- Creeks, rivers and lakes that are cold and pure enough that you can still use them to chill a six-pack and support cutthroat trout.
- Brook trout, which the musician Greg Brown calls "God's reminder that Creation is a good idea."
- Bucks and bulls that have taken a downhill drag back to the truck, and for friends who drop everything to help when the route is uphill.
- The family who let me hunt their ranch this year, just as I am thankful for the 640 million acres of national forest, Bureau of Land Management range land and national parks that belong to all Americans.
- The drift-boat guide who didn't laugh at my amateur fly casting this summer, but instead cheered heartily when I finally landed a decent rainbow.
- The grubby young men and women in yellow shirts and hard hats who did the dangerous, grunt labor keeping our communities safe during the epic forest fire season of 2017.
- A nation where we are free not to just hold opinions but voice them at will.
- Fellow citizens who, despite the present fad for high-octane name-calling and finger-pointing, who will listen respectfully and enjoy a day afield even if we disagree.