Cattle have long been the bogeymen of environmental extremists, blamed for almost every eco-horror imaginable, but people need to eat, and despite sustained misinformation campaigns by detractors, they like to eat beef. This year, the average American will consume 217 pounds of beef, and what’s missing from the traditional formulas, Hobbs says, is the long-term health and productivity of the soil.
On February 26, 1911, in a winter so cold across northern Nevada that temperatures dropped to ‑40°, four men rode quietly into the frozen maw of Little High Rock Canyon to investigate the carcasses of cattle recently killed and left in the snow. Little High Rock Canyon, in 1911, was as it remains today: a long way from anywhere. Closest to Eagleville, California, LHR is situated in the sagebrush, alkali, and basalt country of northwest Nevada. It is home to bighorn sheep, many species of raptors, deer, pronghorn, rattlesnakes, chukar, quail, coyotes, horned toads, and wild horses. Summers are blazing hot, and winters are unremitting.
Stuff that works Stuff that holds up The kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall Stuff that’s real Stuff you feel The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall — Guy Clark * “When I finished, he just looked at me and said, ‘Good work’ . That’s what Guy said when he dug […]
On a clear day from Winter Ridge, high above the broad expanse of Summer Lake in south-central Oregon, it is possible to look far into the eastern desert at a low-slung formation called 5 Mile Point. It was way out there, in 1937, that archaeologist Luther Cressman began excavating the Paisley Caves. Today, the U.S. Forest Service maintains a tidy cabin up on Winter Ridge, at the place where John C. Fremont came out of the woods in the winter of 1843 and first beheld the breathtaking reach of the Great Basin.
It is Tuesday, which is the day I’m supposed to publish another piece here at Running Iron. Sadly, my attention has been drawn away this week to other writing projects, which means I have nothing to offer.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good […]
Over the years I have paid particular attention to my family history. Not because my family is in any way unique from anyone else’s, only that from a very young age I have been imbued with an abiding appreciation for the experiences of my ancestors. I’ve wanted to know them, or at least about them, and so maybe learn something about myself as I’ve traveled through this life. And it is the Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri branches of my family — Norwegians, Germans, and Dutch — who all wound up farther west at one point or another, that I have learned the most about
Decided to go with something a little lighter and more uplifting than usual for this week’s Running Iron Report column. If you can call broken bones and a torn scrotum “light and uplifting.” Blame Rullman and my brother John. * Last Sunday, Craig and Pete Rathbun and I sat down at the Figure 8 to record a podcast on “Stories […]
Cecil Rhodes was one of the worlds richest men, having acquired his fortune through amalgamating diamond claims in Kimberley, South Africa, to create a monopoly that continues to dominate the trade to this day. He made a second fortune in the world’s richest gold field on the Witwatersrand in the Transvaal. He was a Robber Baron in a Gilded […]
Cecil Rhodes did much to shape the world we live in — yet even well-educated people in the U.S. and the UK scarcely know his name. Perhaps they’re aware of Rhodes Scholarships or have heard that there was a campaign to remove his statues in South Africa because of his legacy of racial division and oppression. But […]
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
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.