Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Review in the North Dakota Quarterly

The North Dakota Quarterly has published a review by James Ballowe of my Yosemite book.  From the review:

“The practical lessons that complement the personal story will make Mountains of Life a useful companion for the solitary camper and hiker in Yosemite. But above all, Liebenow’s record of the lore, natural history, and lessons to be learned from Yosemite will be of interest even to the reader who may never have the chance to experience its grandeur in person.”

Elsewhere in the review, Ballowe writes that the book reminds readers of nature’s power to create a sense of awe and humility, and says my writing is in the tradition of natural historians like Muir and Thoreau.

The journal's homepage can be found at

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Trail Markers

Signs you wish were at the viewing points around the valley to tell you why so much sweat and toil was spent to put a trail there.

Crocker Point  elevation 7090 feet
Crocker was one of the “Big Four” who made a lot of money on the transcontinental railroad.  Name appeared by 1907.

Dewey Point  elevation 7385 feet
Named for Admiral George Dewey who was in charge of the victory over the Spanish in the Battle of Manila Bay, 1898.  The name appeared on maps by 1907.  Dewey had aspirations for the presidency that never materialized.

Eagle Peak  elevation 7779 feet
Highest of the Three Brothers, named in 1870 by a lady hiking to this place in a party with John Muir.  She thought it was a place where eagles would rest.  Joseph LeConte called it Eagle Point.  Hutchings said it was called such because eagles hung out there.  Rev. Sutherland, from Washington DC told Hutchings that this view alone was worth his trip across country.

Four Mile Trail
Built by John Conway in 1871 for $3000.  It took eleven months and the toll was $1 to hike it.  Later the trail was rebuilt and lengthened to 4.7 miles.

Glacier Point  elevation 7214 feet
The date of the name is uncertain, but it’s probably tied to the Whitney Survey as it is a scientific name rather than a romantic or patriotic one.  The point was covered by a glacier in an earlier period, but its top remained above the ice during the more recent Tioga stage.