Essays

Life lessons learned on a dogsled
Life lessons learned on a dogsled
Hold tight and don’t let go.
Fear and love in Oregon’s forests
Fear and love in Oregon’s forests
How far will you go for the person you love?
What’s special about a good-for-nothing sunflower?
What’s special about a good-for-nothing sunflower?
In an age of extinction, a sunny, endangered flower serves as a beacon of arid lands.
Rants from the Hill: Will the real fake John Muir please stand up?
Rants from the Hill: Will the real fake John Muir please stand up?
Searching for authentic identity in Chautauqua season.
Can our own ingenuity upend natural laws?
Can our own ingenuity upend natural laws?
Reflections on the health of my heart and the making of Hoover Dam.
Ranch Diaries: Building community in the middle of nowhere
Ranch Diaries: Building community in the middle of nowhere
Cattle branding brings together far-flung neighbors in the midst of the "Big Quiet."
Readers’ foreign travel tales
Readers’ foreign travel tales
Winners of the High Country News essay contest for our annual travel issue.
A German’s shattered romance with the West
A German’s shattered romance with the West
An essayist asks whether the West is the most misunderstood region in the U.S.
Children in Alaska’s barbaric country
Children in Alaska’s barbaric country
As parents, we watch our kids walk into vast new worlds — like it or not.
Raccoonboy’s guide to urban wilds
Raccoonboy’s guide to urban wilds
When in doubt, climb; fences are made for hopping.
Ranch Diaries: Tiny living, 23 miles from town
Ranch Diaries: Tiny living, 23 miles from town
After a chicken coop, a tipi and no electricity, this four-season camper is our most modern home yet.
Rants from the Hill: Scaling Lone Tree
Rants from the Hill: Scaling Lone Tree
Learning to see a one-tree forest in the Great Basin Desert.
Lifties and ski patrol go head to head in Telluride
Ranch Diaries: Ways to reduce the inevitable risks
Ranch Diaries: Ways to reduce the inevitable risks
On cattle futures, planning for potential drought, and grazing cows to encourage forage growth.
A giant resort overshadows a tiny Colorado town
A giant resort overshadows a tiny Colorado town
A teacher's perspective of big changes to a small town.
Ranch Diaries: Purchasing cattle, writing the business plan
Ranch Diaries: Purchasing cattle, writing the business plan
How and when we expect to see returns on our investment.
Balancing the pulls of domesticity and wilderness
Balancing the pulls of domesticity and wilderness
How I take inspiration, and cautionary advice, from Ed Abbey’s family misadventures.
Rants from the Hill: Scout's honor
Rants from the Hill: Scout's honor
How I earned the excommunication merit badge.
Ranch Diaries: Why we manage our cattle horseback
Ranch Diaries: Why we manage our cattle horseback
Rough terrain and big country make horses an ideal way to manage for gentle cattle.
Ranch Diaries: A New Mexico cattle company is born
Ranch Diaries: A New Mexico cattle company is born
How we decided to start our own business on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.
Chainsaw diplomacy
Chainsaw diplomacy
In southern Utah’s Escalante watershed, a river restoration group tries to cut through old cultural barriers.
My kind of town: Livingston, Montana
My kind of town: Livingston, Montana
An essay on returning home to the West, after years abroad.
Aldo Leopold explains it all
Aldo Leopold explains it all
Should nature be protected for humans or from humans?
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