Best Desert books

neffa3

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I have a float/backpacking trip coming up this spring down the Green and into the Maze (Canyonlands NP). I've never really spent much time in the desert, but one of the things I like to do before I go to a new place is to read a couple of good books either set in the same area/geographic region, or actually about the area (allows for both fiction and non-fiction). Any suggestions?
 

Carl 9.3x62

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Will you be floating into the Colorado? The confluence is pretty cool to see, especially from up above. Sorry, has nothing to do with books but I really like the desert in that country.
 

Nutrioso

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A couple oldies by Colin Fletcher could be good: The Man Who Walked Through Time about his Grand Canyon walk and River about his float on the Colorado from source to Mexico.
 

406LIFE

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Bitterroot Valley, MT
Finding Everett Ruess

Just finished this, found it to be a bit repititive but ok. Entitled 20yo in 1930s lives as starving artist and explores desert SW. Ends up going missing and a cult following develops to find him to this day. There was a surprise in 2009 that I wont ruin. I'm glad that I borrowed this one from the library. If you like that area or have been you'll appreciate the travels of the kid and his struggles. Plus the intrigue makes it readable.
 

Oak

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I mean there is really only one book to read while floating that section...


Down the Colorado: Diary of the First Trip Through the Grand Canyon
View attachment 124719
“We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things.”
 

elkduds

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CO Springs.
on a scale which wins out, Stegner or the original Powell?
I see them as heads and tails of the same coin. Each is a tale of their time. Powell's original is zoomed in on that daring, magnificent quest into the unknown. The closest parallel to that from our lifetimes may be the Apollo 11 moon shot. Powell's expedition was much less connected, much less supported, equally isolated from assistance or rescue.

Stegner may be the greatest chronicler of the western experience from the 20th century. His book distills Powell's original telling into something more dramatic, if less immediate, like faceting a raw diamond. Beyond that, he zooms out from the original journey to incorporate historical context around the rest of Powell's many accomplishments and struggles. Those were seminal to the "opening of the west," and Stegner was prescient in predicting much of the human, political and environmental drama we have, and will continue to confront.

I read Powell as a teen, and Stegner many years after.
 

kansasdad

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^^^^^^^

Watch out noharleyyet, someone is gunning to take over as "most likely member to cause me to get my dictionary out".

elkduds, you have made me want to read both of the books. Thanks
 
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