Week 3: Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire

At first glance, the book implies that Edward Abbey will account for his time in the desert as the game of Solitaire-which is a simple card game that makes passing the time easier alone-waiting for something exciting to happen. However, the author’s book expresses his deep appreciation for the outdoors and enjoying his solitude during his time in Arches National Park. He uses colorful and expressive narrative to explicate the natural beauty of this park that compensates for the lack of conversation with other people during this time. Abbey found beauty in almost everything he encountered during his time in the park: the local vegetation and wildlife, the weather as well as the park itself. He described his emotions of seeing the arches on the first morning, “Standing there, gaping at this monstrous and inhuman spectacle of rock and cloud and sky and space, I feel a ridiculous greed and possessiveness come over me. I want to know it all, possess it all, embrace the entire scene intimately, deeply, totally, as a man desires a beautiful woman.” Abbey also describes his detachment from society, such as using a flashlight and his trailer, as “separating a man from the world around him,” as well as “shut off from the natural world and sealed up, encapsulated, in a box of artificial light and tyrannical noise.”

His appreciation and experience of Arches National Park makes me wish I could have such marveling experiences of the outdoors. I do not think I could ever commit myself to staying in solitude and cut off from society for several months, as I am very assimilated to suburban life. However, I do love to travel and I would not mind to take smaller excursions to see Earth’s natural beauty for shorter amounts of time with loved ones.

Current Event

A 3 billion year old “lost continent” was discovered beneath the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Sparkly, iridescent flecks of rocks known as zircons from Mauritius date back billions of years, to one of the earliest periods in Earth’s history. Other rocks on the island, by contrast, are no more than 9 million years old. But the new study suggests that a tiny sliver of a primeval continent might have been left behind when the super continent Gondwana split up into Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica more than 200 million years ago. Then, the fiery birth of the island blanketed the primeval rock in layer after layer of cooling lava, building up the bulk of the island that is visible today.


(Here is another picture to see current day Mauritius, the image will not load)

Read more here:



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