[Letter excerpt July 23, 1949]
Our summer has been very cool until now, and to keep from snapping the thin and frayed thread of a precarious sanity I walk about in the hills on weekends. Surprise, surprise! Every Saturday I got lost – utterly, hopelessly, and completely, that is, taking eight or 12 hours to extricate myself each time. That is because as soon as one gets over the high ridge back of Rock Canyon one is in a trackless wilderness of cliffs and gorges. I never dreamed there was anything like that back there, and if I had not been fortunate enough to be without a car this summer would perhaps never have discovered that wonderful world behind the first range. Which proves that the automobile is not an unmitigated blessing: I bought a car last year with the hopes of discovering such an area, and lo, that was the one thing that stood in the way of its discovery. What surprises me more than anything is the absolute wildness of the country: in all my wanderings I have not met upon one other person, the Wasatch runs into the Uinta back of Heber (goal and haven of that celebrated flier known as the Heber Creeper) and the whole region is simply a vast lunar emptiness. We have to thank our main highways for this – they are symbolic of our civilization: where the highway doesn’t take you isn’t worth going, what you see from the highway is all you see and there ain’t no more.