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The Beauty and the Tragedy of Everett Ruess
In the mid-Depression year of 1934, Everett Ruess disappeared. His last known camp was in the Escalante River region of southern Utah, a place of bare rock, vertical cliffs, plunging canyons, and soaring bursts, but water itself is scarce. It is a land where earth tones are daily enflamed by the rising sun, change constantly as shadows creep about, diminish, and lengthen throughout the hours, ever contrasting with patterns of colored light. It is canyon country at its finest. As a young artist, Everett Ruess was irresistibly drawn to the Escalante River, not so much to paint and draw as to experience and to draw upon the experience to write, to articulate impressions and reactions, as he had done so often in northern Arizona and California. Everett disappeared before any of his written descriptions, in the form of letters, could be sent from the Escalante. His 1934 diary was never found.