A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker's 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite's Discovery

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9780870624322: A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker's 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite's Discovery


From July to November 1833, Joseph R. Walker led a brigade of fifty-eight fur trappers, with two hundred horses and a year’s provisions, from the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming to the Pacific coast of central California. Toward the end of their journey the Walker brigade crossed the Sierra Nevada, becoming the first non-Native people to traverse the range from east to west. That crossing, made long and brutal by bewildering terrain and deep snow, is widely and rightly considered a milestone in the exploration of intermontane North America.

Following Walker’s death in 1876, an alluring tale arose concerning his trans-Sierran route. In the course of the crossing, goes the story, Walker found himself on the northern rim of Yosemite Valley at the plungepoint of North America’s tallest waterfall, staring into the most awesome mountain chasm on the continent. Over the decades since then, this time-honored tale has hardened to folklore. Dozens of historical works have construed it as a towering moment in the opening of the West.

But in fact this tale of Yosemite’s discovery has no basis or support in firsthand accounts of the 1833 Sierran crossing. Moreover, there is much in those accounts that contradicts Yosemite lore, and much that points to a trans-Sierran route well north of Yosemite Valley.

In A Way Across the Mountain, Scott Stine reconstructs Walker’s 1833 route over the Sierra. Stine draws on his own intimate knowledge of the geomorphology, hydrography, biogeography, and climate of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin, and employs the detailed travel narrative of the Walker brigade’s field clerk, Zenas Leonard. Stine documents the inception, growth, and persistence of the Yosemite Myth and explores the extent to which that lore has overshadowed Walker’s greatest discovery—that the huge swath of continent between the Wasatch Front and the Sierran crest is hydrographically closed, draining not to an ocean, but to salty lakes and desert sands.

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About the Author:

Scott Stine is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, Geography, and Environmental Studies at California State University, East Bay. He resides in Point Reyes Station, California.

Review:

“By meticulously retracing the 1833 route of Joseph R. Walker, Scott Stine has produced a landmark book on the history of western overland travel and in the vast literature of the High Sierra. Through pathbreaking interdisciplinary research, he has established a new standard for trail studies and debunked sacred myths surrounding the Anglo-American ‘discovery’ of the Yosemite Valley. At the same time, Stine’s logical and convincing narrative will only increase our respect for Walker’s epic journey.”—Gary Kurutz, Director of Special Collections, California State Library

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Scott Stine
Editore: Arthur H. Clark Company
ISBN 10: 0870624326 ISBN 13: 9780870624322
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Descrizione libro Arthur H. Clark Company. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker's 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite's Discovery, Scott Stine. Codice libro della libreria B9780870624322

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Stine, Scott.
Editore: University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (2015)
ISBN 10: 0870624326 ISBN 13: 9780870624322
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Descrizione libro University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2015. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 320 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. EXPLORATION. From July to November 1833, Joseph R. Walker led a brigade of fifty-eight fur trappers, with two hundred horses and a year's provisions, from the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming to the Pacific coast of central California. Toward the end of their journey the Walker brigade crossed the Sierra Nevada, becoming the first non-Native people to traverse the range from east to west. That crossing, made long and brutal by bewildering terrain and deep snow, is widely and rightly considered a milestone in the exploration of intermontane North America. Following Walker's death in 1876, an alluring tale arose concerning his trans-Sierran route. In the course of the crossing, goes the story, Walker found himself on the northern rim of Yosemite Valley at the plungepoint of North America's tallest waterfall, staring into the most awesome mountain chasm on the continent. Over the decades since then, this time-honored tale has hardened to folklore. Dozens of historical works have construed it as a towering moment in the opening of the West. But in fact this tale of Yosemite's discovery has no basis or support in firsthand accounts of the 1833 Sierran crossing. Moreover, there is much in those accounts that contradicts Yosemite lore, and much that points to a trans-Sierran route well north of Yosemite Valley. In A Way Across the Mountain, Scott Stine reconstructs Walker's 1833 route over the Sierra. Stine draws on his own intimate knowledge of the geomorphology, hydrography, biogeography, and climate of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin, and employs the detailed travel narrative of the Walker brigade's field clerk, Zenas Leonard. Stine documents the inception, growth, and persistence of the Yosemite Myth and explores the extent to which that lore has overshadowed Walker's greatest discoveryÑthat the huge swath of continent between the Wasatch Front and the Sierran crest is hydrographically closed, draining not to an ocean, but to salty lakes and desert sands. 33 black and white Illustrations, 19 maps, 1 chart, 320 pages, 7" x 10". (Key Words: Joseph Walker, 1833, Yosemite, Scott Stine, Exploration, United States History). book. Codice libro della libreria 86189X1

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Stine, Scott
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Descrizione libro The Arthur H. Clark Company. Condizione libro: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Codice libro della libreria 2556192

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Stine, Scott
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ISBN 10: 0870624326 ISBN 13: 9780870624322
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Descrizione libro Arthur H Clark, 2015. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Brand New. 1st edition. 320 pages. 10.25x7.25x1.50 inches. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria 0870624326

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Stine Ph.D., Scott
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Descrizione libro The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2015. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110870624326

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