Bitterroot - A Memoir

Echoes of Beauty & Loss

Steven Faulkner,

Bitterroot - A Memoir: Echoes of Beauty & Loss
 
 

Using the letters of the 19th-century explorer Pierre Jean De Smet, Steven Faulkner and his eighteen-year-old son, Alex, follow De Smet across the High Plains to the fur trappers’ rendezvous on the Green River, then on to the Lewis and Clark Trail. Lewis and Clark take them over the Rockies (a part of their journey that almost killed the explorers) into the homeland of the Nez Perce whose fate (recorded by a young warrior named White Thunder) is strangely tied to these emissaries from the east.

 By road, foot, mountain bike, and canoe, Steven and Alex experience the vast landscape and try to capture an understanding of the Wild Northwest, an understanding supported by many chance encounters with modern residents: Bubba, the LA gangster taking refuge in Idaho’s mountains; Jean, the retired school teacher who has a visceral hatred of the EPA; Mary the dog trainer who fought the Forest Service for ten years and won—losing $100,000 in the process; the Knife Lady who is raising nine kids in a blue school bus; the combative waitress who misinforms us about the Chinese Massacre of Rock Springs; the drug-addicted boy whose search for his father finds an unexpected ending. 



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