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Lee's Ferry: From Mormon Crossing to National Park
The Colorado River and its deeply entrenched canyons create a lengthy barrier to travel in the interior West. Here and there, ancient Indian foot trails descend canyon walls and find access to the bottoms, but one of the few places between Colorado and California where wheeled vehicles can approach the river's banks is at its confluence with the Pahreah River, between Glen Canyon and the steep drop toward Grand Canyon. Here, from the mid-nineteenth until well into the twentieth century, Lee's Ferry was a primary link between Utah and Arizona.. Mormons trying to reach potential Indian converts and new lands for colonization to the south first developed the site. John D. Lee and members of his family, seeking an inconspicuous spot after the Mountain Meadows Massacre, were the first residents at what they called Lonely Dell. In subsequent decades, many interesting and important western characters passed through this topographical and historical funnel, from John Wesley Powell to Buffalo Bill. 542pp.
Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out. Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.
Half Broke Horses
Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, wrote this true life novel which unfolds across Northern Arizona from the 1920s to the 1960s. Its heroine, Lily Casey Smith, (Ms. Wall's grandmother) battled the elements, prejudices, economic conditions and politics of remote frontier Arizona. Many of the locations described - Peach Springs, Seligman, Flagstaff, the Navajo Reservation, the Arizona Strip - are sites visited by NAU Road Scholar programs. Readers of this selection will feel the sense of heritage from this tale of life in our distant corner of America.
Everett Ruess - A Vagabond for Beauty
Everett Ruess, the young poet and artist who disappeared into the desert canyonlands of Utah in 1934, has become widely known posthumously as the spokesman for the spirit of the high desert. Many have been inspired by his intense search for adventure, leaving behind the amenities of a comfortable life. His search for ultimate beauty and oneness with nature is chronicled in this remarkable collection of letters to family and friends.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West. "Stegner's most exciting work." (San Francisco Chronicle)
Encounters with the Archdruid
The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide. 256pp
Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, the noted author's most enduring nonfiction work, is an account of Abbey's seasons as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah. Abbey reflects on the nature of the Colorado Plateau desert, on the condition of our remaining wilderness, and on the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world.