. The polo player first appeared as a stitched logo on Polo shirts back in 1972, but the colorful rendering on these timepieces brings out a whole new level of detail. We love the way it adds visual interest to the collection.
Although a polo player riding across the dial might sound a bit overbearing, the tasteful accents on the rest of the watches balance the logo nicely. Their 42mm stainless steel cases come with an exhibition caseback that shows off the inner workings of the automatic movement—a nice counterpoint to the colorful details on the front. In addition, simple luminescent indices and sword-shaped hour and minute hands make the watches easy to read and keep them from looking too busy.
Picky about what goes on your wrist? Luckily, you have plenty of options here, and that makes the Polo watches great for merging into an adventurous wardrobe or adding color if you usually opt for neutral tones. The dials come in green, navy blue, and black (available with stainless steel or matte black trim), all topped with curved sapphire crystal glass. Once you pick a dial color, there are a wealth of straps and bracelets to choose from, including polished or black sandblasted stainless steel and cotton and leather straps with designs inspired by Ralph Lauren apparel. The straps really let you tweak the look and feel of these watches, whether you’re looking for something refined or something a little more sporty.
Of course, any watch with the “Swiss-made” moniker attached to it should have some impressive machinery inside, and the Polo watches don’t disappoint there, either. No matter how you option your timepiece, you’ll get a caliber RL200 automatic movement that offers a 38-hour power reserve. The watches are also water resistant to around 100 meters—enough to survive the occasional splash, so you can feel good about showing yours off day-to-day.
The new Polo collection shows that Ralph Lauren’s preppy styling can work well in the realm of fine mechanical timepieces. From the striking colors to the polo player logo, there’s no mistaking who designed these watches.
This article originally appeared on Powder.com and was republished with permission.
Alterra Mountain Company has announced its winter operating plans for the Ikon Pass at its 15 owned resorts and 38 North American partner destinations. As of September 16, lift access reservations will not be required for Ikon Pass holders at most destinations.
“There’s no corporate standardization. We’re one company, but we have a lot of different personalities and resorts,” CEO of Alterra Mountain Company Rusty Gregory told POWDER. “Each has different layouts and attributes and is working on their own plan. We are having conversations about it, but it’s not up to me. These are my peers running these resorts, so we aren’t imposing our views, just sharing and trading best practices.”
However, to provide priority access to Ikon Pass holders, many destinations will temporarily regulate or eliminate a number of day tickets available to avoid overcrowding.
“We need to have tight control of visitation to make sure we are keeping people safe and healthy,” Gregory told POWDER. “At some of our more crowded resorts, I think people will realize there’s a real benefit of making sure not too many people are on the mountain.”
Each of the partner resorts on the Ikon Pass (those not owned by Alterra) has the autonomy to make their own operating decisions. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Big Sky Resort, Brighton, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, Taos Ski Valley, and New York’s Windham Mountain therefore will require guests to make advance lift reservations.
Advanced parking reservations may be required at additional locations as well. A complete list can be found here, which also indicates a number of partner destinations have not yet announced their operating plans, including the four Aspen Ski Co. locations, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlights, Buttermilk, and Snowmass.
Alterra recommends checking with each destination prior to arrival to learn about their specific face-covering requirements and social distancing protocols.
Vail Resorts announced August 27 that skier visits at all of their properties, accessed by the Epic Pass, will require an advanced reservation. They too will place limits on lift tickets to prioritize pass holders. In past seasons, roughly 50 percent of skier days at Vail Resorts come from day tickets compared to Epic Passes. Alterra, a private company, does not share this information.
For the 15 Alterra-owned destinations where reservations will not be required, which includes Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, June Mountain, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Stratton, Snowshoe, Crystal Mountain, Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, CMH Heli Skiing, and Sugarbush Resort, Gregory says the best step to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to operate at lower capacities that allow resorts to support social distancing.
“The objective is the same as every resort and company—figure out the best way to make sure there are not too many people,” he says.
As for how much Alterra will limit skier capacity at their resorts, Gregory says it’s a case by case basis depending on infrastructure.
“Each resort is a bit different depending on the lifts and how close together the buildings are. What does parking look like? Every resort, even within our own resorts, is operating to a different capacity,” Gregory told POWDER. “This will be a different winter than we’ve ever experienced. It’s new to all of us, so we need everyone to help us make sure we are enforcing masks and social distancing to keep all of us safe.”
