Season Two, Episode One

I just returned from 2 months traveling across America. We literally crisscrossed the nation from Florida to Seattle and back. It was an incredible journey, during which we visited seven national parks and monuments, spent time with friends and family, and made a bunch of new friends – primarily thanks to my wife’s gregariousness.

Making the westward journey kept me thinking about those who crossed our continent during the 1800s in search of new opportunities, a fresh start, and that most elusive of human pursuits, a better life.

Upon returning, I wanted our second season to begin with a story of America’s western expansion. After reading several, I was disappointed with the few actual short stories I found (there were multiple novels, but this is a short story service).

Next, I moved onto those about early western settlements. Here I had much better luck. On this subject, there are many fascinating tales from some of America’s greatest storytellers. 

Last season, I had considered including Brett Harte’s “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” and decided against it (I may read it in the future). Because his stories were about the early California mining camps, I perused his other works – of which there are many.

“The Idyl of Red Gulch” struck me a perfect way to start a new season. It’s a tale of fresh starts, disappointments, moments of happiness, desperation, and our human failings. It focuses on both our strengths and weakness and replaces the typical trite ending with one that feels more authentic – although, possibly less satisfying.

I hope you enjoy this new presentation. Now that life returns to reality look for a new story – or two – every week, here and at

Please share these stories with your friends and let me know if you have a favorite, public domain story you’d like to hear.

Don McDonaldComment