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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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It was one of those days when Mr. Murphy’s law ruled supreme. As a matter of fact, I think the entire Murphy family was in on the act. It seemed as though any event going to occur that day was going to go wrong for me.

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This winter has been one for the ages; at least it has been in my neck of the woods. In the years and decades to come, we’ll talk and reminisce about the winter of ’17. She was kind of late arriving, but once she got here she made it clear that she was serious and intended to be in charge – not completely unlike an obnoxious mother-in-law or the shirt-tail relative who shows up at funerals and brandings.

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Old Man Winter has really been in the business of making winter this year. Within a two-week period, we had a couple of storms that have dumped around 2 feet of snow in the valley, 30- to 40-mph winds to blow it into 6-foot drifts across the road and a five-day stretch where the high temperature was -10ºF.

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The fall of 2016 was an extraordinary season in the stretch of country in south-central Idaho that I call home. After a dry summer, where we saw nary a drop of rain from the first of June through September, the heavens opened and we got nearly a year’s worth of moisture in the months of October and November.

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 By I’ve traveled around the country a fair amount in the last few years. I’m not on the road every week, but I’ve been around enough to develop a certain taste for where I choose to lay my weary head at night when I’m in Denver or Fort Worth, Missoula or Salmon.

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Sometimes I have a tough time figuring out exactly what I should write in a column. This time of year, however, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to deciding on a topic. The challenge is in trying to present a fresh perspective on a topic that may have been written about and discussed ad nauseam.

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