“No matter what we think today, we’re going to be facing the unexpected in the months to come,” he added. “We’ll make the changes required to keep people safe.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie to the rock-crawling, desert-spanning, forest-dwelling outdoor trend du jour of overlanding, or, if you’re an old dirtbag who’s been packing up a truck and traveling the far-from-beaten path since the ’70s: You’re gonna need a burly and practical pair of pants. To be a true overlander means not just sitting in your cab and getting a little dusty while setting up camp, it also involves stuff like scooting under your truck to attach recovery straps, slogging through mud to pull winch cables, or getting down on a knee to check tire pressure.
To complete all the tough tasks you encounter while overlanding without compromise, it’s crucial to have a great pair of pants that will move with you and give you tons of options for storing tools, knives, plus other odds and ends—and be made of stout enough materials that will last multiple seasons. Since it’s no fun to be in the middle of an outdoor adventure and have to deal with a blown-out seam or a ripped-off pocket or just plain uncomfortable pants, we assembled the best and most useful pants to kick off your start to the fall overlanding season.
Amundsen Field Slacks
These near-indestructible but super-stylish pants from Norwegian outfitter Amundsen would pair best, aesthetically, with those overlanders piloting an old Land Rover Defender or beat-up Mercedes-Benz Unimog. Crafted with a combo of stretchy Cordura and buttressed by a double layer of waxed cotton-canvas panels on the thighs and seat, these fitted pants will move well with you while jumping in and out of the driver’s seat, offering plenty of protection from any wilderness encounters. Nice details include a handy loop with snap closure on the right side for securing a sheath or keys, and a red watch pocket made from waxed cotton sourced from storied textile manufacturer British Millerain.
Beyond K5 Maker Pants
Designed with NYCO (a nylon and cotton blend) ripstop, these pants from Beyond are light enough to protect your legs during unseasonably warm autumn weather, while still tough enough to ward off rips and tears from scrambling around gnarly terrain. Styled in a homage to the classic BDUs that used to be issued to the U.S. military (these also come in regular Army green plus three camos: woodland, tiger stripe, and desert tiger stripe), but updated with modern tweaks and stylish nods like one large front pocket with an outsized button and a tab at the cuff that allows you to adjust your hem with two buttons. The generous pockets, arranged in typical jeans configuration, have mesh at the bottoms for quick draining and fast drying (and that limits dirt and lint buildup) after encountering sudden storms.
Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Work Pants
For those rig jockeys that prefer a more technical, soft-shell type pant while wheeling through the woods, this pair from Eddie Bauer will do nicely. They are built from an active stretch fabric called Flexion that has a DWR finish to ward off wetness, a UPF of 50+ to protect from harmful UV rays, and a soft waistband made out of an odor-control material. Along with your normal front and back pockets, they have two deep thigh pockets with slanted, zippered openings for your sundries that need to be most accessible. The front legs are covered by a reinforced panel to increase wear, and the athletic, close fit—with articulation at the knees—allows for maximum movement without the bulk of typical cotton canvas pants.
5.11 Quest Pants
Lots of extra stretch makes these pants ideal for scrambling in and around your rig—in the main fabric itself and in special four-way stretch panels in the waist. Though super-flexible, the Quests still have a soft hand that feels like well-worn cotton, plus the addition of gusseted panels and articulated knees bump up the comfort level even more. There’s lots of room for trail tools within the eight pockets, including two deep front pockets reinforced with special nylon thread and two slim and easy-to-access thigh pockets. Added reinforcement is built into the belt loops so you won’t have to worry about blowouts in the outdoors—and at the hems to reduce wear and tear from dragging on rocky ground.
Fj?llr?ven Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers
There’s a reason why Fj?llr?ven’s line of outdoor adventure-ready pants draw rave reviews from those who make a living traipsing across wildernesses: superb attention to detail and innovative designs. The new Viddas are updated from the regular model with hip-to-thigh zippers on each side for instant ventilation, a knife pocket on the right thigh, and a snap loop for holding an axe. They’re still constructed from Fjall’s burly but comfortable G-1000 eco-friendly textile, which is made from a recycled polyester blended with cotton and can be waxed to increase weather resistance and durability. Warning: There’s little to no stretch in the fabric, which you won’t notice much because the tailoring is so spot on. And there are also no back pockets, though they have three big thigh pockets, two with an additional inner mesh pockets for phones or smaller items. The hems also feature buttoned (and removable) strap adjustments along with a hidden boot-lace hook.
