NE AFTERNOON IN HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT,
during my stint as a volunteer park ranger, I read The Towers of Hovenweep--a simple but well done description of Hovenweep--while sitting under a Juniper tree next to Holly House. The local archaeology, geology, ecology, and story of the Anasazi had a disproportionate and pleasant impact because I was sitting in the setting as I read! I noticed the same phenomenon when I watched "The Graduate" in Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley. Thus, to mark my passage across the western United States, from foggy Half Moon Bay to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, I listened to Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert on tape during the 30 hour drive (including a trip to Mulkey Meadow and a stop in Reno). The magnitude of Reisner's virtuoso environmental history of the American West through the lens of the human quest to domesticate half a continent's hydrology was exceeded only by the magnitude of the landscape that I drove across.
For good measure, I also listened to Steely Dan's "Everything Must Go" a couple of times to remind me that I am starting anew here in Boulder. So far so good at the Mountain Research Station. To see the alpine meadow I'm working in, check out the Tundra cam!