Tenacious specimens of the Grand Canyon

In the 1930s, two women risked their lives to record a scientific survey of the region’s plants.

They entered, at last, the Grand Canyon. The date was July 13, 1938. Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter, two botanists at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, had started down the river 23 days earlier with three boats and four amateur boatmen, none of whom had run the Grand Canyon before. Pale, water-pocked ledges of Kaibab limestone rose out of the Colorado, laid down 270 million years ago when the desert was a sea.

Had they been geologists, they would have marveled at their plunge into the past, each river mile eating away another chunk of history, 10,000 years with every splash of the oars. There were secrets to be told here: about past climates, warm shallow seas, the inexorable work of uplift and erosion, and the catastrophic clawing of landslides and floods.


But Clover and Jotter had come to find plants, and to make the first botanical study of the Grand Canyon in Western science. Jotter dismissed the entire spectacle of stone in a journal she kept during the trip with the scribble, “nice clouds and red cliffs.”

There were many stories about the Grand Canyon. Some of them were true. People said that if you traveled too deep into the chasm, you could look up at midday and see the stars. It was rumored that whole plateaus inside of the canyon had been cut off from the outside world for so long that primordial monsters still roamed there, relics of a ferocious past. The few non-
Indigenous expeditions that had ventured inside —
a few by river, the others on foot — came out with more fancy than fact. They spoke of a fabulously rich silver mine that nobody could find, and herds of feral horses no bigger than coyotes. They told campfire stories of a petrified man whose form shone out clearly from the canyon wall — and why not? The sculpted stone, sometimes, did look like it was trying to form living shapes, fluted into scales or fur by the constant wear of water.

“Chaotic under-world, just emptied of primeval floods.”

Many people talked about the oppressive, claustrophobic feeling of the walls closing in overhead, blotting out sunlight, casting long purple shadows over the endlessly churning river. “The Grand Canyon of Arizona,” wrote John L. Stoddard, “is Nature wounded unto death and lying stiff and ghastly, with a gash 200 miles in length and a mile in depth in her bared breast.” That was one description in a collection of essays published by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1902. The book was meant to promote tourism, a plan that may have backfired, because none of the writers could agree on whether the Grand Canyon was gorgeous or horrifying. C.A. Higgins called it a “chaotic under-world, just emptied of primeval floods.” Another visitor summed up his experience in a burst of feeling: “Horror! Tragedy! Silence! Death! Chaos!”


The Nevills Expedition party, from left front row: Bill Gibson, Elzada Clover, Lois Jotter, Lorin Bell, back row: Dell Reed, N. Nevills, E. Kolb.
Lake Mead Museum Collection


Jotter had dismissed these overblown descriptions before the trip. She told her father the Grand Canyon couldn’t possibly be worse than the gray cliffs of Yosemite, where she had spent six weeks in a program designed to train National Park Service naturalists the preceding summer (“because the difference between three and five thousand feet can’t be appreciated much as difference,” she wrote.) Of course, there was a difference. In Yosemite she had slept safe on the gentle surface of the Earth and looked up at the mountains. Now, she was trapped in a mile-deep crack, with no way out but through.

The expedition had been Clover’s idea. At 41 years old, Clover was the adventurous one, chasing her dream of cataloging all the cacti in the Southwest. Jotter, her 24-year-old protégé, had joined, not for the promise of adventure, but the lure of unknown plants. Every sprig and leaf and twig they gathered would have scientific interest, for nobody had made a collection in the canyonlands before. They had paid for the trip from their own pockets and a modest grant from the University of Michigan; Jotter had been forced to borrow $200 from her parents, an amount equal to a third of her annual salary as a graduate assistant. The pooled money from the expedition members covered the costs of building the boats — they were a newfangled, untested design — plus the bags of canned food and boxes of Ry-Krisp crackers. Clover and Jotter had planned for months, packing and repacking their bags. They were finally here, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the banded walls rising with every mile.   

