Peak & Prairie

Rocky Mountain Chapter's
Online Newsletter
June / July 1999

 

Book Review:

Rocky Mountain National Park: A 100 Year Perspective

by Barbara Fenton, P&P Staff

 

Rocky Mountain National Park: A 100 Year Perspective is a richly photographed book that serves as a remarkable testament to a local treasure. From the environmental vision of Enos Mills to the photographic vision of John Fielder almost a century later, the book captures the multifaceted personality of the park.

The first part of the book is devoted to the photographs and musings of Enos Mills. Enos’ photographs depict the wild beauty of the mountains in all the seasons. The images of the fury of a summer electrical storm to the muffled quiet of a snowy valley all found their way to Enos Mills’ camera. Mills’ playful and reflective personality is evidenced in the accompanying text to his photographs. He reveled in the beauty of his surroundings, commenting on the mundane as well as the magnificent.

The next part of the book is Fielder’s record of the Park almost a century after Enos Mills traveled its trails. As always, Fielder does an admirable job of recording the diversity of nature. From the dainty wildflower nestled in a quilt of green, to the awesome majesty of Longs Peak surrounded by angry storm clouds, Fielder looks into every nook and cranny of the area. Fielder is successful is capturing the many aspects of the Park: the seductive and untamed beauty of the Wild Basin area; the formality and serenity of the Loch Vale and the Glacier Gorge regions; and the mystery and remoteness of the Mummy and the Never Summer Ranges.

T. A. Barron’s prose that accompanies the Fielder photographs is somewhat uneven. While many times the text can capture the essence of the photograph, it can also veer wildly into hyperbole and overkill. 

The final part of the book is part of a diary that Fielder kept while on his odyssey through the park. It details the joys and frustrations that every photographer and mountaineer experiences in the high country.

At the end, Fielder notes that Rocky Mountain National Park is a “gift of a wild place.” He writes that such places give us a psychological boost and give solace and comfort to our harried souls. Indeed, the Park has sustained many people in the last century, and promises to do so long into the future.

Color Photography by John Fielder
Black and white Photography by Enos Mills
Text by T. A. Barron, Enos Mills and John Fielder
216 pages (September 1995)
Westcliffe Pub ISBN:1565791231
List price: $70.00
Amazon.com price: $49.00 plus S&H
(30 percent savings)

 

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