Edward Abbey


“For I am not a naturalist…If a label is required say that I am one who loves unfenced country. The open range. Call me a ranger…The only higher honor I’ve ever heard of is to be called a man.”

– The Journey Home (xiii)




“I am–really am–an extremist, one who lives and loves by choice far out on the very verge of things, on the edge of the abyss, where this world falls off into the depths of another. That’s the way I like it.”

– The Journey Home (xiv)




“The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders.”

– The Journey Home (223)




“We would guard and defend and save it [wilderness] as a place for all who wish to discover the nearly lost pleasures of adventure, adventure not only in the physical sense, but also mental, spiritual, moral, aesthetic, and intellectual adventure. A place for the free.”

– The Journey Home (88)




“Come on in. The earth, like the sun, like the air, belongs to everyone—and to no one. ”

– The Journey Home (88)




“We must save the city. It is essence and substance of us all–we cannot lose it without diminishing our stature as a nation, without a fatal wound.”

– The Journey Home (100)




“One wishes to go on. On this great river [the Colorado River] one could glide forever–and here we discover the definition of bliss, salvation, Heaven, all the old Mediterranean dreams: a journey from wonder to wonder, drifting through eternity into ever deeper, always changing grandeur, through beauty continually surpassing itself: the ultimate Homeric voyage.”

– The Journey Home (101)


“The longest journey begins with a single step, not with the turn of an ignition key.”

– The Journey Home (105)




“That’s the best thing about walking, the journey itself. It doesn’t matter much whether you get where you’re going or not. You’ll get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home. Right where you started.”

– The Journey Home (105)




“I understand and sympathize with the reasonable needs of a reasonable number of people on a finite continent. All life depends upon other life. But what is happening today, in North America, is not rational use but irrational massacre. Man the Pest, multiplied to the swarming stage, is attacking the remaining forests like a plague of forests on a field of grain.”

– The Journey Home (208)




“…unless the need were urgent, I could no more sink the blade of an ax into the tissues of a living tree than I could drive it into the flesh of a fellow human.”

– The Journey Home (208)




“The earth is not a mechanism but an organism, a being with its own life and its own reasons, where the support and sustenance of the human animal is incidental.”

– The Journey Home (225)




“All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires.”

– The Journey Home (57)




“I’d sooner exchange ideas with the birds on earth than learn to carry on intergalactic communications with some obscure race of humanoids on a satellite planet from the world of Betelguese. ”

– Desert Solitaire (7)




“We are obliged, therefore, to spread the news, painful and bitter though it may be for some to hear, that all living things on earth are kindred.”

– Desert Solitaire (24)




“But the love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need–if only we had the eyes to see.”

– Desert Solitaire (190)




“I am not an atheist but an earthiest. Be true to the earth.”

– Desert Solitaire (208)




“…the itch for naming things is almost as bad as the itch for possessing things.”

– Desert Solitaire (288)




“The finest quality of this stone, these plants and animals, this desert landscape is the indifference to our presence, our absence, our coming, our staying or our going. Whether we live or die is a matter of absolutely no concern to the desert.”

– Desert Solitaire (300)




“Yes. Feet on earth. Knock on wood. Touch stone. Good luck to all.”

– Desert Solitaire (301)