BE THE SMARTEST GUY AT THE GYM SEPTEMBER 2017 Vol. 26, No. 7 THE HUNTERS FIGHTING FOR PUBLIC LAND THE DOOMED VOYAGE OF THE SS EL FARO Jeremy Renner An Action Hero Shifts Gears GEAR LAB SPECIAL HIGH-TECH SHADES SOLO CAMPING GRAVEL BIKES MENSJOURNAL.COM th VOLUME 26 NUMBER 7 p. 54 Renner Rides Solo Jeremy Renner could have been Hollywood’s next action movie star. Instead, he’s pursuing something different: a sane life. By Josh Eells p. 60 The Last Voyage of the SS El Faro A cargo ship sailed into a hurricane. No one onboard survived. Using its black-box recording, we explain what went so wrong. By Jeff Wise p. 68 This Land Is Our Land Leading a gritty group of Montana hunters and anglers, Land Tawney is on a mission to protect public lands. By Abe Streep Push through your limits with some savvy training tweaks. Page 43. p h o t o g r a p h b y D Y L A N C O U LT E R 24 The SUV gets a luxury makeover. NOTEBOOK 18 Seal of Approval Rocker Steve Earle’s favorite things; plus, expert advice on surviving Burning Man. 28 Drinks Mixing with mezcal. 30 Food How to make summer veggies taste even better. 26 34 Proﬁle Stylish hikers for every day This doctor’s prescription for a longer, healthier life: more sex. 36 Essay A son of amateur geologists on a childhood spent searching for rocks. 20 Pitcher Jake Peavy plots a musical life after baseball. HEALTH & FITNESS 43 Training How to be the smartest guy at the gym. 48 What Works for Me Acclaimed chef René Redzepi shares his fitness epiphany. 50 Nutrition How to eat your way out of diabetes. GEAR LAB 78 Eyewear Performance shades that do more than block rays. 80 Backpacking What you need — and don’t — to take an epic solo adventure. 75 Bikes that devour gravel Gear that keeps you cool and stink-free. 84 Grills Four portable models that will make you king of the tailgate. THE L AST WORD 86 Ken Burns The prolific documentarian on staying authentic and making sense of Vietnam. 10 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 ON THE COVER: Jeremy Renner photographed for Men’s Journal by Simon Emmett on May 5, 2017, in Palmdale, California. Styling by Paris Libby. Grooming by Roz Music for Tracey Mattingly. Production by Flower Ave Photo Production. Renner wears jacket by Saint Laurent, shirt by AllSaints, jeans by Diesel. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: COURTESY OF ALFA ROMEO; DAYMON GARDNER; COURTESY OF GIANT/JAKE ORNESS; JARREN VINK 82 Fitness Apparel EDITOR IN CHIEF Jann S. Wenner EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jason Fine T R AV E L EDITOR Mark Healy Last-Minute Summer Vacations Whether it’s renting a houseboat on Lake Powell (pictured) or bumming around the Bahamas, you still have time to catch the summer fun. CREATIVE DIRECTOR DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY DEPUTY EDITOR FEATURES EDITOR ARTICLES EDITOR SENIOR EDITOR Joseph Hutchinson Jennifer Santana Larry Kanter Ryan Krogh Greg Emmanuel Marissa Stephenson CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Dr. Bob Arnot, Mark Binelli, Tom Brokaw, David Browne, Kitt Doucette, Daniel Duane, Josh Eells, Kevin Gray, Laird Hamilton, Erik Hedegaard, Joseph Hooper, Walter Kirn, Dr. Robert Mordkin, Seamus Mullen, Stephen Rodrick, Paul Solotaroff, Matt Taibbi, Jesse Will, Sean Woods COPY & RE SEARCH COPY CHIEF Thomas Brown RESEARCH CHIEF Jordan Reed ART ART DIRECTOR Justin Long ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR David Carr DEPARTMENT FINANCE MANAGER Sandford Griffin ART PRODUCTION MANAGER Mark Hewko FASHION FASHION EDITOR Brynn Coleman MENSJOURNAL.COM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Tyghe Trimble SENIOR EDITOR Mike Conklin SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Max Plenke E-COMMERCE EDITOR Jon Langston PHOTO EDITOR Nicholas Hegel McClelland CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER Michael H. Provus HEAD OF SALES HEAD OF DIGITAL SALES HEAD OF MARKETING ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Jay Gallagher Matthew Habib Kerri Mackar Jessica Grill NEW YORK Craig Mura, Timothy J. Murray, F I T NE S S GE A R L A B Strong Without Squats What We’re Testing SOUTHEAST Gary D. Dennis NAVIGATE MEDIA, 1875 OLD ALABAMA ROAD, SUITE 1320, ROSWELL, GA 30076 678-507-0110 MIDWEST Adam Anderson, Brian Szejka 333 NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE, SUITE 1105, CHICAGO, IL 60601 312-782-2366 DETROIT & PACIFIC NORTHWEST Lori Friesner 248-743-1022 CALIFORNIA & UTAH Stacy Cohen, Kurt DeMars, Tiffany Keele Grana, Nina Sasson 5700 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, SUITE 345, LOS ANGELES, CA 90036 323-930-3300 1. Dumbbell Step-Ups Holding a weight in each hand, step on and off a box. 2. Hill Sprints Find a steep, 50-yardlong hill and sprint up at 95 percent effort, walk down to recover. Repeat six times. 3. Trap Bar Dead Lift Grab the handles of a trap bar for this dead lift variant. 4. Hip Bridges Lie on your back with a weighted bar on your lap and drive hips into the air, then lower slowly. TEXAS Adam Knippa LEWIS STAFFORD CO., 5000 QUORUM DRIVE, SUITE 545, DALLAS, TX 75254 972-960-2889 DIRECT RE SPONSE ADVERTISING 800-442-9220 DJI Spark This high-flying camera can transmit video for up to 1.2 miles and can be controlled by either phone or gestures. The best part? It’s less than $500. MARKETING / ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT Gina Abatangelo, Emma Greenberg, Sara Katzki, Gabe Newman, Ashley Rix, Kerry Ryan ANALYTICS & RE SEARCH Katie O’Mealia ON INSTAGRAM Iceland might be known for glaciers and volcanoes, but horses may be its most remarkable feature. There is roughly one horse for every four people, and the wild horses that dot the country are a special breed — descendants of Viking steeds, they say. PUBLICITY Kathryn Brenner DIGITAL MEDIA HEAD OF DIGITAL Gus Wenner DIGITAL OPERATIONS Alvin Ling CIRCULATION Linda Greenblatt, Elyse Kossin, Amy Fisher MANUFACTURING Chris Marcantonio CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER GENERAL COUNSEL HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LICENSING CONTROLLER Timothy Walsh Natalie Krodel Victoria Kirtley Shannon Maureen Lamberti Karen Reed WENNER MEDIA CHAIRMAN Jann S. Wenner WENNER MEDIA 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104–0298 • 1-800-677-6367 • mensjournal.com PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES Copyright © 2017 by Men’s Journal LLC. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Men’s Journal® is a registered trademark of Men’s Journal LLC. 12 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 VICE PRESIDENTS Timothy Walsh, Jane Wenner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Joseph Hutchinson FROM TOP: ADAM BARKER/TANDEM STOCK; COURTESY OF DJI; COURTESY OF ANDERS OVERGAARD (@ANDERSOVERGAARDPHOTOGRAPHY) Squats build core, back, and leg strength. But if you hate them, try these instead. Danika Parente, John Stark 1290 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY 10104 212-484-1616 Letters “ Too many people think that rescuing is the only ethical way. In the end, there are people who love dogs and people who exploit them. You can f ind both types on either end of the breeder-rescue spectrum.” GRIZZLY WARS I read “The Grizzly Man’s Last Stand” by Rick Bass with great interest. While it was a fascinating personal proﬁle, it fell short on facts and the realities of management of apex predators. The facts: Grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem surpassed every recovery goal under the federal Endangered Species Act. The population has exceeded the delisting threshold by 40 percent and has remained stable and above recovery goals for nearly a decade while also tripling its occupied range. The delisting of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear should be celebrated for what it is: one of the greatest wildlife management success stories ever. EVAN HEUSINKVELD, CEO, SPORTSMEN’S ALLIANCE COLUMBUS, OH Doug Peacock’s challenge to us is simple — if we can save these bears, we can save ourselves. His task is made harder by human ignorance, but Peacock is right. Our natural world is at stake. DAN SULLIVAN LIVINGSTON, MT For Peacock to rail against allowing grizzlies to be hunted, while he is ﬁne with hunting elk, deer, and antelope, is the deﬁnition of hypocrisy. I wonder why he thinks his hunts are any diﬀerent from anyone else’s. MIKE VAUGHN OVIEDO, FL FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS I want to commend you for your defense of purebred dogs [“Life’s Just Better With a Dog”]. Puppy mills are obviously wrong, but every dog deserves a loving home no matter where it comes THE GRIZZLY M A N’S LAST STAND AUTHOR AND NATURALIST DOUG PEACOCK OWES HIS LIFE TO MONTANA’S BEARS. NOW WITH THE FEDS SET TO LEGALIZE GRIZZLY HUNTING, HE’S WORKING TO REPAY HIS DEBT — BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT. W E ’ V E B E E N WA L K I N G S L O W LY T H R O U G H T H E D A R K for a long time, the old soldier and I, beneath a thumbnail silver moon, the coyotes chattering like roosters. He makes his way using a wooden f lagpole for a cane, a rif le and a tripod strapped to his back. Here, some 30 miles north of Yellowstone, at the edge of Montana’s Crazy Mountains, on this cold morning in November, the mind feels clean and clear, focused on this one moment. We’re hoping to kill an elk at daylight. Doug Peacock has barely hunted, or even fired a gun, since his days in Vietnam. He experienced enough killing there, he says, to last several lifetimes. He was 27 when he came home, racked with PTSD, back before there was a name for it — his Army medical papers described his condition as: “Occupational and social impairment . . . due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks, sleep impairment . . .” Peacock thought he was alone back then; he didn’t know that every soldier experienced some version of this. Once home, he wandered the West — Utah, Arizona, Wyoming — in solitude for weeks at a time. Eventually, he found his way into Yellowstone country, just a day’s walk from the sagebrush prairie we’re traversing this morning. In the small number of 14 JUNE 2017 Doug Peacock beside the Yellowstone River, near his home in Emigrant, Montana 065 MEN’S JOURNAL MEN’S JOURNAL ANTHONY DEMARCO JERSEY CITY, NJ BAD MEDICINE I am a huge fan of Tom Brady, but as a sports-medicine doctor, I was disappointed in what I felt to be a very unbalanced view of Alex Guerrero and his practices [“My Miracle Cure: Tom Brady’s Guru,” by Mike Chambers]. Guerrero encouraged Chambers to walk on his foot months before his surgeon recommended, telling Chambers that his surgeon “doesn’t care if you ever run again. He doesn’t care if you want to climb Mount Everest.” I take issue with that. The great majority of physicians care tremendously for their patients and their f itness goals. I’ve personally seen what can happen if athletes bear weight too early, and I am so glad that those complications did not happen to the author. Doctors, therapists, and alternativemedicine practitioners should be working together toward a common goal of preventing and healing injury, not working against each other. JESSICA FLYNN, MD BOSTON CONTACT US BY RICK BASS PHOTOGRAPHS BY TOM ROBERTSON 064 from. Too many people look down on responsible breeders and think that rescuing is the only ethical way. In the end, I believe there are people who love dogs and there are people who exploit them for money. You can ﬁnd both types on either side of the breeder-rescue spectrum. The article you published about ﬁnding the right dog acknowledges that. SEPTEMBER 2017 TWITTER @mensjournal FACEBOOK facebook.com /MensJournal INSTAGRAM @mensjournal EMAIL email@example.com SEND LETTERS to MEN’S JOURNAL, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104 Letters become the property of Men’s Journal and may be edited for publication. SUBSCRIBER SERVICES Go to mensjournal.com /customerservice SUBSCRIBE • RENEW • GIVE A GIFT • REPORT MISSING ISSUES • PAY YOUR BILL • CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS D I S PAT C H E S F R O M A W I L D W O R L D 16 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 A Straight Line to the Abyss p h o t o g r a p h b y R YA N R O B I N S O N SURFERS HAVE OAHU’S North Shore. Mountaineers have Everest. For slackliners, there are few more iconic sites than Taft Point, 2,000 feet above Yosemite Valley, a location made famous by the late climber and BASE jumper Dean Potter, who once walked a line here with no protection. “For slackliners, it’s a bucket-list item,” says photographer Travis Burke. “I’ve always wanted to do it.” In late May, Burke connected with his buddy Ryan Robinson, a professional slackliner, to rig up the line at Taft. Delayed by snow on the trail — unusual for this time of year — the pair had to rush up the mountain to beat the setting sun. “As soon as it was rigged, Ryan was like, ‘You’re up,’ ” says Burke. “He wanted me to go first. The previous highest slackline I’d done was 400 feet — it was terrifying.” While the slackliner worked the camera, Burke, wearing a harness and leash for protection, scooted out onto the inchwide webbing. Halfway through, he turned sideways to the line, a trick called an exposure turn, and stared into the abyss, the roar of Yosemite Falls in the distance and no focal point below him except the valley floor. “It was literally the coolest view I’ve ever had,” he says, “like you’re just floating in space.” — RYAN KROGH SEPTEMBER 2017 MEN’S JOURNAL 17 AGENDA Q&A SEAL OF APPROVAL SAFETY TIPS FROM BURNING MAN’S ER DOC FISHING I’ve been ﬂy-ﬁshing for 20 years. It’s a recovery thing. I don’t do it regularly, but I keep a ﬁve- and six-weight rod on the tour bus at all times. I have a Winston rod and a Waterworks-Lamson reel. I need something powerful since my casting is terrible when I start. It takes me a few hours to get back in the groove. TELEVISION I’m an HBO and Showtime guy. I saw every episode of Girls. Somebody ﬁnally got the Williamsburg hipster thing right; I trip over them all the time. The writing was great — funny but also kind of tragic. I loved when it ended that she didn’t tie up all the loose ends, because that’s not real. JEANS I don’t go on mass retail websites very often, but I buy clothes on eBay. When you ﬁnd something cool and they discontinue it, you can ﬁnd it there. I buy lots of Levi’s 527 jeans there, slim ﬁt in black. They ﬁt me in the ’70s, and they ﬁt me now. ACCORDING TO Steve Earle The singer, songwriter, actor, and novelist — whose new album, So You Want to Be an Outlaw, is out now — shares his favorite offstage discoveries. —AS TOLD TO DAVID BROWNE FILM THE OTHER RUSSIA SCANDAL Netﬂix’s latest tour de force documentary, Icarus, begins as something of a Super Size Me for PEDs, as ﬁlmmaker and cyclist Bryan Fogel dopes himself to prove just how easy it is to cheat in sports. But the ﬁlm soon turns into a full-on exposé as Fogel reaches out to Russian doctor Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of Moscow’s anti-doping lab. Rodchenkov designs an undetectable protocol for Fogel, even ﬂying to the U.S. at one point to smuggle back Fogel’s urine samples for testing. Soon it emerges why Rodchenkov is so savvy at the endeavor: He’s the main doctor behind Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program, one linked to Vladimir Putin and backed by the former KGB. As a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation heats up, Rodchenkov ﬂees Russia to join Fogel, and the two begin working with the New York Times to expose the scandal. But when two colleagues of Rodchenkov’s die under mysterious circumstances, Rodchenkov must decide whether to join the witness protection program. What starts as a shopworn participatory doc spins into a hair-raising Tom Clancy thriller. You’ll never look at the Olympics the same way again. —RYAN KROGH 7 SO ARE ALL YOUR PATIENTS NAKED? “The vast majority of people have some form of clothing on. It just might be pasties and thong shorts.” HOW COMMON ARE OVERDOSES? “You’re more likely to get people tripping on the guide wires of tents than tripping on drugs. One percent of our complaints are drug-related.” WHAT IS A TYPICAL INJURY? “Dehydration. A lot of people underestimate how much they need to drink on a daily basis. Also, the Playa is as hard as concrete. We see a lot of people simply because they fell off their bike.” WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST INJURY? “A few years ago, we had a piece of art called Coyote, which was 30 to 35 feet tall with a head that spun around, so when people were climbing up 20 to 30 feet, if they weren’t paying attention, its ears could come around and knock them off. You get things like that that you really won’t see anywhere else.” WHAT’S YOUR SAFETY ADVICE FOR A VIRGIN BURNER? “Go with a veteran. The more experienced Burners — some of them have been going for 20 years — we generally don’t see them very much.” —JOE JACKSON CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF CHAD BATKA; COURTESY OF JEFF WESTIN; COURTESY OF NETFLIX READS Nick Tosches blows my mind. In the Hand of Dante is one of my favorite books. They think they’ve run across a copy of The Divine Comedy in Dante’s handwriting, and Tosches makes himself a character and wants to authenticate it. I love the idea of taking something true and extrapolating it into ﬁction. For the past three years, Dr. Jeff Westin has overseen Burning Man’s “emergency room,” a 2,000-square-foot tent called the Rampart, staffed with 100 medical professionals. During the weeklong event, some 70,000 half-naked Burners descend on Nevada’s Black Rock City (this year’s gathering is August 27 to September 4), and Westin’s team treats roughly 250 people a day, which is many times the visits for a town this size. As for the actual work? He describes it as “a different genre of medicine.” C U LT U R E Peavy’s New Pitch A little bit Deadhead and a little bit Duck Dynasty — former Giants hurler Jake Peavy wants to turn Mobile, Alabama, into the new Music City USA. by RIEN FERTEL I T WA S A S H E L L I N G that lasted the whole season. Jake Peav y, a journeyman fastballer for the San Francisco Giants, was greeted in the early part of the 2016 season with the news that he’d been bilked out of $15 million by a financial adviser. As the summer wore on, meetings with lawyers outnumbered strikeouts, depositions overshadowed wins, and Peavy’s ERA soared to a career high of 5.54. His season was cut short when he stepped on a pair of scissors, forcing the two-time World Series winner to sit out the postseason, too. He returned home only to be served with divorce papers. Undoubtedly, it was a very bad year for Jake Peavy, but you wouldn’t know it by the party he hosted in early December. Seventy friends and family trekked out to Catherine, Alabama (pop. 22), 80 miles west of Montgomery. It’s the pitcher’s offseason home away from home, a 5,400-acre ranch and hunting camp named Southern Falls. Guests packed the property’s spacious barroom/concert venue/bowling alley, the Mill Creek Saloon, as if it were a championship locker room, hoisting bottles and cans, moonshine jars and joints. The host weaved through the crowd, cheer ing t he house band jamming onstage. It was a southern-f lavored shindig, with an oyster roast and barbecue buffet and plenty to wash it down. As guest after guest — southern-rock legends and almost-famous singer-songwriters — sat in for a turn with the band, Peavy boogied, hollered, and used his iron-veined hands to pogo off the shoulders of others while shouting, “Can you believe this, brother? Can you believe this!” As he eases toward retirement after 15 seasons in the majors — during which the reliable right-hander won a Cy Young Award and spots on three All-Star rosters while inching his way up to 56th on the list of all-time strikeout leaders — Peavy has begun his walk toward a new passion project: Building a musical outpost in his 20 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 hometown of Mobile, Alabama. “Any city that’s worth a dang certainly has a musical heartbeat,” he says, “a culture and a scene that can stand on its own.” He’s not out to build it from scratch but simply to turn the volume up on a city that has produced an eclectic mix of musicians, from Jimmy Buffett to James Brown’s longtime band director, trombonist Fred Wesley. So he built a studio, Dauphin Street Sound, in downtown Mobile in the hope of turning the town into a mini Music City USA. Located in the heart of the Gulf South — just over two hours’ drive from New Orleans and six hours from Nashville — the studio comes complete with Peavy’s collection of guitars, valued at a half-million dollars (including a 1955 Fender Telecaster that may be the first with a sunburst finish), the expertise of three-time Grammywinning producer and engineer Trina Shoemaker (who has worked with Sheryl Crow, Out of uniform, Jake Peavy resembles the southern rockers he idolizes — and whom he plans to lure to his Alabama ranch and studio. Emmylou Harris, and Whiskeytown), and a nearby band house that doubles as a private rehearsal and event space. And then, just two hours north, there’s Southern Falls, where Peavy recently built an outdoor theater and a 48-bed lodge — “a Bass Pro Shop on acid,” a friend called it. In an era when a musician can cut a record just about anywhere, Peavy’s dream is for the two locations to become destinations, like FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, or Sonic Ranch in West Texas — workspaces that will allow singers and songwriters to escape the world, hunker down, and write and record music. Peavy talks about music like baseball fanatics rave about a batter’s perfect home run swing or the sublime form of a star p h o t o g r a p h s b y D AY M O N G A R D N E R C U LT U R E pitcher’s windup. Music is “vital to who we are as a people,” he philosophizes. “The closest man-made thing to that next level, the spiritual.” Growing up in Semmes, just outside of Mobile, he remembers watching his grandfather sing gospel harmony in the family’s church and playing bluegrass and Hank Williams records back home. On Sundays, his grandmother would transport her grandkids to the local nursing home, where she would, in Peavy’s words, “beat on a piano” as the children sang out “This Little Left: Peavy with bandmate Ben Jernigan and producer Trina Shoemaker. Above: On the mound in game two of the 2014 World Series. 