Oryzopsis hymenoides collected in Marble Canyon

But Jotter made no mention of harrowing depths or ghastly colors in her journal. Her attention was all on plants. They clung to the talus slopes or fringed the river’s edge, a sparse scattering of agave, yucca and four-wing saltbush, with the occasional hackberry or redbud tree. The two botanists snatched up specimens whenever they could. They gathered samples of Mexican devil-weed (Aster spinosus), tall green stems topped with white flowers which grew thickly on the cobble bars, and twining snapdragon (Maurandya antirrhiniflora), a plant with rambling tendrils and magenta blossoms shaped like pursed lips waiting for a kiss.

Although the women were the first scientists of European descent to map the plant life of the area, they were not the first people. Eleven federally recognized tribes have cultural connections to the Grand Canyon; they know its plant life intimately. Hualapai, for example, use sagebrush and seep willow in ceremony and medicine; they and other Native peoples prune and burn three-leaf sumac (Rhus trilobata) to promote the long, bendy stems needed for basket-weaving. Many seemingly “wild” plants really evolved alongside their human harvesters. The nearly 200 specimens Clover and Jotter had collected on their river trip so far all had their own names, uses and histories largely unknown to Western botanists. The field of botany suffered because of racism and colonialism. Plant collectors in the United States dismissed local knowledge of plants in an eagerness to “discover” species. And as many Native languages and cultural practices vanished under the U.S. government’s systematic eradication efforts, some information about plants and their uses also disappeared.

Many seemingly “wild” plants really evolved alongside their human harvesters. 

Clover and Jotter knew a little about how Native peoples of the canyon used its plants; they likely knew nothing at all about how those plants, in turn, had been shaped over the millennia by the skillful management of Native peoples. The women looked at the Grand Canyon with eyes trained in Western science. They knew that it lay at the intersection of three biologically distinct deserts: the Great Basin, the Sonoran and the Mojave. Clover wanted to study whether plants peculiar to each desert extended their ranges along the river channel. Both botanists also knew that plant communities changed with elevation, and they intended to track those subtle shifts as they descended the river. Lastly, they planned to seek out any “relict flora” that were tucked away in the canyon, having persisted in place through changing climates as the plateau rose and the river cut down. To satisfy their curiosity, they needed a complete picture of the Colorado River’s ecology.

The Nevills expedition on the banks of the Lower Grand Canyon with the boats WEN, Botany and Mexican Hat.
Norman D. and Doris Nevills Collection/Utah River Running Archives Multimedia Archives, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

In addition to camp chores, the women did the cooking for the crew. 

ON JULY 15, the expedition pitched camp on a sandbar crowded with driftwood. Lorin Bell, a freewheeling soul who had been working as a sheepherder and agreed to join the expedition without knowing which river they’d be running, created a table out of a 12-foot piece of waterlogged lumber washed down from who knows where. The spot had an overhanging ledge to shelter them in a pinch, if it rained: The Redwall limestone had appeared, pale white shelves stained crimson from iron oxides seeping down from the layers above. It had formed beneath a shallow sea more than 300 million years before, and fossil traces of sponges, sea lilies and corals made a faded palimpsest within the stone.

In addition to camp chores, the women did the cooking for the crew; that meant trading off who would make dinner and who would collect specimens every evening. Tonight, it was Jotter’s turn to do botany. She scrambled up the talus slopes in search of plants. Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa) was all over the hillside. Its pink, feathery flowers looked straight out of some fairyland, grafted to the end of dry, knobby sticks. Agaves were common, too, silhouetted on the ridges above her like astonished porcupines. She cut a few leaves from a particularly fine specimen with a 12-foot stalk. Leaves was a misleading word. Agaves grew in rosettes of fleshy, blue-green swords, toothed all the way to the tips. Hualapai prize the plant for its heart, sweet as molasses when roasted in hot coals. In fact, Agave phillipsiana, a rare species of agave with long, lush leaves, grows nowhere but the Grand Canyon, where it was likely introduced and tended by Native people. The agave Jotter collected, Agave utahensis, is common in the Southwest. It is also called the century plant because people said it flowered just once in a century, a poetic exaggeration. The plant usually sends up a flowering stalk when it is between 20 and 40 years of age. The big yellow blossoms turn the top of the stalk into a flaming torch for a few days or a week, drawing in a paparazzi of bats and buzzing bees. Then the stalk falls and the plant dies.

