Throughout my reading of Abbey’s adventures in the wide and barren lands of Utah I was continually confused, and sometimes aggravated. However, there were moments where his words deeply resonated within me. First I would like to state my firm agreement with his plan for the national parks: no new development, nothing but bikes on old roads, and only necessities. In addition, I am deeply in love with his canyon travels and time in Havasu, “I went native… (200).”
Abbey preached a lot throughout this collection of stories about the respect for wildlife and the natural order of things, which I felt some of his actions did not reflect (like rolling a tire off the Grand Canyon). Here is one particularly shocking example… the killing of a rabbit. How does killing an animal grant freedom from guilt? I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND. The animal may have died at any moment from the talons of a hawk, but does that justify Abbey’s actions? No where in his mentioning of this did I sense this was done for the cause of the birds of prey. I read on with confusion and sadness for the rodent.
His preaching (existential in nature mostly) was a bit much for me at this time, and perhaps that is because existential thoughts stir emotions in me and those emotions take time to feel, recognize, and process. Unfortunately, I did not get that time this past week, which is sad, but does happen.