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No one was sharing the secret

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Back 40: Summer One Afternoon

Poetry by Max Hjortsberg

Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer

The first sign of summer isn’t marked by birdsong

Written by Seabring Davis  

Seabring Davis

Other Contributions

Beyond the Cabin A Fine Balance Good Country Authentically Western A Home for the Ages Where the Living is Easy Music in the Mountains The Flight of the Hummingbird Living the Dream Integrating Nature Mountain Exposure Eclectic Parkitecture Uniting Color Historic Symmetry The Year Of The Horse A Yellowstone Club Retreat Hearth and Soul Building a Timeless Legacy An Uncommon Cabin in the Woods Timeless Fusion Mountain Tradition A Modern Vision Summer Camp Perfect Harmony Winter Getaway: Red Lodge, Montana Western Design: Refined Rustic Letter from the Editor: Winter Wave Letter from the Editor: Blending Seasons Western Design: A New Mountain Lodge Western Design: Historic Haven Western Design: In the Studio with the Viers Western Focus: Classic Connection: Miller Architects Western Design: Reviving the Barn From the Editor: Seasons of Simplicity Dining Out: Innovation Meets Tradition at Bisl Letter from the Editor: What is art? Dining Out: Holland Lake Lodge, Rustic Wonderful Letter from the Editor: The Secret Weapon Letter from the Editor: Fly Fishing for the Greater Good Western Design: Mountain Zen Western Design: Creekside Contemporary Living Big Sky on HGTV The Spirit of the West in Jackson, Wyoming Letter from the Editor: First Snow Dining Out: The Old Hotel Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer Letter from the Editor: The Angler’s Sojourn Dining Out: Simply Good Food From the Editor: Hit the Road Making a Statement: Miller Architects Letter from the Editor: Winter’s Toll Letter from the Editor: Evolving Home Dining Out: Comfort Food Western Design: Cowboy Modern Western Design: The Idaho Club Letter from the Editor: Talking Art Dining Out: Conserving Montana One Table at a Time Dining Out: Cosmopolitan Cuisine at TEN Dining Out: Ranch to Restaurant Letter from the Editor: Waiting for Summer Letter from the Editor: Arts Economy Letter from the Editor: First Frost Letter from the Editor: Why Art? Letter from the Editor: Up Close and Personal Letter from the Editor: A Tradition of Talent Letter from the Editor: Winter Reflection Dining Out: The Taste of Whitefish Letter from the Editor: How Big is Your Bucket Letter from the Editor: Falling Short Western Design: Rustic Allure Dining Out: Fish Food Western Design: In the Studio with Painter Hugh Wilson Western Design: Home Base From the Editor Dining Out: Tradition, with a Twist Letter from the Editor: I Know Where the Fish Are Letter from the Editor: Big Sky Country Letter from the Editor: Forging Ahead Dining Out: Barn Dance Letter from the Editor: Like an Open Road Letter from the Editor: The Language of Fishing Letter from the Editor: Cast Again Editor’s Letter: The Passing Season Dining Out: Saffron Table Dining Out: Lone Mountain Ranch Serves Up a Sense of Place Western Design: Uniquely Rustic Western Design: JLF & Associates Letter from the Editor: Season of Possibility Dining Out: A Montana Tradition, Chico Hot Springs Letter from the Editor: Design Trends Dining Out: The Ranch at Rock Creek Redefines Montana Cuisine Dining Out: Seasonal Bliss Letter from the Editor: Staying Power
January 2013


In Livingston, Montana, the first sign of summer isn’t marked by birdsong, short-shorts or the inevitable buzz of lawnmowers. Summer is here when the drift boats and rafts roll out of storage. Like a migratory species, they pepper my neighbors’ driveways and then descend upon the mighty Yellowstone en masse to launch the summer.

The milestones of this Northern Rockies season come in many different forms for each of us around here. But whether it’s river running or bird watching, what we have in common is a love for the outdoors. Each season is a chance to savor the natural riches of living in a place where wildlife outnumbers people and where wild country is often our inspiration for living here.
The stories in this issue make me long for summer — the stretched out days when the sun hangs late and the prospects for fun seem limitless. Our features highlight memorable moments that I hope will connect and inspire readers to seek their own adventures and fondly recall past endeavors, too.

Transitioning from spring to summer, the photo essay is filled with a remarkable chronicle of “The Bluebird of Happiness,” by Bruce Pitcher. The talented painters and sculptors of Artistic Horizons  memorialize the light and form of our shared landscape. We touch on a bit of high country glamour and tradition at the Jackson Hole Wine Auction (“Dining Out”), which has benefited the world-renowned Grand Teton Music Festival for two decades. Midsummer brings unplugged days fly fishing on the Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead. Then we ramble into the heat of summer with a thoughtful essay from Minnesota newspaperman Bill McAuliffe (“Hitching a Ride Under the Big Sky”).

Of all the stories in this issue, it’s Bill McAuliffe’s essay that resonates most with me. As he hitchhikes from Minnesota to Washington in the heat of August, he reminds us not to let fear keep us from life’s adventures. His experience renews our sense of humanity, as we read about how he placed full trust in the hands of strangers with each ride. He gives us the honest story, filled with reminiscence about younger days when hitching was a common mode of travel, of boredom on the roadside, doubt and fear, then finally of happy endings.

Summer is here. Our household raft is at the ready. The gear is packed. The river is high. I just may need to hitch a ride to make the shuttle sometime soon, so I hope I’m half as lucky as Mr. McAuliffe.