Summer 2016 Feature Articles

The Bechler Beckons

Written By Corinne Garcia      

FOR YEARS I'D HEARD STORIES of the beautiful Mr. Bubbles. Not to be mistaken for a clown or pet chimpanzee, it’s a hot springs in the Bechler region of Yellowstone National Park. An off-the-beaten-path backpacker’s paradise in the park’s southwest corner, the Bechler is known for its sprawling meadows, cascading waterfalls, legendary fishing, and natural hot springs that soothe backpacking-weary bones.…


The Boy Scout

Written By Caroline Patterson      

HE LAY BETWEEN COTTON SHEETS in the bedroom of the wood frame house he’d bought after 10 years at the mine. His wife adjusted the morphine drip. He didn’t remember how he’d tried to make a go of it logging — cutting down Doug firs and ponderosas which crashed and bounced down the mountain before lying still in great brushy…


A Story of Turning Back

Written By Rick Bass      

I WONDER WHAT EMIGRANT PEAK looks like from the top. It’s the dominant feature in Paradise Valley, just outside the historic Chico Hot Springs and just north of Yellowstone National Park. I’m living part of the year a few hundred yards from the mountain’s base.  One way to get there: You drive until you can’t go any farther. The rocky road…


Closer To The Source

Written By Chris Dombrowski      

IF FLOAT FISHING STORIED RIVERS like the Yellowstone is, as the saying goes, “the life of kings,” then wade fishing small high-country streams is the life of peasants — but extremely fortunate peasants. Gone, for the angler afoot, is the drift boat or raft as mode of transport; as carriage for cooler and beverages and bags of tackle; as enabler…


Ansel Adams in Yellowstone

Written By John Clayton      

AT A TRAIN DEPOT IN LIVINGSTON, MONTANA, photographer Ansel Adams slept fitfully on a wooden bench, 280 pounds of camera equipment piled next to him. It was June 11, 1942, and his train had arrived at 2:15 a.m. He was waiting for dawn, to get on a bus to Gardiner.  He would have preferred to make his first visit to Yellowstone…


William Kittredge: Western Storyteller

Written By Allen Morris Jones      

IN THE EARLY PAGES OF HIS MEMOIR, Hole in the Sky, William Kittredge writes about his grandfather: “He built a white house with a formal parlor and a polished staircase. Then the well went dry, so he jacked up the house, set it on rollers made of yellow pine logs, hitched a four-horse team to it, and took it up…


The Gift of Crow Fair

Written By Allen Morris Jones       Photography By Will Brewster      

THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF SEASONAL CERTAINTIES in the Northern Rockies, a reassuring list of essential occasions that keep swinging around, year to year. Spring brandings come to mind, as do small-town rodeos on the Fourth of July, winter skijoring, and that one annual ice fishing trip that you swear you’ll never take again. Foremost among these, since 1904 — and…


Stand-Up Paddleboarding the Blackfoot

Written By Greg M. Peters       Photography By Aaron Teasdale      

THE CURRENT PICKED UP SPEED as I focused intently on the line I had picked out from shore. I needed to go to the right, but the river wanted me to the left. My desperate attempts to stay in the smoother water proved futile. Left it was.  I crested the first wave in the train, then the second, and the third…


Ranchland Summers

Written By Russell Rowland       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO BE even slightly objective about Carter County, Montana. This is where my grandparents’ ranch is located. It’s where my mother grew up, and where we spent almost every single Christmas of my childhood. It is where I spent the summer of my 16th year working 14-hour days, six days a week — an experience that transformed…