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 The Shaped […]
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 Age […]
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.
No matter how a man alone ain’t got no bloody fucking chance. — Ernest Hemingway, To Have And Have Not On March 1, 2017, I did something dumb. Call it an error of judgment. The winter had been hellacious: Unusually cold and one heavy snowstorm after another. We were measuring the stuff in feet, not inches. The weather warmed […]
There can be little doubt that Homo Sapiens is the most dangerous predator the world has ever produced. We have enormous brains capable of building systems to overcome friction, the ability to accomplish complex planning within those systems, and opposable thumbs to assist in the execution of the plan. We have canine teeth and forward-looking eyes. We are the most accomplished killers in the animal kingdom, exceptional when hunting alone, but capable of cooperating in large groups to make a kill.
“If the missiles had remained, we would have fired them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims.” — Che Guevara, November 1962 Many of the violent protesters at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, in July were clad in standard-issue anarchist-nihilist riot gear: […]