Over 50, Outdoors

Adventure, fitness, travel, gear
Worst Beatles song ever?

Worst Beatles song ever?

This is way outside our wheelhouse, but nevertheless worthy of note. After years of uncritically embracing Beatles songs, it has been brought to our attention that occasionally, like all mortals, they could—and resoundingly did—suck.   Here’s an example: a recording of John Lennon singing the (deservedly) rare “India India.” No...
The crayon-colored hills of Zhangye Danxia

The crayon-colored hills of Zhangye Danxia

There are many pleasing outdoor wonders to visit, and most them are closer to your home than the multicolored land formations of China’s Zhangye Danxia, where you’ll find what the Atlas of Wonders calls “perhaps the greatest gathering of different pigments in natural stone in the world.” But if you’re...
Bill Clinton is going to make you a vegan

Bill Clinton is going to make you a vegan

Bill Clinton is a very persuasive man. He’s persuasive in the way every good salesman is persuasive, which is that you don’t know you’re being convinced of something until it’s all over. There’s a good chance you might not even know then. You might be pretty sure it was your...
Biking might allay Parkinson’s symptoms

Biking might allay Parkinson’s symptoms

Human bodies age like a saddle: they get comfortable and develop character, but they also start to break down.   The older they get, the more problems they have, one of which is Parkinson’s disease. An estimated one percent of people over 60 are affected by this degenerative nervous disorder....
Never forget the Icy Finger of Death

Never forget the Icy Finger of Death

You’ve been baking under the sun for a few weeks now. There’s more to come. Summer feels like an energy leech, sucking away your strength, your enthusiasm, your life force. You long for winter. So it’s time to remind everyone that cold, though attractive right now, can be as terrifying...
Work makes you crazy; retirement causes dementia

Work makes you crazy; retirement causes dementia

Let’s begin at the end: you are screwed, regardless. That is the rational conclusion you can draw from a recent and huge (half a million participants) study in France.   What the researchers found was that you have two life choices, neither of which is good for you. You can...
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    Koreans love the outdoors like Americans love spectator sports

    Koreans love the outdoors like Americans love spectator sports

    Twenty-five years ago, when Koreans were known for having the world’s longest work week (nominally six days, often longer), they still found time to get outdoors. Hiking clubs were a big deal. Camping was less popular because it requires a couple days of leisure in a row, but it was still popular.   Over the...
    Hot and heavy

    Hot and heavy

    Two stories collided last week.   First, it was very, very warm, so that the heat map of the United States turned a radiant, stop-sign red—the color of Irish skin after the first day of a beach vacation. So hot, in fact, that the National Park Service had to nag people to stop frying eggs...
    Record-breaking round-the-world voyage for 70-year-old

    Record-breaking round-the-world voyage for 70-year-old

    In an extreme case of a nice elderly lady wandering away from home, 70-year-old Jeanne Socrates has become the oldest woman to sail around the world, solo, without stopping.   The grandmother from Ealing, west London, completed her circumnavigation last week, when she docked her 38-foot yacht Nereida back in Victoria, B.C., after 259 days...
    Everyday life and death

    Everyday life and death

    You know how this goes. A bunch of olds get together and go on regular bike rides. Some are 90. Some are disabled. They click off 25 miles and adjourn to the bar, or have a nice salad over lunch. You don’t care and why should you.   Except that the difference between doing this...
    People in glass lookouts shouldn’t throw the first stone

    People in glass lookouts shouldn’t throw the first stone

    Sometimes that old wine just can’t be decanted into a new bottle.   Case in point: you have some property near Yellowstone. You want to make some money off it, so you build high-end cabins. You put in wi-fi and a flat screen TV and queen beds—equipping them like a modern condo in downtown Seattle...
    No service, no sequester

    No service, no sequester

    You’ve got two weeks off, America, and there’s gas in the station wagon. The tent is packed, along with your camp stove and a jug of DEET. You were thinking of maybe Yellowstone or Yosemite. But now you’re anxious, which is exactly how you’re supposed to start your vacation. But this is a more acute...
    Monitoring fitness monitors: the heart of the matter

    Monitoring fitness monitors: the heart of the matter

    In exercise, the flesh can be weak and the spirit too willing.   You know the stories: someone your age pushed too hard and then keeled over. (In fact, this happens at all ages, but you pay more attention when the deceased is someone your age.) The more often you hear the stories, the more...
    Badlands glamping in Canada

    Badlands glamping in Canada

    Canada has badlands. I know. Big surprise.   And they look pretty bad. Weirdly capped hoodoos and pointed hills and sharp banded walls where a river has cut through the landscape over the millennia. Also, scorching hot. Plus, as a bonus, Alberta’s badlands come with many, many huge dinosaur skeletons. (Some assembly required.)   In...
    Going on a beer run: the debate continues

    Going on a beer run: the debate continues

    The debate over the health impact of booze, and beer in particular, flows on.   On one hand, as we’ve noted before, there are multiple risks and benefits associated with alcohol. And “a woman might find the risks and benefits shift over time, with the cancer risks of drinking dictating abstinence in a woman’s youth...
    After us, no one will ever retire again

    After us, no one will ever retire again

    If you’ve been paying attention, you know that older Baby Boomers are grossly unprepared for retirement. Theirs would be a riveting and tragic story, except that every other generation looks to be in worse shape.   A new report on retirement from the Pew Charitable Trusts points out that Generation-Xers, who are now between 38...
    Bicycle crank

    Bicycle crank

    As people age, they seem to transition from passionate soul to old crank. At least the lucky ones, who have been blessed or cursed with  something they love. Or are obsessed with. (The distinction gets hazy with some passions and some people.)   Call it anything you like. We are in love with/obsessed by people...
    Oldsters one-upping each other at the top of the world

    Oldsters one-upping each other at the top of the world

    On Everest, there’s always someone older coming up behind you   Back in 2008, Japan’s (then) 75-year-old Yuichiro Miura was about to set the record for being the oldest person to climb Mount Everest—until Nepal’s 76-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan beat him out, getting there one day ahead of him.   There was no trash talking...