Morgan Sjogren ➸ Running Bum

Writing to protect the soul of wild spaces

Path of Light treks back through time as author and explorer Morgan Sjogren retraces the 1920s expeditions led by Charles L. Bernheimer into the heart of Glen Canyon and Bears Ears National Monument. Using journals and photographs from the expeditions to recreate these historic routes, Sjogren encounters powerful perspectives and stories about land management and human rights issues that carry forth into the present. Mindful of the pervasive effects of colonization and motivated by a deeply personal care for the land, Sjogren asks what it means to be an explorer while learning from the people who have loved the land for millennia and moments. Path of Light walks towards an illuminated understanding of the landscape and its history in an effort to help preserve it for the future.

Path of Light will be released into the wild by Torrey House Press April 18, 2023.

Pre-order: Torrey House Press,  AmazonBarnes and NobleThrift BooksBooks-A-Million

Pre-order online from Indie Bookstores: Brightside Books (Flagstaff, AZ)Maria’s Bookshop (Durango, CO)Between the Covers (Telluride, CO)The King’s English (Salt Lake City, UT)Cellar Door Bookstore (Riverside, CA)Shakespeare & Co. (Manhattan, NYC)

Praise for PATH OF LIGHT

“Anchored in retracing the series of expeditions organized by Charles L. Bernheimer a century before her, Sjogren weaves the narrative of her own life and desert experiences with others, both contemporary and long dead, in this love letter to canyon country. With a raucous and wonderful cast of characters and a keen eye toward the natural history of the region as well as colo- nialism’s ongoing attempts at conquest and Indigenous erasure, she doesn’t sugarcoat the impact that white explorers and set- tlers had had, and continue to have, on this ‘desolate’ place that has been a sacred home to people—human and otherwise—for millennia. The love on display in this book is infectious: love for people, for place, and for history. More than anything else, Sjogren reminds us of all the magnificent life that abounds in these red deserts: life ancient and reverberating across time, and life desperately struggling to endure.”

—Chris La Tray (Little Shell Chippewa), author of Becoming Little Shell and One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large

“Educational and thought-provoking. Author and journalist Morgan Sjogren in the 2020s retraced the 1920s Southwestern trails of eccentric, preservationist Charles Bernheimer—the ‘Cliff Dweller From Manhattan.’ Exploring today’s Bears Ears National Monument and evaporating Lake Powell via her ach- ing feet and a mercurial yellow Jeep, Sjogren in Path of Light takes a vision quest. In landscape prose that is lovingly evoc- ative, she grapples alongside a fascinating cast of companions with her—and our—covenant with a scarred, sacred, imperiled, and still-extraordinary redrock empire.”

—Nate Schweber, author of This America of Ours: Bernard and Avis DeVoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild.

Path of Light is a true adventure of a read. What a pleasure fol- lowing Morgan Sjogren as she explores the mythic landscape in

and around Bears Ears. The traditional joys of the nature quest are all here—the canyons, the mountains, the morning coffee— but Sjogren also questions the macho ethos of man vs. nature and, best of all, has a deep and respectful dialogue with those who came before, both the early 20th century explorers and the Native peoples who had known the same land intimately for millennia.”

—David Gessner, New York Times best-selling author of All The Wild That Remains and Quiet Desperation, Savage Delight

“Author Morgan Sjogren lives most comfortably within two walls, not four—canyon walls that reach toward the stars. She wears juniper smoke like clothing. Her visceral connection to the desert Southwest sends her on a quest to get to know other desert dwellers, and in following the trail of Charles L. Bern- heimer, Morgan finds different truths in the oral stories of gen- erations, simultaneously learning new layers of herself. Path of Light is the best kind of book: one that haunts and compels and brings tears, wonder, and reverence for the land that inspired it.”

—Kathryn Wilder, Colorado Book Award Winner for Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West

“Morgan Sjogren donned her backpack, and over a span of winters and summers dauntlessly trekked through remote back-country of the Colorado Plateau. She documents her jour- neys, both physical and spiritual in this beautifully crafted book. Morgan Sjogren is a fine writer—a true desert rat with the cour- age to follow the path of light no matter where it leads.”

—Jack Loeffler, author of Adventures With Ed: A Portrait of Abbey

“When we read Morgan Sjogren’s Path of Light, ‘we are walking through a story,’ a seamless ramble through geography, history, and Native culture in the Glen Canyon and Bears Ears country of southern Utah. Sjogren and her “wanderluster” companions

learn two truths. ‘Hidden passages lead through unimaginable places.’ And, ‘water and friends are the source of life in the des- ert.’”

—Stephen Trimble, editor of Red Rock Stories and The Capitol Reef Reader

Path of Light is as deep, complex and labyrinthine as the convo- luted canyon country through which Morgan Sjogren traverses. Sjogren expertly braids multiple compelling narrative threads as she follows the footsteps of Charles Bernheimer through some of the most-rugged territory in the country. It was a joy to vicar- iously tag along. I could smell the campfire smoke as I did so.”

—M. John Fayhee, former editor of the Mountain Gazette and author of Smoke Signals and Bottoms Up

“Sjogren has a unique knack for transporting the reader to the stark and sensual lands she calls home so that we are on the journey beside her, whether it’s a parched search for stagnant, scuzzy water in a slick rock pothole, a sun-baked trek through the bleak beauty of Red Canyon, or a perilous and lonely slog through a dark, boulder-choked canyon. With both toughness and vulnerability, Sjogren lets us in on what she sees and feels and experiences as she pursues the “path of light,” and somehow manages to give even grizzled veterans of Slickrock country a new appreciation for the land known as Bears Ears.”

—Jonathan P. Thompson, author of River of Lost Souls and Sagebrush Empire

“This book is a wealth of history and land. Its pages smell of libraries, desert, and the inside of a well lived-in vehicle. Right times, right places, right people, she’s got a knack for the journey. I’m reading this thinking, cool, I’d do that.”

—Craig Childs, author of Tracing TimeVirga and Bone, and Atlas of a Lost World

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