by burkhard bilger

In this week’s issue, Burkhard Bilger writes about the ongoing effort to explore what may be the deepest cave in the world, located in Mexico—“a kind of Everest expedition turned upside down”:

In this video, the cavers scale slippery walls, swim through frigid water, and make camp in a cloud forest, as Bilger narrates:

Photograph by Marcin Gala.

Burkhard Bilger reports from Western Oklahoma:

Around here, the notion of childhood as a safe, protected place—a benign bubble—seemed like poor training for life. Religion and rodeo made more sense.

Above: Wacey Schalla (left) and Jet Erickson practice on an oil-barrel bull. With fewer and fewer ordinary animals to practice on, the learning curve gets steeper every year.