Category: Outback Notes

The Night Auditor

This is not the desert. This is not the desert at night. This is a city in the forest at night, 7000 feet above sea level. Winters are cold. Summers are closer to the sun. Long before us, they cleared the trees and made a city here, a concrete well between deserts. This mountain divides ...

Black Rock Blues

I admit to a conservative streak in my nature. One problem with that is a tendency to paint the past in golden hues and promote visions of a world that never really existed. And it’s probably accurate that if we are ever to learn anything, and carry that knowledge forward, we can’t do it by ...

Ed O’Farrell’s Midnight Ride

On a recent research trip into the Nevada outback, Nugget News editor Jim Cornelius and I had occasion to stop for a few minutes in Silver Lake, Oregon–to pay our respects at a monument in the local cemetery. Ten feet high, unprepossessing, the monument was erected in 1898, to remember the victims of Oregon’s most ...

When the Wolf Comes to Town

Few topics in wildlife conservation are as fundamentally polarizing and explosive as the topic of wolves. And like most subjects in our “Breaking News” zeitgeist, the hyperbole shills on all sides of the wolf issue seem to work in feverish piques, pandering to our baser emotional responses, and often ignoring outright any evidence contrary to ...

The Mill Party

I am sentimental about sawmills. That’s especially true around Christmas because the Sierra Pacific sawmill, at one time the second largest of its kind in the United States, was also the principal private employer where I was raised–in the sparsely populated northeastern corner of California. My stepfather worked at Sierra Pacific for over twenty years, ...

For the River, With Gratitude

One frustrating aspect of living in an outdoor paradise is the perpetually nagging notion that—no matter how much you do—you are missing out on something. That’s nowhere more true than in central Oregon, which is known worldwide as a playground for outdoor adventure: from skiing to mountain biking, from climbing to bird watching. And, of ...

The Shoulder Season

“Lord, let me die    but not die Out.”                         For the Last Wolverine, James Dickey A few weeks ago, on our way to the End of Summer Concert and bbq at the Camp Sherman Store, my wife and I crossed paths with a ...

A Little Help

Before the Milli fire started getting that strange look in it’s eye, filling the sky with smoke and causing the evacuation of Crossroads, my wife and I were pleased to host a couple of through-hikers attempting the Pacific Crest Trail. Because of the fires in Central Oregon, numerous trail closures, and active measures by our ...

Lashed to the Mast

If you were ever lucky enough to live out on the great sagebrush sea, like I was during a certain vanishing era, you might have enjoyed a slice of old Americana in perhaps the rarest of ways: trailing cattle and working horses. The outback was, in those days–and still is to some degree–a kind of ...

Jack Donovan

Masculinity and Tribalism

Adventures Fantastic

Reviews, Views, & Occasional News

Bunkhouse Chronicle

Field notes from the Figure 8 Ranch

MountainGuerrilla

Nous Defions!

Frontier Partisans

Field notes from the Figure 8 Ranch

WARFIGHTER

"Strength Through Honor"