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The Box in the Wilderness

. . . here we bring our camp. When “Old Shady” sings us a song at night, we are pleased to find that this hollow in the rock is filled with sweet sounds. It was doubtless made for an academy of music by its storm-born architect; so we name it music temple.

THUS, IN 1875, WROTE John Wesley Powell, recalling an experience as head of the United States Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region. But the photos made to document expeditions like his can tell us nothing of the liquid sounds men heard, the high-keyed colors they saw, or the extremes of temperature under which they suffered. Something else these photos omit as well: they are windless and devoid of the momentary dappled shadows clouds make. Sprawled out before or beneath the lens, the landscape affords few signs of motion. Even the close fall of brook water, reading as a steamed-out blur, does not ruffle the

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