Western Hero

Overrated

It’s hard to choose the most overrated of the West’s many overrated heroes. It’s a fool’s congeries that has to include George Armstrong Custer, who made the biggest mistake of his short, vainglorious life when he decided to attack an Indian encampment down on the Little Bighorn. It has to give a nod to Zebulon Pike, father of a half-century misconception that the Great Plains was fundamentally uninhabitable, and to “the Pathfinder,” John C. Frémont, who without Kit Carson to lead him around by the nose could not have found his bum with either hand.Read more »

Canyonlands

In the red-rock country of southeastern Utah is a new national park, a quarter-million acres of silence, brilliant color, and vistas unmatched anywhere on Earth.

“The landscape everywhere, away from the river, is of rock—cliffs of rock, tables of rock, plateaus of rock, terraces of rock, crags of rock."