Reading The Trail
Exploring The Literature And Natural History Of The California Crest
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Nevada Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Turning the first page of a book is much like taking that first eager step onto the trail: Although you may have some idea of the territory that will be covered, you don’t know exactly where either one is going and hope for a few exciting surprises along the way. ...
1. Readers and Writers of the California Crest Trail
Dry snow whips and rolls off cornices above us, exploding into the clear blue sky in sparkling ribbons and billowing white clouds. The glare and warmth of the bright Sierra sun radiates up from the snowpack under our feet with a fierce intensity that echoes my own thoughts as we...
2. Environmental Education and the Ecological Crisis
Crawling through the sand and dust on hands and knees, her eyes wide and face aglow with excitement and wonder, a field-studies student exits a small cave, gingerly carrying a handwoven Paiute basket. The ancient relic has been amazingly well preserved by the high...
3. Mary Austin in the Land of Little Rain
My wife and I have been hiking through the heat all afternoon, across the sagebrush flats and past the few pinyon pines that dot the hillsides. We rise above the Owens Valley along a stretch of the southern Sierra Nevada, the great range standing to the north and west of us, while the...
4. Protecting Arid Lands with Austin's Aesthetics
As the dusky shadows of night rise out of canyons and creep out of caves, we climb a steep butte, moving between two cliff arms toward the darkening night sky. My students and I are deep in the heart of Austin’s land of little rain, a country of lost borders and blurred boundaries. ...
5. John Muir on the Range of Light
I am sitting on the thick trunk of a fallen incense cedar spanning Yosemite Creek. As the sound of the creek water trickles up from below, the roar of Yosemite Falls washes over me from above. I am amid a thick forest of ponderosa pine, incense cedar, alder, black oak, willow, and...
6. Field Journaling with Muir in Mind
The angular rays of late afternoon sunlight cut through a pocket of Sierra old growth in shimmering beams of yellow and gold. Light sparkles and falls in drops and streams from the glittering canopy of ponderosa and red fir, towering hundreds of feet above us. ...
7. Gary Snyder at Kitkitdizze
Kneeling in the dust, I heave a large granite boulder up and into place atop a slowly growing rock wall. A slight wobble, however, indicates that the fit is not quite right. Even the most imperceptible movement now will cause it to loosen over the seasons of heavy snow, summer...
8. Putting Snyder's Reinhabitory Principles into Practice
The Boy Scouts lie huddled in their sleeping bags for warmth, heads erect and eyes attentive, as my students stand, reading Gary Snyder’s poetry and sharing their own thoughts on what it means. We are camped at an elevation of eighty-three hundred feet, on the shores of Gilmore...
9. In the Footsteps of Literary Activists
One of the major preoccupations of contemporary nature writers is to attempt, through their work, to stave off the destruction of imperiled natural landscapes, endangered species, and local communities. Rick Bass notes this concern and asks, “Can literature help protect a place?” (1999, 86). ...
10. Education for Cultural Transformation
I am marching with a group of students, faculty, and community members across our university campus. Some carry placards and signs displaying anti-war slogans, and others lead chants, rhythmically shouting, “This is what democracy looks like!” ...
Index [Includes Back Cover]