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Cities of Gold and A Land So Strange/Brutal Journey (de Vaca)

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Offline MDuchek

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Just finishing reading Cities of Gold by Douglas Preston.  Preston is a thriller writer who also writes for Smithsonian, National Geographic, etc... and seems to dabble in history/archaeology/anthropolgy as well.  Anyway, the book chronicles the trip he took on horseback re-tracing Coronado's journey through the southwest, beginning in SE Arizona and ending in northern New Mexico.  It's an excellent read on many levels and incorporates Spanish, Native American and more modern American history throughout the fascinating story.  I'd highly reccomend it, even though it doesn't deal directly with the BB area.

I also learned recently that Preston joined his photographer companion (Walter Nelson) in a trip to the Big Bend area in a currently-private canyon called The Devil's Graveyard.  A photo book called Ribbons of Time resulted with Nelson's photos and Preston's writings, which I think I may have to get as the photos look amazing.  I posted more about this in the photo section, though this post may be more appropriate for this section of the forum.

But the book (Cities) also inspired me to get a book on de Vaca, who was part of a marooned Spanish exploration that landed in Florida.  De Vaca and others made their way all the way from Florida to Mexico City, passing through the BB area on the way.  The book I got is called A Land So Strange, though I see another one was also released recently called Brutal Journey.  Has anyone read either?

Re: Cities of Gold and A Land So Strange/Brutal Journey (de Vaca)
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 02:55:20 PM »
Brutal Journey is excellent, and a perfect follow up for any of the "first hand" testimonies of de Vaca's trip you might read. Considering the attitude of the early explorers, it is not surprising that a bit of archaeology and geography can clear up some things that may not have been reported exactly accurately.

Also, the Ribbons of Time book is absolutely exquisite, but a limited number were printed, so don't hesitate to purchase if you are thinking about it. Walter Nelson & Douglas Preston were talking about buying the reprint rights once the original stock ran out, but I don't know the status of that thought right now. I understand Walter will be showing some of the photos from the book in Oklahoma in the next week or two, worth checking out if you are near there. We had the prints in the store and they were marvelous.



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