Travel & Outdoor
Country Extra

Country Extra July 2017

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

2 min.
enjoy the ride

“HAVE YOU EVER DONE A RAPID DESCENT?” my friend Carrie shouted at me from her bike. “What’s a...” I yelled as my bike flew down a steep hill in Arizona’s Usery Mountain Regional Park. Yes, I panicked, and yes, I rode the brake all the way down as Carrie fearlessly sped to the bottom and waited for me. I reached her without crashing and took a deep breath. And that’s when I realized I’d have to finish the 23-mile loop to get home. Instead of admitting defeat, I chose to keep going. I’m glad I did. The desert looked beautiful from the bike. I could feel the breeze on my face and smell fragrant wildflowers in the air. Finishing the ride was hard, but it was fun. I saw so much that…

1 min.

The Country conversation continues on Facebook! Like our page and you’ll see great Words to Live By (inspirational quotes we share every morning) plus posts like the ones below from fellow readers. “In the South, they say summer starts in April. The only relief from the thick humidity is lounging under big shade trees or, even better, lounging in sparkling clear, ice-cold mountain creeks.” MANDI WOOD, Field Editor “When I was a child, my mom, siblings and I used to take turns poring over Grandma’s Country magazine. It was our way of dreaming that we might live in the country ourselves one day. Well, now I do! It’s a dream come true. My heart is happy as I’m a subscriber myself now. Thank you, Country!” TAWNY NELSON “In 2007, my husband of 53 years died,…

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

VIEW FROM OUR PLACE Blue skies, friendly folks and wide-open spaces make life in the country so rewarding. Country celebrates deep values and simple pleasures. Tell us why having roots in the land matters to your family, and send photos of the beauty in your neck of the woods. CHURCHES The bells ring faithfully from country churches across America. We know that churches are the heart and soul of our communities. Be a voice for your congregation: Share the good deeds they do with us. We might feature your church in a future issue. FRESH AIR Grab a camera and turn on your creativity. We invite Country readers to tell us how you embrace the changing seasons. Please send us your heartwarming words and beautiful images of nature, animals and folks of all ages enjoying…

1 min.
out & about

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, USA! Fireworks light up the night sky in a dazzling display over West Yellowstone, Montana. This small-town celebration welcomes all to walk in the parade and watch the show from Yellowstone Avenue. westyellowstonenet.com For the Love of Country We live in a blessed nation, one that stands for justice, freedom and peace. Although we have different views, we are still one nation under God. We embrace individuality, yet somehow manage to stand together. America is about soldiers coming home, and praying for those who didn’t. It’s about the small farmhouse in the middle of an Iowa cornfield and skyscrapers in New York City. It’s about baseball games, fireworks, music and homemade food. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think America still has a soft spot for Mom and apple pie. So don’t take today for granted;…

1 min.
louisiana summer

SUMMER VACATION. These were the sweetest words growing up in south Louisiana. The days were long, lazy and always filled with the fragrant aroma of honeysuckle. The sound of Daddy on the lawn mower usually woke me up in the morning. Sunshine filtering through my curtains beckoned me outside. I grabbed a quilt, a snack and a book and headed outdoors to a quiet, shady spot. With my head pillowed against my arms, I lay back on the quilt and peered up through the branches of the shade tree at the slowly moving clouds. My little brother and I always had fun together. We rode bikes and played in the sandbox while dodging wasps. One of our favorite things to do was to catch crawfish in the ditch. We tied a bit…

1 min.
the place to be

Granny’s back porch was my all-time favorite place. The wobbly wooden rail and the missing first step leading up to the porch were comforting to me. I remember one-on-one time with Granny, as well as the family get-togethers that took place there. Popping and stringing the yearly harvest of green beans brought the neighbors over. Late into the night, adults and children alike would work and talk and laugh and share. It was a glorious time. Granny’s back porch was where I drank my first steaming cup of coffee and where I told my grandmother that she would soon be a great-grandmother. There are often moments in my life when I would love to go back to that old back porch. I can smell the fresh-cut apples simmering in sugar on the stove.…