Hellroaring Creek in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Bart Schaneman

A photo essay

Bahia de Banderas

We went to Mexico to celebrate two of my childhood friends’ 40th birthdays. Four couples. We stayed south of Puerto Vallarta. Chilaquilles for breakfast, then boat rides to and from fishing villages with names like Mismaloya and Yelapa and Boca de Tomatlan.

I left mainstream journalism a little over three years ago.

Since then I’ve worked as a reporter for a business-to-business (B2B) trade publication that operates a website and a magazine.

We cover the cannabis industry but not for consumers. Our publication is narrowly focused on offering information that is useful to business owners in the market.

On the website, we regularly break stories that are picked up by mainstream news outlets such as daily newspapers and The Associated Press, but everything we write is structured to clearly explain what impact a particular news development has on the business owner and…

My father and I would wake up in the middle of the cold western Nebraska winter night. Swaddle ourselves in sweatshirts and coveralls and work boots. Drive out to the snow-covered corn stalks, spotlighting the black Angus shapes, looking for a circling cow pawing at the ground to make a bed, a raised tail before the calf comes, or, if we were lucky, a baby wobbling on shaky legs that wasn’t there during the day.

When we weren’t lucky the mother couldn’t calve on her own. We’d herd her back to the corral and reach in to hook up straps…

If you travel today to the northern edge of Old Town in Fort Collins, Colorado, gone are the sugar beet fields and factories. The houses where families of Germans-from-Russia migrated to the United States at the turn of the 20th century to live and work remain, but the neighborhoods are no longer filled with beet workers. Haven’t been for a long time. The area where the beet factories once stood are still using sugar to produce a commodity, only now they’re manufacturing an even more profitable product: alcohol. …

Adam Gnade at the county fair

Adam Gnade and I have known each other for almost 15 years now. We’ve worked on magazines together, traded manuscripts for editing help and co-wrote books. We’ve moved all over the world but throughout maintained a close correspondence.

We come from different backgrounds. Adam’s from the seashore communities of San Diego, and I grew up in the country in western Nebraska. Two places on the opposite edges of the American West. Two places that couldn’t be more different in weather, geography or people. Two places that share plenty of similarities if you look a little deeper.

As of this writing…

In early October I flew out from Denver to Santa Ana, California, to catch up with my wife Nammin. She had traveled out the week earlier to meet her mom, sister and nephew who flew in for a visit from Seoul. We decided to meet there because Southern California is one of the easiest U.S. destinations to get to from Korea.

We rented an AirBnB in Huntington Beach and that first day we spent the afternoon on the wide expanse of sand near the pier. Mixed doubles in swimsuits played sand volleyball. Real-life Baywatch-looking lifeguards patrolled slowly on ATVs. Oil…

When I first met Nate Perkins I was giving a reading in a garage in a punk rock farmhouse way out east of Denver, in Brighton, where it’s more Great Plains than mountain country. Perkins was wearing tan Carhartt overalls. He approached Adam Gnade and me after the show and asked us if we had anything to submit to the press he was starting out of a bookstore in Boulder.

Since 1979, that shop, Trident Booksellers and Cafe, has been located on Pearl Street, what might be some of the priciest real estate in one of Colorado’s richest communities. It’s…

I first came across Poe Ballantine’s work when I moved back to my hometown in western Nebraska after years of living away. I heard there was a writer who had published widely in literary journals and magazines living up in the small pine ridge town of Chadron, sometimes working as a cook. The way I heard it, he went by his given name, and not too many knew, or cared, that they had a writer with several books out and a following in well-respected publications like The Sun living among them.

Soon enough they knew. When a math professor at…

When I get to her house she’s sitting on the back deck talking on the phone. Since I saw her last she has cut her hair short and it’s back to her original color — black. She looks like a raven, a creature that could pick up and fly away at a moment’s notice. I walk up and she smiles as she talks to a friend in another city. I wait, trying not to listen to her as she speaks in her slightly raspy, mirthful voice. …

Bart Schaneman

Colorado. Cannabis reporter. Author of The Silence is the Noise. https://bartschaneman.com/

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