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June 30, 2013: Avoiding Hippos and Crocs, Racing Up (and Down) Mt. Rainier, and More

Mount Rainier looms over hikers on a neighboring slope. Eric Carter used skis to beat the fastest record for going up and down Rainier, but his record was soon beaten. (photo by Barry Bishop)
Mount Rainier looms over hikers on a neighboring slope. Eric Carter used skis to beat the fastest record for going up and down Rainier, but his record was soon beaten. (photo by Barry Bishop)

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend.

Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend, or pick your favorite segments and listen now below!

Episode: 1326 – Air Date: June 30

HOUR 1

National Geographic Explorer Steve Boyes cautiously avoids hippos when crossing the Okavango Delta, for good reason. While the thought of an attack is frightening, he says he’s also grateful to the hippos for the unique food source they kick up out of the water. He gives Boyd pointers on how to respect the hippos and cook the water lily bulbs that provide protein for his team while they trek across hippo territory.

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Many people climb Mt. Rainier on foot, but Eric Carter and Nick Elson used skis to break the record for the fastest climb. They successfully broke the previous record by 20 minutes – only to find that someone broke it again just a couple of weeks later. Carter explains that while the record was short-lived, it was still worth the trek.

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We often try to preserve endangered wildlife, but Photographer Marcus Bleasdale took to Norway to find a culture that’s dying because younger generations are looking to different ways of living. “The Last of the Viking Whalers”, in the June issue of National Geographic Magazine, shows how the loss of whaling is turning this area above the Arctic Circle into a ghost town.

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Most of us would find it very difficult to be hundreds of miles away from the nearest grocery store, but instead, live close to the bears and wolves that could hunt us for dinner. All the way up in Kavik, Alaska, Sue Aikens tries to avoid being a “pork chop” in National Geographic Channel’s “Life Below Zero”. She tells Boyd she can’t run to the store for milk, but she does make friends with some TV-loving foxes.

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Dan Gilgoff, Director of Digital News at National Geographic, tells Boyd how x-rays are saving the Opera and what Scotland is doing with the leftover material typically discarded after making Scotch whiskey.

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HOUR 2

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jason De Leon is an anthropologist using trash and dropped belongings to understand the path undocumented migrants take through the Sonoran Desert. He discovered how entrepreneurs are actually making money off of the arduous path the migrants take by making products like black water bottles that they believe standout less than white bottles.

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In the June issue of National Geographic Magazine, biologist and National Geographic grantee E.O. Wilson writes about “The Rebirth of Gorongosa”. Mozambique’s Gorongosa Park is home to a variety of habitats and a wide range of biodiversity. Wilson says the wildlife sanctuary survived a civil war, but now suffers from deforestation.

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Gear guru Steve Casimiro shares with Boyd some of the latest in camping technology including a strapless heart monitor, a bicycle seat that acts like a trampoline to provide some better cushion for your sore behind, and a high tech water bottle with a built-in filter for those purified water connoisseurs.

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There’s one place where the underground world of growing and selling marijuana isn’t so underground. Emily Brady, author of “Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier”, provides an insider’s perspective on the California county’s culture and how some growers are not too happy about the potential legalization of Mary Jane.

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In this week’s Wild Chronicles, Boyd shares some of his own experiences with hippos in the Okavango Delta. He says traveling in an airboat made it easy to avoid the hippos, but difficult to avoid the unseen crocodiles.

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