Read an Excerpt
From the Introduction
When reporter Mark Twain entered the desert town of Carson, Nevada, in the mid 1800s, he described his destination as "a desert, walled in by barren, snow-clad mountains. There was not a tree in sight. There was no vegetation but the endless sagebrush and greasewood. All nature was gray with it. We were plowing through great depths of powdery alkali dust that rose in thick clouds and floated across the plain like smoke from a burning house. . . . we and the sagebrush and the other scenery were all one monotonous color."
Several years later, author Idah Meacham Strobridge viewed the Nevada terrain as resplendent with "golden sunlight and purple shadows." "If you love the Desert, and live in it, and lie awake at night under its low-hanging stars, you know you are a part of the pulse-beat of the universe, and you feel the swing of the spheres through space. And you hear through the silence the voice of God speaking."
How differently we view our surroundings. One individual sees a bleak and desolate wasteland while another describes her home as resplendent in color, an almost religious experience. The women who first trekked across Nevada Territory's rough terrain most certainly envisioned the land from diverse viewpoints. But something held them there. Few of the women in this book left Nevada once they smelled the sweet mountain air or tasted the gritty sand between their teeth.