“Beyond the wall of the unreal city … there is another world waiting for you. It is the old true world of the deserts, the mountains, the forests, the islands, the shores, the open plains. Go there. Be there. Walk gently and quietly deep within it. And then —
may your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill.
May the wind bring rain for the slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God’s dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and the screech owl amuse your reverie, may the Great Sun dazzle your eyes by day and the Great Bear watch over you by night.”
Taking a break from reminiscing about the Chilkoot trail, letting Ed speak. He was such a gifted writer. I hope everybody finds time to read his books and thoughts on humanity, most notably.
- Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (1968)
- Appalachian Wilderness (1970)
- Abbey’s Road (1979)
- One Life at a Time, Please (1988)
- A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: Notes from a Secret Journal (1989)
- Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951–1989 (1994)
Many put him in the conservationist camp. I think he was much more. He was philosopher, an anthropologist concerned about the survival and well-being of human society.
Those are big words. In the end he was a man who experienced Nature as it was meant to be and had the gift to capture these moments in words for us, to remember, to reflect, and to protect…