Men's Journal September/October 2020

Geared toward the modern, adventurous man, Men's Journal magazine is for guys who enjoy their leisure time and want to get the most out of it. From health and fitness to sports and travel, each month Men's Journal has it covered.

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2 min
letter from the editor

AT THE END of March, Men’s Journal followed in the footsteps of the Dodgers, Don Draper, and the Beastie Boys and left New York City for Southern California. From its birth in 1992, the magazine has covered every corner of the wild world, but always from the global media center of Manhattan, so the symbolism was powerful. Were we going Hollywood? Vegan? How would our world change? Before we could answer, everyone’s world changed. Just as Men’s Journal was to inhabit its new digs north of San Diego, work-from-home mandates locked us in place. The nearby beaches and still-snow-covered mountains all closed. The vibrant local food and beer scenes? Shuttered. The Hollywood sets where our cover stars hang out? Empty. And everyone—me, you, Patrick Dempsey—had much bigger uncertainties to worry about. As…

2 min
field notes

Feedback SEEING CENA I enjoyed Mickey Rapkin’s piece on John Cena (“The Fast and the Curious,” May/June 2020). It’s great to see celebrities who use their social capital for others. But also, as a father of two young girls, I want them to experience kinder boys in their future. I was familiar with Cena’s “Love Has No Labels” ads in 2016, but not his recent books. What better model to break old stereotypes—and show a boy that a man can be strong and kind—than a real-life Hulk? Please keep spotlighting men like Cena. MATT GITZINGER RALEIGH, NC WISE WORDS I found Daniel Craig’s responses (“Becoming James Bond,” April 2020) to be very humble, simple and just what I needed to hear. Wise men know that success requires supporting characters, and praising his stuntmen and trainer struck…

5 min

IN JUNE 2019, Taylor Demonbreun set a Guinness World Record by being the youngest person, at age 24, to visit every country in the world. But her record wouldn’t last long, because late last year, 21-year-old Lexie Alford officially stole the title. The young swashbucklers documented their crusades online, demonstrating how easy it was to the see the world before the novel coronavirus: What was once an unimaginable lifetime journey could be accomplished in about 18 months. That’s how long it took Demonbreun, anyway. She still holds the speed record. In the Before Times, many of us would have reacted to their accomplishments by packing a weekend bag. But the near-global halt to international travel dictated by coronavirus created a (long) moment of forced reflection and called into question what Alford’s and…

3 min
1 old-growth adventure

SURF THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA The weather-battered Olympic Peninsula is famed for dense forest and craggy peaks, but there’s killer surf to be found, too. La Push houses wild beaches 14 miles from U.S. Highway 101, where the mouth of the Quillayute River empties into the ocean and creates an array of point and beach breaks with year-round waves. Even in the summer, you’ll need a wetsuit: Rent from North by Northwest Surf Co. SIP SEATTLE Ballard has been called “Seattle’s Beer Epicenter” since it features 13 breweries, including regional heavies Reuben’s and Stoup Brewing. Better yet: They’re all walkable. The Ballard Brewery Passport links most of them together in a challenge: Grab the pamphlet from one of the breweries, and have it stamped at every stop. Once filled, you can get a…

2 min
2 the midwest’s best coast

VISIT A NEWLY MINTED NATIONAL PARK At just about 15,000 acres, Indiana Dunes is small for a national park, but the system’s second-newest member boasts 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and endless views—including the Chicago skyline. Before (or after) getting wet at one of the beaches, check out the more than 50 miles of trails traversing bogs and prairies. And summit a sand dune while you’re here—at nearly 200 feet high, Mount Tom tops them all. TEE OFF LIKE BROOKS KOEPKA In September 2021, some of the best golfers in the world will play for the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, a dramatic, Pete Dye-designed Irish links-style course. And you can, too, with some planning: The Lake Michigan-facing course is public, part of the five-star Destination Kohler resort complex. Just watch out…

2 min
3 old hills, new thrills

PADDLE WITH THE PROS Western North Carolina’s legendary dam-controlled Nantahala runs 350 days a year and features an eight-mile stretch rich with Class II and III whitewater. Access, instruction, and gear are readily available at the nearby Nantahala Outdoor Center, where hundreds of thousands of paddlers—and more than a score of Olympians—have taken courses. Word of warning: Brace for chilly water temps, as the river gets little sunlight. CLIMB THE GORGE If climbing’s your thing, Linville Gorge has it all, from bouldering to top-rope to multipitch traditional routes. This isn’t pulling plastic at the gym; it’s a rugged, remote tract. Book Fox Mountain Guides for both safety and shortcuts to the good stuff. PEDAL THE TSALI The four hard-packed trail loops at Tsali Recreation Area offer some of the most entertaining single-track in the…