22 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 up with a team in the second half of the 2017 season — Peavy seems content to nest in Alabama, surrounded by his four sons, wide circle of musician friends, burgeoning guitar collection, and brand-new recording studio. But at Southern Falls that evening, Peavy had focus only for music: someone playing a piano, a songwriter willing to share tips on crafting that perfect melody, even a stereo softly humming in the corner, stole his attention. After the barbecue was cleared and the house band was only tuning, Peavy allowed his mind to wander. “It’s time to be more involved where I’m gonna spend the rest of my life,” he says, side-stepping any talk about the money troubles or the divorce. On this night, even baseball is nothing more than an abstract metaphor for music. He takes comfort in the belief that musicians, like the most nonjaded of athletes, “show up for nothing other than the music,” for the love of playing to packed auditoriums or empty stairwells. Late in the night, Peavy joined the band onstage, grabbed a guitar, and stepped up to the mic. “Living on the road my friend,” he sang, “is gonna keep you free and clean.” The crowd cheered in recognition of “Pancho and Lefty.” We raised our drinks as Peavy’s tentativeness transformed into a voice that sounded determined and resilient, and we sang along: “Now you wear your skin like iron, your breath as hard as kerosene.” Q RON VESELY/MLB PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES Light of Mine.” His father, Danny, exposed him to healthy doses of classic rock before it was called classic rock — “Bob Seger saved American music in [my father’s] opinion,” Peavy says. After skipping college to work his way up through the minors, Peavy joined the San Diego Padres in 2002 as a 21-year-old rookie in need of a mentor. He gravitated toward the team’s third-base coach, Tim Flannery — the Padres’ fan-favorite second baseman throughout the 1980s and a roots-country singer-songwriter with a dozen albums to his name — who could often be found on road trips strumming his travel acoustic, accompanied by a bottle of wine, in hotel stairwells. The young pitcher begged Flannery to teach him the song his grandfather sang to him as a boy: “Pancho and Lefty,” Townes Van Zandt’s oft-covered ode to an outlaw’s struggle with the bittersweet memory of a life spent on the road. (It is, in Peavy’s estimation, “the best country and western song ever written.”) The coach eventually snuck a guitar into Peavy’s locker, a gift with a note attached: “Bring this with you.” Professional baseball players spend a shit-ton of time away from home, and Peavy spent most of it seeking out music. He frequented Chicago’s blues-bar scene after being traded to the White Sox in 2009. In Boston, where he won a World Series in 2013, he faithfully worked to build his guitar and piano skills while crate-digging for vinyl in each city the Red Sox landed. In San Francisco, where he was reunited with Flannery and secured his second World Series ring in 2014, Peavy befriended and jammed with luminaries of that music scene, including Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. Last August, Peavy partnered with the Dead’s Rex Foundation in hosting a Jerry Garcia tribute concert to raise money for several San Francisco nonprof its. (His band, the Outsiders, played on the bill.) It was the highlight in a season dedicated to charity. At home and out of town, Peavy toted his guitar to children’s hospitals, sharing what he calls “the sheer joy of music” by covering Tom Petty and Bob Marley tunes for young patients. In Boston, he gathered a group of friends, including Jennifer Hartswick, the trumpeter in Phish frontman Trey Anastasio’s solo band, and Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks to play a benefit concert. Back home in Mobile, he sponsored the TenSixtyFive music festival, a free three-day event to promote the revitalization of the city’s downtown corridor. Now a free agent — and hoping to hook SUBSCRIBE TODAY 1 Year for $14.95 SAVE 79% OFF THE COVER PRICE DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE ON TABLET AND MOBILE: Call 1.800.677.6367 or visit mensjournal.com/subscribe CANADIAN RATE IS $18 USD. GST INCLUDED. STYLE & DESIGN Luxe Utility Vehicles The high-end ﬁve-seat SUV has ofﬁcially taken over. Here are three legitimate reasons to splurge. by JESSE WILL are liv ing in a particularly polarized moment, but there are a few things we can at least agree on: Papa John Schnatter is a pizza-making god; professional video gamers are athletes; and Maroon 5 belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. OK, we’re clearly joking, but what we can get on board for: You should buy an SUV. The debate is over, and sport-utes have won. They now make up 53 percent of the market. The biggest chunk of those are in the so-called B segment: your two-row, five-seat midsizers — sometimes called crossovers — which are nearly a quarter of all new vehicles sold. The competition is the most interesting among the luxury brands. High-end carmakers are using lighter mixed-material subframes that improve performance and fuel economy; torque-vectoring all-wheel drive and differential braking systems that impart sport-sedan-like performance; and autonomous safety tech that may actually save your life (even swerving away from oncoming cars) when you inevitably look down at your phone. Beginning with last year’s fantastic Jaguar F-Pace and continuing through this summer’s release of three standout entrants from Audi, Volvo, and Alfa Romeo, we may be arriving at the high point of the gas-powered, five-seat luxury SUV era. W 24 E AMERICANS MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 AUDI SQ5 VOLVO XC60 The last Q5 was appealing enough for Audi to sell more than 1.5 million units worldwide. It’s harder to ﬁnd fault in the 2018 model — based on the same platform as the Porsche Macan. We love everything from the Q5’s clear, logical tech controls to its velvety power delivery. But we argue that it’s worth the nearly $13K upcharge for its more muscular brother, the SQ5, and not just for the signiﬁcant leap in power. Adding on the S Sport package ($3,000) brings a hydraulic rear differential that sends up to 100 percent of its available power to one rear wheel, keeping you eerily planted in corners, while adaptive steering ($1,150) tightens up as your speed increases — both of which offset the SQ5’s 4,400-pound weight. We found ourselves bombing down British Columbian forest roads as if piloting a hot hatch. Of course, loading on those options gets pricey. But the SQ5 is so quick and so polished that it’s hard to resist diving into deep savings. audi.com The Nordic conquest of the luxury market enters its next phase with the launch of the XC60 — essentially a smaller version of the cooler-than-a-leap-into-a-fjord XC90. The XC60’s similarly minimalist cabin could have been designed by anticlutter guru Marie Kondo, accented with pale wood and seats that prove more comfortable than their slender, space-saving proﬁles would hint. We dug the ﬂat, near immediate onset of torque from the T6 model’s two-liter, super- and turbocharged four. There’s also a cheaper turbo four and a late-arriving plug-in hybrid, which will hit a Porsche Macan–rivaling 400 horsepower. In line with Volvo’s tech and safety push, the XC60 has some advanced semiautonomous features baked in, including one called Pilot assist, which can accelerate, brake, and steer at speeds up to 80 miles per hour. ENGINE 3-LITER SUPERCHARGED V6 HORSEPOWER 354 MSRP FROM $55,275 On the winding, heavily trafﬁcked Spanish highways we tested it on, Pilot proved more stress-inducing than task-relieving. (The Volvo folks admitted that the system may be better suited to U.S. interstates than twisty European thoroughfares.) Bottom line: The drive is so entertaining, you’ll want your hands on the wheel anyway. volvocars.com ENGINE HORSEPOWER MSRP FROM 2-LITER SUPER- AND TURBOCHARGED 4 316 $44,900 ALFA ROMEO STELVIO Can an SUV have soul? Such is the question posed by the ﬁrst peoplehauler from Alfa Romeo — yeah, the same folks who won the ﬁrst Formula One championship. While an SUV might seem anathema to a motorsport heritage brand, remember that the Cayman basically saved Porsche. Luckily, Alfa’s ﬁve-seat Stelvio has good genes: The second vehicle in the brand’s comeback shares its underpinnings with the rousing Giulia sedan. And like that car, among a same-same group of vehicles, the Stelvio feels livelier. Part of that is because of its lighter weight, the result of using components like a carbon-ﬁber drive shaft and magnesium and aluminum elsewhere. Like the SQ5 and XC60, its all-wheel-drive setup favors the rear wheels. But the Stelvio almost begs you to drive it with spirit — from big, column-mounted paddle shifters to a “dynamic” drive mode that really is just that. The cabin doesn’t quite match the hushed sophistication of the Audi or Volvo — you can see the Fiat Chrysler shadow in places like the rubbery dash. But after our test drive in the sweeping Tennessee foothills, we didn’t want to leave it. Even more surprising? Topping out near $54,000, with all the options, the Stelvio is kind of a deal. alfaromeousa.com ENGINE HORSEPOWER MSRP FROM 2-LITER TURBOCHARGED 4 280 $42,990 STYLE & DESIGN Mountain Kicks 1/ WINTERHAVEN MID KEEN $150 These shoes borrow DNA from classic hiking boots to form a stylish hybrid that’s perfect for fall. Keen crafted this rubbersoled boot with insulation that’s designed to keep feet warm even when temperatures dip to –4. The technology might be inspired by the rigors of nature, but the shoe looks as if it’s meant for city streets — and the black-and-white laces are a nice accent. by JASON CHEN 1 2 2/ KILLINGTON LEATHER HIKER TIMBERLAND $130 With a 50 percent recycled mesh lining and 15 percent recycled rubber outsole, the Killington is the eco-choice that also happens to be comfortable: The outsole is made of three layers that provide cushioning and support. 3 3/ THE HIKER KENNETH COLE $195 The sole of a sneaker combined with the upper of a hiking boot, this high-top has a sleek, dark, good look you could wear to the office, even with eyelets that could have been lifted off a dusty trail shoe. 4 4/ DANTE TRETORN $100 5 The tonal contrast of the Dante’s upper — a heavy wool flannel with leather trim — gives these shoes a rugged, mountaineering aesthetic that’s complemented by the bright, alpineinfluenced laces. 5/ THURSTON MOC $140 STYLING BY PETER TRAN FOR ART DEPARTMENT ROCKPORT The standard lacing (rather than D links) shows sophistication, and the stitching has a neutral Top-Sider vibe. 26 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 photograph by JARREN VINK FOOD & DRINK OAXACAN OLD-FASHIONED ½ oz mezcal 1½ oz reposado tequila 2 dashes Angostura bitters 1 barspoon agave syrup Orange twist Add ingredients to an ice-ﬁlled rocks glass. Stir until cold. Garnish with a ﬂamed orange twist. MEZCAL MULE 2 oz mezcal ½ oz Ancho Reyes Verde Chile Poblano Liqueur ½ oz fresh lime juice Ginger beer Lime wedge Sprig of mint Add ﬁrst three ingredients to an ice-ﬁlled highball glass, then top it off with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedge and mint. KATE VALK 2 oz mezcal ¾ oz lemon juice ½ oz yellow Chartreuse ¼ oz agave syrup ⅛ oz Ricard pastis Mixing With Mezcal Tequila’s smokier cousin is a hard beast to tame in a cocktail, but a few masters have ﬁgured out how to subdue it — with delicious results. by ST. JOHN FRIZELL M E ZCA L I S tequila’s older country cousin, made from different types of agave that infuse it with big, brawny f lavors — think smoke, sweat, and petrol. As such, it doesn’t always play well with others. In Mexico, people drink the stuff undiluted and have for hundreds of years. Mezcal seemed to prefer it that way. That’s why I used to say that mixing cocktails with mezcal was like trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig. Best just to leave it alone. 28 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 But lately I’ve warmed to mezcal cocktails. It helps that there are more mezcals on the market now, and many of the new ones aren’t so smoky, like Marca Negrá Espadín and Real Minero Jabalí. “There are fruitforward mezcals, and mezcals with so many botanical f lavors you would think they’re gin,” says Nacho Jiminez, the head bartender at Ghost Donkey, an agave-focused bar in New York City. Bartenders have also figured out a couple of strategies. One: Keep it in the agave family by combining mezcal and tequila in a classic recipe, like a margarita or Oaxacan Old-Fashioned. Two: Make it a fair f ight by pitting mezcal against an equally assertive ingredient, like the fiery ginger and poblano pepper in the Mezcal Mule or the explosively herbaceous Chartreuse in New York bartender Tyler Caffall’s Kate Valk. Follow either of these rules and you’ll have that pig singing in no time. Q p h o t o g r a p h s b y TA R A D O N N E LIQUID STYLING BY REBECCA JURKEVICH FOR EDGE REPS; PROP STYLING BY SARAH CAVE FOR EH MANAGEMENT Shake; strain into a cocktail glass. FOOD & DRINK SUMMER SUCCOTASH Serves 4 to 6 3 tbsp unsalted butter ½ sweet onion, sliced thin 1 clove garlic, minced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob 2 cups fresh peas (about 1½ lbs), shelled ½ cup vegetable stock, chicken stock, white wine, or beer ¼ cup heavy cream Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 ounce Asiago or Parmesan cheese, grated 2 tbsp minced herbs (parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon, or some combination) (Optional: 1 cup cooked white beans or 1 cup cooked farro and/or 2 cups chopped fresh shrimp) 1. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foamy. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. 2. Add garlic and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until the peppers have barely softened, about 5 minutes. Chef Sean Brock’s secrets on making the most of your late-summer green-market haul. by DANIEL DUANE THE ACCLAIMED SOUTHERN chef Sean Brock abides by certain rules, codes to live (and cook) by. So in late summer, when farmers markets are brimming with gorgeous produce, he wants you to remember three big rules to wrest maximum f lavor from highseason corn, sweet peppers, peas, squash, and whatever else you can get your hands on. 30 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 Rule Number One: “Learn to shop,” says Brock, the former co-host of The Mind of a Chef and current owner of some of the hottest restaurants in the South, including Husk in Charleston, South Carolina, and Nashville. “You’re looking for vegetables picked at that absolute peak moment of ripeness.” The more a plant or vegetable is 4. Add cream (and, if you’re using beans/grains/shrimp, an extra ½ cup of stock), simmer, and stir until liquid has thickened and everything is warmed through, about 2 minutes. 5. Remove from stove, season with plenty of salt and pepper, and stir in lemon juice. Gently fold in cheese and herbs and transfer to a serving bowl. p h o t o g r a p h s b y TA R A D O N N E FOOD STYLING BY REBECCA JURKEVICH FOR EDGE REPS; PROP STYLING BY SARAH CAVE FOR EH MANAGEMENT A Veggie Genius Tells All 3. Toss in the corn kernels, peas, and stock (or wine or beer) and bring to a bare simmer (no hard boiling). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. (If adding cooked beans, grains, or shrimp, this is your moment.) M A K E R ’ S 4 6®. SEAN’S SECRET WEAPONS Why do Brock’s veggies taste better than yours? He keeps a couple of cards up his sleeve. “I like adding depth to my succotash and other simple vegetable dishes by adding extra acidity, like you get from vinegar or citrus. It opens up your tongue to accept more flavor,” Brock says. “I also up the umami, that savory taste you get from mushrooms or anchovies. It makes you salivate so all those flavors stick around your mouth longer.” For Acidity “I have probably 60 different vinegars in my house, but I love the ones from Lindera Farms in Virginia, especially its Hickory Vinegar. Add it by the drop to your vegetables. Keep tasting after each drop — when your eyes widen, you’ll know you’ve got it right.” For Umami “I love this stuff called Takii Umami Powder, which is made from shiitake mushrooms. It takes any dish from ‘Really, really good’ to ‘Holy crap, that’s amazing!’” Brock hunts for the good stuff at Thornhill Farm in McClellanville, South Carolina. FROM THE HOME OF PETER FRANK EDWARDS/REDUX handled, says Brock, the more it deteriorates. “So try to find farmers who pick stuff from the field right into a truck and then drive to market,” he says. Born and raised in rural Virginia, where his family grew cabbage and corn, Brock has built his reputation on reviving the foods of the pre–Civil War South: Sea Island red peas, benne seeds, traditional country ham. He’s dabbled in farming, too, with a plot on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina. That’s where Brock developed Summer Produce Rule Number Two: “Don’t overcook it.” “There was just something about eating vegetables out of my own field, still warm from the sun and alive, that taught me the value of handling them as little as possible,” he says. “It’s all about chasing the precise instant when great vegetables slip past raw to being just barely cooked, so you keep all that fresh f lavor but you’re not just biting into a raw radish.” Which leads us to Summer Produce Rule Number Three: Make succotash. The all-time champion of southern summer staples, succotash is an opportunity to toss together whatever amazing produce popped up in the market that day. “Succotash is really a theory more than a recipe,” Brock says, “so it doesn’t matter what you’ve got.” The dish goes great alongside chicken, fish, and beef, but Brock also suggests serving it as a main course. “In that case, I might add white beans or some kind of hearty grain like farro or rye berries,” he says. (Cooked first, of course.) “If you really want to try something cool, make the succotash a little thinner, with extra chicken stock, and then, when everything else is just about cooked, drop in some beautiful, small pieces of peeled fresh shrimp and let them poach.” “Or, while we’re on the subject,” Brock says, “skip the shrimp and add even more broth and call it a soup! Oh, and I always top my succotash with lots of fresh herbs, like tarragon, chives, or parsley.” Fresh herbs, of course, raised right by a good farmer and, in this case, not cooked at all. Q WE MAKE OUR BOURBON CAREFULLY. PLEASE ENJOY IT THAT WAY. Maker’s 46® Bourbon Whisky, 47% Alc./Vol. ©2017 Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc. Loretto, KY PROFILE This Doctor’s Orders: More Sex Researcher Nicole Prause is on a mission to link good sex to better health. Not everyone is onboard. by JOEL WARNER N A R A I N Y Januar y afternoon, Nicole Prause sits in a cozy apartment in Los Angeles’ Venice neighborhood with two laptops in front of her. The screens display graphs that constantly update a stream of information. In the bedroom next door, less-clinical data can be heard: “Uh, uh, uh.” Rhythmic moans rise, shifting in volume and pace. “Uuh! Uuh! Uuh!” As a sex psychophysiologist, Prause studies the mental and physical changes that happen during sex, and she’s made a career of dreaming up outlandish devices, protocols, and experiments to do so. “My goal is to identify the general health benefits O 34 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 of sexual stimulation,” says Prause. “There’s good reason to believe there’s a link.” Today, that means hooking up Matt and Cara Brand to an EEG monitor to track brain activity, finger cuffs to measure heart rate, and an armband that monitors movement. The Brands are in the middle of something called orgasmic meditation, or OM. This relatively new practice requires a partner to stroke a woman’s clitoris to achieve “an optimal state of consciousness” but not necessarily orgasm — OM is not about getting off. Devotees claim that it can increase productivity, focus, and confidence. (“We OM twice a day, every day,” Cara says.) Prause is out to determine whether the method is legit. “What Nicole’s doing — studying human sexual response in the lab and tying it to neuroscience — very few researchers in the country are doing,” says Justin Lehmiller, director of the social psychology graduate program at Ball State University. That’s partly because sex research is a dying profession, at least in America. Stymied by persistent puritan convictions and a pullback in federal funding, even leading sex-research institutions have stopped studying actual sex. Researchers are forced to rely on rudimentary tools like surveys rather than studies involving actual genitals and orgasms. It’s why the majority of American sex researchers have lately decamped for Canada, Australia, and other countries with fewer hang-ups and funding challenges. Currently, only two U.S. labs studying sexual arousal have federal funding, and since Prause’s former mentor at the famed Kinsey Institute took a job in Belgium in 2014, Kinsey hasn’t had a full-time psychophysiologist on staff. Which means the iconic center is no longer actively studying how the body and mind interact during sex. But Prause continues to tackle questions others are too gun-shy to address: How do you know when a woman is climaxing? What size penises do women really prefer? And perhaps most important, could sex be akin to medicine? Prause hopes to show how intercourse can help supplement or even replace certain prescription drugs and expensive therapies, similarly to medical marijuana. BAC K IN TH E VE NIC E apartment, and after Matt and Cara complete their OM session and get their clothes back on, Prause instructs Prause (left) studies the mental and physical changes that occur during sex, and how we can tap into those responses for better overall health. photographs by ART STREIBER them to do a series of frustrating computer tasks. (The couple did the same tests before the session.) She wants to see if OM has improved their composure and resilience. Both claim they feel sharper, more confident, and less stressed than before OM-ing. Now Prause just needs an additional 150 or so couples to help create a clear conclusion. As long as sex science has been around, a kind of squeamishness about the topic has hindered progress in the field. “I can measure your heart rate with 10,000 different things,” says Mark Cohen, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is one of Prause’s mentors, “but nobody has a tool out there that measures vaginal lubrication.” Despite being one of the most integral parts of existence, our concept of sex is still riddled with misconceptions. “It wasn’t until 1998 that we realized we’d missed a part of the clitoris,” says Prause. “There are all kinds of big questions left.” For example, scientists don’t know why some people take sexual pleasure from pain; or what exactly makes sex most rewarding — the arousal or the climax; or even what triggers orgasm in the first place. In addressing those questions, Prause has developed a reputation for rigor. “When it comes to her process, she holds herself to a higher standard,” says Ardy Rahman, a former UCLA research collaborator. “She overengineers her science.” For a study that measured whether condom use in porn impacted sexual arousal, Prause could have simply shown participants some scenes with condoms and some without. Instead, says Rahman, to create a more exact comparison, she used a single scene of unprotected sex and had a research assistant digitally add a condom to the male porn actor, frame by painstaking frame. “Poor thing,” Prause says with a laugh. The cheery demeanor hides a def iant streak that’s spurred Prause to dabble in belly dancing and fire spinning, in which she twirls f laming staffs and batons. In 2014, she crashed while racing her motorcycle and suffered broken ribs and a shattered scapula. Three days later, she met up with her track club — where the 38-year-old is known as Danger Nikky — arm taped to her side and ready to run. That tenacity transfers to her work, where Prause dreams up devices to help answer lingering questions about sex. In 2010, she was the first and only U.S. scientist to use genital vibrators and MRI machines to test brain response in the midst of stimulation. Two years later, she used a 3D printer to produce 33 erect penises of various sizes to deduce, for the first time, what length women actually prefer. Answer: big penises, but only 0.4 inches longer than what’s often considered typical — 6 inches long — and only for short-term f lings. Women favor slightly shorter options — on average 6.3 inches, with a 4.8-inch circumference — for long-term partners. struggled to obtain funding and approval for sex research involving actual sex. “Program off icers at the National Institutes of Health instruct you not to include the word sexual in any of your grant applications,” she says. “Apparently, congressional aides run regular searches of funding databases to look for studies they can make examples of, and sexual is one of the words they search.” Under the current administration, these problems could intensify. “I worry about this FO R Y E A R S , P R AU S E try to have an orgasm,’ all of a sudden the brain appeared to become disengaged and galvanic skin response dropped. We don’t know why that happens. Maybe to reach orgasm you have to reach a state of mind where you are no longer trying to control your environment.” But what she’s most interested in learning is how sex can be used to make us healthier. She’s hoping the OM study will help her reveal a connection between genital stimulation and the positive benefits that people get when taking antidepressants. At the same time, she’s working on a grant proposal that would allow her to explore how IT WASN’T UNTIL 1998 THAT WE REALIZED WE’D MISSED A PART OF THE CLITORIS. THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF BIG QUESTIONS LEFT. more now in the face of a government that is hostile to all forms of sexual discussion,” says Cohen at UCLA. “It is going to get worse for everybody.” It doesn’t help that the country has a history of sex-research witch hunts: In the early 2000s, Congress nearly defunded NIH-approved studies on sexuality and health. At the same time, a lobbying organization called the Traditional Values Coalition compiled a hit list of 157 sex researchers, many of whom were subsequently grilled by government staffers on the health benefits of their work. In late 2014, when her UCLA contract was up and the university declined to accept the private-company funding she’d obtained to study orgasmic meditation, Prause decided it was time for a change. She launched her own research institution, Liberos, with the tagline “The freedom to desire.” She’s using that freedom to explore the most mysterious sex organ of all: the brain. Prause is currently studying whether brain stimulation might prove to be a more promising treatment for female sexual disorders than Addyi, the “female Viagra” that’s become infamous for troubling side effects and limited effectiveness. And she’s hoping the OM trials will help her better understand unexpected shifts in galvanic skin response — a measure of emotional arousal — that she’s noticed in past studies. “When we showed people porn or turned vibrators on, galvanic skin response went up and up and up,” she says. “But when we said, ‘Now Prause uses myriad sensors — like this armband that tracks minute movements of the arm and wrist — to monitor how people move during sex. sexual function could be used to understand depression; increased sexual activity is often a sign that people with the mood disorder are improving. She also wants to design a study that will ask people to masturbate in her lab, then try to fall asleep while she monitors their brain waves. The idea is to investigate