Livsn Flex Canvas Pants
Though these pants look, at first blush, like they are just some normal chinos, closer examination (and time in the field) reveals tons of top-quality details and a design that proves they’re just as at home in the dirt and dust as out to a casual dinner. The classic silhouette is laden with features like knife pockets on the rear of each thigh, interior of the front pockets and upper lined with mesh for extra airflow, zippered rear pockets, and phone sleeves in each front pocket. A nice addition for cyclists is a trick leg roll-up system that includes a small outer button that mates with an inner strap enhanced with 3M reflective tape. The stretchy cotton/polyester blend feels durable and comfortable, like your favorite pair of worn-in jeans, but boasts superior strength and enhanced weather resistance.
Prometheus Design Werx Raider Werx 100C Pants
Need a bomber overlanding pant that blasts beyond the usual Carhartt-style work pant? Step up to Prometheus’s thoughtfully designed, well-crafted, and made-in-the-USA Raider pants. You’ll get all of the usual goodness of traditional work pants, like cotton duck canvas, side pockets and reinforced seat and knees, but dialed up to 11. Cool details at first sight include buttons attached by webbing instead of thread, nylon delta rings at the end of the front belt loops, dual EDC tool pockets for knives or multitools, and a small, internal hanging pocket for small, easily lost items like a key. The duck canvas is held together with super-tough T40 nylon thread—double and triple stitched, along with bar-tacking at stress points. And along with the typical reinforcement on your butt and knees, the rear hems are also beefed up for improved wear.
Satu Adventure Pants
Don’t discount these pants because they have a slim-fitting profile, they are still packed with features that make them an ideal overlanding pant for those wanting to cut a more stylish figure on the trail. Unique among most adventure pants because the Satu’s don’t just use a fabric mixed with Spandex or some other polymer, it’s made from a proprietary, Japanese-designed mechanical stretch fabric that ends up being lighter, stronger, more odor resistant, and faster drying than most synthetic blends. But the hits go beyond the next-gen materials, the pants also have a ton of trail-worthy features like a gusted crotch for maximum movement, a lace clip integrated into the hem for instant gaiters, side zipper vents, and webbing on the waistband for on-the-go adjustments.
686 Anything Multi Cargo Pants
For something a little different, check out these Anything pants from 686. With a looser fit, some wild color block options (perfect for those tired of the standard olive green and khaki brown), and a plethora of useful pockets and cool features, these pants are the antidote to wearing boring work pants for outdoor adventures. They are made with a light and breathable stretch nylon that’s treated for water resistance and come with a neat drawstring you can use inside or outside of the waistband for those non-belt fans. It still has belt loops (one with a keyring eyelet), plus 13 pockets, which include dual side pockets with a mesh lining for ventilation, smartphone pocket, ID or credit card pocket with a RFID-blocking liner, and a slick, secret stash pocket integrated into the rear belt loop.
If you’re on a tight budget, but still need a pair of burly pants that will perform well for years (with a few special details not found on regular work pants), go for the Ditchdiggers. They’re made from thick (but not too thick) 11-ounce cotton duck canvas with a bit of added stretch for enhanced movement while tending to your rig on the trails, plus a cool, hidden stretch waistband to give you that extra bit of give when bending down. All seams are triple-stitched for ultimate strength and bits of reinforcement are added to the edges of the front pockets, at the knees and at the backs of each hem. The doubled-up knee fabric also has openings that allow you to slip in knee pads. There’s also a slim side pocket on the right thigh that’s perfect for a phone or tools.
This article originally appeared on Powder.com and was republished with permission.
In the early hours of the morning on September 14, somewhere around 4:00 a.m., 30 gondola cars came crashing to the ground—again. An unknown vandal cut the 55-millimeter-thick cable on Squamish BC’s Sea to Sky gondola, causing the gondola cabins to tumble to the ground. An investigation by the Canadian Mounted Police is ongoing. No injuries were reported.
“This individual has no regard for their own life and limb,” said the manager of the Sea to Sky Gondola, Kirby Brown, in a conversation with Canadian Broadcast Corp. “They wanted to do what they did, they did it swiftly, they did it with skill.”
