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Escalante's Dream: On the Trail of the Spanish Discovery of the Southwest

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Famed adventure writer David Roberts re-creates the extraordinary 1,700-mile journey of the eighteenth-century Domínguez-Escalante scouting expedition.

In late July 1776, fathers Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Francisco Vélez de Escalante set out from Santa Fe to chart a route to the new Spanish missions in California. The Fransiscans planned to scout the country for mineral wealth and locate the Ute and Navajo tribes for conversion. In present- day Utah, however, the dangers of starvation and hypothermia forced them to turn back. By November the friars were reduced to survival mode: stymied by the raging Colorado River, they had to kill their horses for food. At last they succeeded in fording the river at a place later known as “Crossing of the Fathers.”

In this adventure- history, David Roberts travels the Spaniards’ forgotten route, using Escalante’s first- person report as his guide. Blending personal and historical narrative, he relives the glories, catastrophes, and courage of this desperate journey.

360 pages, Hardcover

Published July 16, 2019

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About the author

David Roberts

61 books193 followers
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David Roberts is the award-winning author of twenty-nine books about mountaineering, exploration, and anthropology. His most recent publication, Alone on the Wall, was written with world-class rock climber Alex Honnold, whose historic feats were featured in the film Free Solo.

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