Archive for the 'Features' Category

Finding a Backdoor: Sneaking into the most heavily guarded national park

April 14, 2006

by Wiley Davis

It has long been my philosophy that if you’re going to do something, you should do it right. So for my first visit to the Grand Canyon, I decided to do things a little differently. No way was I going to go to the South Rim, which everyone knows is infested with picture-snapping, thimble-buying tourists! In fact, I decided that due to principles, I wasn’t even going to purchase a permit. No self-respecting person is going to pay hard-earned cash to some Ranger Rick type, for use of his own land…that’s ludicrous! So to avoid the fees, and the masses, I needed a backdoor. A quick check of the map revealed a chunk of user-friendly BLM land that butted up against a five-mile long side canyon that provided direct access to the Grand Canyon itself! An hour later, the plan was set into motion. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Americans illegally enter the United States from Mexico

April 14, 2006

Mexico Border Crossingby Wiley Davis, Neil Zawicki, and R.D. Phares

The idea for this article started with a question. What would it be like to illegally enter the United States from Mexico? We had all read the stories about increased Border Patrol activities, including their use of high-tech surveillance equipment developed for the U.S. military. It was mostly a challenge, an adventure, a jaunt. Rather like playing hide and seek when you were a kid, only this time the stakes would be higher. What began initially as an idea for a stunt over a few beers quickly evolved into the article you are about to read. Jaunt Magazine is about travel, adventure, culture, and exploration. What better way to combine these elements than to use a daring illegal border crossing as a glue that ties together a story about an issue that has tempers flaring, politicians in a reactionary uproar, and human beings given the title "Illegal Alien". So on November 5, three of us, Neil, Ron, and myself drove to Douglas, Arizona with the intent to enter the United States Illegally. Read the rest of this entry »

The Salome Jug

April 14, 2006

by Wiley Davis

Planning a route using a topographic map is an innocent and potentially dangerous affair. With a keen eye for contours, and a lust for adventure a topo map becomes more than just a jumbled collection of curvy lines and cryptic symbols, it becomes a blueprint for epic journeys. The planning of routes on a map however, has inherent dangers that are difficult to avoid. The problem has to do with scale and environment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dead Mojave Phone Booth

April 14, 2006

by Wiley Davis

Non-maintained roads, and non-maintained plans, share a similar end. Both converge on the unexpected, and create adventures in the process. Our plan last weekend was straightforward. We would drive to the Mojave desert in California, and pay a visit to the now famous (and now non-existent) phone booth in the middle of nowhere. There used to be a phone booth situated alongside a lonely stretch of dirt road in the middle of the Mojave desert. Not only was this phone booth isolated, but it was fully functioning as well. Word about the booth leaked out, and soon websites began springing up, paying homage to a simple Pac Bell telephone, that due to it's locale, had taken on mythic proportions.The interesting part is what happened next. People from all over the world began to get word of the Mojave Phone Booth, and demonstrating that innate curiosity which makes us human, began calling the booth on the off chance that someone might actually answer it. Our mission for the weekend was to be there…to answer the world's call. The world however, with the help of a dusty old stretch of historic route 66, and a one-horse town called Goffs, had it's own call, the call of adventure in unexpected places, and we answered it obediently.

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Depravity in the Desert: the Palo Verde Lounge

April 14, 2006

by Wiley Davis

It is hard to do the good bars justice. A skillful craft with the words is necessary to capture the magic that hangs like the secondhand smoke over a torn, dimly-lit felt, quarters at the gates. The table is never level, but in this twisted landscape of depravity and brotherly bond, this is a pleasant sprinkling of character. The truly good bars are all dives, holes in the wall, places that you wouldn't take your grandmother or a client of any sort other than the illicit. This is the tale of my journey to a place of confusion and intrigue made possible by the Palo Verde Lounge. Read the rest of this entry »

Remote site mission: no typical day

April 14, 2006

By Neil Zawicki

I think I became a journalist because I was too much of a punk to become a pilot. In truth, I'm a certified geek about aircraft – especially military aircraft. So when the 517th Airlift Squadron offered to take me along on a re-supply mission, I hopped on board. Read the rest of this entry »