The Best of 2014: Writing

A review of the best writing published on Gear Patrol in 2014.


A lot happened in 2014, from the legalization of marijuana in Colorado to the beginning of normal diplomatic relations with Cuba. Of course, all of the really big happenings and news had absolutely nothing to do with us. But in our little nook of the universe, we did manage to have an awful lot of fun. We drove the McLaren 650S, grilled up a pin-bone sirloin and put on some fancy new cologne — and that was all in, like, one afternoon. (We also explored everywhere from Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail to the Highlands of Scotland.) So to remind ourselves of the year that was, and to share all that our crew has seen and learned, we’re doing a retrospective on the year’s best stories, from buying guides and product tests to photo essays and original videos. These 14 stories (plus honorable mentions) represent some of the best writing of 2014.

The Long Way to Havasu Falls

By Will McGough: “Adventure travelers have an advantage that others don’t”, Will McGough proposes. “Anyone can get on a plane and land in a remote location, but no matter how much someone talks about that place deep in the wilderness, few have what it takes to make the journey.” Read More »

Willett’s Long Path Back to Bourbon

By Ben Bowers: On a trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the GP crew learns that “Willett Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen doesn’t have time for bullshit.” Read More »

Late Night in Louisville

By J. Travis Smith: An aimless night in Louisville turns into a booze-fueled expedition, filled with new friends, a bar with 1,600 beers, and a cat that’s not to be fucked with. Read More »

The Hunter-Gatherer Chef of the Scottish Highlands

By Jeremy Berger: Foraging, butchering, and cooking a meal with chef Tom Lewis of Monachyle Mhor in the Scottish Highlands. Read More »

In Search of Mindfulness

By Matt Minich: Ever wonder what happens at a yoga festival? GP dispatched a correspondent — and true yoga novice — on a four-day trip to find out. Read More »

Gone Paleo: 21 Days in the Cave

By Matthew Ankeny: Matthew Ankeny set out for three weeks of fad-dieting to see if the wave of hype surrounding the latest favorite American diet could hold weight. How did he feel after 21 days of eating just fresh fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts (plus a demonic juice binge)? Read More »

Remembering Travelers Lost

By Chris Wright: A hike with a ghost in the Scottish Highlands. Read More »

Months After Rejected Independence, A Different Kind of Scottish Unity

By Chris Wright: The people of Scotland had a chance to gain independence from the United Kingdom in 2014: all it would take was a majority popular vote. They voted against it. Answers to why, and what the declined offer means for the country, are different for every Scot. Read More »

God Bless the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

By Henry Phillips: A GP auto writer learns to adore a car that leaves logic in the dust. Read More »

Late Plates: Michael Somoroff

By Jeremy Berger: Grabbing a late-night bite with the commercial director, fine artist, classic car collector and philosopher. Read More »

The Human Engine of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

By Matthew Ankeny: The 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a six-day automotive smörgåsbord on the bucolic greens of the Monterey Peninsula. Matthew Ankeny discovered the people who make this unique event tick. Read More »

Inside the New American Supper Club

By J. Travis Smith: Underground supper clubs, where strangers eat home-cooked meals made by professional chefs, are spreading throughout America. J. Travis Smith sat down at one in Brooklyn to see firsthand where the trend’s headed. Read More »

New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Finds Its Way

By Nick Milanes: At long last, New York’s Finger Lakes wine region is gaining recognition, both nationally and abroad. Nick Milanes visits, and asks: Can the community preserve its identity in the face of looming challenges? Read More »

Father, Time

By Jason Heaton: Unlike many family traditions, including those shown in Patek Philippe ads, in our family, watch gifts didn’t flow from father to son but rather the other way around. Read More »

Honorable Mentions


Scallops in the Raw
Not Broken, But Fixed
Olive Oil Done Right
A Front-Row Seat to Dave Chappelle’s Return
Why I Spend Thanksgiving with Friends
Fishing with Old Chums in Scotland
Learning to Freedive with One of the World’s Best
Expedition Royale
Decrypted: Caution in the Age of the Quantified Self
Seneca Versus Social Media: Dumping the Smartphone for Idle Thought

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