Sports: Traveling through the "Vault"

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Sports Illustrated recently launchedSI Vault, a free digital archive of the magazine’s entire 50-plus years of issues. I searched through many of the stories and rounded up a few of the more memorable articles with a travel theme:

July 27, 1998

Snakes Alive!

The author’s quest for the "how" and "why" behind the annual Rattlesnake Derby in Mangum, Okla., also includes a cameo from Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's wife, Janet.

Melvin Ishcomer, the Mark McGwire of snake hunting the past few seasons, wins for most snakes and most (ugh) pounds of snakes, 706 and 775, respectively.... Interviewed, he uses the lazy-intense language of the sports star and sounds like John Elway post-Super Bowl. "You just have to get out there every day," he says, "and work at it." His advice to young snake hunters: "Whatever you do, don't get bit."

What I'm thinking while he talks: You drove here with 700 snakes in your car?

November 5, 1984

In the Country He Loved

A hunting and fishing trip with Ernest Hemingway's son Jack in Sun Valley, Idaho, where the author spent his final years, shows that environmental issues aren't just a recent concern.

"My father lived in a time when, if you didn't like a place anymore, there was always another place you could move to that was unspoiled," Jack said.

"You can’t do that now. You have to make a stand somewhere. That's why conservation issues are so important. In general we're getting better hunting and fishing than he ever got out here, but we have to work a helluva lot harder to get it."

November 22, 1971

The Rediscovery of New York City

Not even a tropical storm can thwart an 80-mile canoeing adventure through the "forgotten" waters surrounding New York City.

To get to the south end of Flushing Bay the obvious route is through the narrows between Rikers Island and the runways of La Guardia Airport—but not when you are with [our expedition leader John] Stookey. He led us under La Guardia's runways into a subterranean gloom that reminded him of Mayan temples he has visited.

October 23, 1967

Off Season for Izards

A couple's hunting and fishing expedition in Andorra goes awry when they discover that there actually is no hunting or fishing to be found in the principality.

Before we left the hotel I explained to [our guide] Juan once again that this time I wanted to fish, I did not want to go mountain climbing, and that I would thank him to lead us to some fishable water pronto! Right away! Tout de suite! Juan hauled out a map and showed me a lake near the French border. He said it was one of the most beautiful lakes in Andorra and it was only a one-hour hike from the highway. "How big are the fish in it?" I demanded.

"There are no fish in it," Juan said, "but the scenery is beautiful."

January 31, 1966

Shtepping Around With Hoobert

A family of novices finds their attempt to join the skiing world a bit more frustrating than they thought.

I could have done without this one particular skier, who kept roaring down the hill and slamming to a stop right in front of our single-file caravan, throwing up a shower of ice and snow like Bobby Hull. I felt like punching him right in the mouth; but I held off, as he appeared to be in excellent condition for a little kid.

[Sports Illustrated's SI Vault]

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