This agave was odd: It had red spines. Bright red, not the usual brown-burgundy color. Curious, Jotter thought. She looked closer. Then she realized that her hands were cut and bleeding. “The red was my contribution!” she wrote in her journal.

Adiantum capillus-veneris collected from Marble Canyon in Vasey’s Paradise.

Night had fallen by the time she returned to camp. The others had eaten dinner without her. Jotter pressed her specimens in a light sprinkle of rain. Ideally, a botanist collected the entire plant — root, stem, leaf and flower — and pressed it flat between sheets of newspaper, adding a blotter to whisk away moisture. Stacked on top of each other, these alternating layers would go between pieces of thin wood, cinched tight with straps. There was a delicate art to laying out a specimen, the leaves splayed out separately and arranged as naturally as possible. It was time-consuming work, even for the easy plants. A cactus pad had to be sliced in half, lengthwise, without disturbing its spines, and the pulpy inside scooped out, before it could be flattened and preserved. Later, Jotter had a cup of hot tea and nibbled on leftovers, feeling sorry for herself. The cuts on her hands had scabbed over, her nails worn blunt and grimed from the day’s work. Fine sand filtered into her clothing and hair. But that night, she dreamed of pressing plants in sleeves of newspaper. Clover, snugged beside her under the shelter of the overhanging ledge, heard her mutter, “It’s just wonderful!”

“What is?” Clover asked.

“I made a wonderful collection,” Jotter said. Clover realized she was talking in her sleep.

The rain cleared, but the air was sweltering even now, hours after the sun had descended behind the canyon walls. In the night, Clover woke with a start. A noise had startled her. Was the river rising? She climbed out of her bedroll and went to look. The river was rising, a little, but the boats were safely moored. She stood spellbound by the moonlight drifting down the cliffs, a play of silver light and deep shadow. Bell woke, too, and came to join her at the river’s edge. They stood silent beneath the cold glow of the stars, watching the nearest rapid curl and froth, playful as an otter. Finally, Clover crawled back into her bedroll, feeling her air mattress deflate by slow inches. (She’d lost the plug some time before.) “The night was so beautiful that I couldn’t sleep,” she wrote in her journal. She had been warned about the Grand Canyon, its oppressive walls and gloomy crags, and how the sound of water striking rock preyed on travelers’ minds. She found, instead, a nameless beauty.

“The night was so beautiful that I couldn’t sleep.”

The two women woke before dawn, went for a swim, and then, tired of Grape-Nuts and hotcakes, made a mess of biscuits in a skillet for breakfast. They shot several rapids that morning and Jotter got an unexpected dousing when her boat struck a rock near shore and flipped her, head over heels, into the water. Just as well the weather was so hot. The Redwall limestone now rose in a straight, shining, polished bulwark above them, riddled with arches, chambers and rounded hollows where water had impudently scribbled its signature on the masterpiece of stone. Caves flickered with dancing blue light, driftwood wedged in their mouths like false teeth.

Around 11 a.m., they dashed the boats sideways through a fast riffle, made a hard turn into an eddy, and floated back upriver to ground on a spit of sand. They had never stopped midday to collect plants before, but Clover insisted. This place was special. Above them, freshwater springs leapt out of the limestone and unraveled long, twisting ribbons. At a glance they could see the dominant species: Western redbud, scarlet monkeyflower and poison ivy. Clear rivulets of water chattered and burbled from beneath this verdant tangle, licked with streamers of algae and moss and more beautifully arranged than any ornamental garden. In 1869, John Wesley Powell had looked at this spot with a geologist’s eyes, describing the sun-struck fountains as “a million brilliant gems,” but he named it Vasey’s Paradise after a botanist, George Vasey. Vasey never boated the Grand Canyon, nor saw the place that bore his name. Clover and Jotter were the first botanists to make a catalog of the plants there for Western science.

