Path of Light treks back through time as author and explorer Morgan Sjogren retraces the 1920s expeditions led by Charles L. Bernheimer into the heart of Glen Canyon and Bears Ears National Monument. Using journals and photographs from the expeditions to recreate these historic routes, Sjogren encounters powerful perspectives and stories about land management and human rights issues that carry forth into the present. Mindful of the pervasive effects of colonization and motivated by a deeply personal care for the land, Sjogren asks what it means to be an explorer while learning from the people who have loved the land for millennia and moments. Path of Light walks towards an illuminated understanding of the landscape and its history in an effort to help preserve it for the future.
April 2023 | Nonfiction | 978-1-948814-73-7 | 375 pp | $19.95
"Studying Bernheimer's expeditions and journals exemplified to me how falling in love with a landscape can directly correlate with giving back to protect it. For Bernheimer, this was through his writing but also using his wealth to fund research and conservation projects, like a proposal to protect portions of Glen Canyon and Bears Ears as a National Park. It made me contemplate how I could use my love and means to give back, which has primarily been through writing, social media advocacy/education, and volunteering.
I hope Path of Light inspires people to contemplate how they can become stewards of the place they love as well, both near and far from their homes. I hope some readers will join a conservation group doing the heavy lifting to protect a landscape dear to their heart, especially groups that are led by Indigenous people or heavily allied with Tribal Nations."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MORGAN SJOGREN is a free-range writer, explorer, and defender of wild places. She is the author of Path of Light: A Walk Through Colliding Legacies of Glen Canyon, Outlandish, The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes, and The Best Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Hikes. Her writing has appeared in Arizona Highways, Archaeology Southwest, bioGraphic, and Sierra Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2022 Water Desk Grant for reporting on the Colorado River. A nomad by nature, Sjogren lives on the Colorado Plateau and feels most at home in the wild.
PRAISE FOR PATH OF LIGHT
“Path of Light is a true adventure of a read.”
—DAVID GESSNER, New York Times best-selling author of All The Wild That Remains
“This book is a wealth of history and land. Its pages smell of libraries, desert, and the inside of a well lived-in vehicle. Right times, right places, right people, she’s got a knack for the journey. I’m reading this thinking, cool, I’d do that.”
—CRAIG CHILDS, author of Tracing Time
“As Sjogren retraces Bernheimer’s route a century later, she takes us on a courageous, soul-centered journey that ventures into the dark shadows of colonization and environmental destruction but ultimately emerges in a luminous place of hope and healing for ourselves and the Earth.”
—ANNETTE MCGIVNEY, author of Pure Land
"You can feel the passion and respect Sjogren has for these places, and this adds to the story immeasurably. It’s hard to read this without wanting to hop in the car and go west."
"Sjogren writes about the region’s original inhabitants and the many people who have lived in the region over the years, always keeping a mindful eye towards the effects of colonization and the responsibility of preserving wild lands for future generations."
—OUTDOORS: THE HOME OF ADVENTURE WITH BEAR GRYLLS
“Path of Light is the best kind of book: one that haunts and compels and brings tears, wonder, and reverence for the land that inspired it.”
—KATHRYN WILDER, Colorado Book Award Winner of Desert Chrome
“The love on display in this book is infectious: love for people, for place, and for history. More than anything else, Sjogren reminds us of all the magnificent life that abounds in these red deserts; life ancient and reverberating across time, and life desperately struggling to endure.”
—CHRIS LA TRAY, author of One-Sentence Journal
“In landscape prose that is lovingly evocative, she grapples alongside a fascinating cast of companions with her—and our—covenant with a scarred, sacred, imperiled, and still-extraordinary redrock empire.”
—NATE SCHWEBER, author of This America of Ours
“In this beautifully crafted book, Sjogren documents her journeys, both physical and spiritual. A fine writer, she is a true desert rat with the courage to follow the path of light no matter where it leads.”
—JACK LOEFFLER, author of Adventures With Ed: A Portrait of Abbey
“When we read Morgan Sjogren’s Path of Light, we are walking through a story, a seamless ramble through geography, history, and Native culture in the Glen Canyon and Bears Ears country of southern Utah where Sjogren and her wanderluster companions learn two truths. Hidden passages lead through unimaginable places. And water and friends are the source of life in the desert.”
—STEPHEN TRIMBLE, editor of Red Rock Stories
“Sjogren has a unique knack for transporting the reader to the stark and sensual lands she calls home so that we are on the journey beside her, whether it’s a parched search for stagnant, scuzzy water in a slick rock pothole, a sunbaked trek through the bleak beauty of Red Canyon, or a perilous and lonely slog through a dark, boulder-choked canyon.”
—JONATHAN P. THOMPSON, author of Sagebrush Empire
“Morgan Sjogren is among the brightest emerging voices in an ongoing and increasingly urgent conversation regarding the landscape of the American Southwest. Path of Light is filled with passion, intensity, and longing that reflect and amplify similar qualities in the terrain itself.”
—ANNETTE AVERY, Bright Side Bookshop
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