This is the second time in just over one year vandals have cut the cables on the Squamish gondola, which goes from the base near Howe Sound to a viewpoint near the summit of the Stawamus Chief. No one was charged in the 2019 vandalism. The gondola accesses numerous ski touring zones in the winter, as well as a lifetime of granite rock climbing. Repairs from the first incident on August 10, 2019, cost between $5-10 million. Already, Brown is looking to rebuild again. According to CBC, he put in an order for a new cable at 8 a.m.
Representatives from the Sea to Sky Gondola were unavailable for comment, but a statement on their website reads: “The gondola line was cleared last night at 11 p.m. and all staff and guests are safe. As history has shown, we are a resilient team and community. We want to thank everyone for their outpouring of support this morning and we will be sharing information as it becomes available. The gondola is closed and we ask that the public stay away from the area for the safety of everyone.”
Brown told CBC that the crews haven’t been able to fully assess the damage due to smoke from U.S. wildfires, which means helicopters used to survey the scene can’t fly.
“The Sea to Sky Gondola is an integral part of this community and we very lucky no one was injured,” Sgt. Sascha Banks said in a news release. “Someone in our area has seen something or has heard something and we are asking them to call us immediately with any information.”
Closed until further notice, the gondola carries 400,000 visitors annually. “We’re all stunned and shocked,” said Brown.
While COVID-19 may have derailed the epic globe-trotting adventures you had planned this summer, there’s no harm in dreaming about your next getaway. But before you consider boarding a long-haul flight to some far-flung destination, don’t forget about all the unique national parks just waiting to be explored right here in the U.S.
Our country boasts countless natural wonders, diverse landscapes, and some of the most majestic places on the planet. Thankfully, many of them are protected by the National Park Service, attracting millions of visitors each year. Today, there are 62 areas that are designated as national parks. Heavy hitters like Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, and Zion tend to draw the biggest crowds. However, there are plenty of unique national parks that may not see as much foot traffic, but still pack an impressive punch.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of those that deserve a bit more recognition. Every selection is unique and proves you don’t need to travel halfway across the world to witness truly awe-inspiring sites. From quiet coastal escapes to rugged mountainous retreats, each park below is sure to stoke your wanderlust.
Disclaimer: People planning travel of any kind should visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for the most current COVID-19 alerts and updates. Be sure to also review any travel advisories related to the destination(s) you’re planning to visit and keep yourself and others safe by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and bringing the appropriate food, drinks, and other supplies when possible. Also be aware of states like Oregon and California that are currently undergoing widespread wildfires.
Here’s my list of pandemic hobbies. I grew a vegetable garden and baked focaccia, propagated houseplants and fermented gallons of tangy kombucha, the barely boozy, probiotic-packed bubbly tea that’s supposedly good for gut health. At the minimum, homemade kombucha was better for me than all those double IPAs I drank during that dark New York City spring.
Six months later I’m still in Brooklyn, still fermenting kombucha, and in another 2020 plot twist, consuming kombucha-infused beer. I’d like to call the move unforeseen, but truth is, I’m seeing hard kombucha everywhere.
Companies are betting big on higher-ABV kombucha, cranking up the tangy ferment’s alcohol content (it typically contains less than 1 percent alcohol by volume) to levels usually seen in lagers and IPAs. Hard kombuchas are carbonated conundrums, better-for-you beverages that deliver a buzz.
I’m not totally opposed to hard kombucha’s existence. Plenty of solid options exist, including Sierra Nevada’s Strainge Beast and KYLA, produced by Full Sail in Oregon. Drinking several is invigorating, but hard kombucha is not suited for afternoon-long intake while watching football. The acidity overwhelms, inebriation served with a side of indigestion.
Pass the aspirin and Tums, please.
I didn’t need antacids to try two compelling new entrants into the kombucha sphere. First, San Diego’s JuneShine, a hard kombucha producer, partnered with Stone Brewing on StoneShine. Kombucha made with green tea and honey is augmented with tropical Citra and coconut-like hops and a brewery pun—stone fruits, namely nectarines and peaches.
The hybrid has moderately gripping acidity, the fruit and hops demanding full attention from your nose and taste buds. In a beer world swirling with juicy hazy IPAs and berry-mobbed sour ales, the 6 percent ABV StoneShine fits neatly into the current zeitgeist. It’s pleasant enough to pound on a late-summer beach, but it’s best to frame the hybrid as a gluten-free sour IPA—a health-minded selling point for drinkers with that dietary concern.
