Jonathan Thompson considers what local means when your boundaries are peaks not map lines.
One of the first “literary” things I ever wrote was a poem that began, “The Bears Ears, have you ever seen them?” It was hardly profound, had neither meter nor rhyme, and was only about five lines long. But then, I was only about seven years old, and I wrote it in one fell swoop while sitting by the side of the road to Hovenweep National Monument in southeastern Utah.
The Bears Ears as seen from near Hovenweep National Monument. Jonathan P. Thompson photo.
I can still remember the sage, stretching into the distance, the barbed wire fence and the way the silhouettes of those twin buttes rose up from Elk Ridge. I can’t remember why we were stopped in that particular place, though I suspect it was because of car troubles. My father was a writer and my mother was an artist, so we didn’t have much money and…
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