From the editor
In the fall, the valley relaxes. And it’s not just our bustling grocery store aisles and busy streets that simmer down. When high summer ends, crisp mornings open quieter days and the Wood River Valley seems a bit truer to itself.
But once the crowds have thinned and a sort of privacy returns, nature loses her inhibitions. Aspens and willows go off, flared with sudden change. Amid this colorful riot, festivals punctuate the calendar with activity. If it’s not mules and wagons filling Ketchum’s Main Street, then it’s a boiling flock of sheep, trotting and jumping and clinging together as the wool and mutton flow south to warmer winter pastures.
In central Idaho, autumn is a paradox. We breathe deep and walk hushed streets. Then a weekend comes along and shatters the calm with concerts, celebrations and feasts.
This fall, the Sun Valley Guide explores change in its many forms. Two veteran Idaho journalists—Dean Ferguson and Chuck Oxley—are first-time Guide contributors, and both bring new voices to these pages.
On a Carey ranch, Ferguson finds the withering signs of drought in southeastern Blaine County. He meets Idahoans marking climate change in real time in "The Unforgiving Sky."
Oxley’s first big-game hunt taught him the basics of tracking white-tail deer, but his journey is ultimately an education in self. To kill a majestic wild animal, he learns, requires a stilling of the heart and an initiation into a new state of mind.
In a Craters of the Moon photo essay, Kirsten Hepburn and Ken Retallic land on southern Idaho’s youngest volcanic formations. Hepburn captures a long view of basalt flows that, in just a couple hundred years or so, may transform again.
Change is not always smooth. In it we find the anxiety of the unsettled, but also the intimate beauty of a kaleidoscopic autumn leaf. At the Sun Valley Guide, we remain open to the great variety.
Chuck Oxley is
a native Iowan who became a Westerner in 1983, when the U.S. Air Force
sentenced him to four years at Mountain Home Air Force Base. Following
that service, he moved to San Francisco, and enjoyed the world’s most
beautiful city. He has held newspaper reporting and editing positions in
Portland, Oregon; Ogden, Utah; Pocatello and Boise, Idaho.
would love the luxury of shooting only travel images. Idaho took quite a
toll on her gear, with one lens crashing down a granite pinnacle at City
of Rocks and another doing a face-plant in the cinders at Craters of the
Moon. Her wide-angle lens remained and she used it to capture the
craters one late October afternoon.
Dean A. Fergusonis a fifth generation Idahoan who grew up on a horse ranch in Bonners Ferry. He has worked as a farmhand on the Palouse, cowboyed on the Snake River Breaks, thinned trees in Montana, and led horseback trail rides in the Alaskan wilderness—not to mention numerous less romantic jobs. Dean is formerly a political reporter for the Lewiston Tribune and spent four years covering the Idaho State Legislature.
art production manager
Contributing art director
ad production & web site designer
Idaho Press Club Awards
1st place General Excellence: 2004, 2005 and 2007
2nd place: 2006
Magazine Writing: Serious Feature
1st & 2nd place: 2006, 2007
Magazine Writing: Light Feature
1st & 2nd place: 2006, 2007
1st & 2nd place, 2006
1st Place: 2007
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