Essays

How Disney has changed our expectations of the wild
How Disney has changed our expectations of the wild
Decades of movies have prepared us for a tamed, cleaned-up version of nature.
Dispatch from a medic on the North Star Fire in Washington
Dispatch from a medic on the North Star Fire in Washington
What base camp and wildfire look like from one firefighter's perspective.
Ranch Diaries: Is it worth it to raise our calves 'naturally'?
Ranch Diaries: Is it worth it to raise our calves 'naturally'?
The logistics of raising natural beef at Triangle P.
What we've lost in the Methow Valley wildfires
What we've lost in the Methow Valley wildfires
Three firefighters have died as fires continue to rip through Washington.
Dreaming where I walk
Dreaming where I walk
An Indian writer becomes an American citizen — and finds herself.
Ranch Diaries: Selfie culture meets rustic ranch life
Ranch Diaries: Selfie culture meets rustic ranch life
We miss a lot with a device in front of our eyes, a filter between us and the real world.
Finding the quiet West inside
Finding the quiet West inside
A writer remembers a week spent on a cattle ranch, and an unexpected discovery.
Rants from the Hill: Watching the desert flood
Rants from the Hill: Watching the desert flood
When the ghost rivers rage in Nevada.
Ranch Diaries: How to coexist with wild animals
Ranch Diaries: How to coexist with wild animals
When your livelihood depends on the boundaries you set with the natural world.
In the middle of nowhere, a Promised Land
In the middle of nowhere, a Promised Land
A group with chemical sensitivities makes a community in the Arizona desert.
Misadventures in packrafting
Misadventures in packrafting
Is the new sport just an expensive way to get into trouble on the river?
Is tech ruining the wilderness?
Is tech ruining the wilderness?
Documenting recreation on Instagram, Strava and YouTube is changing the way we experience the outdoors.
On death’s doorstep in the Grand Canyon
On death’s doorstep in the Grand Canyon
A misstep in the backcountry alters an avid hiker’s perspective.
Ranch Diaries: How the Triangle P grazes on tribal lands
Ranch Diaries: How the Triangle P grazes on tribal lands
Breaking down private leases and federal permits.
Rants from the Hill: Such Sweet Sorrow
Rants from the Hill: Such Sweet Sorrow
An Airy Meditation on Flatulence and Independence.
Efforts to save Utah's Cedar Mesa reach a crescendo
Efforts to save Utah's Cedar Mesa reach a crescendo
Conflicting county and state proposals would provide various levels of protection.
Ranch Diaries: Wildlife encounters in a life on the range
Ranch Diaries: Wildlife encounters in a life on the range
When herding cattle means meeting black bears, angry turkeys and tame elk.
Reflections on the atomic blast test in Nevada
Reflections on the atomic blast test in Nevada
How the “typical American family” fared in “Doom Town,” 1953.
Ranch Diaries: An East Coast visitor adds some perspective
Ranch Diaries: An East Coast visitor adds some perspective
Sometimes hosting an outsider is the perfect reboot.
Lust for fungi
Lust for fungi
A writer has a holy experience while mushroom hunting in southern Oregon.
Ranch Diaries: Turning a mustang into a willing partner
Ranch Diaries: Turning a mustang into a willing partner
What it's like to start a horse who has a fear of ropes and an unhealthy sense of his own strength.
Rants from the Hill: The adventures of Sir Rantsalot in the dead tree forest
Rants from the Hill: The adventures of Sir Rantsalot in the dead tree forest
On the virtues of cutting and burning wood.
Making a monument from scratch
Making a monument from scratch
A writer wonders if this piece of Northern California federal land is worth the new designation.