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Deep Alone

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Forecast promised rain. In fact, first wave of storms had just passed. Radar said next band of rain wouldn’t hit for an hour. So I headed for the trail. 10 am. Nobody. I had the trail to myself. The trees on the bluffs were shouting their family crests, vivid colors framed in storm clouds. On my deepest drives into America’s …

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Interview with a Vulture

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“Stay away,” she warned. Surprised she didn’t fly away from me, I asked what was wrong. “Ate too much,” she said. “Too heavy to fly.” I’d never been so close to a vulture. But it’s true: when they gorge themselves, they can’t fly. “Stay away or I’ll puke on you.” She wasn’t kidding. Vultures use a skunkly defense. But skunk …

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A Tsunami with Joplin Winds

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Scary spectre: “Stronger than Wilma, Katrina, Rita, Andrew. And it could become the strongest hurricane ever on the planet to make landfall when it hits tonight somewhere south of Puerto Vallarta.” Near its path, half a million people live or visit. Buses couldn’t hope to evacuate them in time. For about 4 hours, people in the direct path of this …

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Ancient Island Hopper

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Headed toward Key West. I remember the old road. Imagine driving that narrow bridge trying to outrun a hurricane.

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Race Car Circus on I-70

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Sunday night. 7:40 pm. I-70 eastbound. Darkness had set in as we approached the Boonville exits. Two giant 18-wheelers grew rapidly in my rearview mirror. They looked like prairie cruise ships, each outlined in ten thousand tiny amber lighbulbs. Even though Erifnus, my car, was cruising at 71 mph, the first rig passed us quickly. I barely had enough time …

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