Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (New York: Ballantine Books, 1978)
I picked up this book in the visitor’s center at Arches National Park. It was a perfect companion to our days at Canyonlands and Arches and as I sorted through our pictures in the next days as we continued our trip.
Abbey is very good at place description and telling the story of a close-to-the-earth way of living. He came to Arches National Park when it was newly established, before the paved roads, tourists, and developed campgrounds. His deep appreciation for the land combined with his irreverence for the hierarchical ways of the National Park Service made him the right person for the job in those days. Readers of the book will find it a bit sad that those days are now gone. Still, this is a very engaging and amazing book. Had I to do it over, I would have read it before I arrived at Arches.
The book will be a classic for those who know and love Moab and the incredible country that surrounds it. It should be required reading for those who are stewards of National Parks and other lands.