On Desert Trails With Everett Ruess

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As to when I shall visit civilization again, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me?"

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Overview

As to when I shall visit civilization again, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me?"

—From Everett's last letter to his brother Waldo before he disappeared, written November 11, 1934.

Everett Ruess developed a profound connection with the arid wilderness of the Southwest. Finding inspiration in this land of harsh beauty, Everett wandered, painted, and wrote; his letters revealed an intelligent and gifted young man who was most at home in desert canyons and rugged mountains. In one of his poems, "The Artist's Song of Inspiration," Everett wrote: "Nature has shown me what to strive for, and I shall not be slow to follow her." Everett did follow Nature, and in November of 1934, at the age of twenty, Everett followed her into the Escalante region of southern Utah and never returned.

On Desert Trails with Everett Ruess was teh first collection of Everett's writings and was originally published in 1940, six years after his disappearance. This commemorative edition once again makes available the writings that made Everett Ruess a wilderness legend.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879058258
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 4/15/2000
  • Edition description: COMMEMORAT
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Bergera has been associated as a writer or editor with Dialogue, Journal of Mormon History, Sunstone, Utah Historical Quarterly, and the Utah History Encyclopedia.

Gary Bergera has been associated as a writer or editor with Dialogue, Journal of Mormon History, Sunstone, Utah Historical Quarterly, and the Utah History Encyclopedia.

W. L. Rusho's is a historian and expert on the life of Everett Ruess. His first book on Ruess was published in 1985, and he authored two (four, six, eight?) more books on the subject. Lifetime sales of Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty, have been 20,000 plus.

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Read an Excerpt

Say That I Kept My Dream . . ."
by Hugh Lacy

Wherever poets, adventurers and wanderers of the Southwest gather, the story of Everett Ruess will be told. His name like woodsmoke, conjures far horizons.

Everett left Kayenta, Arizona, November 11, 1934, to write, paint and explore among a group of ancient Indian cliff dwellings. His last letter to his parents in Los Angeles explained that he would be unable to communicate for ten weeks. Alone with his paints, books and two burros, he disappeared into what is probably the most uninhabited, unvisited section of the United States.

He never came back.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Editor's Preface to the Commemorative Edition
Foreword by Randall Henderson
"Son!" by Stella Knight Ruess
"Say That I Kept My Dream" by Hugh Lacy
Where Everett Ruess Vanished
Poems and Letters by Everett Ruess
Poems 1929
Poems 1930
Letters 1931
Letter 1932
Letters and Poems 1933
Letters 1934
What Became of Everett Ruess" by Hugh Lacy
Appendix
Epilogue by W. L. Rusho
Afterword by Gary James Bergera
Endnotes
Bibliography
List of Illustrations

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