whether orgasms could replace drugs as a treatment for insomnia. All of this research fuels Prause’s belief that, one day soon, doctors will be prescribing good old-fashioned sex for what ails us — she just has to prove it works. “People would care if there was evidence that orgasms can replace your antidepressant or sleep medication,” she says. Right now, though, science ignores the many beneficial changes that happen in the body when it’s sexually aroused. Says Prause: “We ignore them because it’s sex — and that’s stupid.” Q SEPTEMBER 2017 MEN’S JOURNAL 35 PROFILE compass, gem guide, topographic maps, rif le, pistol, f ishing rod, peanut butter sandwiches. We would pack the pickup and growl off into eastern Oregon or northern California to scramble across scree slopes and wade hip-deep through rivers — caught up in our quest for rocks, minerals, and fossils. We clawed geodes from hard-packed sage f lats, hauled petrified logs from dry canyons, carved fossils from limestone shelves, and — occasionally — blasted the head off any rattlesnake that got in our way. This was my childhood. visitors from all over the world attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, in Arizona. They come for the jewelry and beads, the sculpture and furniture, the bins of fossilized shark’s teeth, the purplegutted amethysts as big as coffins. They come to ogle the allosaurus skulls and the knives with petrif ied-wood handles, the 3,000-pound boulders of rose quartz and the 12-foot cave-bear skeleton arranged upright so that it sits on its haunches, its claws outstretched and shredding the air. I am here to join my parents in what is known as the world’s biggest treasure hunt. Tucson is their Burning Man, their Lollapalooza or Coachella. When we shoulder our way through the crowds, they spot old friends, banter with strangers, and shake hands with dealers who remember them from previous years. My father wants a dinosaur bone. My mother wants a spider nested in amber. But they plan to see everything, to slowly navigate the miles of vendor displays and take in all the agaty wonder. “Isn’t this great?” my mom keeps saying, while my dad asks me more than once, “You aren’t bored, are you?” I would complain, especially as a teenager. We sometimes saw no one else for days, outside of the lonely convenience stores we frequented for diesel and Corn Nuts and Diet Coke. “I’m bored,” I would say. “This is ridiculously boring.” While my friends were wandering through malls, I was scraping through rabbit-brush thickets, exploring lava tubes that stretched on for miles. While my friends were holding out change for an Orange Julius, I was holding out a shard of chert and asking my father, “Do you think this is a broken Clovis point?” Sometimes I would go on strike. “Find your own damn rocks,” I would say and lie in the skirt of shade beneath the truck and read a mass-market paperback, usually with a dragon on the cover. But t hen someone would call out, “Snake!” or “I found something!” and I would join them again. E V E RY W I N T E R , A Boyhood on the Rocks Growing up with geologists meant vacations doing ﬁeldwork and easy access to snakes, but those family treasure hunts yielded something more precious than stone. by BENJAMIN PERCY M 36 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 an Audubon guide on rocks and minerals for one birthday and a .357 for another. It was not uncommon to find my parents kneeling on the living room f loor, peering through a magnifying glass at the geologic surveys spread out before them. They made notes on legal pads and f lipped through guidebooks, using terms like mother lode and greenstone belts and tetrahedron and lowgrade, large-tonnage deposit. At least once a month, my sister and I would join them for what was less a vacation and more an expedition. Here was our checklist: pickax, trowel, whisk, shovel, The author in 1995, on a quest for petroglyphs in eastern Oregon. COURTESY OF BENJAMIN PERCY (3) OST BOYS, when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, say a professional baseball, basketball, or football player. I, too, had trouble deciding — whether I should become an archaeologist, paleontologist, or geologist. This is what happens when you grow up with parents who call themselves rock hounds. I wore a fedora and safari pants with bulging pockets and a belt with a utility knife strapped to it. I subscribed to Archaeology and attended lectures on the geomorphic drivers of arroyo dynamics. I received PROFILE Our standard routine was this: My father would study geologic surveys until he determined an area that might be rich with gems and minerals. Then we’d drive to the middle of nowhere, his eyes bouncing between his map and the rutted road ahead, until he killed the ignition and snatched the revolver off the dashboard and said, “Roll out.” We would then spread out and march together at a slow pace, hunting for veins of quartz, humps of petrified wood. Hours would go by as we patrolled a predetermined grid, and my neck would cramp and my eyes burn from looking so hard. In much the same way, we now work our way through Tucson — through the tents and hotels and warehouses — treasure hunters searching for the right prize at the right price. a lawyer, my mother a botanist. But they have probably spent more time in the field than many career geologists. Their house exists as living space but more so as a repository for their collection. Visitors often refer to it as a museum, but that word doesn’t fully capture the atmosphere of worship. My mother touches a geode in passing as if rubbing a quick prayer with rosary beads. My father stands before a trilobite and sips his wine as if taking Communion before the cross. Every shelf, every nook, every windowsill and mantel, every bureau and end table and credenza, is a display. My parents will move a lamp or adjust a shade for complementary lighting, so that the house seems to sparkle from every corner. They have an encyclopedic understanding of every single stone and bone. Not only its historical, biological, and geological significance, but their personal connection to it. Here is the four-foot, 334-pound Brazilian amethyst geode — with one white crystal toothing its center — that stands next to their fireplace. Together my parents mummied it in towels and wrestled it off the back of a truck and into the house, a process that took several hours and nearly crushed my mother. “He’s always doing things like this to me!” my mother says. “Making me move rocks as heavy as pianos!” And here is the 100-pound hunk of pure obsidian that my father hefted out of the Paulina flow in Oregon prior to its being declared a national monument. And the clutch of three hadrosaurus eggs from the Gobi Desert. And the 88,000-year-old cave-bear skull from Romania. And the 24-inch, 350-million-yearold, Carboniferous-era ammonite that looks like the granddaddy of all nautilus shells. Every time I visit, there is something new — and by that I mean something old. My mother has always been the most energetic among us. The first one up in the morning, standing by the window at 5 AM, waiting for the sun to rise, her hands wrapped around a mug of coffee. The first one down the hiking trail, waving us all on, yelling, “You guys! MY FATHER WAS 38 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 Hurry! Up ahead there’s a blooming field of penstemon that’s to die for!” An exclamation mark lurks in most everything she says. The skin to either side of her mouth is creased like parentheses from all her smiling. She is deeply tanned from the time she spends outside. She wears brightcolored clothes and jewelry studded with turquoise. She talks to flowers. She pinches off sprigs of sagebrush and sniffs them. She spent years, after moving to Arizona, plant- she was sleeping sometimes 20 hours a day. My father drives a Dodge Ram pickup with a grill like a clenched fist. It’s a muscular tank of a vehicle, but in the rear cab, he’s built my mother a nest of blankets and pillows. She has trouble climbing in and out when he drops her off and picks her up at the entrance of every site we visit. She carries a backpack full of pills with her. If she spots a bench — or a crate — she sits down on it. “Sorry,” she says, as if she’s bumped into a stranger in herself. MY PARENTS WRESTLED A 334-POUND GEODE OFF A TRUCK, A PROCESS THAT TOOK HOURS AND NEARLY CRUSHED MY MOTHER. “I’m feeling suddenly really old.” My father looks a little like his truck. Like someone you don’t want to fuck with. Tall with muscled shoulders and a thick neck and big hands. My grandfather regularly told the story of the catcher — way back in his Little League days — who quit the team because my father kept bruising his palm with his sizzling pitches. People are intimidated by him. But he is gentle with my mother, offering her a fleece, helping her in and out of the truck, as if she were some precious gem he worries might break. a geologist, paleontologist, or archaeologist. I spent a summer researching rock art with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and another summer excavating a Paiute village with the University of Oregon — and then I canceled my subscription to Archaeology. I hung up my fedora. I had inherited my parents’ stony dreams and dusty appetites. But once I moved away — away from their maps and magnifying glasses and gem guides — I couldn’t maintain my enthusiasm. But I feel it again now — that old treasureseeking rush — when my father and I enter the 22nd Street Mineral & Fossil Show, a pop-up pavilion that accommodates several acres of high-end vendors. We are here for an ulna. My father already owns the vertebrae of a diplodocus, and he wants another piece of it, hoping to eventually puzzle together the long-necked dinosaur in its entirety. He missed out last year. He was readying a bid when another buyer swooped in and bought the bone he wanted. My father narrows his eyes and lowers his voice murderously when he recalls the moment. “Not this time,” he says and marches straight for the booth of Jason Cooper, the president of Trilobites of America. Jason is about my age and about my build, and I can’t help but imagine him as some alternate version of me. He wears the belt I NEVER BECAME The diplodocus ulna that the author’s father had sought for years. ing shade trees, cacti, and succulents, creating a desert garden that she fusses over daily. She keeps binoculars in the house, in the car, and in her backpack, and she is constantly reaching for them, saying things like, “In that juniper over there — I think I see a yellow tanager!” or “It’s just so difficult to tell if it’s a Cooper’s or a sharp-shinned hawk.” But something has changed since I last saw her. She’s quieter. Paler. Thinner, so that I can feel her bones when I pat her on the back and ask if she’s doing all right. In the fall, she learned what was wrong, but she didn’t tell us until after Thanksgiving. Cancer. She’s suffered through weeks of a chemo-radiation combo that blistered her skin and melted the fat off her and weighed her down with exhaustion so that PROFILE knife and safari pants that were once my uniform and looks a little like a game warden from Jurassic Park. He studies geologic surveys, leases or buys land, hires out a crew, and excavates dinosaur bones to sell at shows like this one. “My company has the whole story,” he says. “We find it, dig it, finish it, sell it.” He has dozens of fossils on display, along with photo narratives that show the excavation process, much of which takes place outside the town of Dinosaur, Colorado. My father wastes no time with small talk. The show opened minutes ago, and people are streaming thickly through the aisles. “That diplodocus ulna,” he says and pulls out a thick wad of cash. “It’s mine.” Anywhere else, we would be an unusual sight — two men hoisting an enormous black bone through a hotel lobby — but everyone in Tucson is here for the rock show, so they The Percy family (from left): Susan, Benjamin, Peter, and Jennifer, in 2016. swarm us and admiringly call out, “Wow!” and “There’s a beaut!” and “I’ve got a stegosaurus plate on display at my dental office!” The speakers in the elevator play Elvis Presley as we head to the third f loor, and I note that the song is the perfect soundtrack for our quest for early rock. My father doesn’t laugh, maybe because it’s not funny, but maybe he’s just worried about my mother. We knock and hear her moving about in the room, and she answers the door with sleep-mussed hair, and he says, “Have we got a surprise for you.” “You got it!” “We got it.” We negotiate our way into the room and lay the bone down on the bed that’s still tangled and warm from her nap. “Well,” my father says. “What do you think?” He sweeps his arms outward, like a magician performing a trick. “I think you’ve been dreaming about this all year, and now it’s finally come true.” 40 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 “Yes. We finally got our dinosaur ulna.” “Oh, this is so exciting.” She smiles and knits her fingers together in what looks like a prayer, and my father puts his arm around her and kisses the top of her head, and they stare at the bone lying on the bed while the window air conditioning wheezes and blasts the room with its crypt-cold breath. My father owns thousands of rocks and fossils, and for every single one of them, he can rattle off the date and place they were harvested, all the way back to his childhood. And I know that years from now, when he stands before this diplodocus ulna, he will remember it as the fossil he bought when my mother’s veins were streaming with a chemical cocktail that made her feel half-alive. L A S T Y E A R , M Y FA M I LY vacationed at the Grand Canyon. When we hiked the switchback trail — into the shade of the gaping chasm — my parents pointed out the layers of stone. Sandstone, limestone, shale. Red, purple, tan, gray. My father lustily eyed the cliffs, and his hand closed around an imaginary pick. “I can practically smell the stromatolites,” he said. My mother paused at a viewpoint and scanned the canyon with her binoculars. “Just think,” she said. “We’re touring our way into the past with every step we take, and by the time we get to the bottom, we’ll be in a world that’s billions of years old. Time travel is possible.” That’s a little like how it feels every time I visit my parents. Like I’m swirling into the past, reliving my childhood. In my day-to-day life, I’m so caught up in the rush of deadlines, parenting, housekeeping that I’m always focused on the future. Worried about whether the kids will need braces, about securing the next book deal, saving enough for college. But I grew up focused on ancient history. And the traces of my past — the fossils of who I used to be — still exist at my parents’ house. In photo albums, in bins packed with my old report cards and sports trophies and school projects, in the stories my mother tells about me. “Do you remember that time we went to the John Day fossil beds?” “Which time?” I say. “We went to John Day a thousand times.” She clarifies. The time we found that slab of siltstone — fanned with the needles of an ancient metasequoia — that we chipped out of the thinly bedded rock of what was once a shallow lake nearby. “Oh, right,” I say. She goes on to describe how, on that trip, I was walking through a dry riverbed, hunting for agates, and nearly stepped on a diamondback rattler six feet long. It was sunning itself on a flat stone, and if I hadn’t yelled for my sister to stop where she stood, only a few paces behind me, she would have leaped down onto it. Or she tells the story of how, at the age of two, I walked out the door and hiked all the way up our long driveway — to the highway — and got “the spanking of a lifetime” to make certain I never wandered off again. Or the time my sister was riding a sheep and broke her arm. Or the time I was left alone in the truck and pulled the gearshift and started to roll backward down a hill and how I surely would have died if my father hadn’t chased after me and jumped through the open door and slammed the brake. I do remember. With their help, I remember the wild strangeness of it all. When in their company, I am still the child, but now they are strangely the vulnerable ones. MY MOTHER never finds her amber-trapped spider, so she buys some cyanobacteria instead — a knuckly mass of stromatolite. This one is 250 million years old and among the earlier forms of life on Earth. It’s another two months yet until the surgery. The doctors will probe around in her body and slice the tumor from her — and I can’t help but imagine it will look a little like this discolored mound of rock. “So . . . Mom?” “Yes?” I can tell she’s worried about me, just as she worries about my father. How we’re processing her condition. “It’s OK. Ask me anything.” So I do. “Why do you guys love rocks so damn much?” At this my mother laughs. Her shoulders rise and fall in a shrug. “Why does anyone love anything?” Because she does, damn it. That’s what she seems to be saying. Why do I like the color blue or pecan pie or autumn or horror movies? It’s just the way I’m hardwired. Twenty minutes after I ask the question, she finally has an answer, “Why do I love this place? And all these stupid old bones and rocks?” She picks up a jagged piece of jade, a sick green color. “Because they took millions of years of grinding and braising and cooking to become a thing of beauty and end up in my hand right now. And because for a little while, for just a speck of their existence, I get to be their custodian.” Permanence. The rocks will outlast our wonder for them, will outlast these words you’re reading now, will outlast our fragile bodies and this country and humankind altogether. They’re as close as we can get to forever. Q BENJAMIN PERCY is the author of six books, including this month’s The Dark Net. THE PLAYBOOK FOR A LONGER, STRONGER LIFE The Smartest Guy at the Gym By now, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be ﬁt. But the difference between good shape and great shape comes down to how you apply the science. by DANIEL DUANE WE LIVE IN A GOLDEN AGE OF FITNESS SCIENCE . Studies come out every month that confirm one or another fundamental truth about how to get in shape — the power of rest and recovery, the importance of mental toughness, or the unbeatable efficiency of high-intensity interval training. Still, buried within all those studies are subtleties and finer points that can make all the difference in how strong, fast, and healthy you feel and look. And that’s where we come in. We raided the latest research, talked to leading experts, and honed five workout upgrades that you can make right now. The tweaks may be simple, but follow the advice faithfully and the results will be nothing short of genius. p h o t o g r a p h s b y D Y L A N C O U LT E R SEPTEMBER 2017 MEN’S JOURNAL 43 ADVICE 1 Fact: Interval training works. How to use it: Go harder and shorter to get ﬁtter. By now, most everyone knows that short bursts of intense cardio deliver big leaps in f itness: You move faster, breathe better, and even your blood sugar numbers improve. There’s just one catch: “Intense” leaves no room for half-assing. From the landmark 1996 Tabata study that kicked off the interval-training craze to the hundreds of similar studies that have followed, the largest gains have always come when subjects drove themselves to the wall. “There’s no free lunch with intervals,” says Martin Gibala, chairman of the kinesiology department at McMaster University and a leading researcher for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). “You have to go very hard — well outside your comfort zone.” This means you’re pushing so hard that you’re thinking Holy shit! but you’re unable to actually speak the words “Holy shit.” However, you don’t have to keep this up for long. In fact, HIIT is most effective when it’s incredibly clipped. “When people do longer interval workouts, they save their energy,” Gibala says. “But if you’re only doing a few minutes’ worth, you really go all-out.” That maximum effort is what challenges your heart, lungs, and muscles — and ultimately strengthens them. AN INTERVAL PLAN THAT DOESN’T SUCK With this 30-20-10 routine, the tough stuff lasts only 10 seconds. First, pick an activity that quickly ramps up your heart rate — treadmill, spin bike, even burpees. Warm up for two minutes, then repeat the following progression five times through without taking a break. (It will take you five minutes total.) 30 SECONDS: Go easy, you’re at about 50 percent of your all-out effort. 20 SECONDS: Crank to a midlevel pace, between 70 to 80 percent of your max. 10 SECONDS: Everything you’ve got. Now, take a two-minute breather. Repeat the whole thing two more times. In a Danish study, runners who did the routine for eight weeks not only shaved 38 seconds off their best 5k time, they also bettered their blood pressure and lowered their resting heart rates. If you can easily bang out big sets of body-weight exercises, don’t add reps — add weight. Fact: Functional exercises are the ideal way to get strong. How to use it: Advance a little every time you train. Pushups, pullups, squats, dead lifts. These classics are the foolproof way to build strength, and are a helluva lot more useful to get you through everyday life than muscleisolating curls or leg raises on machines. The common mistake: doing the exact same functional workout over and over and over again. The human body is remarkably good at adjusting to new demands: Even within a month, muscles can become accustomed to doing the same routine and your strength gains plateau. But the solution is not to randomly vary the exercises every time you 44 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 work out. According to Mark Rippetoe, reigning American barbell guru and author of Starting Strength, “the variable that you tweak should never be exercise selection. It has to be load or none of your muscles have a chance to adapt.” Yes, constantly doing a different mix of exercises may stave off boredom and certainly burns calories, but it creates a kind of muscle confusion that you don’t want if you’re trying to get strong. Your neuromuscular system — the communication center between your brain and muscles — never has a chance to learn the movements and then cue your muscle fibers to grow bigger and stronger after you break them down. Instead, stick with a set group of functional strength exercises, but force growth by making small progressions each time you work out. Increase the number of reps, the total number of sets, or the amount of weight, or decrease the amount of rest you take. (For example, for lower-body movements like back squats and dead lifts, add five pounds to the bar every time you train. For upperbody exercises, like overhead presses or rows, go up two or three pounds. For bodyweight exercises, like pullups and pushups, add extra reps to what you normally do or give yourself less rest between sets.) Only when you get to a point where you can’t add more reps or weight without failing should you consider doing new exercises. And even then, employ standard variations on your go-tos, like front squats instead of back squats or a narrow-grip bench press instead of a wide-grip. That way, you keep targeting the same fundamental movement patterns while also changing things up enough that you stay mentally invested. GROOMING BY REBECCA PLYMATE FOR ART DEPARTMENT. SHORTS PROVIDED BY COLUMBIA; SHOES PROVIDED BY SUPRA 2 SUBSCRIBE TODAY 1 Year for $14.95 SAVE 79% OFF THE COVER PRICE DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE ON TABLET AND MOBILE: Call 1.800.677.6367 or visit mensjournal.com/subscribe CANADIAN RATE IS $18 USD. GST INCLUDED. The Complete Issue. Every Word. Every Photo. Now Available on Mobile ADVICE 3 Fact: Mobility is key to ﬁtness gains and injury prevention. How to use it: Zero in on hips and shoulders. One of the biggest revelations in athletics is that mobility — the freedom to move without pain through the full range of squats, lunges, pushups, and pullups — depends less on stretchy muscles than mobile, supported joints. And no joints are more important than the two big guys: hips and shoulders. Limited mobility in either place, and even in one joint — a hip, for example — can cause a chain reaction of problems throughout the body. “It creates a compensatory pattern,” says Chicago physical therapist David Reavy, who treats professional athletes as well as mere mortals. “Say, if you lose what we call ‘posterior glide’ in that hip — your hip joint gets so stiff that you can’t sink into a proper squat — then your glute shuts down and stops firing.” Soon, your pelvis is tilting forward, your lower back muscles are seizing up, your hamstrings are tight, and, ultimately, your knees start to hurt — and all because one hip joint got constricted. A parallel story happens above the waist. There, a tight shoulder — you can’t raise your arms straight overhead, the shoulder blade hikes up when you try — can set you up for the painful, common shoulder condition called impingement syndrome. A tight upper back, constricted lats, and hunched posture follow soon after. The good news, says Reavy, is that you can prevent all of this with the two basic mobility drills below. TWO MOVES TO INJURY-PROOF YOUR WHOLE BODY ILLUSTRATIONS BY JASON LEE These exercises loosen and strengthen the hips and shoulders and prevent a cascade of problems that occur when those joints are tight and weak. Do them before every workout. 