Everett Ruess
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In his chapter entitled Episodes and Visions in Desert Solitaire,
Edward Abbey mused on Everett Ruess:

"Even after years of intimate contact and search this quality of strangeness in the desert
remains undiminished. Transparent and intangible as sunlight, yet always and everywhere
present, it lures a man on and on, from the red-walled canyons to the smoke- blue ranges
beyond, in a futile but fascinating quest for the great, unimaginable treasure which the desert
seems to promise. Once caught by this golden lure you become a prospector for life,
condemned, doomed, exalted. One begins to understand why Everett Reuss kept going deeper
and deeper into the canyon country, until one day he lost the thread of the labyrinth; why the
oldtime prospectors, when they did find the common sort of gold, gambled, drank and whored it
away as quickly as possible and returned to the burnt hills and the search. The search for what?
They could not have said; neither can I; and would have muttered something about silver, gold,
copper -anything as a pretext. And how could they hope to find this treasure which has no name
and has never been seen? Hard to say -and yet, when they found it, they could not fail to
recognize it. Ask Everett Reuss."

Update May 2009: They found Everett Ruess!
Everett Ruess was an irrepressible wanderer, adventurer, and artist who loved and sought out
the wild places of the Colorado Plateau. In 1934, at the age of twenty, he disappeared in the
Escalante canyons. His independent spirit and profound love of the beauty of canyon country has
inspired me and many others to continue to explore and preserve this wonderful area.
I thought that there were two rules in life - never
count the cost, and never do anything unless you can do
it wholeheartedly. Now is the time to live. ~ Everett
Ruess
Links

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
National Geographic
EverettRuess.net
Everett Ruess Days Festival in Escalante