I’ve read speculative reports that Trumpy has suggested throwing up a few McDonalds restaurants in North Korea, and as funny and ridiculous as that sounds, maybe the Golden Arches could serve as a kind of ping-pong diplomacy for the modern age. Because even the most ardent communist occasionally, deep down inside, craves a Big Mac and fries.
In this podcast the Running Iron crew are joined by modern day explorer and adventurer Brent McGregor. McGregor is a former logger, a woodworker, a mountaineer, a nationally recognized photographer, and an accomplished glacier cave explorer who — along with his caving partners — discovered the largest known glacier cave in the lower 48 states — the Snow Dragon complex far beneath the ice of Oregon’s Mt. Hood.
Western artist and buckaroo legend Len Babb joined the Running Iron crew for an interview at the Figure 8 Ranch.
We are very proud to announce that our first podcast, featuring western artist and buckaroo legend Len Babb, is now available. You can find it right here at runningironreport.podbean.com
The cast of players who inhabited the Country Club on a Saturday night only reinforced the notion. Miners, cowboys, truckers, hunters, itinerant singers, Indians, Mexicans, Whites and Basques, we were all drawn to Bruno’s in a kind of marvelous modern rendezvous. It could, and sometimes did, get rowdy.
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 underworld, a parallel universe, richly populated with characters and stories both real and imagined.
Lately I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about toxic masculinity and its destructive effects on individual men, and by extrapolation on society in general.
But what is it?
We can never know, beyond reasonable doubt, who the first european to make contact–in their own territory–with the Plains Indians was, of course, but Elizabeth Fenn, in her excellent book Encounters at the Heart of the World, makes an interesting case for a frenchman named Louis Armand de Lom d’Arce Lahontan, who left a travelogue of his travels from the tip of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, across modern Wisconsin and Iowa, through Nebraska into the present day Dakotas in 1688–89.
The Mandan, as a nation of people, were hit by numerous waves of smallpox and cholera, whooping cough, measles, and pivotally, epidemics of Norwegian rats that came in on riverboats. At first, the Mandan and Hidatsa, who had never seen a brown rat, were entranced and even happy to have the rats, because they ate the deer mice that had long plagued their earthen lodges.
At any rate, the film meets Dunning at a time when the farm is hanging on a precipice. The farm has given him three wives and four children and taken them all away. He is mostly alone with his memories, his animals, his orchard and his crops, his tractors, and his booze. And despite his impressive strength and agility, his obvious passion and admirable clarity, despite his commitment to life in the midst of a suicidal pique, it is quite clear that the entire existence of Mile Hill Farm, 134 acres of almost mythological New England, is hanging on by a thread in the intense winds of a physical, cultural, and spiritual tempest.
It is no small endeavor to race from sea-level to the mountains, throw on a heavy pack, and start climbing without a minute of real preparation or training–it’s probably stupid, in fact– but purpose is a powerful engine. I had studied the topos, conferred with Don, an accomplished mountaineer, and set my sights on a peak in the 10,000 foot range above the valley. The map is never the territory, of course, so I wasn’t under any illusions about the challenge. I expected, and wanted, a brutal climb as the necessary price of admission.
Here at the RIR Skunkworks we are working hard to bring you not only quality writing and insight, but also a new feature, The Running Iron Podcast. The gear has been acquired, the studio slapped together with ten-penny nails, and we have discovered that audio-engineering is not really our thing.