I read Wallace Stegner’s Mormon Country (for the first time) in the spring of 1970. That book ignited my passion for reading/almost reading/meaning-to-read books about the Colorado Plateau. Recently, in fact, I have accelerated my reading on this and related topics. This past year, in the camper on the road or in my chair at home dreaming of the red rocks, I’ve read:
- Stone House Lands: The San Rafael Reef by Joseph M. Bauman
- The Exploration of the Colorado and Its Canyons by J. W. Powell
- A Canyon Voyage: The Narrative of the Second Powell Expedition by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
- William Lewis Manly’s Death Valley in ’49 published by Lakeside Press
- Utah Road and Recreation Atlas by Benchmark Maps
- The Geology of the Parks, Monuments, and Wildlands of Southern Utah: Including Road Logs of Highways and Major Backroads through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by Robert Fillmore
- Hole in the Rock: An Epic in the Colonization of the Great American West by David E. Miller
- The Boy with the U.S. Survey by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
A relic from before they messed up Glen Canyon: The Glen Canyon Archeological Survey, Anthropological Papers #39 May, 1959 (Glen Canyon Series Number 6), Part 1 by Don D. Fowler, James H. Gunnerson, Jesse D. Jennings, Robert H. Lister, Dee Ann Suhm, Ted Weller. Tom bought me this used from Sam Weller’s Books in Salt Lake City, in 1972—the year I taught school in Page, Arizona.
I do read other kinds of books: I just finished Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt, the latest in my quest to read all of the Newbery Medal and Honor Books. I also finally read and loved Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens and Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.
Speaking of Books and the Colorado Plateau: Did you know that, according to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (http://www.suwa.org/multimedia/map/book-cliffsdesolation-canyon-region/), the Book Cliffs (from East Central Utah into Western Colorado) is “the longest continuous escarpment in the world?”
For my friends from back in the day: an excerpt from The Exploration of the Colorado and Its Canyons:
Still farther east is the Kaibab Plateau, culminating table-land of the region. It is covered with a beautiful forest, and in the forest charming parks are found. Its southern extremity is a portion of the wall of the Grand Canyon….Here antelope feed and many a deer goes bounding over the fallen timber. In winter deep snows lie here, but the plateau has four months of the sweetest summer man has ever known. (p. 102)