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Author Meldahl, Keith Heyer.

Title Hard road west : history & geology along the Gold Rush trail / Keith Heyer Meldahl
Published Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2007
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xxi, 329 pages) : illustrations, maps
Contents Preface -- Introduction : Stardust -- 1. An American journey -- 2. Between winter's chill brackets -- 3. Ascending the plains -- 4. Exhumed mountains and hungry rivers -- 5. Black Hills and bent rock -- 6. To the backbone of the continent -- 7. Cordilleran upheaval -- 8. Most godforsaken country -- 9. The bear and the snake -- 10. A breaking up of the world -- 11. Most miserable river -- 12. The worst desert you ever saw -- 13. Into the land of gold -- 14. Contingent history -- Epilogue -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Glossary -- Bibliography -- Figure credits -- Index
Summary In 1849 news of the discovery of gold in California triggered an enormous wave of emigration toward the Pacific. Lured by the promise of riches, thousands of settlers left behind the forests, rain, and fertile soil of the eastern United States in favor of the rough-hewn lands of the American West. The dramatic terrain they struggled to cross is so familiar to us now that it is hard to imagine how frightening--even godforsaken--its sheer rock faces and barren deserts seemed to our forebears. This book brings their perspective vividly to life, weaving together the epic overland journey of the covered wagon trains and the compelling story of the landscape they encountered. Geologist Meldahl uses diaries and letters of the settlers themselves--as well as the countless hours he has spent following the trail--to reveal how the geology and geography of the West directly affected our nation's westward expansion.--From publisher description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 307-315) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.)
Geology -- West (U.S.)
Landforms -- West (U.S.)
Landscapes -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.
Overland journeys to the Pacific.
Pioneers -- West (U.S.) -- Biography.
Pioneers -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.
West (U.S.) -- Description and travel.
West (U.S.) -- Geography.
West (U.S.) -- History -- 1848-1860.
Genre/Form Biography.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0226923290 (electronic bk.)
9780226923291 (electronic bk.)