At Home in the Elk River Valley: Reflections on family, place and the west


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Readers who love the West will find Mary Kurtz's first collection of essays an insightful journey into the history, natural world, and community of a special mountain valley near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Walk through the Elk River Valley with Mary as she shares her thoughtful perspectives on the people, history, rich landscape, and ranching traditions of the place she's called home for over thirty years.

Join her as she introduces you to modern-day pioneers whose stories inspire and entertain. Meet a long-time rancher who hunts mountain lion where "no man ... ever walked"; a larger than life grandmother (usually seen wearing a bonnet and baseball hat) who never quite matched anyone's image of a rancher; and visionary land preservationists who protected the valley they love for generations to come.

Sometimes poignant, always introspective, and informative, At Home in the Elk River Valley ultimately nudges each of us to contemplate deeper definitions of family, community and the physical place we call home.


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"In At Home in the Elk River Valley,Mary Kurtz invites readers to experience the ebb and flow of generations of ranchers in northwestern Colorado. Her lyrical prose ponders not only the seasonal change on the natural landscape, but the seasonal change of family life and those occurring within rural and western communities. Through her reflections, we gain an awareness of how closely tied we are to the past. This memoir is about change, loss, rejuvenation, and hope that is best enjoyed by the fireplace or under a shady elm to transport you into the slower pace of rural living."—Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, author of You Can Write Your Family History


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