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Sandstone Spine by David Roberts

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Queen of the Walkabout

Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Articles: 35
Comments: 1
 Posted: 9/4/2006, 7:03 pm

Quite a nice book and different from "Search for the Old Ones", this tale, a trip by three men the length of the imposing Comb Ridge Arizona/Utah, has a personal touch.
Roberts, at over 60 years of age, feels life creeping up on him. He is accompanied by Greg Child, a strong mountaineer ( summits--Everest, K2, Gasherbaum IV, etc) and climber, Vaughn Hadenfeldt, an expert guide in the Cedar Mesa area. He is by his statement the "gray beard" in the bunch. The Comb Ridge at over 125 miles and very rugged is no push over. The common thread connecting these three is their love of the ancient ones' alcove abodes, their rock art, the subtle remains.

Their discoveries are wonderfully detailed, as are the personalities of the three men and the struggle to co-exist on a strenuous mission. Their pleasure of being out in the backcountry, their tiredness of heat and uncertainty of water, and heavy packs.
In the end it comes down to this:
"No matter how long I live, no matter how many more years I can hike, there will always be canyons in the Southwest down which I can set off for the first time, or cliffs and mesas yet to climb, where I will have a chance to discover ruins and rock art panels that, no matter who else may have found them before me, are like nothing else I have ever seen."

And in the authors note regarding not giving away the location of every site: " the dogged sleuth can find just about any ancient site reported in the literature-- but let her do her own homework."

Rating: 4.00/5.00 [1]

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