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On the Ranch

Come for a walk with me. I’ve been walking a lot, lately. It’s winter and I live in the Bighorn foothills, and I miss hiking tall mountains. The season prohibits that. So I walk on the prairie where I live, on the ranch. A ninety-two-year-old Texan extracted oil in Wyoming, decades ago. He believed that taking requires returning. So with the money he made he bought a ranch, near the oil wells. He wanted to make a ranch that could be a model for all ranches, that could show that conservation was attainable. He ran cattle. He renovated the farmhouse, barn, and schoolhouse that sat on the property. He moved the defunct train depot from the tiny town nearby. And he invited artists to come. I live here now, on his ranch. I work for the artist residency program. I’m an intern here for a few months. I have plenty of time, and more space than humans need. So I walk a lot, up and down the road outside my house. This time of year, things …

New Year News

I’m a little late for the new year, but 2016 still feels new to me–the plants have retreated deep into their bodies, the rabbits huddle under my porch, and the season hasn’t shifted into dynamic springtime yet. Still winter. Still new. I’ve retreated, too. I finished my MFA in December, and left Laramie and my beautiful community there  for a more remote part of Wyoming.   Since late January, I’ve been living on a ranch in northern Wyoming. I live alone and work for the ranch and I write. Mostly, I spend my time alone–writing, running, reading, cooking, walking. It’s a good post-MFA writer’s life, for a little while. An idea incubator and maybe a human (me) reboot. More about the ranch later. But for now, NEWS: I was featured on an episode of Willow Belden’s incredible podcast, Out There! The episode is my essay about failing a thru-hike. Check it out here. Also in January, I had my own episode on HumaNature, the podcast I produced! To bid me farewell, they featured my story about working at …