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11 In Literature/ Travel/ Wanderlust Wednesday!

Wanderlust Wednesday- Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Abbey

Me in Monument Valley pointing at the formation featured on the book cover

While traveling through Arizona and Utah I read Edward Abbey’s book Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. In this book Abbey, who lived and worked in Arches National Park, describes his life there and describes his love for the Southwest. He has moments where he’s very harsh on the National Park Services and the tourists who frequent the National Parks, but he feels this way out of love for preserving nature. You can tell by his loving descriptions of the desert and the flora and fauna that live there, that what he cares about most is preserving this beautiful country. It’s a really great book and I highly suggest reading it if you’re visiting the American Southwest. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“If Delicate Arch has any significance it lies, I will venture, in the power of the odd and unexpected to startle the senses and surprise the mind out of their ruts of habit, to compel us into a reawakened awareness of the wonderful- that which is full of wonder.”

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“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.”

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On Native Americans exposed to tourists: “They must expect to be gaped at and photographed. They must learn to be quaint, picturesque and photogenic.”

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“A great thirst is a great joy when quenched in time.”

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“A man could be a lover and defender of the wilderness without ever in his lifetime leaving the boundaries of asphalt, powerlines and right-angled surfaces. We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to go there. I may never in my life get to Alaska, for example, but I am grateful that it’s there. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.”

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“The silence- meaning here not the total absence of sounds, or the river and its canyons are bright with a native music- but the total absence of confusion and clamor.”

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“There are enough cathedrals and temples and altars here for a Hindu pantheon of divinities.”

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“For the rest of the afternoon… we drift down the splendid river, deeper and deeper and deeper into the fantastic.”

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“I am not an atheist, but an earthiest. Be true to the earth.”

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This is a great book. If you guys have read a book that made you want to travel, please comment and tell me about it! I’m always looking for new things to read!

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    RC
    March 28, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Reblogged this on cogitations: think twice before u click. . . ..

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      April 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Thanks for reblogging! I appreciate it!

  • Reply
    Karli Massey
    March 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I enjoy reading a book when I travel of that specific area. I’ve heard great things about Desert Solitaire. I’ll have to make sure I get a copy for my next adventure through Utah. Love the photo!

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      April 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for reading and the compliment! It is a really great book, and I’m the same way, I love to read about my destination before or during my trip. I think it’s great to get insight and history and allows you to learn even more while traveling!

  • Reply
    liz
    April 2, 2013 at 11:48 am

    oooo… another amazing book tip! thank you! by the way, i am TOTALLY into “on the road” 🙂

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      April 2, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      Thanks, Liz! I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I listened to it on CD and I think that may have been a mistake- I need to reread it! 🙂

  • Reply
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