On the other hand, Allagash Brewing appeals to waistline-conscious customers with its Little Grove line of 100-calorie sparkling session ales infused with fruit. This seems off-brand for the Belgian-influenced brewery famed for its fragrant White witbier and spontaneously fermented ales, but the pandemic-ordered closure of bars and restaurants hit Allagash hard. (This was my first summer in a decade that I did not devour a lobster roll and a couple White pints in Maine.)
Instead of moping, Allagash innovated with new packaged products, most notably Little Grove. The beers come in two versions: blackcurrant and peach blended with kombucha. The blackcurrant has a terrific tartness, something I might sip at brunch to wash away a wee hangover. I personally prefer the kombucha version that’s barely sweet and pleasingly tangy, the peaches present and not pummeling. It’s a light and breezy sipper suited for lazy afternoons, the 3.6 percent ABV meaning you can—and should—crush a couple cans.
Unlike most hard kombuchas, Little Grove is easy to drink again and again.
Once the calendar flips to September, we can all count on a few absolute certainties––pumpkin spice will be infused into everything, the NFL season kicks off with some form of controversy, and Apple hosts a big event to announce their latest innovations and tech products.
While 2020 has done its damnedest to throw our lives and traditions out of sorts, that mighty September trio was not to be denied. On Sept. 15, Apple hosted their annual fall event––albeit virtually––and announced a slew of new products, features, and services they’ll be offering.
To save you time, here’s a quick round-up of everything you need to know about Apple’s much-anticipated, “Time Flies” announcement.
No iPhone Announcement…But a New OS is Available Now
While many were hoping for a surprise iPhone announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook started his presentation by introducing the two main devices they would highlight––the Apple Watch and iPad.
HE LITERALLY JUST KILLED ALL YOUR IPHONE DREAMS RIGHT AWAY #AppleEvent
Despite the exclusion, a big announcement about the iPhone 12 is expected to come in October. While many people were hoping to learn more about the new iPhone––especially with rumors suggesting the inclusion of Apple’s powerful A14 Bionic chip that will enable 5G connectivity––fans will have to wait at least another few weeks for more details.
Despite no details on future iPhones, Apple did announce a software update for all devices, including iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14. Surprisingly, the updates are already available to download––much to the shock and displeasure of app developers.
Apple announcing the iOS 14 release date 24 hours ahead of time as a summer ending gift to developers
The iPad Air is getting a major upgrade with the company’s most powerful chip yet––the A14 Bionic. Apple claims this chip will be 40% faster than its predecessor, which marks a significant increase in performance.
In addition to a 10.9 inch screen that stretches from edge to edge, the iPad Air will feature a “next generation” Touch ID fingerprint sensor inside the tablet’s power button. But with a price tag of $599, some casual users may opt to go with the eighth generation iPad––now offering an A12 Bionic chip and a more palatable starting price point of $329.
Though as you can see below, this top-of-the-line iPad Air looks pretty damn cool.
Billed as the “Time Flies” event, it’s no surprise that the Apple Watch was the big highlight. Apple announced two different models––the Series 6 and the SE.
The Series 6 is the top model (starting at $399) and comes with a new S6 chip, which Apple claims is based on the A13 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 11. Beyond the increased processing power, the biggest hype point to Series 6 revolved around the ability to monitor your health––including the ability to track your blood oxygen levels and sleep patterns.
The SE offers a cheaper starting price of $279, but is powered by the S5 chip used in last year’s Series 5 model.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news for watch fans. The new watches––which will be available in stores on Friday––will not include chargers. The move was explained as part of Apple’s push towards environmental sustainability.
Naturally, a few people were skeptical.
Apple’s announcement that it will no long include power adapters with the #AppleWatch is another example of how price increases aren’t fully captured by the CPI. Instead of raising prices, Apple can just keep the price the same and make customers pay extra to buy a power adapter.
The service will include fitness videos published on a weekly basis and cover a range of different workouts including yoga, dance, running, and more. Naturally, this new service will pair nicely with the Apple Watch’s ability to monitor your fitness stats and give you real-time feedback.
It was only a matter of time. Now that Toyota’s excellent Supra is around again (part of a collaboration with BMW), we’ve been waiting for Nissan to breathe new life into its Z cars, which, unlike the Toyota performance coupe, have never actually left the scene. But the current 370Z is a vestige. In present guise, with a 332hp V6 that shares its VQ guts from so much of the rest of the Nissan parts bin—not to mention a shape that’s needed restyling for ages—the company really had to turn the clock back to its 50-year sports car DNA that began with the original Z in 1969.