1. GLUTE STRENGTHENERS Loop a resistance band around legs and just over knees. Lie on one side, knees bent, legs stacked. Keeping feet together and squeezing glutes, lift top leg up and down. Repeat 1 minute. Switch sides. 2. SHOULDER ROTATIONS Stand tall, a band looped around right shoulder and under right foot. Hold right arm out to side in a goal-post position; rotate arm so forearm is parallel to floor. Repeat 1 minute. Switch sides. Tight pecs can restrict motion in your shoulders; open up the joint with this standing stretch. 4 Fact: To make gains, you have to recover. How to use it: Recover by moving. The essence of training goes like this: First, you tell your body that it’s not fit enough by applying a new stress — lifting a heavier weight, running a faster mile. That breaks down muscle fibers, and during recovery, your body repairs the fibers and makes them stronger. That means recovery is just as vital as the workout. But the most effective method doesn’t always mean taking a day off. In many cases, active recovery — moving around — helps you bounce back fitter, faster. After a heavy weights day, for example, a University of Oregon study found the ideal recovery strategy is a day of light lifting using the exercises that got you sore. (So if you crushed the bench press with three sets of 10 reps at 135 pounds, your recovery session could be two sets of five reps at 65 pounds.) Same for cardio. After a long run Sunday, log a light 30-minute jog on Monday. “The idea is to increase circulation to those same muscle tissues,” says Pete McCall, adjunct professor in exercise science at Mesa College and spokesman for the American Council on Exercise. “That helps f lush the metabolic waste that contributes to soreness and speeds delivery of oxygen and nutrients to repair muscle fibers.” 5 Fact: Strength requires willpower. How to use it: Create motivation. Anyone who has ever decided that an afterwork beer sounds better than going to the gym knows the critical role of willpower. Here’s the thing: You can actually plan to have more of it. According to Frank Martela, a willpower researcher and the author of Willpower: The Owner’s Manual, the key is to simultaneously focus on big goals and the small steps that will achieve them. The mere act of pausing midafternoon and reminding yourself of the long-term plan — packing on muscle or completing a marathon — flips the stressed-out mind from short-term gratification (an IPA sure would taste good) to longterm satisfaction (crossing that finish line is going to feel amazing). Plotting small steps makes it all feel more doable. “Be precise, and decide ahead of time how, when, and where to fulfill them,” Martela says. In other words, don’t just think “Maybe I’ll go for a training run tonight.” Pull out your phone, and write “4 miles at the track at 6 PM” on your Google calendar. And that beer? We guarantee it will taste better after hard work. SEPTEMBER 2017 MEN’S JOURNAL 47 W H AT WO R KS FO R M E Finding the groove I wasn’t looking for a beach body, and I wasn’t going to be fanatical about exercise or nutrition. I just wanted to be healthier, to have more energy. I wanted to be able to play with my kids. I started slow: I’d go for a run, huff and puff up a hill, maybe do a few burpees. Then I ran into an old friend, Thomas Røde Andersen, at a coffee shop in Copenhagen. Thomas had been head chef at Kong Hans Kælder when I was sous-chef there. Back then, he was kind of pear-shaped and slightly overweight. He told me he’d decided to take control of his life, leave The Denmark-based Noma team exercised together almost every morning of its sevenweek stint in Tulum, Mexico. Burpees on the Beach René Redzepi was the world’s most celebrated chef, but he felt terrible. So he overhauled his routine with a pre-breakfast ritual. A guests coming from all over the world for a meal, and you want things to go perfectly. It means I work up to 90 hours a week. A few years into this, I started noticing that I was incredibly exhausted. I felt so drained on weekends, I didn’t have the capacity to do anything. Even creative work made me tired — I was tired all the time. I thought it just came with the territory of being a chef. But then one day I was playing with my daughter, Genta. I was throwing her in the air, and I felt something in my back give — it was like a twitch or a crack. I couldn’t walk for two days. Finally, I went 48 T NOMA, WE HAVE MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 to the doctor. He pressed around a bit, and then he just looked at me and said, “René, you’re out of shape.” He was right. I had always worked out when I was younger: I was athletic, I played soccer. But it had been about six years since I’d done anything, and I’d gained 20 to 25 pounds since my mid-twenties. I was up to 180. I wasn’t fat, but I was soft. I looked at these other guys in the industry, people I knew who had heart attacks in their forties or had to go into observation for high blood pressure, and thought, “That could be me. I’m almost 40. Now is when things go downhill.” That was about three years ago, and it was the start. cooking, and focus on fitness. When I told him I had started doing a few things, he immediately said, “Let’s work out together.” So I joined him and a few others, and it was exactly what I needed — somebody who knows what he’s doing to make a plan. And it was hard. One day, the leg exercises were so tough, a guy who worked out with us had to shit standing up. It’s not like we were doing anything crazy, but back then, doing 100 squats and 100 lunges and sprinting 50 meters f ive times was enough to make that happen. I hated work ing out , ever y single moment. It was the time more than anything. I’d wake up, be tired, and then I’d have to use this small window of time off to exercise. It was a huge hurdle, and I didn’t get over it quickly. It was six months before I started to feel OK when I was running, rather than feeling like my heart was going to explode. And it was six months before I stopped dreading the workout. It sounds so dumb to say, because spending six months to make that kind of change — to be better with your team, have more energy for your kids, have more energy in general — is such a small investment. But at the time, it didn’t seem like it. I really had to adopt this positive mentality, tell myself, “This is good for you, good for the family.” p h o t o g r a p h s b y L I N D S AY L A U C K N E R - G U N D L O C K After my youngest daughter, Ro, was born, my wife, Nadine, wanted to get in shape, too. We realized we’d have to be a bit more organized, so we hired a trainer for the whole restaurant, a great guy named Johan Troels Andersen. I guess what we do is considered functional training. There are a lot of pushups and pullups and burpees, and sometimes we do weights or yoga. But Johan mixes it up, and there’s a playfulness to it. Sometimes we “fight” each other by trying to tap the back of each other’s knees, and the loser has to carry the winner piggyback. I think that if you want to stick with exercise, it has to be fun. If you’re just being told to run here, lift this, touch the ground, stand up — it becomes robotic, like chopping onions every day. Putting playfulness into the mix makes it seem less like work. The training took off. More people from the staff started coming, and we added a second session in the afternoon, between lunch and dinner, that we lead ourselves. We even put pullup rings in the office. Sometimes, if there’s a break, guys will start doing sets. When we decided to go to Mexico for a seven-week pop-up for Noma, we wanted to keep up the training. So we brought Johan with us. We worked out six days a week, every morning on the beach, and we’d have as many as 35 or 40 people training. Afterward, we all had breakfast together — fried eggs, avocado, fresh fruit, and homemade sourdough. It definitely made us closer as a team. I tell Johan he’s the only person in the world who tells me what to do, and because he’s always changing things, giving us new goals, and keeping it fun, it motivates me. I still wouldn’t say I enjoy working out, but now I only hate it about 25 percent of the time. A huge change I know focusing on my health has made me a better chef. I can’t say that any particular new dish or event is a result of the workouts, but if I zoom out to two years ago and how I would feel at the end of the day, I see a huge change. I didn’t have the same feeling of being ready to attack a challenge, and back then we were just talking about doing a new menu or something like that. Now the tasks are far more daunting — the pop-up in Mexico, opening a new restaurant last summer and another this summer, and of course closing the old Noma and building a new one. We’re changing everything up, but I’m much more confident and comfortable going into it. I feel more creative, like I can think faster, and I have more energy and patience. The one thing that hasn’t changed is how I eat. I have bread, love a piece of cake, and the other night I came home and went through an entire bag of chips. But now I eat with a clear conscience. And I’m down to 163 pounds. Above all, it’s been better for my family. When my youngest daughter is 10, I’ll be 48. I like knowing I’ll still be able to play with her. —As told to Lisa Abend NUTRITION EXERCISE Eat to Beat Diabetes Sugar-packed diets are putting us on the path to a lifelong disease. Here is a simple way to reverse course. by JOSEPH HOOPER you like a slap in the face: Nearly half of Americans have diabetes or likely will soon, according to a recent crunching of national data in the Journal of the American Medical Association. If you just mentally counted yourself out of that half because you aren’t fat, or you think you’re pretty fit, heads up: You’re not immune. Twenty percent of Americans with prediabetes are at a normal weight — double the percentage from two decades ago. What’s going on? “Our food supply has become f looded with sugar, which has exposed a latent metabolic vulnerability in an awful lot of people,” says Dr. Tim Church, THE NUMBERS HIT 50 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 a researcher with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. In other words, evolution hasn’t had the chance to catch up with the way we eat. From 1977 to the present, the amount of added sugar we consume has soared 30 percent, and our metabolism is losing its ability to process the onslaught. This means that if you eat a lot of refined carbs and added sugars — which, let’s face it, most of us do — and you aren’t blessed with the genes that can handle them, your pancreas has to produce an overload of insulin to clear sugars from your bloodstream. That excess insulin cues more fat to be stored in your gut. This “visceral fat,” explains Dr. Samar Hafida of the Joslin Diabetes Center, THE IDEAL WORKOUT COMBO Avoiding diabetes is a two-part process: First you eat the right kind of calories, then you burn them up. That means doing more than just running, cycling, or weightlifting. Studies show that hitting both cardio and strength buys you the most metabolic bang for your buck — “like combating a disease with two different drugs,” Church says. The cardio steadily eats sugars as you keep your heart rate elevated, while resistance exercise builds the muscle mass that will burn sugars all the time, not just when you’re training. Shoot for strength work twice a week, and cardio three or four days a week. If you can combine the two — circuits that mix heart-pumping exercises with strength work, for example — so much the better. LEVI BROWN / TRUNKARCHIVE.COM “produces inflammatory hormones that can cause diabetes as well as heart disease and strokes.” Worse, you may not even know this is happening. The added fat can wind its way around and inside organs and muscles without ever producing a telltale beer belly or an alarming number on the bathroom scale. We need a collective wake-up call. Diabetes is a nasty disease that, over decades, can age virtually every system in the body before you arrive at grim late-stage symptoms like numbness, pain, and infections in the extremities. That’s why it’s imperative that all of us know exactly how well — or how poorly — our bodies handle the sugar and carbs we consume. The first sign is at your waist. If it measures 35 inches or more, you’re at risk. But even if you’re relatively slender, ask for a blood test the next time you see your doctor. You want hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which provides the most sophisticated reading of sugar levels. Ideally, you want a score of 5.5 or below. A range of 5.7 to 6.4 means you’re prediabetic; anything above 6.4 is diabetes. Another warning sign: metabolic syndrome. This is when all or most of your lab numbers — LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, waist size — are high, but your blood sugar may be normal. Because of that fact, many primary-care doctors overlook metabolic syndrome’s connection with diabetes. But the condition suggests that excess insulin, and the inf lammation that follows, is gumming up your metabolism. Those with metabolic syndrome, Church says, have a seven times greater risk of developing diabetes. And if one of the bad numbers in your metabolic syndrome diagnosis is high blood sugar, that risk jumps to 21 times greater. So, if you have diabetes, or you’re on the road to it, what do you do? The biggest payoff comes from attacking your diet. Church’s prescription: “Go low-carb, all-in.” This approach can also help you shed weight, recent studies confirm. Here’s what such a diet looks like: MEALS To fill the carb void, nutritionist Kathie Madonna Swift recommends three things: first, lean protein, like chicken and fish, along with legumes — such as beans and peanuts — which are a great source of plant protein and full of stomach-f illing fiber. Second, nonstarchy vegetables like broccoli, peppers, and greens, which have tons of fiber and phytonutrients and few carb calories. Finally, healthy fats, like those found in avocados and olive oil. Limit grains, even brown rice and wholewheat pasta. “They’re not as healthy as you think,” Hafida says. Yes, they have fiber, but they also pack a lot of carbs, which can keep blood sugar and insulin levels high. Also, keep in mind that pretty much any packaged food — in a can, bottle, or box, organic or not — is a likely and avoidable source of added sugar: Campbell’s soups, Wonder whole-grain bread, Triscuit crackers. Same goes for condiments like ketchup, salad dressing, and even hot sauces. SNACKS Do you eat a carb-infused sports gel or bar during or after a long bike ride or run? Replace it with an apple and a packet of almond butter, suggests Hafida. The fruit will boost energy, and its fiber will slow carb absorption, while the fat and protein in the almond butter will help satiate you for hours. For snacks around the office, be mindful of nutrition labels: A package of trail mix can be doused with added sweetener, creating a faux-healthy sugar bomb. COURTESY OF SAMSUNG DRINKS Avoid bottled teas, sodas, and sports drinks that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients. And no more fruit juices: They can be three times as sugarladen as eating the whole fruit. As for alcohol — which is basically sugar in a glass — you may want to hedge to one drink a day, less if possible. TIMING It’s not only what you eat, but when. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania found that snacking and dining as late as 11 PM raises blood sugar more than eating the same food earlier. This may be because food eaten right before you lie down for the night isn’t metabolized as quickly and efficiently. Try to give yourself a cutoff of 8 PM. TREND WATCH VIRTUAL FITNESS IS HERE Four new VR games that yield real-life results. BY CLINT CARTER 1/ Holopoint 3/ Glow! It’s not billed as a ﬁtness game, but Holopoint will make you sweat. In it, you’re a warrior armed with a bow and arrow, ﬁring rapidly in what amounts to a motion similar to what you’d do on a rowing machine. Meanwhile, attackers come from all angles, so you squat and jump to dodge them. One user recently credited the game with helping him drop 50 pounds and trim four inches oﬀ his waist in ﬁve months. Designed to help users cope with anxiety, Glow! uses a heart-rate sensor to control the program. The better you’re able to keep calm — and your heart rate down — the more you’re able to interact in the world around you. It’s not a game per se, but more of a biofeedback practice that works like deepfocus mindfulness training. SYSTEMS: HTC VIVE , OCULUS RIFT ﬁrsthand.com; $300 store.steampowered.com; $15 SYSTEMS: HTC VIVE , OCULUS RIFT 4/ VirZoom 2/ Guided Meditation VR Zenlike mindfulness may come more naturally if you aren’t sitting on your living room couch. Guided Meditation VR oﬀers the upgrade: Find solitude atop a glacier, on a beach, or along a trail as autumn leaves drift to the ground around you. Choose from 2-, 5-, or 10-minute programs, or simply sit quietly with the sounds of nature. SYSTEMS: HTC VIVE , OCULUS RIFT, SAMSUNG GEAR guidedmeditationvr.com; free for Gear VR, $15 for HTC, and $8 for Rift Stationary bikes can be boring, so VirZoom ups the fun factor with an actual bike equipped with VR arcade games. With the headset on, you pedal to navigate a virtual bike, tank, kayak, helicopter, or Pegasus through a digital world, using buttons on the bike’s handlebars to control gameplay. Want to move faster? Pedal harder. The bike also folds to ﬁt under a bed or in a closet. SYSTEMS: GOOGLE DAYDREAM, HTC VIVE , OCULUS RIFT, PLAYSTATION VR, SAMSUNG GEAR VR virzoom.com; $400 (or $100 for a VZ Sensor compatible with a stationary bike) SEPTEMBER 2017 MEN’S JOURNAL 51 REPORTS Health News The month’s most important discoveries, updates, and advice. by MELAINA JUNTTI WHY YOU SHOULD SWAP RED MEAT FOR WHITE A report of a half-million people showed that those who ate the most red meat — processed or unprocessed — were 26 percent more likely to die of eight diseases, including cancer and heart disease, than those who ate the least. However, those who ate the highest amount of white meat, instead of red, had a 25 percent lower risk of disease-related deaths. Researchers say red meat’s X factors may be high levels of heme iron and nitrates. WHAT TWO WEEKS OFF EXERCISE REALLY DOES TO YOUR BODY Just Five Drinks a Week Can Damage Your Brain 52 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 In a ﬁrst-of-its-kind study, scientists at Swansea University asked 144 adults, nearly half of whom identiﬁed as internet addicts, to stop using the Web. (The subjects averaged ﬁve hours a day online, including time at work.) As expected, people reported feeling anxious when they weren’t allowed online. But their heart rate and blood pressure also jumped 3 to 4 percent, suggesting that the withdrawal was mental and physical. “That’s enough to move you from normal to pre-hypertensive range,” says study author Phil Reed. And if you’re prone to anxiety, it may exacerbate symptoms. The takeaway: Be mindful that screens don’t become a crutch. FACT OR FICTION? Running leads to arthritis in knees FICTION. A study of 114,000 people in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy shows that just 3.5 percent of regular recreational runners develop hip and knee arthritis, while 10 percent of nonrunners develop arthritis in those joints. THE GOOD BRIGADE/OFFSET Before you pour that nightly glass of beer, consider this: You could be doing lasting damage to cognition and memory. That’s the result of a study on 550 healthy middle-aged people who were tracked over 30 years. The trial found that the more the subjects drank, the worse off they were. The surprising part was that even moderate drinkers (ﬁve to seven drinks a week) were three times as likely to have a shrunken hippocampus, which affects memory, compared with nondrinkers. They also performed worse on cognitive tests. “Excessive alcohol acts as a toxin to brain cells and leads to vitamin deﬁciency,” explains lead researcher Anya Topiwala. “This could also be what’s happening with moderate drinking.” Her suggestion: Limit weeknight “just because” drinks. Internet Addiction Is Real — and Physical Eﬀects Prove It When British researchers asked healthy adults to stop exercise for 14 days, they found the break produced enough change to increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. While researchers assumed that subjects might gain a pound or so, “we didn’t expect to see fat around the liver and loss of cardiorespiratory ﬁtness,” says study author Kelly Bowden Davies. “These were signiﬁcant changes and would be detrimental if continued long term.” More reason to move as much and as regularly as you can. 54 was poised to become Hollywood’s next mega-franchise action hero. Instead, he aimed toward a diﬀerent destination: a sane life. JEREMY RENNER BY JOSH EELLS PHOTOGRAPHS BY SIMON EMMETT I F YO U WANT TO HAN G at Jeremy Renner’s place, you need to follow a few simple rules. The rules are displayed in a five-by-seven picture frame atop Renner’s bar, a marbletopped walnut number he installed himself, stocked with enough Bulleit to give Kentucky the year off. There are five rules in all — printed in block capitals and superimposed over one of those red NO SMOKING circles: waterfall kicks in” — five waterfalls, to be precise, cascading down to Renner’s lagoonlike pool — “you kind of capture all this.” He punctuates the sentence with a sweep of his hand — the king on his barstool throne. Renner’s place is a Frank Lloyd Wright– style number built in 1964, set deep in a canyon in the Hollywood Hills on a quiet cul-de-sac with no cell service. It sits on its own man-made plateau, with no houses on either side; his nearest neighbors are actors Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, who live down the hill. But you can hardly see their house through Renner’s thick pines and 30-foottall bamboo. “I’m not too big on city views,” he says. “So instead I’m just surrounded by these old-ass trees.” Renner calls his house “the Nest” — first because it feels like being in the treetops and second “because it ties in to Hawkeye,” the avian, bow-and-arrow-toting comic book hero he plays in Marvel’s Avengers movies “HE’S A LITTLE BIT OF AN ANARCHIST,” A FRIEND SAYS. “WHEN YOU’RE AROUND RENNER, ADVENTURE IS SOON TO COME.” DO NOT FUCK WITH AVA. NO SOCIAL MEDIA. NO GLASS BY THE POOL. NOTHING IN JR’S BUTT. Ava is Renner’s four-year-old daughter, his only child, and the center of his world. The ban on photos and social media, he says, means “I didn’t invite everybody on Snapchat or Instagram.” Glass by the pool is an obvious safety hazard. As for JR’s butt? “That’s a joke,” Renner says, laughing. “But also, don’t put anything in my ass. I really don’t want that.” When Renner is at home, which these days is often, he spends a lot of time at the bar, with its imperial views of his lush backyard. “The bar is the focal point of the house,” he says. “The only problem is these windows are heavy as shit, so to be able to open them. . . .” With that, he presses a button, and the large glass panes emit a hydraulic whine and start motoring upward, like a garage door. “I spent so much dang money on this,” Renner says. “But when you open these up and the Contributing editor Josh Eells profiled Werner Herzog in the May issue. PREVIOUS SPREAD: RENNER WEARS T-SHIRT BY RICHER POORER, JEANS BY CULT OF INDIVIDUALITY, AND BOOTS BY ALLSAINTS. NO PHOTOS. (and the role that probably helped pay for this house). Renner likes that unlike his colleagues Thor or Iron Man, Hawkeye isn’t “a guy who flies around with a hammer or does intergalactic stuff.” He’s just a hardworking dude who shows up, does his job, and goes home to see his family. You could say the same about Renner. He grew up in blue-collar Modesto, California, where his dad ran a bowling alley and his mom worked at a poultry-processing plant. He stumbled into acting at Modesto Junior College, and he’s not sure what would have happened if he hadn’t. “I still would have left Modesto — unless I got somebody pregnant,” he says. “I had a lot of friends who did that. Who knows? If I didn’t find the acting thing, I might have three divorces and a mullet, driving a forklift.” Actor Sam Rockwell, one of Renner’s good friends, met him while filming The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. “He was at a bar in Calgary, kind of crouched over a whiskey,” Rockwell recalls. “He had this sort of West Coast machismo, an old-school Steve McQueen thing. It’s cool to have guys like that in the movie business, because they’re not around much anymore. Renner’s good on a motorcycle, he’s good on a horse, he can drive a car. He’s just a dude.” For the first 15 years of his career, Renner’s stern looks and gritty