Desert Solitaire

I find this book interesting because of the way Abbey mentions his park ranging job. The job makes him the only person in this vast landscape. However, he does not seem alone at all since his observation and his closeness to nature do help him find friends. In the first chapters, Abbey list out lists of plants and flowers he saw in the desert which he seems very much interested. He finds a snake to be friend with and later couple people around the town. I find the chapter about the horse funny but rather boring. I understand that the park ranger is lonely living on his own and he might feel sympathy for Moon-Eyed, which is put in a similar situation to his. The idea that he is going to look for the horse in this desert seems crazy at first but the result isnt that bad. The park ranger couldnt take Moon Eyed with him but he remains a very optimistic person.

Second, I also agree with Abbey in terms of his point about the industrializing national park is endangering the natural site of it. Park is surely for the purpose of serving people. However, this site is too big to be considered a park, which people should try to manipulate. The Industrial Tourism Abbey is talking about in the book is definitely gonna change the landscape of this area in some way: Adding motels, restaurants, and parking spots are urbanizing this area, which has been naturally preserve for thousands of years. I just find the conversation the park ranger has with the visitor from Ohio funny. They all oppose to each other’s living environment and both agree on what they are saying and happy with the conversation, so what is the point of the conversation?

The chapter about the Indian and Cowboys are sad because I feel that this is a lost part of the American culture. They are the very first native people of this land and now a put in danger of extinction and industrialization. They are not fit in with the urbanization spreading fast out west. However, their living conditions are also endangering themselves from starvation, which push them into modernizing themselves, loosing their own heritage and turning into lower working class men for the industrialized world. I like the example about the accidents of some Indian with modern life goods rather than Indian’s traditional personal belongings. This shows the process, in which “red-skinned black man” are turning into “dark-brown white man”.

I guess I have some questions for discussion:

1, What could we do to help the native Indians preserving their heritage and culture?

2, About the Issue with the Industrial Tourism, should the area be considered something more important than just a regular, human- manipulated park?

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