Botanical study of the Grand Canyon by Elsie Clover and Lois Jotter, the first two women on the first commercial trip down the Colorado River, 1938.
Lois Jotter Cutter Collection/NAU.PH.95.3. Special Collections and Archives, Cline Library, Northern Arizona University

They picked their way gingerly over the spray-slick stones. Plants in this place reveled in water. The monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis) grew in clumps covered with blossoms that resembled ruby-red slippers for very tiny feet. Here, too, were wooly clumps of Stansbury cliffrose (Cowania stansburiana), its flowers fragrant and creamy white. There was a thicket of horsetail (Equisetum praealtum) and a mat of watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum), an edible plant with a taste like peppery lettuce. Mosses and ferns sprang up wherever spray touched the rock. One variety, the side-fruited crisp-moss (Pleurochaete squarrosa), grew in tight, kinky curls until it got damp, and then unfurled into yellow stars. Longleaf brickellbush (Brickellia longifolia) grew out of cracks in the limestone, its roots in a hidden spring, its narrow leaves and white blossoms hung upside-down as if drunk on their own heady fragrance. Clover and Jotter sampled everything except the poison ivy (Rhus radicans), which lay in green hummocks over rocks printed with the silver tracks of snails.

Steps away from the springs, the desert reasserted itself: hedgehog cacti, spiky agave and shrubby Mormon tea. This was a world that followed none of the neat rules Clover and Jotter had learned in botany textbooks. Clover was familiar with the work of C. Hart Merriam, who had come to Arizona almost 50 years before to work out his theory of “life zones.” Merriam believed that the continent of North America could be divided into seven distinct zones, each with a particular distribution of plants and animals. He had used the San Francisco Peaks, an extinct volcano directly south of their present location, as a living laboratory.

He thought the San Francisco Peaks could be used as a microcosm of North America as a whole. A day’s hard hike from the peaks to the desert mimicked, biologically, the trek from Canada to Mexico. At the very top, nothing grew but the hardiest of flowers, like the pygmyflower rockjasmine, a modest white bloom that could also be found in Greenland, Nunavut and other realms in the icy North. Below that came the timberline zone of bristlecone pine, gnarled and twisted from fighting the ever-present wind. Then came the spruce-fir forest, then mixed conifers — similar to the forests of Canada — and then the unbroken woods of ponderosa pine that skirted the peaks. Beneath this was a “Lilliputian forest” of piñon and juniper trees, which grew right up to the rim of the Grand Canyon. And then, at last, the desert: “the vast stretches of burning sand,” as Merriam described it, “the total absence of trees, the scarcity of water, the alluring mirage, the dearth of animal life, and the intense heat, from which there is no escape.”


David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries


Merriam’s ideas weren’t entirely new: He built on the work of the famed German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, who had developed a similar concept about the relationships between plants and climate, using a mountain in Ecuador as his model; and Hopis have their own names and rigorous classification system for the environmental zones in the Grand Canyon. Still, scientists received Merriam’s seven “life zones” with enthusiasm. The system was better, by far, than simply hacking North America into Eastern, Central and Western provinces, as naturalists had done before. It reflected the adaptations of plants and animals to their environments, making it a practical application of Darwin’s theory. But criticisms soon arose. Merriam had focused only on temperature and ignored other factors that could influence a plant or animal’s range. Cavalierly, he applied his life zones to the entire North American continent, even though fieldwork made it clear that they worked well only in the mountains of the Western U.S.

Clover’s trip downriver was an ideal opportunity to probe Merriam’s life zones for flaws. She had dropped about 1,000 feet in elevation since leaving Green River, Utah, and would descend another 2,000 if she made it to Hoover Dam. She now felt the life zone concept was useful in the Grand Canyon in “only a broad way.” Too many other factors shaped the distribution of plant life: the nearness to water, the texture of soils, the angle of sunlight, the browsing herbivores. She sampled moss one moment, plucked cactus pads the next.

It was like a series of locked gates, and only those plants and animals with the right key — the right adaptations — could pass. 

Merriam’s work, perhaps because of its flaws, sparked a lively conversation among botanists and ecologists. If temperature alone did not define the pattern of life on Earth’s surface, what did? A more holistic view of climate fit better with observations, including rainfall and snowfall, evaporation and transpiration, and the changing seasons. But even this wasn’t enough. In some places, soil overrode the importance of climate: deep sand dunes and rocky outcroppings. In others, water ruled: coastal marshes, mires and bogs. There were physical processes like erosion and deposition, and biological ones like competition, predation, migration, and extinction. Disturbances — fires and floods — played a role. It was like a series of locked gates, and only those plants and animals with the right key — the right adaptations — could pass. The world wasn’t made up of neatly defined zones, but rather circles within circles, with blurred boundaries and interlocking parts. Simple, elegant theories gave way to messier ones.