bearing won him roles as a parade of scumbags and psychopaths: skinhead, child molester, con man, serial killer. But then in 2008 and 2010 came the one-two punch of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (in which he starred as a bomb tech in Iraq) and Ben Aff leck’s The Town (in which he played a bank thief in Boston). Renner carried one film, stole the other, and earned Oscar nods for both. An overnight success at 40, he responded by going all-in on Hollywood, signing on to not one or two but three massive franchises — The Avengers, Mission: Impossible, and The Bourne Legacy, in which he replaced original star Matt Damon. The work took its toll. “I was fucking exhausted,” Renner says. “In four years, I slept in my own bed maybe two months. I didn’t see my family, didn’t see my friends. I spent four birthdays in a row with my assistant. It was a glorious time — but it was a long, long run. By the end of it, I was toast.” Not that he has any regrets. “It was all things I wanted to do,” he says. “But I wouldn’t do it over again.” He looks down the hill at Pratt’s house. “Chris is kind of on that train right now. I couldn’t go on that train again.” Renner is dressed in heavy boots, slimcut jeans, and a brown suede work shirt unbuttoned over a navy tee. At 46, his face is handsome but aged, with a boxer’s nose and a cop’s squint. He’s one of those actors like Sean Penn who always look a little rough, as if he might still be coming off a bender from the night before, and also a little dangerous. Like a guy who has seen some shit. “He’s a little bit of an anarchist,” Rockwell says. “When you’re around Renner, adventure is soon to come.” But Renner also has a way of surprising you. Elizabeth Olsen, his co-star in the new film Wind River — a taut crime drama set in the snowy wilderness of Wyoming — met Renner several years ago while f ilming Avengers: Age of Ultron. “I used to think of him as this kind of grumpy, funny dude who, like, stretched a lot,” she says. “But what I got to see making [Wind River] was a much more sensitive, full-rounded person.” Before filming started, for example, they were rehearsing some stunts and Olsen found herself holding on to Renner as they hurtled down a mountain on a snowmobile. “We were about 1,200 feet up, and there’s this steep, steep drop — almost like we’re going vertical,” she recalls. “We’re in a cloud, so we can’t see the bottom. And I’m behind Jeremy, squeezing him and telling him, ‘Please slow down.’” Olsen thought Renner was the kind of guy who’d gun the throttle just to mess with her — and he does have a reputation as a prankster. But, instead, he eased off and talked her through her fear. “If someone doesn’t screw around with you Above: Renner smooches with his daughter, Ava, at this year’s Academy Awards. Right: With co-star Elizabeth Olsen in the upcoming thriller Wind River. FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF JEREMY RENNER; COURTESY OF FRED HAYES/THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY in those moments,” she says, “all of a sudden you really feel safe in their hands.” “ YO U WA NT CO F F E E or anything?” Renner asks. He pours us each a mug the size of a Big Gulp, black, and we head out to his patio, where he sits at a long table and lights a yellow American Spirit. His hands are large and callused: Even after he’d made it as an actor, he had a lucrative side hustle renovating houses, and his ropy forearms and sturdy grip suggest a man who knows his way around a sledgehammer. His fingernails are large and pulverized — except for the one on his right pinkie, which is coated in a shimmery pink. “My daughter,” Renner explains, holding it up in the sunlight. “Glitter sparkles.” Ava is with her mom this week, so Renner is getting some errands done. He’s got some guys coming over to show him some gear for his recording studio, and later this afternoon he has a tuxedo fitting before he heads to Cannes for the Wind River premiere. “I try to get all my work stuff done when I don’t have the baby,” he says. “Because when I have the baby, everyone else can fuck off.” (As for the two slender brunettes chatting in the living room, one in denim cutoffs, the other in a Batman T-shirt that just barely covers her bikini bottom? “That’s Jess and Alison,” Renner says. “They’re just friends.”) Renner’s backyard has a serious Asian vibe — bonsai trees, a koi pond, a Buddha, a gong. “I love Japan, dude,” he says. “I got a lot of inspiration from there — and the house had kind of a Zen thing going anyway.” He planted Japanese maples and added the walls of bamboo. He also outfitted the whole place with solar panels. “I redesigned every square inch,” Renner says proudly. “I did way more than I ever would if it was a spec house.” He’s done a lot of spec houses. Renner’s house-f lipping started 15 years ago. He’d been knocking around Hollywood for a while, paying the bills with Bud Light commercials and guest parts on forgotten ’90s shows; between gigs, he’d work the makeup counter at Lancôme. Then in 2002, he landed a supporting role in the ’70s cop-show reboot S.W.A.T. — his first major studio film. Renner had only $200 in the bank. But he’s a master at knowing a f inancial opportunity when he sees one. He used his S.W.A.T. contract to get a loan, and he and a good friend, an actor named Kristoffer Winters, went in together on a modest threebedroom in Nichols Canyon, about a mile from where we are now. They paid $659,000 for the house, added a patio and some landscaping, and sold it a few months later for $900,000 — more money than they’d ever made in their lives. From there, Renner and Winters invested in bigger and bigger properties, from a 1940s Spanish-style place near Laurel Canyon (bought for $915,000; sold for $2.4 million) to a 1924 Greek Revival in Hollywood (bought for $1.5 million; sold for $4 million). Winters oversaw the interior design while Renner handled “the exterior finishes and the f low.” They often lived in the houses while renovating them, usually without electricity or running water. When Renner was nominated for an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, he had to brush his teeth before the ceremony in a Starbucks bathroom. Still, he always knew he’d be OK in Hollywood because even if things didn’t go well, he could just say, “Fuck it. I’ll go build a house.” In 2009, as the rest of the real estate market bottomed out, Renner and Winters had one of their best years ever. Then in 2013, they pulled off their magnum opus — a 10,000-square-foot Art Deco mansion above Beverly Hills that they bought for $7 million and sold for an eye-popping $24 million. Even Marvel paychecks aren’t that big. Renner likes flipping houses for the same reasons he enjoys making movies: the collaboration, the element of risk, the hustling to be on time and under budget. He’s a solution finder, a problem solver. “He’s very tactile,” Winters says. “He can sit and talk to the electrician for hours. Or he’ll go on and on about doorknobs.” All of this came together in his current place, the first one Renner renovated for himself. He calls it his forever house: If he has it his way, it’ll be the last place he ever lives. “It was 100 percent his vision,” Winters says. Renner spent $5 million redoing it — adding guest rooms and hiring an architect who helped design the San Diego Zoo to redo the pool. “It’s a lot,” he admits. “But if I had to sell it, I would make money.” He smiles. “But I’m not going to.” Back inside, Renner takes me on a quick tour of the Nest. He points out details he’s especially proud of, like the recessed baseboards (“which is not common”), the woodburning f ireplace (“you can’t build ’em anymore”), the glass-encased bathrooms (“it’s like you’re showering in the damn trees”), and the pulsating control room that houses all the security and electronics (“the brain of the house”). The whole place is filled with light and is even bigger than it looks outside. “You hear it’s 9,000 square feet and it’s got 10 toilets, and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a mausoleum,’ ” says Renner. “But it’s really homey.” WALKING THROUGH THE HOUSE, it’s hard not to notice that Ava’s toys are everywhere — a stuffed fox under the coffee table, a pair of pink-and-teal Rollerblades wedged under the couch. It all seems to emanate from her bedroom, a Hurt Locker–esque explosion of stuffed animals and clothes. We stand outside her door, and Renner skeptically regards a four-foot plush giraffe. “She’s got too much shit,” he says. Renner was 42 when Ava was born. “It was like seeing The Matrix,” he says. “In a second, everything just opened up and made perfect sense.” He named her Ava because it’s “a classic Hollywood name” but also because it’s a palindrome, like Renner. He has custody every other week, he says, and the rest of the time she’s with his ex-wife, Sonni Pacheco, a former stand-in he met on the set of Mission: Impossible. Pacheco lives down the hill from him, and Renner says they’re cordial enough 57 58 In Wind River, Renner plays a hunter for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who teams up with a greenhorn FBI agent (played by Olsen) to solve the murder of a young woman on Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation. His job is complicated by the fact that he’s an emotional wreck, still mourning the death of his daughter a few years earlier. It’s a fantastic performance, one of Renner’s best: Sadness and anger play across his face as he swallows his words the same way he’s been swallowed by grief. “Taylor [Sheridan, the screenwriter and director] explained it to me in a really interesting way,” Renner says. “He was like, ‘I wanted to see what happens when you take a piece of granite and a bar of steel, and you smash them together.’ That made a lot of sense to me.” The script sat in Renner’s pile for a year before he got around to reading it. “I wasn’t trying to work too much,” he explains. “But my whole team was like, ‘Dude, you’ve got to read this thing.’ So I f inally begrudgingly sat down and read it, and I was like, goddamn. The themes in it, and what I was going through in my life — I just couldn’t say no.” At the time, Renner was coming off a pretty brutal custody fight. He and Pacheco had split the previous year, and the divorce got gnarly. Pacheco accused Renner of fraud and claimed he’d endangered Ava’s life by keeping unlocked guns around the house. Renner reportedly alleged that Pacheco was a negligent mother who’d admitted to marrying him only for his money and a green card. The f ight dragged out for months, splashed across the tabloids and TMZ. “It was awful,” Renner says. “Airing dirty laundry, the mudslinging. I don’t give a fuck “If I didn't ﬁnd the acting thing,” Renner says, “I might have three divorces and a mullet, driving a forklift.” RENNER WEARS JACKET AND SHIRT BY ALLSAINTS. to do the handoff with no drama. “That’s my number one thing as a parent,” he says. “Continuity and consistency.” I ask him the most fun parts of having a daughter. “Everything’s fun, man. Especially at this age.” She loves dance, gymnastics, musical instruments, swimming. Renner tries to keep her from being too girly: “Like this Christmas,” he says, “she got a princess castle, but she also got a tool set.” Renner takes out his phone and pulls up a video: It’s Ava, towheaded and adorable, lying on her back underneath her miniature piano, banging on the strings with a plastic hammer. Behind the camera, Renner asks her what she’s doing. “I’m tuning my piano!” she shouts. Friends say Ava is everything to Renner. “She has her daddy wrapped around her finger,” Winters says. “The few times in life I’ve seen him cry were because he missed something of hers — whether because of work or because it wasn’t his turn.” about my feelings. But do what’s best for the baby.” Our tour ends down in Renner’s master bedroom, a gigantic suite with two bathrooms and huge walk-through closets on either side. We stand in one closet, full of his dress clothes — suits and ties, watches, vintage Louis Vuitton luggage, and an entire drawer just for sunglasses. Renner looks a little embarrassed. “It’s designed to be hisand-hers,” he says. “This was the ‘his’ closet, and then the girl’s would be, like, dresses.” But when we walk over to that closet, it too is full of Renner’s stuff — T-shirts and jeans and motorcycle jackets. “I fill up this whole stupid thing,” he says. “It’s kind of pathetic.” For the first time, Renner looks a little lonely. He bought this house before Ava was born, when he and Pacheco were still a couple. There must have been a period when he pictured the three of them here together, growing old as a family. But now it’s back to being just him, and Ava half the time. Renner says he would have loved to have more kids. “I’d like to have eight running around,” he says. “A gaggle, a little clan.” He thought about having another girl and naming her Hannah, also a palindrome. “But at this point,” he says, “that’s not in my future.” I tell him you never know, but he shakes his head. “It takes two,” he says. “Doing it alone is not fun. You want to share the experience. You kind of want a partner. I’ve done so many amazing, cool-ass things in my life — but I think as we get older, there’s more value in doing something with somebody.” Renner switches to Marlboro Lights and talks about the future. Now that he’s no longer a real estate magnate, he’s f inding other ways to occupy himself. His production company, the Combine, has several projects in development, including a Steve McQueen biopic (Renner would play McQueen) and a Doc Holliday TV series (Renner would play Holliday). Last year the company released its f irst film, which Renner wasn’t in, called The Founder, starring Michael Keaton as legendary McDonald’s chairman Ray Kroc. The movie got early buzz as an Oscar contender, but it was pushed back several times and was ultimately kind of a bust. The disappointment still stings: “Michael was tremendous in it,” Renner says. “But these days, unless you put on a cape and fly around, it’s tough to get asses in seats.” Speaking of which: The new Avengers is filming soon. It will be Renner’s fifth time donning the Hawkeye suit, and he insists he’s looking forward to it. The movie shoots in Atlanta through the end of the year, and after that, he says, “I can kind of do whatever. But I’m not itching to do three movies next year.” One movie he is doing is an animated film called Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, in which he plays a fox named Swifty. “It’s so fun — and I get to sleep in my BRAD BARKET/GETTY IMAGES FOR REMY MARTIN B AC K O N T H E PAT I O , Renner onstage in New York City in 2015 Most people know him for his movie roles, but Renner’s also a wannabe rocker. Renner got his ﬁrst taste of performing as a teen, when he played drums in a garage-rock band called Hot Ice. After moving to L.A. in the 1990s, he practically lived at a Sunset Strip karaoke bar, where he and a crew of regulars — including future The Voice winner Alison Porter and fellow aspiring actor Amy Adams (who would later co-star with Renner in American Hustle and Arrival) — would get free drinks in exchange for pulling in crowds with their singing. Renner’s repertoire included Bon Jovi, Queen, and occasionally Carly Simon: “We did it for like a decade — it became a whole community,” he says. Since then, Renner’s musical side has made it onto the big screen a few times: In y the Charlize Theron–starring North Country, he does karaoke to George Thorogood’s “I Drink Alone,” and in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, he performs a Confederate hymn called “Good Ol’ Rebel Soldier.” For his new ﬁlm, Wind River,r Renner did himself one better, writing an original song — an Aerosmith-style power ballad called “Garden of Stone.” “I was sitting at the piano one day watching my daughter pick ﬂowers in the garden, and I realized she never takes notice of this old rock,” he says. “Parenting is not a sexy thing. But when someone has fortitude, they’re always going to be there.” So he’s the rock? “I’m the rock,” he says. The song was originally supposed to play over the ﬁlm’s end credits, but, says Renner, “it’s a big, sweeping song, and it just felt like too much.” But you may still hear it someday: Renner has recorded more than 50 songs in his home studio and says he’s in the process of whittling them down for a potential album, maybe even two — one with a band and one solo. He wants to do it very organically — release some singles anonymously or put a few songs in movies. “I’m open to anything,” he says. “If enough people want to hear it, I’ll play a show.” own bed,” he says. Plus Ava can see it, which is a first. “I won’t even let her watch Avengers,” he says. “The only reason she knows I’m Hawkeye is I’m on her pajamas.” Renner’s tuxedo fitting is soon, so it’s almost time to leave, but first he wants to show me some of his toys. We start in the garage, with his collection of motorcycles: a replica Norton Commando (one of just 50 built); an electric-powered Zero; and two Triumphs, a Speed Triple and a new 1,200cc Thruxton. Then his cars: the Porsche 914 he’s been rebuilding for a decade; his 2012 Tesla, which he says is the first new car he’s ever bought; and a futuristiclooking Acura NSX supercar, a gift from Acura (which does product placement in the Avengers films). And finally, in the driveway, there’s his Ford F-150 Raptor. “I love that big, ol’ truck,” he says. “It’s a beast of a rig — the thing is just silly. But I need it for Tahoe. It’s essentially a work vehicle for the ranch.” The ranch is Renner’s biggest toy of all. He bought it three years ago and just finished renovating it: a stone-and-timber cabin on six acres near Lake Tahoe, across the Nevada state line. (Officially, Renner’s a Nevada resident, which he admits is partly “a business decision.” Nevada has no state income tax.) “It’s like Camp Renner up there,” he says of the spread. “All these little outbuildings and trees, clean water and air.” He’s been teaching Ava to ski. And, of course, there are more toys: ATVs and UTVs, motorcycles and snowcats — all the goodies a working-class kid from Modesto could want. (In the words of a wise man: “He has too much shit.”) “I always wanted that shit as a kid, and I could never afford it,” Renner says. “So I just said, ‘Fuck it. I deserve it.’ ” Renner’s newest acquisition is a giant tour bus, with bunk beds, a shower, and a full kitchen. It’s fun, but it’s also an investment. Never one to miss an angle, he plans to use it on set, instead of a trailer, and have the studio pay him rent. “So they pay me to have my own trailer that I like better,” he says, grinning at the deal. “Over a couple of years, it’ll get paid for, and then I’ll have this great thing my daughter and I can tool around in and see the country.” I ask him why he thinks he’s always working angles like this — the real estate, Nevada, the bus — and he cracks up. “Because I was always broke as shit!” Recently, Renner bought the property next to his in Tahoe, an additional three acres. It was a preemptive move. He was worried a developer might build condos on it, so he swooped in and got it before someone else could. Of course, being Renner, he already has plenty of ideas about what to do with it. “I’ll be developing it soon,” he says. “But not now.” MJ “I GOT CONTAINERS IN THE WATER!” “RING THE ABANDON SHIP. TELL THEM WE’RE GOING IN. BOW IS DOWN. BOW IS DOWN! CHIEF MATE?” “HEY, CAPTAIN!” “GET INTO YOUR RAFTS! THROW ALL YOUR RAFTS INTO THE WATER.” “THROW THE RAFTS IN THE WATER. ROGER.” “EVERYBODY GET OFF! GET OFF THE SHIP!” The Last Voyage of the SS El Faro On a routine passage from Florida to Puerto Rico, a cargo ship sails into the heart of a hurricane. No one aboard survives. With the discovery of its black-box recording, we re-create the ship’s ﬁnal 26 hours and the decisions that sealed its fate. BY JEFF WISE PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY GARRIGOSA STUDIO 62 IT STARTE D AS A DIP of low pressure over the Atlantic that gathered a loose circle of sluggish wind. Rufﬂed, the summer-warmed sea released more moisture as vapor and the pressure went down a bit further. The wind picked up, driving big waves and unleashing more moisture and heat. During the next few days, this chain reaction turned into an atmospheric buzz saw that spanned hundreds of miles: Hurricane Joaquin. As the Category 4 storm bore down on the Bahamas with winds peaking at 140 miles an hour, people evacuated and vessels raced for safety. But one ship did not. On October 1, 2015, the SS El Faro — a cargo carrier whose veteran 33-member crew enjoyed modern navigation and weather technology — sailed into the raging heart of the storm. Everyone aboard perished in what ranks as the worst U.S. maritime disaster in three decades. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were left to grapple with a seemingly unanswerable question: Why? The NTSB launched one of the most comprehensive inquiries in its 50-year history, interviewing dozens of experts and colleagues, friends, and family members of the crew. Then, last August, came the crucial discovery: A robot submersible retrieved El Faro’s voyage data recorder from the three-mile-deep seabed. The black box contained everything that was said on the ship’s bridge, right up to its ﬁnal moments aﬂoat. The transcript reveals a narrative that unfolds in almost cinematic detail, with foreshadowing, tension, courage, and hubris. Like most tragedies, no one factor brought on the disaster — but human error was chief among the problems. This is the answer to the riddle of El Faro’s bafﬂing ﬁnal path, in the words of the crew members themselves. I A DOOMED COURSE Hoping to avoid Hurricane Joaquin, El Faro veered off its usual course from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico. But Joaquin veered, too. JACKSON V IL L E El Fa ro yp ic al ro ut e Th FL ORIDA ’s t er ou te El Sa Fa nJ ro ua to n, ok P. R .∂ San Salvador BAHAMAS Old CUB A Rum C ay Ba ha ma Ch an Hurricane Joaquin nel r ou te LAST COMMUNICATION MEN’S JOURNAL Jeff Wise is the author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger. ILLUSTRATION BY JP LONG The Untrackable Storm Six major prediction models, including the National Hurricane Center’s official forecast, all misjudged Joaquin. “We didn’t forecast it to get as strong as it did,” says James Franklin, chief of forecast operations with the NHC, noting that Joaquin was the most powerful October storm to hit the Bahamas in 150 years. Because Joaquin was able to hold together better than predicted, the storm moved in an unexpected direction. SEPTEMBER 30, 5:36 AM As the recording begins, El Faro — Spanish for “the lighthouse” — is 150 nautical miles southeast of Jacksonv ille, Florida, steaming toward San Juan, Puerto Rico. The sea is calm. In the predawn darkness, the ship’s captain, 53-year-old Michael Davidson, pores over navigational charts with 51-year-old chief mate Steve Shultz. El Faro shuttles the weeklong route back and forth between Jacksonville and Puerto Rico roughly four times a month, as regular as a commuter train, carrying cars and containers filled with groceries, clothing, electronics, and other consumer goods. Today, though, there’s a hiccup. Tropical Storm Joaquin, which has just been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. The ship can expect 45-mile-an-hour winds and 12- to 15-foot swells — a rough ride even for the 790-foot El Faro. Hurricane Joaquin is 200 miles northeast of the Bahamas and currently on a course straight for the islands — and El Faro’s track line — but the forecast predicts the storm will soon curve to the northwest. If they angle their course slightly south, Davidson reasons, they’ll scoot through a gap between the islands and the storm. This would be only a 10-mile diversion, a distance that means the trip will take just 30 minutes longer and burn a negligible amount of extra fuel. Still, the decision doesn’t seem to sit well with Davidson. A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Merchant Marine, he had applied for a transfer to a newer ship with TOTE MICHAEL DAVIDSON/FACEBOOK Maritime, El Faro’s shipping company. He may have thought that even a minute amount of extra expense wouldn’t help his cause. “We’re not that much off course,” Davidson says, as if to reassure himself. “It’s a good little diversion. Are you feelin’ comfortable with that, Chief Mate?” “Yes, sir,” Shultz says and adds, “The other option is drastic.” That option is a more southerly route called the Old Bahama Channel, which would require the ship to turn 90 degrees to the right, sail 200 miles south, then turn east, and sail along the northern coast of Cuba, sheltered by the islands of the Bahamas. The ride would be much smoother, but the trip to San Juan would be 160 miles longer — six hours’ sailing time and about $5,000 in extra fuel. “It doesn’t warrant it,” Davidson says. “Can’t run from every weather pattern.” “Not for a 40-knot wind.” “Now, that would be the action for some guy that’s never been anywhere else.” The captain mimics a panicky voice: “ Oh my God! Oh my God!” Davidson had endured plenty of rough water, including a decade running oil tankers from the legendarily stormy Gulf of Alaska to the West Coast. He noted one particular voyage across the Atlantic in the transcript: “We had a gust registered at 102 knots. It was the roughest storm I had ever been in — ever.” “It should be fine,” Davidson says, then corrects himself. “We are gonna be fine, not should be. We are gonna be fine.” To the east, the sky is growing bright. “Oh, look at that red sky over there. ‘Red in the morning, sailors take warning,’ ” Davidson says, quoting the old seafarers’ saw. “That is bright.” 