'Escalante's Dream': The Spanish Discovery Of The Southwest With David Roberts On Access Utah
In late July 1776, fathers Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Francisco Vélez de Escalante set out from Santa Fe to chart a route to the new Spanish missions in California. The Fransiscans planned to scout the country for mineral wealth and locate the Ute and Navajo tribes for conversion. In present- day Utah, however, the dangers of starvation and hypothermia forced them to turn back. By November the friars were reduced to survival mode: stymied by the raging Colorado River, they had to kill their horses for food. At last they succeeded in fording the river at a place later known as “Crossing of the Fathers.”
In this adventure- history, David Roberts travels the Spaniards’ forgotten route, using Escalante’s first- person report as his guide. Blending personal and historical narrative, he relives the glories, catastrophes, and courage of this desperate journey.