Opuntia phaeacantha engelmannii, collected near Hermit Creek Rapids.

Merriam stuck with his life zones until his death in 1942, but he had come close to recognizing their flaws when he descended into the Grand Canyon during his 1889 expedition. A sore knee prevented him from hiking all the way down to the river, but what he saw puzzled him. The life zones seemed crowded into narrow, rapidly changing bands. Tiny forests clung to talus slopes, and springs interrupted the desert with frantic explosions of moss. At 1 a.m., he hiked back to the rim alone, holding a gun in one hand and a dead skunk in the other. Black as iron gates, the walls closed in. “The way seemed without end,” he wrote in his journal. “The higher I climbed the higher the walls seemed to tower above me.” He could say nothing about the Grand Canyon with any certainty. It was “a world in itself,” Merriam wrote, “and a great fund of knowledge is in store for the philosophic biologist whose privilege it is” to study it.

CLOVER AND JOTTER had no time for philosophy. They had barely an hour to spend at Vasey’s Paradise. “We collected furiously,” Jotter wrote in her logbook, heedless of a light rain. Some of the crew members, meanwhile, stripped down to shorts and showered beneath one of the waterfalls. By noon the men were waiting hungrily for lunch. Clover suggested mildly they get out the canned food and cold biscuits (left over from breakfast) and feed themselves. But when the two women finished putting up their samples in newspaper, they found the rest of their crew “waiting big-eyed & expectant under a rock.”

In a rare moment of impatience, Clover wrote, “We have spoiled them completely.”

They left Vasey’s Paradise and went on, deeper into the canyon. The walls rose in tiers, stretching back to a jagged skyline. High gaps on the cliffs looked like keyholes, and when the angle was just right, the sun’s rays fumbled through like a skeleton key turning in a lock. It had been four days since they entered the Grand Canyon — almost a month since they started downriver. Their clothing grew disheveled, despite frequent use of Clover’s sewing kit. The women wore their overalls rolled up to the knees; the men had their shirttails untucked or wore no shirts at all. “We are wet all the time,” Clover wrote, “so the less on the better.”

They were now more than 40 miles downriver from Lees Ferry, where they had last stopped for supplies, and the plant life was changing as the climate grew hotter and drier. Honey mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) appeared, a shrubby tree with minuscule leaves and sweet-tasting beans tucked into rattling seedpods. The tough, teardrop-shaped seeds wouldn’t sprout unless they were battered by floodwaters or half-digested by an animal, thus ensuring they would spread far and wide. Native people who lived in the canyons also shaped the natural history of mesquite, by cutting some trees for firewood but sparing the ones with the sweetest-tasting beans.

Mesquite mingled on the talus with catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), also called wait-a-minute bush, because of the way its curved thorns snatched at passersby. Strawberry hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) grew in thick rosettes straight out of the cliff walls, as if pinned up like wreaths. Prickly pears dangled long stringers of paddle-like leaves from the tops of boulders, Rapunzel-like, trying to escape their towers on ropes of knotted green hair. Prickly pear (also known by its Spanish name, nopal) has edible pads and fat, oval fruits, sweet to the taste, if one does not mind magenta-stained fingers and a sticker or two. Clover and Jotter had cataloged several species so far, some spineless but covered in tiny, near-invisible bristles, some with yellow flowers, others vivid cerise. “Their existence seems to be precarious,” wrote Clover, “since they are usually found half-buried in sand or lodged between boulders.” Near President Harding Rapid, Opuntia engelmannii appeared for the first time, with unusually large pads and plum-colored fruits. Indigenous residents of the canyon may have brought this type of prickly pear up from the South and deliberately tended the plants as a pleasant addition to meals.


After 45 days of boating down the rugged gorges of the Colorado River, Lois Jotter, left, and Elzada Clover prepare to return to civilization.
AP Photo/RJF


There was plenty to collect while the men ran the boats through the rapids, but Clover seemed a little bored with her safe, landbound role. At one rapid, she dared Bell to hit a big rock on purpose and tip over so she could get a photograph. He did dart the boat thrillingly close to a boulder and had to apologize to the trip’s leader, Norman Nevills, for his recklessness. Ashamed of herself, Clover wrote in her journal that she never dreamed he would try it.