11:45 AM The morning opens into a fine tropical day, blue skies with temperatures in the high 80s. But the swell has started to build with the energy of Joaquin, still some 300 miles away. At noon, 34-year-old second mate Danielle Randolph begins her shift on the bridge. Randolph is a popular member of the crew, an extrovert with a passion for pumpkin-spice coffee and a penchant for singing along with the radio. By now the ship is approaching the f irst of the Bahamian islands, Little Abaco. Third mate Jeremie Riehm tells Randolph about the slightly altered course that Davidson has laid out. As second mate, Randolph is responsible for the ship’s navigation. She makes clear that she doesn’t think the captain is taking Joaquin seriously enough. “He’s telling everybody down there, ‘Oh, it’s not a bad Capt. Michael Davidson In the maritime world, Maine native Michael Davidson had it made. He’d joined TOTE Maritime, the company that owned El Faro, in 2012, signing on as a third mate and working up to captain. That made him the highest-ranking officer on the largest category of ship in the U.S. cargo ﬂeet, with pay in the $200,000-plus range. But he’d also learned the hazards of not toeing a company line. Before working for TOTE, Davidson was a captain for Crowley Maritime in Jacksonville — but he lost that job after refusing to sail a ship because he said the vessel’s steering was unsafe. At TOTE, two months before Hurricane Joaquin, Davidson took a 160-mile detour to avoid Tropical Storm Erika. That extra time and fuel may have made him look bad in management’s eyes. In the black-box transcript, he agrees with his chief mate that he’s “in line for the choppin’ block.” TOTE had ordered two brand-new natural-gaspowered ships for Davidson’s route, and he’d applied to be captain. He’d been turned down for one and wasn’t optimistic about getting the other. As for his management style, crew members described Davidson as magnanimous but arrogant, with little interest in the details of running a ship. Seaman Kurt Bruer, who had worked under Davidson, calls him “one of the laziest captains I’d ever sailed with,” saying that Davidson spent most of his time in his cabin instead of walking the ship as other captains would do. Still, others who have borne the responsibility of captaining a ship say Davidson’s failure to deal with Joaquin could have happened to any leader. “He seemed like a pretty normal captain,” says George Collazo, a Seattle-based ship captain. “He could have done the same thing 100 times and been fine.” MEN’S JOURNAL storm — it’s not even that windy out. I’ve seen worse,’ ” she tells Riehm. Even the amended route El Faro is on exposes it to the risk of getting trapped between the storm and the shallow waters of the Bahamas. “It’s nothing — it’s nothing!” Randolph says, quoting Davidson. “I think he’s trying to play it down because he realizes we shouldn’t have come this way. Saving face.” Minutes later, Davidson returns to the bridge, complaining that the engine room isn’t giving him as much speed as he’d like. “Oh yeah?” Randolph asks. “I think now it’s not a matter of speed. When we get there, we get there — as long as we arrive in one piece.” 3:45 PM By the time chief mate Shultz returns for his 4 PM to 8 PM shift, the ocean swell has increased to eight feet, the crests whipped into whitecaps by the stiffening wind. The deck crew has tightened the lashings that hold El Faro’s 391 containers in place on the deck and scoured the ship to make sure everything has been secured. El Faro’s sister ship, El Yunque, is 33 miles abeam, heading in the opposite direction toward Jacksonville. Shultz calls on the radio for a chat. El Yunque’s chief mate tells him that they put on speed to outrace Joaquin but still got beat up pretty bad. At one point, they recorded gusts of more than 100 miles an hour. “You are going the wrong way,” the chief mate says. When Davidson returns to the bridge, Shultz does not pass along this warning. “There could be a chance that we could turn around?” asks the helmsman on duty, 49-year-old Frank Hamm. “Oh, no, no, no,” says Davidson. “We’re not gonna turn around.” 6:51 PM As twilight settles, Davidson comes up from his office to find Shultz standing watch. “I just sent you the latest weather,” Davidson tells him. Four times a day, the captain receives a forecast from a private meteorological service he subscribes to called Bon Voyage System (BVS). Its colorful graphics, with areas of severe weather in yellow and dangerous weather in red, are easy to understand, and Davidson relies on the reports exclusively, ignoring the hurricane alerts and National Weather Service (NWS) updates that are printed out and posted on the bridge, and are the standards most captains use. What Davidson doesn’t know is that the BVS forecasts are up to 21 hours outof-date, and their estimate of Joaquin’s location is off by as much as 500 miles. The free NWS reports are timelier and more accurate. But by now, even the BVS forecast has grown ominous. It shows the storm continuing on its southern course toward the Bahamas and El Faro. Davidson plots a new course that will take them around San Salvador Island, which, according to the BVS chart, will provide shelter and limit the size of the swells. However, the three off icers have been watching more accurate forecasts and have a much clearer idea of what’s in store. All three tell Davidson they’re concerned about the ship’s course, but the captain is unfazed. Davidson leaves the bridge at 8 PM, just after third mate Riehm relieves Shultz. “I will definitely be up for the better part of your watch,” Davidson tells Riehm. “So if you see anything you don’t like, don’t hesitate to give me a shout.” He heads to his stateroom for the night. As he leaves, the National Hurricane Center upgrades Joaquin to a Category 2, with winds of 105 miles an hour. Second Mate Danielle Randolph Growing up in coastal Maine, Danielle Randolph felt the seafaring urge at an early age. When her mother, Laurie Bobillot, burst into tears while saying goodbye on Danielle’s ﬁrst day of kindergarten, she scolded: “Mama, how am I going to learn about boats if you don’t let me go to school?” Sure enough, she went on to enroll at the Maine Maritime Academy, then began sailing for TOTE at age 24. “If she had it in her mind to do something, says Bobillot, “nothing was going to stop her.” At sea, Randolph was consummately professional but rarely staid. Even in the thick of a crisis, she would crack a joke or go brew someone a fresh cup of coffee. A decade in the Merchant Marine, though, had begun to take its toll. Life aboard El Faro meant 12-hour workdays with rest broken up into odd hours between her midday and midnight shifts. She told her friends that El Faro was a “rust bucket” and marveled, in particular, at the inadequacy of the obsolete open-deck lifeboats. She had been reluctant to sail with El Faro on this voyage but felt that she had to in order to get her 10-week rotation over by Christmas. Still, she never hesitated to obey orders. Like many mariners, she had family ties to the sea — her mother was in the Navy — and was raised to respect the Merchant Marine’s military-like pecking order. Upon joining, she had sworn to “faithfully and honestly carry out the lawful orders of my superior ofﬁcers.” Bobillot conﬁrms her daughter’s mind-set: “She was going to obey orders even if she knew it was wrong.” Just before she embarked on the El Faro run, Randolph told her mother, “If anything happens to me when I’m out at sea, it’s OK, because that’s where I want to be.” MEN’S JOURNAL O C T O B E R 1 , 1 :2 0 A M El Faro approaches Rum Cay. If Randolph is going to make a turn to the south, she’ll have to do it soon. “I’m going to give the captain a call,” she says. When Davidson finally picks up, it’s clear he’s been asleep. “It isn’t looking good,” Randolph tells him, then explains her idea. Davidson isn’t convinced. He tells her the worst of the storm will soon be behind them, so she should stay on course. She hangs up and turns to the helmsman. “He said to run it.” At this point, Randolph has a choice. Her captain has given her an order that she knows could have a terrible outcome. She can follow it, putting her crew mates in certain danger, or she can take matters into her own hands and turn the ship toward a hope of safety. Going rogue, though, is not an option for Danielle Randolph. To defy Davidson’s order is the kind of insubordination that would get her fired upon arrival in San Juan. The chain of command has ruled life at sea for centuries, and for good reason: A crew’s safety is dependent on discipline, with no room for dissension. A captain’s unquestioned authority is something a mariner accepts with the job. So, instead of turning south, Randolph instructs the helmsman to continue east. Directly into the storm. 1:55 AM A particularly large wave slams into the ship. “That was a good one,” Randolph says. “Def initely lost some speed. Although we’re not doing the max RPMs.” The ship’s engine burns oil to generate steam, which drives the turbine that turns the propeller. It’s technology that was familiar to sailors during Titanic’s era. If the boiler can’t generate enough heat, the propeller’s revolutions per minute will fall and the ship will slow. The 40-year-old El Faro had reportedly suffered loss of propulsion at sea before, and its boilers were scheduled to be repaired later that fall. A little-known quirk of the powerplant design was that if the ship listed, or leaned over, more than 15 degrees — DANIELLE RANDOLPH/FACEBOOK 10:30 PM As the night drags on, the weather gets progressively worse. Bands of heavy rain and gale-force winds lash the ship as El Faro enters the main body of the storm system, an area of rainfall the size of South Carolina. In the control room, Randolph continues to worry about their predicament. If they were in the open ocean and the storm grew dangerous, they could turn tail and run, but as it is, their options are limited, with the ship hemmed in by the islands and reefs to the southwest. “We don’t have much space,” she tells her helmsman. “Not much wiggle room, you know, ’cause it’s so shallow everywhere.” “I don’t like our chances,” the helmsman says. At 12:26 AM, the satcom printer, which provides the latest updates from the NWS, chatters to life and spits out a new report. Randolph tears it off and reads. Joaquin hasn’t turned, as all the forecasts predicted. In fact, it’s grown stronger, and they’re heading right into it. “I may have a solution,” Randolph says. She shows the helmsman the chart. Around 2 AM, they’ll pass Rum Cay. At that point, they can turn south and head for Crooked Island Passage. They’ll avoid hurricane-force winds, and once through the passage, they’ll be sheltered from the swell by the islands. “From there we connect with the Old Bahama Channel,” Randolph says. A weather report comes on the radio: Joaquin has been upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, with winds of more than 111 miles an hour. As if on cue, three minutes later, the ship lurches violently to the left, nearly knocking Randolph and the helmsman off their feet. “Whoa!” the helmsman shouts. “Biggest one since I’ve been up here. This is fixing to get interesting.” “Mistaaake,” Randolph drawls. 65 THE PERILS OF A 40-YEAR-OLD SHIP A U.S. Coast Guard report said that if El Faro were built today, it “would not meet current damage stability standards.” Here’s why. OUTDATED LIFEBOATS El Faro carried two open-air lifeboats. “Today, a vessel like that would be required to have totally enclosed, motor-driven lifeboats,” marine safety consultant Robert Markle told investigators. Such vessels, which can be launched from the inside so that no one is left behind, can turn right-side-up if they capsize. “If they had enclosed lifeboats,” says former El Faro seaman Kurt Bruer, “they would have been able to survive.” 31.5 TONS 43-PERSON LIFEBOATS an unlikely possibility — the lubricating oil would run to one side and the engine would stop. It’s a problem that is less likely to occur on modern ships. “Damn sure don’t want to lose the plant,” the helmsman says, referring to El Faro’s engine. That’s because a ship is designed to plunge through heavy weather bow first. But with insufficient power, wind and swell will cause it to list sideways, exposing a vulnerable f lank. Soon the ship could take on and fill with water, then capsize. ILLUSTRATION BY TODD DETWILER 2 A DYING INDUSTRY Antiquated ships are not unusual in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Once the world leader, the U.S. ﬂeet has been in decline since World War II and survives only because of a law called the Jones Act, which restricts shipping between U.S. ports to Americanﬂagged ships and crews. The industry limps on within this protected safe zone. The reason? Money. American mariners are expensive. It costs millions of dollars a year more to operate a ship under a U.S. ﬂag than with foreign crews. Were it not for the money the U.S. shipbuilding industry makes, the government might scrap the Jones Act altogether and let U.S. shipping die off. 2:44 AM Over the next hour, Joaquin batters the ship with increasing intensity. Waves break over the bow, sending torrents of water surging over the deck. Explosions of spray splatter the windows of the bridge. Unseen clankings reverberate over the howling of the wind as the storm wrenches away loose fittings. “Figured the captain would be up here,” says the helmsman. “I thought so, too,” says Randolph. “He’ll play hero tomorrow,” the helmsman says. A few minutes later, a massive wave 790 FEET LONG hits. “That was a doozy,” Randolph says, nervously laughing. “We won’t be able to take more of those.” Minutes later another wave hits, and this one nearly knocks Randolph off her feet. An electronic alarm sounds, warning that the ship’s autopilot has been shoved off course by the force of waves that have grown too big for it to handle. 4:09 AM Shultz arrives on the bridge and relieves Randolph, who goes below deck and staggers to her cabin. There she writes an email to her mother: “We are heading straight for the hurricane. Give my love to everyone.” On the bridge, Davidson returns after an eight-hour absence. The winds raking the ship are 100-plus miles per hour, but Davidson feigns nonchalance. “There’s nothing bad about this ride,” he says. When Shultz asks if he’s managed to get any sleep, he says he’s been “sleeping like a baby.” “Not me,” Shultz says. “What? Who’s not sleepin’ good? How come?” “I didn’t like it.” MEN’S JOURNAL A CORRODED BOAT Built in 1975, El Faro was some four times older than the average container ship at sea. One sister ship, El Morro, had recently been scrapped because its aging steel hull was so corroded. El Faro’s other sister ship, El Yunque, was taken out of service in 2016 because of extensive corrosion. 391 CONTAINERS 294 TRAILERS AND CARS “Well, this is every day in Alaska,” Davidson retorts. Shultz points out that the ship is listing to the right. The wind is hitting El Faro’s exposed left flank, pushing it even further to the right side. “Yeah,” the captain says. “The only way to do a counter on this is to fill the portside ramp tank up.” In other words, they can pump stored water from the right side to the left side of the ship, to help steady it against the wind. If they don’t, the list will continue and the powerplant could fail. While Davidson goes to get breakfast, the chief engineer phones to tell Shultz that the engine lubricating oil is acting up. Evidently, shifting the water hasn’t worked. It’s time for plan B: Turn El Faro into the wind. Davidson rushes back to the bridge. “Going to steer right up into it,” he declares. “Let’s put it in handsteering.” To prevent a more drastic list, they need to point the bow directly into the hurricane-force wind. But that’s no easy feat. El Faro is now in the eye wall of a hurricane that is strengthening from Category 3 to Category 4. Thirty-foot waves, their crests whipped to foam by 115-mile-an-hour winds, hammer the 66 ship every 10 seconds. The wind howling against the bridge sounds like a jet engine on takeoff. 5:43 AM “We got a prrroooblem,” Davidson says. Engineering has called with more bad news. A type of hatch called a scuttle, located between cargo decks, has f lown open, allowing water to f lood the hull of the ship. A lot of water sloshing in an open hold makes a ship incredibly unstable and prone to capsizing. Efforts to seal the hatch fail, so Davidson orders the crew to run water pumps to remove the seawater. He tells Shultz to go check it out. The chief engineer calls in soon after. “OK,” Davidson tells him, “I’m going to turn the ship and get the wind on the starboard side. Give us a port list.” Davidson hopes that with the ship leaning in the other direction, the water will drain away and they can secure the hatch. Sensing that the ship is in trouble, Randolph returns to the bridge in her off-duty clothes. Davidson greets her with a friendly “Hi!” and tells her about the hatch. A few minutes later, Randolph notices that the engine power is falling and asks, “Did we come down on the RPM, or did they do that?” referring to the engine room. Davidson says he didn’t ask them to reduce power. It’s more than worrying. A loud thump comes from outside. “There goes the lawn furniture,” says Randolph, likely seeing objects on the deck start to come untethered. “I’m not liking this list,” Davidson says. A few seconds later, the engine RPMs drop. He turns to Randolph: “I think we just lost the plant.” How an antiquated engine and hurricaneforce winds brought down a 31-ton vessel. El Faro’s engine burned oil to generate steam, which drove the turbine that turned the propeller. When the old boilers couldn’t produce enough heat, the propeller’s RPMs fell off, and the ship slowed. Winds pummeled its left (port) side, and it began to lean right (starboard). When it hit a critical 15-degree list, lubricating oil ran to its right side and the engine stopped. Without power to move forward, it ﬁlled with water and capsized. “All hell’s gonna break loose,” Davidson says. Somewhere, alarm bells are ringing and rescue teams are saddling up. “Wake ever ybody up!” Davidson shouts. “Wake ’em up!” He adds: “We’re going to be good. We’re going to make it.” Shultz hurries back to the bridge. “I think that water level’s rising, Captain.” But he can’t determine where the water is flooding in. “I saw cars bobbing around.” “All right, we’re going to ring the general alarm here and wake everybody up,” Davidson says. “We’re definitely not in good shape right now.” Davidson tells Shultz to “muster all the mates,” then calls the engine room: “Captain here. Just want to let you know I am going to ring the general alarm . . . . We’re not going to abandon ship or anything just yet. All right? We’re gonna stay with it.” Davidson hangs up, turns to the crew on the bridge, and shouts, “Ring it!” A series of high-pitch tones blare throughout the ship. MEN’S JOURNAL ILLUSTRATION BY TODD DETWILER 6:55 AM By now the goal is no longer to get to San Juan but to simply keep the ship af loat. With each swell, El Faro lurches further onto its right side. “How long we supposed to be in this storm?” Hamm asks. “Should get better all the time,” Davidson says. “We’re on the back side of it.” Davidson makes a satellite phone call to Capt. John Lawrence, the head of TOTE’s emergency response team and the man responsible for coordinating rescue efforts. Instead of abandoning El Faro, Davidson tells him, “No one’s panicking. Everybody’s been made aware. Our safest bet is to stay with the ship. The weather is ferocious out here.” After he hangs up, Davidson tells Randolph to send a satellite distress signal. “Roger.” The satellite terminal chirps: Message sent. The time is 7:13 AM. WHY EL FARO CAPSIZED 7:28 AM Shultz calls in on a walkietalkie to report that everybody has mustered on the starboard side. “Captain, you getting ready to abandon ship?” “Yeah, what I’d like to make sure is everybody has their immersion suits, and get a good head count.” A minute later, Randolph lets out a yell. “I got containers in the water!” Ravaged by the 115-mile-an-hour wind and bashed by crashing waves, stacks of containers on the deck have started to plunge into the ocean. The ship is coming apart. “Ring the abandon ship,” Davidson orders. A high-frequency bell tone rings in seven short pulses, followed by a long pulse. “Tell them we’re going in,” says Davidson loudly. Randolph asks if she can get her life vest. Davidson says yes and asks her to bring his and one for helmsman Hamm. “I need them, too!” Hamm yells. “Please!” “OK, buddy, relax,” Davidson says. “Go ahead, Second Mate.” Randolph leaves, and the captain and the helmsman are alone on the bridge. The ship is taking on water fast. The morning light is strong enough now that, through the rain and spray, Davidson can see the front of the ship slip beneath the roiling surface. “Bow is down,” Davidson says. “Bow is down!” He calls Shultz on the radio: “Chief Mate, Chief Mate.” “Hey, Captain!” Shultz shouts over the freight-train roar of the storm. “Get into your rafts!” the captain yells. “Throw all your rafts into the water.” “Throw the rafts in the water. Roger.” “Everybody get off!” Davidson shouts. “Get off the ship. Stay together!” On the bridge, Hamm has slipped on the now steeply pitched deck and is having trouble climbing up. Each time the ship lurches, the slope gets steeper. “Cap . . . Cap,” he’s saying. “What? Come on, Hamm. Gotta move. You gotta get up. You gotta snap out of it.” “OK,” Hamm says. “Help me.” “You gotta get to safety, Hamm,” Davidson pleads. Hamm is becoming increasingly panicked. “You’re going to leave me.” “I’m not leaving you! Let’s go!” Hamm lets out a primal scream. “I need somebody to help me! You don’t want to help me?” “I’m the only one here, Hamm.” “I can’t!” Hamm yells. “I’m a goner.” “No, you’re not!” Davidson shouts. Hamm screams as the deck lurches ever steeper. The voices cut out. 7:39 AM Thousands of tons of water FROM TOP: COURTESY OF HAMM FAMILY; NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD/AP crash onto El Faro’s exposed left f lank. Destabilized by flooding below decks, the ship eases past the critical angle. The deck rises up to vertical, then past it, and like a toppled seven-story building, it breaks apart. Containers stacked on the fore and aft decks scatter like Jenga blocks as seawater surges into the shattered hull. The crew members mustered below are unable to launch the lifeboats. Even if they could, the open-top boats would likely capsize almost immediately. The life jackets and immersion suits are likewise useless. Simply put, trying to abandon El Faro in the teeth of a Category 4 hurricane is suicide, and the crew doubtless knew it. A hundred feet beneath the roiling waves, where the morning light fades into perpetual black, the sea is calm. Torn-off sections of the ship ride downward toward it, streaming bubbles, followed by a torrent of man-made objects: containers, cars, air conditioners. They fall three miles down, into the quiet. THE AFTERMATH The Coast Guard in Portsmouth, Virginia, picks up El Faro’s emergency signal. They spend a day trying to radio the ship. Days later, once the storm has subsided, they send an HC-130 reconnaissance plane from Clearwater, Florida. It spots nothing. When Danielle Randolph’s mother, Laurie Bobillot, opens the last email that her daughter sent her, she immediately fears the worst. The sign-off — “Give my love to everyone” — sounds like a farewell. Three days after the sinking, a Coast Guard helicopter sees a body floating in an immersion suit but is unable to retrieve it. No other remains are ever found. The immediate reaction was to question the judgment of Michael Davidson. “I don’t think he believed he was going to get into 100-knot winds, even though the data was right there in front of him,” says Seattle-based ship captain George Collazo, who has done research on the causes of maritime disasters. “You do something so many times and it always comes out right — you start to get a feeling of invulnerability.” However, Collazo adds, in the shipping industry, a captain’s job is defined not simply by getting from point A to point B, but by how well he leads and listens to his crew. By spring 2017, all of El Faro crew’s next of kin had settled claims against On November 12, 2015, a U.S. Navy submersible discovers the torn-off bridge of the SS El Faro, resting 15,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. Helmsman Frank Hamm Forty-nine-year-old Frank Hamm joined the Merchant