By David Roberts
Finding Everett Ruess by way of David Roberts, with a foreword by way of Jon Krakauer, is the definitive biography of the artist, author, and eloquent celebrator of the desolate tract whose daring solo explorations of the yankee West and mysterious disappearance within the Utah wilderness at age 20 have earned him a wide and committed cult following. greater than seventy five years after his vanishing, Ruess stirs the types of ardour and hypothesis accorded such mythical doomed American adventurers as Into the Wild’s Chris McCandless and Amelia Earhart.
“I haven't uninterested in the barren region; really I take pleasure in its attractiveness and the vagrant lifestyles I lead, extra keenly forever. I want the saddle to the road motor vehicle and the big name sprinkled sky to a roof, the imprecise and hard path, prime into the unknown, to any paved street, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by means of cities.” So Everett Ruess wrote in his final letter to his brother. And previous, in a valedictory poem, ”Say that I starved; that i used to be misplaced and weary; That i used to be burned and blinded through the desolate tract sunlight; Footsore, thirsty, ill with unusual illnesses; Lonely and rainy and chilly . . . yet that I stored my dream!"
Wandering on my own with burros and pack horses via California and the Southwest for 5 years within the early Thirties, on voyages lasting so long as ten months, Ruess additionally grew to become pals with photographers Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange, swapped prints with Ansel Adams, took half in a Hopi rite, realized to talk Navajo, and used to be one of the first "outsiders" to enterprise deeply into what was once then (and to a point nonetheless is) mostly a little-known wilderness.
When he vanished and not using a hint in November 1934, Ruess left at the back of millions of pages of journals, letters, and poems, in addition to greater than 100 watercolor work and blockprint engravings. A Ruess mystique, initiated through his mom and dad yet quickly enlarged through readers and critics who, struck by way of his outstanding connection to the wild, likened him to a fledgling John Muir. this present day, the Ruess cult has extra adherents—and extra passionate ones—than at any time within the seven-plus a long time for the reason that his disappearance. via now, Everett Ruess is hailed as a paragon of solo exploration, whereas the secret of his demise continues to be one of many maximum riddles within the annals of yankee event. David Roberts started probing the lifestyles and demise of Everett Ruess for National Geographic Adventure journal in 1998. Finding Everett Ruess is the results of his own trips into the distant parts explored by means of Ruess, his interviews with oldtimers who encountered the younger vagabond and with Ruess’s closest residing kinfolk, and his deep immersion in Ruess’s writings and artwork. it really is an epic narrative of a pushed and acutely perceptive younger adventurer’s expeditions into the wildernesses of panorama and self-discovery, in addition to an soaking up research of the ongoing secret of his disappearance.
In this definitive account of Ruess's notable lifestyles and the enigma of his vanishing, David Roberts eloquently captures Ruess's tragic genius and ongoing fascination.
From the Hardcover edition.