The Wanigan and What We Carry

Editor’s Note:  A version of this essay was published in the Washington Post. Maddy Butcher writes: Few friends aren’t going through something now. It might be relationship struggles or tough times at work. It is often a mental health deal. Sometimes it’s a blend of […]

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Getting Out is Not Enough

Editor’s Note: An abridged version of this opinion piece was published in the Colorado Sun. Two dogs, now gone, showed me how to consider the outdoors. Belle appreciated the landscape as a whole. She stopped, not just at the summit, but to tend to sounds […]

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Months of Moments

A note from the Editor: This essay is part of the Cayuse Corona Community, a recurring feature. Here, Maddy Butcher knits ideas and events into a piece that reflects on the pandemic experience. Leave a comment and be in the running for giveaways! Pasture Moment […]

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Of Whoopie Pies and Wilderness

Here’s the thing about whoopie pies: They aren’t that good. Never were. The official Maine State Treat is a century-old tradition with a similar shelf life. Made mostly of sugar, flour, lard, and cocoa, they live somewhere between a cookie and a cake and are […]

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Oranges and Lemons

Do you take the oranges? Outside my closed, local gym, there sits a box of oranges and lemons. The sign, scribbled in pen on a flap of the cardboard, says “Virus-free fruit. Help yourself.” There’s a plastic bag containing other plastic bags. Another message that […]

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Dirty Work

While not typical HighCountryOutsider fare, this post is something I worked on for the Raven Narratives Story Slam of “Dirty Work.” I’m a big fan of producers Tom Yoder and Sarah Syverson, who have encouraged me to reach outside my comfort range. The theme Dirty […]

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Riders: how long will we be relevant?

Like any other niche community, us horse owners and riders know what we like. We gravitate to anyone or anything that speaks our language. We can spot each other a mile away. In my neck of the woods, the ‘I get horseback’ uniform is: Long, […]

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Come Mayhem, How Will We Fare?

I’m a reasonable person. Like a lot of people, I’m politically centric and middle class. I have no outstanding warrants and next to no savings. I roll through stop signs and I volunteer. I’m imperfect and reasonably happy. Like lots of folks, too, I get […]

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A Baby Bird, A Rancher, and Me

Are you a birder? Then you probably know that many flycatchers belong to the confusing group of birds in the Empidonax Complex. These birds are all small, muted in color, and quiet. The many species look alike and are distinguished only by subtle differences in […]

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