Cobb is a marvelous writer.The section about his travels in the Grand Canyon needs to be read by every person who likes both travel and humor, because it's hysterically funny.Cobb comes across in some ways like an early Bill Bryson.Highly recommended.
Here's a quote from the book:
"All over this part of Arizona they tell you the story of the lady from
the southern part of the state—she was a school teacher and the story
has become an epic—who went down Bright Angel one morning and did not
get back until two o'clock the following morning; and then she came
against her will in a litter borne by two tired guides, while two
others walked beside her and held her hands; and she was protesting at
every step that she positively could not and would not go another inch;
and she was as hysterical as a treeful of chickadees; her hat was lost,
and her glasses were gone, and her hair hung down her back, and
altogether she was a mournful sight to see.
Likewise the natives will tell you the tale of a man who made the trip
by crawling round the more sensational corners upon his hands and knees; and when he got down he took one look up to where, a sheer mile above him, the rim of the canyon showed, with the tall pine trees along its edge looking like the hairs upon a caterpillar's back, and he announced firmly that he wished he might choke if he stirred another step. Through the miraculous indulgence of a merciful providence he was down, and that was sufficient for him; he wasn't going to trifle with his luck. He would stay down until he felt good and rested, and then he would return to his home in dear old Altoona by some other route. He was very positive about it. There were two guides along, both of them patient and forbearing cowpunchers, and they argued with him. They pointed that there was only one suitable way for him to get out of the canyon, and that was the way by which he had got into it.
"The trouble with you fellows," said the man, "is that you are too
dad-blamed technical. The point is that I'm here, and here I'm going to
"But," they told him, "you can't stay here. You'd starve to death like
that poor devil that some prospectors found in that gulch yonder—turned to dusty bones, with a pack rat's nest in his chest and a rock under his head. You'd just naturally starve to death."
"There you go again," he said, "importing these trivial foreign matters
into the discussion. Let us confine ourselves to the main issue, which
is that I am not going back. This rock shall fly from its firm base as
soon as I," he said, or words to that effect.
So insisting, he sat down, putting his own firm base against the said
rock, and prepared to become a permanent resident. He was a grown man
and the guides were less gentle with him than they had been with the
lady school teacher. They roped his arms at the elbows and hoisted him
upon a mule and tied his legs together under the mule's belly, and they
brought him out of there like a sack of bran—only he made more noise
than any sack of bran has ever been known to make.