Program 495a: National Parks Dinner Party; The Great Southwest; Crazy Utah Bike Ride

Release Date: 09-11-2021


Author Terry Tempest Williams describes the various "personalities" of a dozen US national parks, and examines each one's contributions to the American character. Then historian Flannery Burke tells us how Arizona and New Mexico came to embody what we now think of as the Great Southwest. And travel writer Christopher Solomon enjoys getting dusty on a mountain-bike tour across southern Utah.


  • Terry Tempest Williams, author of "The Hour of Land"  (Sarah Crichton Books)
  • Historian Flannery Burke, author of "A Land Apart: The Southwest and the Nation in the Twentieth Century" (Univ. of Arizona Press)
  • Travel writer Christopher Solomon

Additional Info

  • Terry Tempest Williams' accomplishments are listed on her Wikipedia entry.  Her personal website at includes links to her editorial columns and Twitter entries.
  • Terry's book, "The Hour of Land," is called "a personal topography of America's National Parks." Her most recent title is "Erosion: Essays of Undoing."
  • Dr. Flannery Burke teaches history at St. Louis University.  Her book about the American Southwest is called "A Land Apart" and is published by the University of Arizona Press.
  • Jetsonarama is the street art name of Dr. Chip Thomas, whose murals appear on the Navajo reservation, primarily along Highway 89 from Gray Mountain to Bitter Springs and between Red Lake and Kayenta on Highway 160.
  • Christopher Solomon wrote about his "Hayduke Option" mountain bike ride across Utah in the June 2017 edition of Outside magazine.
  • Christopher's bike tour was organized by Lizard Head Cycling Guides, based in Ophir, Colorado.
  • Chris also writes on current environmental topics for Outside, including the damage mountain bikes can cause when accessing sensitive wilderness areas.

Haiku Awards

Northern lights I saw
New Mexico, March '03
Sun storms drove them South
— Kollin Luman, Portland, Oregon


Sun descends — wind gusts.
Sugar cane sways, gilt-green in
ephemeral blaze.
— Lyn Gerner, Wailuku, Hawai'i


How to get back up
To the top of old Quebec?
Ah, the funicular!
— Mark Coen, Beverly, Massachusetts

Program Extras

More with Flannery Burke - Historian Flannery Burke and Rick welcome back caller Laura from Texas to talk about preserving Native American languages. They also discuss the borderland tensions between different groups in the American Southwest, including the changing fortunes of Mesilla, New Mexico. (runs 8:23)