Marine when he moved to the port city of Jacksonville, Florida, in 1995. He rose to the rank of able seaman, entrusted with physically steering a 31,000-ton ship. “He talked about the amazing career it was, how he loved to travel,” says his wife, Rochelle, adding that wherever Hamm would go, he’d collect a souvenir shot glass to display in his man cave at home. On land, Hamm doted on his ﬁve kids and three grandkids, and loved watching cartoons with the youngest. “The old-school ones,” laughs Rochelle, “Popeye, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo.” In 2011, the helmsman had a career highlight: Hundreds of miles out at sea, he spotted a lone boat in the distance. The two ﬁshermen aboard had lost power and been adrift for three days. Hamm’s keen vision saved their lives. TOTE for $500,000 each in pain and suffering and undisclosed amounts for financial loss. Insurers paid TOTE $36 million for the ship’s loss. Last May, those insurers launched a lawsuit against StormGeo, the company that owns Bon Voyage System, claiming that its outdated reports were to blame for the disaster. Apart from settling accounts, anger remains. “The laws need to be changed,” says Kurt Bruer, a seaman who had worked on El Faro. “The industry is more interested in protecting the Jones Act [the law that requires that only U.S. ships sail to and from U.S. ports] than they are about safety. They don’t care about us mariners — we’re just replaceable bodies.” The NTSB, still working on its investigation, does not expect to issue a final report until this fall. (Both TOTE and StormGeo, citing the unfinished investigation, declined comment for this story.) Even if the NTSB proposes new regulations, there will be powerful industry resistance to any money-spending measures. Mandating closed lifeboats for older ships, for instance, would be opposed strongly by ship owners as being overly expensive, says Robert Markle, a marine safety consultant for the Coast Guard. “This whole tragedy has opened my eyes so much,” says Bobillot. She reels off a litany of safety shortcomings aboard El Faro, from a shortage of emergency locator beacons to the lack of closed lifeboats. “Had I known half of what I know now, I would have totally discouraged Danielle from shipping out,” she says. Then she laughs ruefully. “I don’t know if she would have listened to her mother.” MJ THIS LAND IS OUR by ABE STREEP photograph by CHRIS DOUGLAS 68 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 A SCRAPPY CREW OF HUNTERS AND ANGLERS LED BY MONTANAN LAND TAWNEY ARE MARSHALING THEIR POLITICAL MUSCLE TO FIGHT FOR AMERICA’S LAST WILD PLACES. ISSOULA, Montana, never suffers a dearth of pickup trucks, but the number of jacked-up 4x4s rises dramatically in late April. That’s when Backcountry Hunters & Anglers gathers for its annual three-day Rendezvous, with camo-clad history lessons, camp cook-offs featuring meals like Arizona javelina, and lectures on the finer points of field-dressing an ungulate. At a standing-room-only seminar titled “Use the Whole Animal,” topics range from elk tongue preparation (parboil it) to whether brain really tastes like sausage. (It does.) The crowd here is a mix of biologists, military vets, TV hunting personalities, former hippies, and ardent Trump supporters. All are dedicated to one issue: the preservation of America’s wild public lands. Many are wearing sweatshirts emblazoned with the phrase PUBLIC LAND OWNER, a rallying cry for the nonprofit group. During an awards luncheon, a muscled guy from Wyoming M ILLUSTRATION BY DEEP BEAR LAND says he’s skeptical of climate change but nonetheless opposes the state’s Republican congresswoman, Liz Cheney, on account of her support for transferring federal lands to the states. At an outdoor wild-game feast, I run into a blue-eyed 33-year-old woman named Lauren, who says she got into hunting because “I thought it was important to take responsibility for meat-eating, karmically.” Now she’s hooked on killing. Her entry in the cook-off is a cougar pinwheel roast stuffed with morels. Across the tent, a reddish-blond man in a blue shirt and camo vest yucks it up with a handful of brawny guys drinking beer. Land Tawney, BHA’s 42-year-old president, is a ruddy-faced, fifth-generation Montanan who calls creeks “cricks” and could fit a pen in the gap between his front teeth. He owns more than 20 guns. In an era when much of the GOP is intent on transferring or selling off vast swaths of public land (mostly in the West), Tawney represents an aggressive line of defense for America’s wild places. Since he took the reins in 2013, BHA has grown tenfold, largely because of Tawney’s ability to create this bipartisan coalition. One of his more charming habits is a tendency to compare politicians to dogs. “The dog understands the stick,” Tawney says, “and so do politicians.” Recently he has been using the stick to great effect. This spring, Tawney took on former Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz — who resigned in the summer to take a job as a political pundit at Fox News — after the representative introduced a bill to “dispose” of 3 million acres of federally managed public land. Tawney countered by mounting a fierce grassroots response: At a rally at Montana’s capitol organized by his group, a thousand protesters in cowboy hats and camo crammed the corridors, denouncing the bill. BHA helped launch similar efforts in Idaho and New Mexico. Chaffetz eventually stood down, and shortly thereafter, in a combative press release, Tawney issued something of a warning: “[Chaffetz’s] fellow lawmakers should take note of the ire and rapid response by hunters and anglers. We aren’t going away.” Tawney’s role at the Rendezvous includes greeting his tribe, meeting with BHA’s 24 nationwide chapter chairs, and managing his full-time staff of 14, who oversee the event. Throughout the weekend there are plenty of VIPs to glad-hand, among them Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, bigwigs from sponsors including Yeti, and hook-and-bullet celebrities like Randy Newberg, a TV host on the Sportsman Channel. But Tawney appears most focused on the next generation, listening in on a session about millennial recruitment and introducing himself to BHA’s younger members. The Rendezvous’ most popular event is story night, essentially organized fish tales, during which Newberg tells a Garrison Keillor–esque yarn about his uncle throwing a treble hook into his dad’s crotch. Then a 10-year-old girl takes the stage. Her name is Lola, and she’s from Wisconsin. Along with her parents, she screens a simple film that consists entirely of her catching fish. Every time she hooks up, the crowd roars. At the end of the film, she takes the stage and says, “My name’s Lola, and I’m a public land owner from Wisconsin!” At that, Tawney stands up, pumps his fist, and howls thunderously. P UBLIC LAND in America exists largely because of hunters. Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell formed the Boone and Crockett Club in 1887 in order to protect Yellowstone National Park from mining and railroad interests. The group was responsible for many of conservation’s early victories, including legislation allowing the president to set aside “forest reserves” — a crucial precursor to Roosevelt’s establishment of national forests and monuments. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, hunters slowly ceded much of their political clout to the National Rif le Association, which mostly focused its efforts on fighting gun control. So protection of public lands often fell to big legacy organizations, including the Nature Conservancy, or leftleaning groups like the Wilderness Society, whose environmental concerns often clashed with those of locals dependent on extractive industries — oil and gas workers — as well as with ranchers and loggers. Federal land is managed for “multiple use,” meaning the government’s supervision of it must plan for recreation and conservation in addition to drilling and grazing. But this has created a cauldron of conf licting interests that have occasionally come to a boil. The most recent land-transfer flare-up started roughly five years ago, not long before Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy mounted an armed insurrection against federal agents. It was also around the time when industryfriendly groups had started a campaign to persuade Americans that the government 69 70 MEN’S JOURNAL was the pick of the litter for sure.” So far, in the early days of the Trump administration, Tawney has helped stall the most direct attacks on public land, including Chaffetz’s bill, but there are plenty of worrying developments — most notably a Trump-ordered review of national monuments, including Utah’s Bears Ears, which Zinke recently suggested shrinking. Utah’s congressional delegation, however, would prefer to do away with it altogether. “The precedent of undoing a monument could have dire consequences,” says Tawney. “We don’t want that precedent set in any way.” Following Zinke’s recommendation on Bears Ears, BHA issued a press release critical of the move and asked its membership to flood the Interior Department with input on the monument review process, generating nearly 15,000 comments. But Tawney has yet to organize the kind of rallies that moved the needle on the Chaffetz bill — a sign, perhaps, of his choosing his battles carefully. “The minute you put your foot in Zinke’s ass,” he says, “you lose an ally.” Tawney finds himself in a delicate position. To win his war, he must rally his bipartisan coalition of hunters, anglers, and other conservationists; convince gun lovers to criticize legislators supported by the NRA; and go to battle with land-transfer advocates who are backed by some of the most powerful industry groups and special interests in the country, including the Koch brothers’ network. “There’s a lot of money behind that movement,” says Martin Heinrich, the Democratic senator from New Mexico, a lifelong hunter and prominent public lands supporter. “I don’t think it’s going to go away.” SEPTEMBER 2017 T AWNEY OFTEN wears muck boots and camo to his office, a brickwalled space where dogs roam freely. Fly-tying materials sit on shelves, and taxidermied ducks adorn the walls. When I come to visit, Tawney’s new puppy, a black Lab named Tule, romps around, and Tawney’s iPhone buzzes constantly. The ringtone is the call of a drake mallard. Tawney is not shy about implying that he was born for this role. One afternoon, while taking me on a tour of his family’s property, in a steep canyon outside Missoula, he notes with pride that Jim Posewitz, the author of Beyond Fair Chase, a seminal backcountry hunting book, drove his mother, Robin, to Tawney addresses his BHA following at the organization’s Missoula Rendezvous. the hospital on the day of his birth. “My dad was out fishing,” Tawney says, smiling. Phil Tawney, Land’s father, was the first attorney for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a prominent early Montana conservationist; he also served as executive director of the state’s Democratic Party. Land was named for Land Lindbergh, a family friend and the third son of the aviator Charles. Land shot his first whitetail at 14, Phil smearing blood under his son’s eyes after the kill, “almost like war paint.” When Tawney tells me the story, he notes, “Teddy Roosevelt had done that to one of his sons.” As a high schooler, Tawney was, in his own words, “a punk kid,” interested primarily in soccer and girls. He went off to college in Seattle, but his father was soon diagnosed with leukemia, and after he died, Tawney COURTESY OF LYLE JAMES VINSON was botching the management of their land. Their general argument is that states can manage the acreage more efficiently than the federal government. But states have a poor track record of keeping the land public: 70 percent of the roughly 200 million acres that were given to states upon their entering the union has since been sold or transferred to private interests such as landowners and companies. Much of the remaining acreage has been leased out to extractive industries that have limited or cut off access. This is the nightmare scenario that Tawney envisions if the large-scale transfers that the GOP supports become a reality, and he’s turned the matter into his animating mission. “It’s not a political game for him,” says Kai Anderson, former deputy chief of staff for Sen. Harry Reid and now a lobbyist who works on the issue. “It’s ‘What’s the right outcome from a sportsman’s perspective?’ ” Last summer, the Republican National Committee went so far as to add transfer of lands from the federal government to the states — a process called divestiture — to its platform. Now, under President Trump, pro-transfer Republicans are eager to carry it out, and environmental groups have about as much sway at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as Howard Dean. That leaves swing-voting hunters as the rare conservation-minded bloc with access to the administration. “[BHA] is seen as more credible,” says Athan Manuel, who oversees public land issues for the Sierra Club. “We’re saying the same thing, but they probably do vote Republican more than Sierra Club members do.” There are other conservation-minded groups trying to stem the land-transfer tide — among them Trout Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation — but few have had the effect of BHA. “Their political clout is all connected to the turnout, the energy they’re able to harness,” says Peter Aengst, who helps oversee public land issues for the Wilderness Society. “You know that saying, ‘The world is shaped by those who show up’? Well, BHA members show up.” BHA now has a budget of $2.5 million and 13,000 members, a number that grows monthly. Recently, some high-profile names have joined the cause, notably MMA fight analyst and podcast phenom Joe Rogan, as well as Donald Trump Jr., who became a lifetime member in 2015. “I was ready to be unimpressed,” Tawney says of Trump Jr. “But I was encouraged by his acumen and knowledge of conservation history. He passes the smell test.” Tawney also suspects that Junior has had an effect on policy, namely with the ascendancy of Montana congressman Ryan Zinke, an avowed public lands supporter, to the post of secretary of the interior. “If you think about a litter of dogs,” Tawney says of Zinke, “he This land is your land? Public lands face more pressure than ever—development, resource extraction, political incentive to sell off priceless places to the highest bidder. But these hundreds of millions of acres belong to you, to us, and to the future. 1906 Devils Tower National Monument, 1908 Wyoming, Roosevelt El Morro National Monument, New Mexico, Muir Roosevelt Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona, Roosevelt Petriﬁed Forest National Park, Arizona, Woods Roosevelt 1907 Chaco Canyon National Monument (Now Chaco Culture National Historical Park), New Mexico, Roosevelt Cinder Cone National Monument National (Now Lassen Volcanic National Park), California, Roosevelt Lassen Peak National Monument (Now Lassen Volcanic National Park), California, Roosevelt Gila Cliff Dwellings Monument, California, National Monument, New Mexico, Roosevelt Tonto National Monument, Arizona, Roosevelt 1909 Mt. Olympus National Monument (Now Olympic National Park), Roosevelt Grand Washington, Roosevelt Navajo National Monument, Arizona, Taft Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, Oregon, Taft Mukuntuweap National Canyon National Monument (Now Zion National Park), Utah, Taft Gran Quivira National Monument (Now Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument), New Mexico, Taft 1910 Park, Arizona, Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska, Taft Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Utah, Taft Big Hole National Battleﬁeld (Now Nez Perce National Historical Park), Montana, Roosevelt Pinnacles Taft 1915 Dinosaur National Monument, Utah, Colorado, Wilson Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona, Wilson 1916 Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, Wilson National Park, California, 1911 Sieur de Monts National Monument (Now Acadia National Park), Maine, Wilson Capulin Mountain National Monument (Now Capulin Volcano National Monument), New Mexico, Wilson Old Roosevelt Jewel Cave Colorado Kasaan National Monument (Became part of Tongass National Forest), Alaska, Wilson 1918 Casa Grande National Monument (Now Casa Grande Ruins National Monument), Arizona, Wilson National Monument, South National Monument, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska, Wilson 1919 Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska, Wilson Yucca House National Monument, Colorado, Wilson 1922 Lehman Caves Dakota, Roosevelt Natural Bridges Colorado, Taft Devils National Monument (Now Great Basin National Park), Nevada, Harding Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Utah, Harding 1923 Aztec Ruins National Monument, New Mexico, National Monument, Utah, Roosevelt Postpile National Harding Hovenweep National Monument, Utah, Colorado, Harding Mound City Group National Monument (Now Hopewell Culture National Historical Park), Ohio, Harding Pipe Spring Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, Monument, California, National Monument, Arizona, Harding Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Harding Carlsbad Cave National Monument (Now Carlsbad Caverns National Park), New Mexico, Coolidge 1924 Montana, Roosevelt Tumacacori Taft 1913 Cabrillo Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona, Coolidge Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, Coolidge Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, Coolidge Fort Pulaski National Historical Park, Arizona, National Monument, National Monument, Georgia, Coolidge Fort Marion (Now Castillo de San Marcos National Monument), Florida, Coolidge Fort Matanzas National Monument, Florida, Coolidge Wupatki Roosevelt Portion of Rio Grande California, Wilson National Monument, Arizona, Coolidge 1925 Meriwether Lewis National Monument (Now part of the Natchez Trace Parkway), Tennessee, Coolidge Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, National Forest, Colorado, Roosevelt Alaska, Coolidge Lava Beds National Monument, California, Coolidge 1929 Arches National Park, Utah, Hoover Portion of White River National Forest, Colorado, Hoover 1930 Sunset Crater National Monument (Now Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument), Arizona, Hoover 1932 Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, Hoover Grand Canyon II National Monument (Later added to Grand Canyon National Park), Arizona, Hoover 1933 White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, Hoover Death Valley National Park, California, Nevada, Hoover Saguaro National Park, Arizona, Hoover Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado, Hoover Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah, Roosevelt 1935 Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, Roosevelt 1936 Joshua Tree National Park, California, Roosevelt 1937 Zion National Park, Utah, Roosevelt Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, Roosevelt Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, Roosevelt 1938 Channel Islands National Park, California, Roosevelt Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Wyoming, Roosevelt 1939 Santa Rosa Island National Monument (Became part of Gulf Islands National Seashore), Florida, Roosevelt Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona, Roosevelt 1943 Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Roosevelt 1949 Efﬁgy Mounds National Monument, Iowa, Truman 1956 Edison Laboratory National Monument (Now Thomas Edison National Historical Park), New Jersey, Eisenhower 1960 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Eisenhower 1961 Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Maryland, Eisenhower Russell Cave National Monument, Alabama, Kennedy Buck Island Reef National Monument, Virgin Islands, Kennedy 1969 Marble Canyon National Monument (Later added to Grand Canyon National Park), Arizona, Johnson 1978 Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, Carter Misty Fjords National Monument (Became part of Tongass National Forest), Alaska, Carter Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve, Alaska, Carter Becharof National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Carter Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska, Carter Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska, Carter Denali National Park, Alaska, Carter Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska, Carter Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Carter Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska, Carter Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska, Carter Admiralty Island National Monument (Became part of Tongass National Forest), Alaska, Carter Noatak National Preserve, Alaska, Carter Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska, Carter Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Alaska, Carter Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Carter 1996 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, Clinton 2000 Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona, Clinton California Coastal National Monument, California, Clinton Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Arizona, Clinton Portion of Sequoia National Forest, California, Clinton Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado, Clinton Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Oregon, Clinton Hanford Reach National Monument, Washington, Clinton Ironwood Forest National Monument, Arizona, Clinton President Lincoln and Soldiers' Home National Monument, Washington, DC, Clinton Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona, Clinton 2001 Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, Clinton Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico, Clinton Minidoka National Historic Site, Idaho, Clinton Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Montana, Clinton Sonoran Desert National Monument, Arizona, Clinton Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, Montana, Clinton Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, Virgin Islands, Clinton Governors Island National Monument, New York, Clinton 2006 African Burial Ground National Monument, New York, Bush Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawai'i, Bush 2008 World War II Valor in the Paciﬁc National Monument, Hawai'i, Bush 2009 Rose Marine Atoll National Monument, American Samoa, Bush Paciﬁc Remote Islands Marine National Monument, Hawai'i, Bush Mariana Trench Marine National Monument, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Bush 2011 Fort Monroe National Monument, Virginia, Obama 2012 Fort Ord National Monument, California, Obama Chimney Rock National Monument, Colorado, Obama César E. Chávez National Monument, California, Obama 2013 San Juan Islands National Monument, Washington, Obama Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, New Mexico, Obama Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument (Now Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park), Maryland, Obama First State National Historical Park, Delaware, Obama Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Ohio, Obama 2014 Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico, Obama San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, California, Obama 2015 Honouliuli National Monument, Hawai'i, Obama Pullman National Monument, Illinois, Obama Browns Canyon National Monument, Colorado, Obama Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, California, Obama Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas, Obama Basin and Range National Monument, Nevada, Obama 2016 Mojave Trails National Monument, California, Obama Sand to 2017 Birmingham Civil Snow National Monument, California, Obama Castle Mountains National Monument, California, Obama Rights National Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Washington, DC, Obama Stonewall National Monument, Monument, New York, Obama Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Alabama, Obama Maine, Obama Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, Freedom Riders Massachusetts, Obama Bears Ears National Monument, National Monument, Utah, Alabama, Obama Obama Gold Butte Reconstruction National Era National Monument, Monument, Nevada, South Carolina, Obama Obama Stand with us. Protect your public lands. This graphic lists national monuments designated and safeguarded under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Some are now national parks, but those that remain can have their protection rescinded without congressional approval. moved back to Missoula, where he enrolled at the University of Montana to study wildlife biology. Soon thereafter, he met his wife, Glenna, while teaching soccer, and they moved into a log cabin with no running water that his parents had built. Before his death, Phil had launched Montana’s first sportsmen’s political action committee, called Montana Hunters and Anglers. Land