Desert Solitaire Thoughts

Desert Solitaire Thoughts

Edward Abbey’s experiences as a park ranger left a great impression on him. His time in isolation out in the Moab desert made him feel a more intimate connection with the environment around him. Being alone and exposed to the desert for such a long period of time allowed him to experience nature at a more organic level. I can relate to this feeling because I went backpacking in New Mexico for a week when I was a boy scout and it was an extremely intense experience. Abby argues that the tourism industry has inadvertently contributed to the decline of nature. By actively bringing people into the wild, he argues there is invariably a negative effect. While the tourism industry advocates environmental friendliness and is generally well intended, it invariably brings with it a host of things that are have a negative effect. For example, the building of roads and accommodations scar the landscape. The presence of people means the pollution from cars, waste, and noise. Because his experiences were relatively free of the problems of tourism, he was able to see wilderness and all of its challenges as paradise. I can understand this, and felt the same way when I was in New Mexico. Although I was in an unfamiliar place that I considered to be wilderness, there still was a “touristy” feeling and so many people had done the same trek before me so it didn’t feel entirely unique either. It was still an incredible experience but I never felt truly alone in the wild.

Overall, I feel Desert Solitare was a decent book. I enjoyed the descriptions and I felt that it was an easy read. I could tell of Abbey’s true love of nature. I thought it was amazing how much tine he spent in the wilderness and his “moments of bliss” that he experienced. I think he is a good story teller, and because of this I was usually always interested continuing my readings.Whenever I was reading it made me want to go explore the true wilderness like he did, but at the same time if I go there then am I perpetuating humanities impact on these places.

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