“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” — “Cactus” Ed Abbey
Ken Sleight was an old river runner/desert rat who was the inspiration for Ed Abbey’s character “Seldom Seen Smith” in The Monkey Wrench Gang.”
I like that he calls Lake Powell “Lake Foul.”
“It was probably foolish and masochistic of me to have hung around and watched it happen. But I just had to. At first it would rise a foot overnight, and you saw things you loved go under. First it was Music Temple. Then it was Gregory Natural Bridge. Then Cathedral in the Desert. I’d think of those fools that said this was a good thing, that we needed this dam. Then I’d see Hidden Passage or some other lovely spot with no name go under…it was unbearable.
“And I’ll always remember the sign at Rainbow Bridge. There was a Park Service sign along the trail and it read: ‘God’s Work. Tread Lightly.’ The next week, the lake came up and buried the sign and the trail.” By late 1964, the reservoir had reached Hite and Glen Canyon was gone…for now.”
Here are historical data on the levels at “Lake Foul,” among other things…U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Martin Litton was an uncompromising conservationist of the West, and another legendary foe of the Glen Canyon dam.
He was the movement’s Jeremiah — the crier in the wilderness who spotted the threats, condemned the desecraters and rallied the leadership to the defining preservation conflicts of the early 1950s through the ’80s.
David Brower, who as the Sierra Club’s seminal leader in the last half of the 20th century was compelled to make some of the compromises Mr. Litton fought, was known to call him “our conscience.”
–New York Times
I discovered his obituaries in the regional media websites (Trans-Pecos Texas, Southern New Mexico) when I was looking for info for the NPS ranger I’d met way back in my earliest trip to Dog Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
(I include the NPS page here, but I’ve also captured the page to a PDF if the park service changes the link in the future.)
I’ll start from way back when. Continue reading Roger Reisch-GUMO NP