took over in 2009. He started on the state level and later moved on to national races, always supporting Democrats. At the time, Tawney was frustrated with the lack of moxie among hunting groups. “Hunters are complacent,” he says. “And hunters and anglers are conservative. Have they traditionally voted around the Second Amendment? Yes.” Tawney claims he doesn’t identify as a Democrat or Republican — “I’m a one-issue voter,” he says — but for an independent, he has frequently leaned left. While he won’t criticize the NRA, he’s not a member, either. “The only thing that’s frustrating,” Tawney says, “is that there’s power there that could be used for conservation.” In 2013, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers reached out to Tawney, and from the moment he took over, he focused entirely on sportsmen’s issues. This often meant sending out sleepy press releases about, say, the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act. But he also pushed lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. In 2015, Montana Sen. Steve Daines voted for a measure to facilitate land transfer. BHA blistered him in the press, and, according to Tawney, “he’s been good on land ever since. He got educated.” The more confrontational the group was, the more it grew. The first year under Tawney’s leadership, BHA’s membership more than doubled from 1,000 to 2,400. Around the same time, it gained some new enemies. Though it’s most frequently associated with the Bundy family and the populist movement supporting them, the idea of transferring federal lands to the states has been mainstreamed by a couple of Washington, D.C., think tanks and advocacy organizations with extensive ties to the oil industry — most notably, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Koch Industries– backed group that pushes industry-friendly bills to state governments. Another Beltway nonprofit, the Environmental Policy Alliance, started a campaign in 2014 to label BHA, among others, as a “green decoy” — a front group for “radical environmental activists.” That year, the alliance’s director of research, Will Coggin, began publishing op-eds throughout the West attacking BHA. Coggin turned out to be an employee of Richard Berman, a notorious public relations executive who runs a series of think tanks, one of which received $57,250 from a Koch-backed nonprofit for so-called “hunt- 72 MEN’S JOURNAL ing organization opposition research.” Tawney soon realized that he was in a messaging war. So in the fall of 2014, he organized a pro–public land rally at t he Montana capitol, in Helena, g iving out T-shirts that read #KEEPITPUBLIC . When the Bundy brothers occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, Tawney was struck by how easily they were able to convince rural westerners that they were trying to “return” the land to the American people. “I was like, ‘It belongs to us,’ ” says Tawney. He commissioned a batch of hooded sweatshirts bearing the words PUBLIC LAND OWNER, which soon became something of a tribal identification item, the hunter’s equivalent of a MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hat. “ I’D LIKE TO SAY THERE ISN’T A WAR IN THE WEST GOING ON,BUT THERE IS. THEY AIN’T COMING FOR OUR WALMARTS. THEY’RE COMING FOR OUR BEAUTIFUL PLACES.” One of Tawney’s staffers began distributing them at “pint nights” across the West, where BHA gave away beer and preached the gospel of public land. “People are coming into the political process who are not experienced and maybe a little naive,” Tawney tells me. “But they’re psyched. It’s rad.” N THE EVE of the Rendezvous, BH A V IPs g at her for a $350-a-head wild-game feast in a barn at the conf luence of Rock Creek and the Clark Fork River, 20 miles east of Missoula. Outside, appetizers like chunks of seared elk heart sit on trays, and two mule-deer shanks lathered in bear fat roast over an open fire. Westernformal abounds — bolo ties and dresses — but Tawney wears a red checked shirt, a ranger hat, and cowboy boots, his favored footwear O SEPTEMBER 2017 around politicians. “They give you an extra half-inch,” he says, “and it’s business time.” Before dinner, Gov. Bullock addresses the crowd: “I’d like to say that there isn’t a war in the West going on, but there is.” He continues: “They ain’t coming for our Walmarts. They’re coming for our beautiful places. And the threat is real.” Then everyone steps inside the barn to eat, gathering beneath the bleached and mounted skulls of three bull elk. Tawney sits next to the governor. I find myself at a table between two donors. Blake Fischer, a 38-year-old Idahoan and owner of an irrigation business, has well-coiffed hair and a snap-button shirt adorned with two roosters. Baker Leavitt is a brash and bald 41-year-old from Washington. The guys talk football for a minute, and then, inevitably, the conversation turns to bragging about recent kills. Leavitt produces his phone and pulls up a photo of piles of dead feral hogs, which he dispatched using night-vision. Fischer recounts a family javelina-hunting trip to south Texas. When I ask about the public lands fight, Fischer corrects me, saying, “It’s not a fight. We own the land.” Leavitt, an enthusiastic Trump supporter, says he understands why some politicians find divestiture appealing. But, he says, “it’s like communism: sounds great in theory.” “I’d like to see river guys and hippies and hunters unite behind a common cause,” Leavitt says. “It’s cool to pick up the ball and run with people you have nothing in common with other than your love for public land.” Now Tawney starts to mingle, shaking hands and wearing his gap-tooth grin. “They named him Land,” says Fischer, “and he’s the number one land advocate in the country. It’s his birthright! I don’t know what his middle name is — but I think it’s ‘Fucking.’ ” Leavitt finds this hilarious and roars approvingly: “Land Fuckin’ Tawney!” Midway through the dinner, Tawney stands up to give a sort of keynote speech, and it’s about a recent bighorn ram hunt in Montana. He tells it as the main course is being served — osso buco with risotto cooked in the broth of the ram he shot. The story stands out for what it lacks: the kind of chest-beating one might expect from the hunting crowd. Mostly, Tawney talks about failure. During his hunt he crashed his truck and missed one shot. He talks about family, noting how deeply he missed his wife during the hunt. And, mostly, he talks about the solace of the mountains. “Those places don’t exist in other parts of the world,” he says, “where you can go lose yourself on public lands and have those experiences I did.” At the end, there’s a silence, then Tawney raises a glass. “A lot of people think we’re just doing this so we can shoot the next thing,” he says. “That is not even close to why we are all here.” Then he sits down to eat his kill. MJ THIS IS AL ABAMA UNICO 20°87° If you think this looks nice here, you should see it in person. This is Little River Canyon, home to breathtaking views, accessible waterfalls and countless other memory-making opportunities. 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And the model we rode has topnotch components, including the dependable SRAM Force 1x11-speed drivetrain. Plus, the wide handlebars felt great on long rides. fujibikes.com EPIC RIDES ON GRAVEL These organized rides are perfect for rough road-ready bikes. Crusher in the Tushar UTAH Experience high-alpine Utah on this July ride. The aptly named Crusher leaves from Beaver, birthplace of Butch Cassidy, and goes 70 miles with 10,000 feet of climbing through the Tushar Mountains and Fishlake National Forest. tusharcrusher.com Rasputitsa Spring Classic VERMONT Russian for “mud season,” the 45-mile, 90-percent-gravel Rasputitsa dishes out the best of April in East Burke, Vermont — slush, snow, and mud. Many racers run on foot a 5k stretch called Cyberia because the mud is too deep to ride. Did we mention the 17 percent climbs? rasputitsagravel.com Mavic Haute Route Rockies COLORADO A weeklong ride from Boulder to Colorado Springs — including multiple stretches of dirt and gravel roads — this is billed as the most prestigious amateur cycling event in the world. Timed and ranked stages, mechanical support, luggage transfer, film crews, post-stage massage, and European sister rides give Haute Route a pro peloton feel. hauteroute.org Dirty Kanza KANSAS This windy, muddy, hot, 200-mile June gravel ride started in 2006, before gravel racing and riding were a thing. Now, 2,200 people sign up each year and report that Kansas isn’t as flat as Dorothy and Toto led us to believe. Unless you’re elite, prepare to ride into the night and then party till dawn. dirtykanza.com 6 For maximum comfort on long rides, the new Diverge not only has relaxed, stable, easy-riding geometry, but — in the top-of-the-line model we rode — there’s also a suspension shock built into the stem and a dropper post that smooths out washboard dirt. Ceramic bearings in the wheels made us feel superhero-fast. specialized.com 7 This bike is allergic to the road: Thanks to an oversize fork that makes the front end stiff and steering precise, as well as shortened chainstays for added stability, it plowed over singletrack as if it were a mountain bike. You can even swap in a 48c tire in the front — the fattest here. pivotcycles.com Specialized S-Works Diverge Carbon $9,000 New Belgium Ramble Rides COLORADO, OREGON, NORTH CAROLINA For a taste of the bikepacking, gravelriding lifestyle without the pressure of being self-supported, try these long-weekend tours from Fort Collins, Colorado; central Oregon; or Asheville, North Carolina. Food, beer, camping, and camaraderie are all provided as well as a test of legs and lungs. newbelgiumramble.com Pivot Vault $4,200 SEPTEMBER 2017 MEN’S JOURNAL 77 SUNGLASSES High-Tech Shades Sunglass companies are not just focusing on the cooler frame styles — they’re also developing lenses that do much more than block UV rays. These are the standouts. by CLINT CARTER BEST FOR EVERYDAY WEAR BEST FOR HIGH ALTITUDE Dragon Alliance Lumalens Oakley Prizm Sapphire Fade FRAME SHOWN: LATCH FRAME SHOWN: PROFLECT $190 $140 These are great shades for parts of the country with harsh sunlight. They exceeded at intensifying the sense of depth without significantly distorting natural color. dragonalliance.com BEST FOR BEACH DAYS BEST FOR HIKING BEST FOR EYEGL ASS WEARERS Electric OHM Smith ChromaPop Spy Happy Lens FRAME SHOWN: KNOXVILLE $120 Melanin (the pigment that protects skin from burning) is the main compound in these, which means the OHM will slow the spread of crow’s feet from sun damage, while also creating the most true-to-life color of any lens we tested. electriccalifornia.com 78 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 FRAME SHOWN: LOWDOWN $139 ChromaPop selectively filters out confusing parts of the light-wave spectrum. The result: Fuzzy backlit leaves became crisp and neon green, and rocks and dips on the trail are more pronounced, so you don’t stumble. smithoptics.com FRAME SHOWN: HAYES $190 Happy lenses block short-wave blue light while allowing longer waves that have been shown to promote mood-boosting serotonin. We didn’t get happy, but we were thrilled by the exceptionally crisp visuals. Available in prescription. spyoptic.com photograph by JARREN VINK STYLING BY PETER TRAN FOR ART DEPARTMENT Prizm sport-specific lenses come in a variety of shades that are tuned to accentuate the colors you’re likely to encounter when you use them. (For example, Prizm Road helps cyclists differentiate textures in the pavement.) For the Daily line, the drama is enhanced across the spectrum. The result: the most vivid colors you’ll get in a pair of sunglasses, making the world look like it just got a fresh coat of paint. oakley.com SUBSCRIBE TODAY 1 Year for $14.95 SAVE 79% OFF THE COVER PRICE DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE ON TABLET AND MOBILE: Call 1.800.677.6367 or visit mensjournal.com/subscribe CANADIAN RATE IS $18 USD. GST INCLUDED. BAC K PAC K I N G Adventure for One For a next-level outdoor experience, try a solo backpacking trip. Just you, the woods, and your thoughts — and not a lot of extraneous gear. by CLINT CARTER 1 4 2 3 SIERRA DESIGNS DIVINE LIGHT 1 FL $320 Plenty of room for one, plus a long awning that uses trekking poles for support and makes great shade for morning coffee. sierradesigns.com 80 MEN’S JOURNAL 2. The Versatile Sleeping Bag 3. The Portable Bed KELTY SINE 35 THERM-A-REST $240 Less than 2 pounds, the Sine has a cross-body zipper that makes it feel like a comforter; and with a zip-open toe box, you can walk around the campsite wearing the bag. kelty.com SEPTEMBER 2017 ULTRALITE COT 4. The Easy-Access Pack THULE CAPSTONE 50L $220 Go ahead, get comfortable: This cot packs to the size of a pad, but the legs ensure a great night’s sleep up off the ground. thermarest.com $200 Well engineered without inessential weight, the Capstone has zippered access from the side and bottom so you’ll never have to rummage for gear. thule.com photographs by JARREN VINK STYLING BY PETER TRAN FOR ART DEPARTMENT 1. The One-Man Shelter Less Is More Backpacking gear is getting lighter and more compact — ideal for a hiker who can’t share the load. SOLO GE AR SINGLE-SERVING SHELTERS 1 SIERRA DESIGNS FLEX CAPACITOR They’re compact and lightweight, but with plenty of room to stretch out. $200 Use this bag for a trip of any length: A system of cinch straps allows you to quickly convert from a 40-liter minimalist pack to one that holds 60 liters of gear for a longer haul. sierradesigns.com 2 OPTIMUS CRUX LITE SOLO Quarter Dome 1 REI CO-OP $279 Most ultralight tents rely on staked-out guylines for structural support. The Quarter Dome is a true freestanding shelter that sets up in about a minute, weighs just under 2.5 pounds, and has 19 square feet of floor space. rei.com $60 The backpack-friendly kit ﬁts an entire camp kitchen into a three-piece system (burner, pot, and mug/lid) that weighs less than 10 ounces. The whole thing, plus a separately sold 4-ounce fuel canister, packs neatly into a mesh case. optimusstoves.com 3 MSR TRAILSHOT POCKET-SIZE WATER FILTER $50 We’ve yet to ﬁnd a ﬁlter easier to use: The TrailShot is small enough to ﬁt inside a pocket, but it’s capable of cleaning a full liter of water in a minute. msrgear.com Hornet Elite 1P NEMO $450 Thin ripstop nylon and a simple, single-pole design don’t make Nemo’s tent the sturdiest, but they do bring down its weight to an amazing 1 pound, 7 ounces without sacrificing livability (including more than 3 feet of headroom). nemoequipment.com SAFETY IN SOLITUDE WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING A PERSON CAN DO TO PROTECT HIMSELF? Moment DW TARPTENT $295 The Moment DW provides true four-season comfort: Large vents on both ends allow air to pass through, but when the temperature drops, the mesh interior can be replaced with a heavier silicone-nylon winter layer ($140 extra). tarptent.com Make a plan, and stick to it. “Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. People who do this are generally found within 72 hours of going missing.” With nobody to run for help if you injure yourself, solo hikes come with risks that group trips don’t. Steve Dessinger, program director at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, explains how to stay safe on your own. WHAT EXTRA GEAR SHOULD I PACK? Old-fashioned navigation tools. “Your phone can fail. Your GPS can fail. You don’t want to rely too heavily on those things. So be sure you have a map and a compass — and that you know how to use them.” SEPTEMBER 2017 WHAT IF I GET LOST? Take it easy. “You know what’s important? Sleep. You’ll make terrible decisions without it. Stay calm while you make a plan, and when you get tired, lie down. But tie something bright — like a red bandanna — to your shelter.” MEN’S JOURNAL 81 GYM CLOTHES 1 Bulldog Tank 2 RHONE $39 Neither dead lifts nor sweaty beach volleyball left their odorous mark on this tank. It’s made from a moisture-wicking poly woven with silver threads that prevent bacteria from reproducing. We liked the relaxed fit and the off-shoulder seams, which meant no rubbing when we carried a gym bag. rhone.com 1 2 Coolmax Vertex Ultra-Light Socks DARN TOUGH $16 Coolmax polyester and nylon pull moisture away from your feet, preventing the moist environment that breeds stink-causing bacteria. A light layer of cushioning helped absorb shock during our highintensity workouts. darntough.com 3 Cool-Lite Windbreaker ICEBREAKER 3 $160 This slim-fit, ultralight jacket is lined with naturally anti-stink merino, and after a season of workouts (and not washing), a sniff of the armpits was still inoffensive. The durable, water-repellent shell sheds wind and rain, and laser-cut underarm holes helped with venting. icebreaker.com Get Fit, Stay Fresh The perfect kit for working out is comfortable, cool — and stink-free. We found high-tech gym clothes that actually ﬁght the funk. by BERNE BROUDY 4 4 Metal Vent Tech Short-Sleeved T-Shirt 5 LULULEMON $68 5 SAXX Kinetic Train Shorts $78 The Kinetic Train has Saxx’s supportive 3D-fit BallPark pouch semicompression underwear sewn in — and are specially treated to keep everything smelling fresh. saxxunderwear.com 82 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 p h o t o g r a p h b y S H A N A N O VA K STYLING BY ALEX SILVA FOR BERNSTEIN & ANDRIULLI In the name of science, we wore this silky-light tee during a particularly hard workout and then kept it on under a dress shirt for dinner. Thanks to the silver strands in the fabric, we did not reek. Our companions confirmed it. lululemon.com The Complete Issue. Every Word. Every Photo. Now Available on Mobile P O RTA B LE G R I LL S Parking Lot Gourmet Smarter, more powerful portable grills will push you beyond hot dogs and burgers. Chef Jeff Mahin tests the best of these tailgate tools. by JESSE WILL 7 OUT OF 10 1 Coleman RoadTrip X-cursion $200 6 OUT OF 10 Big wheels, scissor legs, and a built-in side table turn the X-cursion into an all-in-one tailgate or camp kitchen — though it demands space in your trunk. Our tester, Mahin, got a good sear using the 20,000-Btu unit, but fought flare-ups along the way. Luckily, the big 285-square-inch surface makes moving meat around easy. coleman.com 2 Char-Broil Portable Grill2Go X200 $150 8 OUT OF 10 3 Cuisinart Dual Blaze $170 84 MEN’S JOURNAL With just a single burner, smaller cooking area (200 square inches), and a fuel regulator Mahin describes as “touchy,” the Grill2Go was outclassed in our test. Chops stuck to its stainless steel cooking grate. Says Chef Jeff: “Let’s just say that if you forgot it at the campground, you wouldn’t turn around.” charbroil.com 9 OUT OF 10 The Blaze connects to a standard 20-pound propane tank, so it easily switches from tailgate to terrace. Mahin gives the 20,000-Btu grill props for its burly build (“You cook without feeling you’ll break it”) and the most readable thermometer in the test — helpful when you’re cooking a more delicate protein. cuisinart.com SEPTEMBER 2017 4 Napoleon TravelQ 285 $249 The Napoleon comes to life via an electronic ignition and heats up to 525° in just eight minutes. Steaks took on perfect grill marks and looked and tasted, Mahin says, “like they were cooked on a full-size grill.” An optional cast-iron griddle allows for flare-up-free cooking of greasier fare like bacon. napoleongrills.com Ken Burns The master documentarian on Vietnam, everyday heroes, and the simple power of country music. What’s the best advice you ever received? It’s come in different forms and different words, but if I were to distill it, it was to always be yourself. The thing I respond to and that I hope I’m able to bring to the table is a kind of authenticity and honesty. And that only comes from that essential Socratic question, “Who am I?” It’s never really fully answered, but the deepening of the question is the arc of our lives. I don’t know a time when it hasn’t been important to me. It came from my dad, from my mother’s bravery before she died [of cancer], from teachers. And also as a father of four girls. They are mighty BS meters. Your films never fail to convey the role of regular Americans amid these epic historical moments and towering ﬁgures. There’s been a bottom-up approach that has probably def ined my f ilms more than anything. Whether it’s a f ighter pilot whose first day of work was D-day, or some of the soldiers we interviewed from South and North Vietnam — or people whose bravery might not be taking place on the battlef ield but somewhere else, maybe back home — you begin to realize there are no ordinary people. That’s one of the great lessons of 40 years of doing this history business. There’s always somebody new you’re about to meet. Why did you choose Vietnam now? It had to be done. It’s the most important event in American history in the second half of the 20th century. It is hugely defining. And a good deal of the divisions we experience today come from divisions of Vietnam that have never healed, in large part because we’ve refused to examine them. As one of our Army guys says, Vietnam drove a stake through the heart of America and we’ve never recovered. I’m not as pessimistic as he is, but I think Vietnam offers some stunning ways of understanding our present situation. What if I told you that I’ve been working for 10 years on a story about mass demonstrations across the United States, about a White House paralyzed by leaks and investigations, about a political campaign reaching out to a foreign government during an election cycle? Just about everything concerning the Vietnam War resonates in this particular moment. What do you think about the way this country wages war? Well, it’s less this country than it is human beings. I find war the most insightful way to study human behavior. It clearly brings out the worst of us. But it also brings out the best of us in very unexpected ways. Unfortunately, there is no danger that we’re going to get rid of wars, I’m sorry to say. As one of our Marines says, we didn’t get to be the dominant species on the planet because we’re nice. And he went on to say, “People always said, ‘Oh, you know, the military turns kids into killing machines.’ ” And then he said, “Nope. It’s only finishing school.” In light of the history you’ve explored, are you optimistic about America now? I am always optimistic about it. People are fond of saying “History repeats itself.” Right? You hear it all the time, and it’s crazy. Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Then I guess I’ve spent my entire professional life trying to hear those rhymes. —INTERVIEW BY SEAN WOODS Ken Burns has directed and/or produced more than 30 ﬁlms. His 10-part documentary The Vietnam War will air on PBS in September. MEN’S JOURNAL (ISSN 1063-4651) is published monthly (except for the January and July issues, when two issues are combined and published as double issues) by Men’s Journal LLC, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104-0298. The entire contents of MEN’S JOURNAL® are copyright © 2017 by Men’s Journal LLC, and may not be reproduced in any manner, either whole or in part, without written permission. All rights are reserved. Canadian Goods and Service Tax Registration No. R134022888. The subscription price is $19.94 for one year. The Canadian subscription price is $23.97 for one year including GST, payable in advance. CANADIAN POSTMASTER: Send address changes and returns to P.O. Box 63, Malton CFC, Mississauga, ONT L4T 3B5. The foreign subscription price is $23.97 for one year, payable in advance. Periodicals postage paid at New York, New York, and additional mailing oﬃces. Canada Post Publication Agreement No. 40683192. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MEN’S JOURNAL Customer Service, P.O. Box 62230, Tampa, FL 33662-2230. 86 MEN’S JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 COURTESY TIM LLEWELLYN You seem to go from a serious topic, say the Civil War, to a fun one, like baseball. Yeah, I just spent the entire day in the editing room on an eight-part, 16½-hour history of country music. Country music has been fun in a way that Vietnam was never fun. It also has emotions that are as powerful, because they are so elemental. Harlan Howard, the songwriter, said country music was three chords and the truth. And there’s lots of execrable country music, just as there’s lots of execrable everything, but when you distill the essence of the story, you get socked in the gut by the power of the simple stuff that happens. How hard was it to be a filmmaker early on? [One of the] great platitudes, especially in documentary filmmaking, is perseverance, because there are many more talented filmmakers than there is money to make the f ilms. That means disappointment will be an important character builder. I used to have on my desk two gigantic three-ring binders, four or five inches thick, each filled with hundreds of rejections for letters I had sent trying to raise money on my first film, on the Brooklyn Bridge. I saved them all. It took me as long to make a one-hour film on the Brooklyn Bridge as it took to make the Civil War series, five and a half years.