Edward Abbey encounters Los Angeles

Sort of.

In his classic Desert Solitaire, Abbey recounts going to Southern California with some friends from the University of New Mexico. On the way they stopped to roll an old tire into the Grand Canyon. While so engaged, Abbey happened to hear a ranger describe a little-known branch off the main canyon called Havasu. On the spur of the moment he decided to visit, and so he never did make it to L.A. But he talks about it in the Havasu chapter of his great book about the desert, first published in l968:

That was fifteen years ago. And I still have not seen the fabulous city on the Pacific shore. Perhaps I never will. There's something in the prospect southwest from Barstow which makes one hesitate. Although recently, driving my own truck, I did succeed in penetrating as close as San Bernardino. But was hurled back by what appeared to be clouds of mustard gas rolling in from the west on a very broad front. Thus failed again. It may be however that Los Angeles will come to me. Will come to all of us, as it must (they say) to all men. 

Here's what he found (Havasu Falls, by Bryan Chang). 

 Havasu Falls 2

Can't imagine why he changed his mind…

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “Edward Abbey encounters Los Angeles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: