Essays

  • Storm on Lava Creek: A season in Yellowstone

    Storm on Lava Creek: A season in Yellowstone

    The power of a thunderstorm thrills a newcomer to Yellowstone National Park.

  • Gathering strength from the Continental Divide

    Gathering strength from the Continental Divide

    A summer in the Rocky Mountains helps a child learn to stand up against the bullies in her life.

  • Love and tomatoes -- a natural combination

    Love and tomatoes -- a natural combination

    Diamonds aren't always a girl's best friend; sometimes a fresh, ripe, local tomato is.

  • Of balloons, littering and birthday parties

    Of balloons, littering and birthday parties

    When you're a curmudgeon in Nevada's high desert, you regard deflated, abandoned balloons as an especially vile form of trash – until it's your daughter's birthday party, and she "needs" to airlift some balloons.

  • In praise of ancient tree stumps

    In praise of ancient tree stumps

    Snoqualmie, Wash., is scattered with giant stumps that tell the area's history -- except in a brand-new development, where such signs of "real" Western life have been removed.

  • Following Dad down the road

    Following Dad down the road

    The author reminisces on an itinerant childhood and her family's travels up, down and across the country -- and how she now clings firmly to one place called home.

  • Tracking Ice Age people in Oregon

    Tracking Ice Age people in Oregon

    Craig Childs goes time-traveling in the buttes and basins of south-central Oregon, and ponders signs of early human occupation.

  • Shooting at The Gun Store in Las Vegas

    Shooting at The Gun Store in Las Vegas

    Move over, Elvis impersonators, and step aside, blackjack. Machine gun rentals just may be the next big entertainment fix in Sin City.

  • Learning a landscape by tracking its rivers

    Learning a landscape by tracking its rivers

    A newcomer to Montana tries to understand the state's place in the West by figuring where its rivers flow.

  • Dancing with wolverines

    Dancing with wolverines

    A wolverine snuffling at your throat commands your attention, even if you're in a relatively safe enclosure at a clandestine refuge for the animals.

  • Kayaking memories on the White Salmon River

    Kayaking memories on the White Salmon River

    Will all of a kayaker's memories of Washington's White Salmon River change once the river changes, now that Condit Dam is gone?

  • Imaginary journeys on a rowing machine

    Imaginary journeys on a rowing machine

    When a writer buys a rowing machine, her 3-year-old daughter's enthusiasm turns exercise into an adventure as they imagine rowing to reach the island of Yap in Micronesia.

  • Could doing chores save the world?

    Could doing chores save the world?

    While living at a remote commune in the wilds of New Mexico, author Emily Schosid learned what real sustainability means. And it’s not at all what you’d expect.

  • Traveling Arizona Highways, in your dreams and on the ground

    Traveling Arizona Highways, in your dreams and on the ground

    In 1960, an Illinois mailman falls in love with the desert through the pages of Arizona Highways and hands on his dream -- and a piece of Mohave County --to his son and grandson.

  • Watching the weather in California

    Watching the weather in California

    A Californian becomes a volunteer weather-spotter, in part to heal the memories of the storm that destroyed her house when she was a teenager.