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Travel & Outdoor
Country Extra

Country Extra

March 2020

See more of America's countryside with every issue of Country EXTRA!  Country EXTRA is delivered in between your issues of Country.  Celebrate the people, places and stories that make country life so special. Discover America through first-hand reader visits with country folks, full-color photos, reviews of country inns, country-fresh recipes and time-saving tips and shortcuts.

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7 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
living to the fullest

WHEN STEPHEN MATHER, the man who worked tirelessly to create America’s National Park Service, battled bouts of depression, he retreated to the woods. Nature’s embrace had a calming effect on him. Now, I’m not a doctor and I don’t claim that nature heals all, but I will say it certainly lifts one’s spirits. Reader Mary Boyle hoped the forests of Challis, Idaho, would help her husband, David, regain his strength after brain surgery. Read their inspiring story on page 16. It’s a gentle reminder to live every day to the fullest—and if you can do it outside, even better. One of my favorite places to be outdoors is northern Arizona, specifically along Route 66. The road’s colorful kitsch and stunning scenery captured my imagination as a kid (giant statues of rabbits and…

1 min.
everyone has a story... what’s yours?

Country is written by readers for readers. It’s easy to share your stories and photos. Simply visit country-magazine.com and click Share Your Story. Give us your take on the topics below, and you might get published in a future issue: Fresh Air Share good news, heartwarming tales and other anecdotes of life in the country for this roundup of reader stories and photos. Please label your submission “Fresh Air.” Road Trip What wonders have you seen while traveling America’s blue highways? Tells us about the national and state parks, pristine forests, historic sites, scenic drives, local diners and roadside attractions you’ve come across in your travels. Be sure to send photos of your treks! Label the submission “Road Trip.” Humor Help bring laughter to fellow readers by sharing your best jokes, including kid quips, and your…

2 min.
dear country …

When our grandson Tobin visits the ranch, he likes to ride the quarter-mile to our mailbox and get the mail. On this day, I was teaching Tobin to move the horse sideways off his leg so he could reach down and get the mail. He did it really well. RYAN GAUSMAN Thorp, Washington THE ARTICLE “Lucky Duck” by Jennifer London (November, page 58) brought back some wonderful memories of a pet duck named Dudley who belonged to my brother and me back in the early 1950s. When he was little, we put Dudley in a shoebox next to a heat register to keep him warm. As time passed, Dad built a “duck house” for Dudley in the backyard near our dog pen. But Dudley developed an overconfident personality as he grew. He nipped at my…

1 min.
springtime fishing

WINTER IS BRUTALLY LONG here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We might see more than 200 inches of snow each season. With eight kids, things can get a little squirrelly at our house during that time. So when the days grow a bit warmer and longer and the powder begins to melt, my husband, John, and I take the fishing-age ones—Nolan, Benett, Drew, Daniel, Leo and Eddy—to Lake Superior for fresh air and fishing. We’ll find a fast-flowing creek or a little river near the lake where the boys can cast their lines and watch the snowmelt run off. If the fish aren’t biting, they’ll skip stones along the water. We may not catch anything, and that’s OK. The whole point is to get the boys outside. MARIA STUROS Hancock, Michigan…

1 min.
sweet victory

MY FAMILY HAS DOUGHNUT PARTIES. We’re talking deep-fried dough dipped in homemade glaze so rich that most stop eating after two. Now, my Uncle Jack is from the “I double-dog dare you” generation. He also loves bets. So when he heard about the latest doughnut party, he bet my sister $20 that she couldn’t eat five. I was shocked when she said yes! I pictured her lying on the floor in a sugar coma. We told Grandma about the bet as we rolled dough, and she had the perfect solution. A few hours later, dough sizzled in the fryer and the house smelled like heaven. We had our doughnuts ready for the bet. When Uncle Jack saw five tiny, bite-sized morsels on my sister’s plate, he laughed. He tried to eat them before…

1 min.
chick season

WE HAD LOST ALMOST EVERYTHING financially in the summer of 2012. The recession took our business, and we had to find a new place to live. My husband and I moved with our girls, Sophie, 10, and Alice, 8, to a small cottage in the middle of nowhere. The following spring, we happened upon a batch of tiny chicks in need of a home. Not knowing anything about chickens, we snatched them up, and as with everything else at that time, we were going to wing it (with the help of a little research). These birds were quite the cast of characters! The girls gave them funny names like Hannah Peeper and Jupy Roo. Our family grew to love them. The flock became so attached to the girls that they waited for them…