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Blog posts tagged with 'hampton sides'

Wrangel Island
Kindly contributed by Hampton Sides, award-winning editor of Outside magazine and author of Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West, Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission and the recently released In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette.
 
In the Kingdom of Ice

Most of us, once we are past the age of five or so, relinquish the fantasy of Santa and his workshops to the reality of a cold, watery and inhospitable North Pole. But in the late 19th century so little was known about the earth's northern-most regions that Santa may as well have set up shop there. Even the leading polar experts and top-notch cartographers believed in fantastical theories -- that the pole was a warm tropical sea, for example. An obsession to know the truth grasped many would-be explorers, among them Naval officer George Washington De Long and the prominent newspaperman James Gordon Bennett Jr., who would agree to back De Long's 1879 expedition to find the "Polar Grail."