Essays

What it’s like to fight off fire to save your home
What it’s like to fight off fire to save your home
As neighbors evacuated, one family stayed behind.
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
A firefighter contemplates the coming fire season.
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
What’s the meaning of lugging literature into the wild?
Ranch Diaries: Building human connections from a remote ranch
Ranch Diaries: Building human connections from a remote ranch
Passing on knowledge is crucial to our way of life.
Playing the Alaska card
Playing the Alaska card
A native of the state explains the short-lived social power the state gives.
Rants from the Hill: As winter looms, a final foray to close out the season
Rants from the Hill: As winter looms, a final foray to close out the season
My annual transect of our neighborhood mountain takes a turn for the perilous.
Ranch Diaries: Getting injured on the job
Ranch Diaries: Getting injured on the job
I went through a lot of Ibuprofen and some serious self-doubt; then I sucked it up and got back on my horse.
The life of a once-lost dog
The life of a once-lost dog
Aging takes its toll on creatures both human and canine.
Ranch Diaries: What life’s like as a female rancher
Ranch Diaries: What life’s like as a female rancher
Some ranchers still say women ruin horses and a rancher and his wife can be paid at two-for-the-price-of-one.
An ode to germs, guts and gardens
An ode to germs, guts and gardens
When calamity strikes, a gardener finds her way back to the basics.
Ranch Diaries: Spared from drought, for now, in New Mexico
Ranch Diaries: Spared from drought, for now, in New Mexico
Dry spells take a toll on landscapes and livestock, but are also hard on people.
Rants from the Hill: Fall brings a new bird to the neighborhood
Rants from the Hill: Fall brings a new bird to the neighborhood
A Northern Mockingbird stops by, its varied song a reminder of October's restless nature.
In the Mojave, a new relationship with trash
In the Mojave, a new relationship with trash
A new arrival finds traces of what we discard and what we bury deep inside.
Ranch Diaries: Remote ranching and vet care in the 21st century
Ranch Diaries: Remote ranching and vet care in the 21st century
When crisis hits, help comes in unconventional ways.
How to survive the bust
How to survive the bust
As oil prices plummet, a drill rig worker traces the effects among his brethren.
Ranch Diaries: Why cowboy life is intense
Ranch Diaries: Why cowboy life is intense
We have other interests, like art and cooking, that take a backseat to the needs of our land and animals.
Rants from the Hill: The aliens that make Nevada home
Rants from the Hill: The aliens that make Nevada home
Military history, conspiracy theories and the landscape itself make Nevada ground zero for the bizarre and otherworldly.
Anatomy of a flash flood
Anatomy of a flash flood
After a series of deaths, a writer considers his own close calls in canyons.
Ranch Diaries: Is ranching a form of conservation?
Ranch Diaries: Is ranching a form of conservation?
Our cattle can help restore wildlife habitat, reduce fire fuels and sequester carbon, when used creatively.
Claustrophilia: Do wide-open lands bring us closer together?
Claustrophilia: Do wide-open lands bring us closer together?
A writer finds that Colorado small-town life and Mongolian mishaps strengthen her human connections.
Notes from the road to bestsellerdom
Notes from the road to bestsellerdom
An author’s promotional book tour includes incontinent owls and posh but uncomfortable luncheons.
Ranch Diaries: One dog can be worth three hands
Ranch Diaries: One dog can be worth three hands
A cowboy and a good canine or two can handle several hundred cattle.
Rants from the Hill: Don't fence me in
Rants from the Hill: Don't fence me in
Marking our territory with wildlife-friendly fences.