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?
Bringing a long-lost artifact back to the Hopi
Bringing a long-lost artifact back to the Hopi
Iconic Western author Katie Lee journeys with a tribe’s spiritual talisman.
How movies have changed our expectations of the wild
How movies have changed our expectations of the wild
Decades of Disney 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 community with environmental sensitivities makes a home in Arizona’s 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.