Muav limestone rose out of the river, gray and striated: a slip of time sending them back to the Cambrian Period, more than 500 million years before, when multicellular life began to flourish and struggle out of the fecund sea onto a barren shore. Bright Angel shale appeared beneath it, crumbling horizontal layers of purple and green. It was now nearly impossible to climb from the river to the rim, but a crack in the sheer Redwall wedged with broken timbers showed where Ancestral Puebloans, long ago, built a precarious road. The crew floated below the open mouths of cliff dwellings and sifted through pebbles for arrowheads and sherds. Their fingers startled up tiny toads. Deer watched their passing from dark thickets of mesquite, ghosting away through the tight weave of spiny branches. Below the boats, the dark water concealed its secrets. Hard to believe, but there were fish in that river: fish with leathery skins and torpedo-shaped bodies evolved to withstand endless sandblasting, and monstrous minnows that grew to the length of a man and weighed 100 pounds. Clover, in the back of her journal, began to scribble a poem:

How can I write so you will understand,

Who have not heard the raging devil roar...

But the canyon’s strangeness seemed to slip away from the strict, formal lines, and she concluded in despair: “The subject will probably be beyond me.”

They ran 25 miles on July 17. The Tapeats sandstone emerged at river level, dark rock fractured into horizontal lines, flaky as well-made pastry. Lying on top like serpentine dragons, fast asleep, were petrified flows of travertine, a spiky stone made from calcium carbonate precipitating out of water. They passed the Confluence sometime that afternoon, where the Little Colorado River emerged from its own canyon on the left and bent around its delta to join the Colorado. The waves turned choppy and coffee-brown where the two rivers met. Tumbled stones, rounded by water, lay on the delta: azure and mauve, taupe and terracotta, some white and cracked like eggs ready to open, others like blunt black knives. The Confluence is a sacred place to Hopi, Zuni and other tribes.

Nevills deemed the place a poor campsite, so they drifted on to the head of Tanner Rapid. Up until this point the river had hoarded its vistas, a notch here or a bend there revealing some startling view of sky — or merely another cliff, higher and farther away than the first. Now, as if regretting its stinginess, the landscape rolled back. Red round hills sloped down to the water, and beyond them, in every direction, one could see layers of strata stacked, tilted, and jumbled, wedding-cake-style, if a wedding cake oozed travertine and spit boulders. To the south, the round cylindrical bump of the Desert View Watchtower stood on the highest ridge, blue with distance and furred with juniper trees. They camped in a cove at the head of the rapid, found a handy jam of driftwood, and set it ablaze. Nevills had arranged this signal with the Park Service: A single bonfire meant “everything OK,” a double bonfire meant “send help.” It was a fine sight, the fire roaring and crackling beside the dark waters of the river, with a stormy sky above. They strained their eyes, looking for some answering glimmer from the tower. There — perhaps that was it — a quicksilver shine in the darkness. Or perhaps it had been a trick of starlight. It was hard to be sure of anything, down here.

The women woke before dawn the next day, as usual. All was gray. The air held a sense of impending rain. Their camp was tucked into a great bend in the river, so the water curved away in both directions. A pink mist lay over its surface in languid folds. Dark clouds hung in the east, underbellies alight with gold ribbon and purple gauze. Then the sun’s first rays crossed to the opposite canyon wall and lit the Watchtower. The world turned salmon. The light slid downward, burnishing the somber gray cliff to a glow. The gibbous moon, waning now, had not yet set; broken-edged, it hung over the canyon. A rainbow leapt from the cliff wall into the sky, one dazzling pathway from earth to cloud. Jotter and Clover stood in their damp, wrinkled clothes, nails torn to the quick, aching and bruised, lost for words.   

This story was excerpted from Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon, to be published on May 23, 2023, by
W. W. Norton. Used with permission.

Melissa L. Sevigny is a science journalist at KNAU (Arizona Public Radio). She has worked as a science communicator in the fields of water policy, sustainable agriculture and space exploration, and is the author of Mythical River and Under Desert Skies. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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