Exploring the Big Bend Country
June Cooper Price, Peter Koch
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This collection of writings and images by the legendary Big Bend photographer offers adventure, history, personal musings, and natural beauty. Photographer-naturalist Peter Koch first visited Big Bend National Park in February, 1945, on assignment to take promotional pictures for the National Park Service. He planned to spend a couple of weeks, and ended up staying for the rest of his life. Koch’s magnificent photographs and documentary films introduced the park to people across the United States and remain an invaluable visual record of the first four decades of Big Bend National Park. In this book, Koch’s daughter June Cooper Price draws on her father’s photographs, newspaper columns, and journal entries, as well as short pieces by other family members, to present his vision and many experiences of the Big Bend. The adventure begins with a six-day photographic trip through Santa Elena Canyon on a raft made from agave flower stalks. Koch also describes hiking on mountain trails and driving the scenic loop around Fort Davis; “wax smuggling” and other ways of making a living on the Mexican border; ranching in the Big Bend; collaborating with botanist Barton Warnock; and the history and beauty of Presidio County, the Rio Grande, and the Chihuahuan Desert.