Burntwater

Scott Thybony, Author
Scott Thybony, Author University of Arizona Press $16.95 (117p) ISBN 978-0-8165-1480-9
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Hardcover - 117 pages - 978-0-8165-1456-4
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For Thybony (The Rockies), Burntwater is more than the name of a Navajo reservation and trading post preserved only in old maps; it also represents a goal for his journey into himself. The author has traveled extensively in the Four Corners region, and his ""search"" for the old trading post is little more than a vehicle for framing memories of past trips into the Southwest. Each chapter is a beautiful vignette, a small window into the many, divergent worlds that comprise this area. For example, one chapter concerns a rigorous hike Thybony and his brother took into the Grand Canyon years ago. Another is a chronicle of his walk during Holy Week with the pilgrims to Chimayo. Yet another recounts his search for Hopi elder Don Talayesva. The last chapter, ""Under the Rim,"" is a remembrance of an entirely different trek into the Grand Canyon; and it is this story that gives the book purpose and meaning. It's subjective, more a memoir than travel literature. Unfortunately, there are no great insights here and little depth to explain Thybony's fascination with the area. For those familiar with the Southwest, the book is a pleasant read, but those unaccustomed to the stark and otherworldly grandeur of the Four Corners are likely to find Burntwater making little impression on them. (Apr.)
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