Herein is the remarkable story of a 200-mile wilderness journey down the Gila River of New Mexico and Arizona. Traveling partly on foot, mostly by canoe, the author was accompanied by a hound dog and a tomcat. His trip is replete with whitewater thrills, and angling for trout, bass, and catfish; ruminations on the wilderness ethic, and the antics of two companions who promote humor, exasperation, and love. But besides being a modern-day excursion into the natural world, Gila Descending is a personal odyssey as well; and little by little that story, too, is told.
“Gila Descending is a joy to read. M. H. Salmon and his feisty animal co-pilots have enough chutzpah to keep us laughing; enough literary audacity to delight and educate; and enough love of land, water, and wilderness to stir the most hardened conscience.”–John Nichols
“. . . a delightful book. No reader could ask for a finer river to read about than the Gila, or a better companion to explore it with than M. H. Salmon. May the Government (ugh!) and God (we hope) long preserve them both.”–Edward Abbey
“As you join the author–and his coyote hound and tomcat–on a float trip down the Gila, you will find a unique companion: a hunter with an informed environmental conscience; a fisherman with the sense to know that catfish are as good as trout; a wry observer whose prose owes more to local speech and the elegant essays of Aldo Leopold than to the high-tech fodder in the yuppie monthlies. Above all, he is a passionate and original defender of wilderness with its hair on.”–Steve Bodio, “Bodio’s Review,” Gray’s Sporting Journal