The Z Proto, mind you, isn’t a production car. But the hints are pretty strong. It’s almost exactly the same width and height of the current 370Z, though it is about a half-foot longer. Actually, the Z Proto is exactly the same length as the Supra. Hmmm. And given how it’s not too far off the footprint of the current 370Z means that Nissan doesn’t have too much work to do to produce the Proto.
Save, you know, start over.
The big enemy of the current 370Z is bloat. Sure, 332hp is plenty of muscle, but the 2021 Supra weighs about the same amount (3,400 pounds, depending on spec) as the 370Z, but produces considerably more mojo: 382hp. To feel more lively, Nissan either has to trim fat, or add horses.
There are reasons this may be an unfair comparison. The current 370Z starts at just over $30,000. This puts it within reach of a lot of buyers. But its price ladders all the way up to just shy of $50,000—which is right about where the Supra starts.
If Nissan pursues its current strategy, they’ll reach more customers than the relatively niche Toyota. And while the Z Proto is showcasing a twin-turbo V6 (the present 370Z is naturally aspirated), thinking about turbo and non-turbo options would be one way to spread that love. After all, the GT-R (nicknamed Godzilla), which is about to fade into the sunset, is a twin-turbocharged beast; a hat-tip to the crown jewel in the Nissan pantheon via double-turbo-ing a Z would be worthy touch.
As for the looks, no question, Nissan is going way back to the 1969 drawing board—at least in part.
Revisiting style roots really starts at the scalloped-out headlight cavities; the long, low engine bay with a bump in the middle to indicate the pulsing heart beneath; and the overall shape, with a long chase from the top of the roof to the squared tail.
But designers also yanked from the awesome late-1980s-2000 300ZX, with a boxed off, blacked-out rear that’s be-speckled with horizontal LED tail-lamps, which enhance the look of ground-hugging width. Yeah, about that wide-ness: One way you can tell this is a design piece and not ready for the street is the very massive side skirting. It’s cool, but you’ll have to buy that aftermarket.
While Nissan went the way of all brands circa 2020 and produced a main instrument cluster that’s purely digital, it’s great to see them hearken to some mechanical displays, showing off a trio of sport gauges crowning the dash. And the bucket seats are strictly old-school classic.
What does all this mean for production? Good question. But if past is prologue, Nissan doesn’t tease many concepts that don’t see pavement. Our guess is that’s the plan here, but for all the granular facts, we’d say check back in a few months—and maybe ask your dealer when they’ll start taking deposits.
From hydration boosts to anti-aging benefits, products powered by marine plants can round out your grooming regimen. Here are just a few of our favorites that include seaweed to try right now.
There’s a reason that seaweed and algae are surfacing as main ingredients in grooming products: The nutrients may help provide both protection against skin-aging toxins, as well as hydration and collagen boosts. According to Dhaval G. Bhanusali, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery in New York City, “When used in haircare, they may also help nurture strong hair, while promoting moisture and healthy shine.”
Different types offer different benefits, but most are packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Time to give your grooming routine a deep-sea boost.
OSEA Brightening Serum [$68] seeps into the layers of your skin to help reverse damage and encourage healthy cellular turnover. That’s due to ingredients like seaweed and, notably, ferulic acid in red algae, which Bhanusali cites as “one of the more powerful antioxidants on the market.”
Your skin’s most sensitive during a shave, so you need a lubricating agent that addresses irritation. Marlowe Shave Cream [$13] has an algae extract that works with willow bark, which Bhanusali notes is rich in anti-inflammatories.
A revitalizing conditioner is one of the best ways to incorporate sea-sourced plants into your hair regimen. Bumble and bumble Seaweed Conditioner [$27] packs a trio—marine seaweed, spirulina, and kelp—that magnifies moisture retention for healthy movement and natural shine.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30 [$128] is a broad-spectrum SPF moisturizer fueled by chlorella algae, a buzzy ingredient believed to be full of B vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. Combined with padina pavonica algae, chlorella boosts collagen production for improved suppleness and elasticity—all while protecting you from sunburns.
Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap [$14] also employs bladderwrack seaweed to provide a soothing, refreshing wash. Bhanusali suggests rotating it into your regimen one or two times weekly, especially if you have oily skin.