Other Topics

Here are a few samples (in addition to “My Favorites) of other topics I’ve written about:


Branded — When Sgt. Georg Andreas Pogany told his superiors he was probably suffering from combat stress in Iraq, they charged him with cowardice.  A disturbing story about a soldier’s fight to clear his name.


Young, American, and Illegal — Immigration remains one of this country’s hottest political issues.  One attempt to fix the “immigration problem” has been to pass targeted federal legislation called the DREAM Act that would help young people who were not born in this country, but who were brought here as children and have lived most of their lives here.  I profiled some of these incredible kids

Here’s a shorter version that appeared in the Denver Post


“The Door the Cops Never Opened” — One of the “biggest” stories I ever covered was the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a six-year-old who was found murdered in her parents’ home, about seven miles from where I live.  At some point I may write more on this site about my experiences with this sordid case, since I believe I may have seen more of the forensic evidence from this case than any civilian, and more than some of the cops.  For now I’ll post one of the first stories that Newsweek printed in which my late colleague Sherry Keene-Osborn and I began swimming upstream from the media tide — and began to conclude that Patsy and John Ramsey, the child’s parents, had been wrongly accused of murder.  Here is a pdf of a story that took on some of the popular myths about the case.


I have a mini-George Plimpton streak of first-person action stories:

Heli-skiing with Laird Hamilton

Okay, he’s an android.  I can’t prove it for sure, because I did see him bleed after running out of the hot tub and streaking across a frozen lake in ten degree weather.  Maybe it had something to do with the $8,000 in Pinot Noir he and his entourage (well, I was part of the entourage for 10 days) polished off.  This was one of those assignments that had me chanting, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this…”

Speed Skiing

Before I actually saw the course I would be running, I wasn’t too nervous.  Then I saw it and called my editor in New York.  “Um,” I stammered, “how fast do I have to go to make this story work for you?”  His perfect Men’s Journal reply:  “Faster than you think you can go.” I hit 75 m.p.h..

Ski Jumping

The unlikely British ski jumper named “Eddie the Eagle” put ski jumping, ever-so-briefly, on America’s radar screen, after the famous “Wide World of Sports” clip that defined “the agony of defeat” for a couple generations of sports watchers.  Here, in Park City, just before the Olympics, I give ski jumping a try.

Multi-sport adventure racing: the first “Eco-Challenge”

For reasons that still mystify me, I was invited to be a part of “Team Media” for the inaugural EcoChallenge in Utah.  For seven days, my team of five journalists traveled 370 miles across the desert by foot, canoe, mountain bike, raft, climbing rope and hallucinatory stress.  We finished, defying all of the (many) people who bet against us.  And I lived to write about it..

Travel Writing

After 9/11, Outside magazine asked me to write an article about why Americans shouldn’t retreat from traveling out of fear or prejudice.  I argued that we need well-traveled Americans, now more than ever.

For a special issue on family travel, also for Outside, I wrote a story that would ultimately be the backbone for my book, Monkey Dancing. We called it, “RoamSchooling.”