Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Last Empty Places, a past and present journey through the blank spots on the American map

Southeast Oregon made this 2010 book by Peter Stark, described on the dust jacket as “one man's love letter to the enduring American wild”. Stark includes four sections: Where the Arcadians disappeared in Northern Maine; The wild lands of western Pennsylvania; The lost country of Southeast Oregon; and The high, haunted desert of New Mexico. I thought, wow, I managed to end up in one of the last empty places in America. I read the section on Southeast Oregon and while he included a little too much on John Muir, who he weaves into the story, for my taste, still he captured some of the haunting essence of this region including a nice section on the Roaring Springs Ranch and the Steens country. It's available at our local library.

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