Naked and marvelous

  • Topographic view of Colorado Plateau


The Colorado Plateau and its Drainage, a topographic map by Kenneth Perry, is the closest most of us will ever come to seeing the West from heaven.

Perry combines USGS data with sophisticated Macintosh graphics to create maps that are both useful and colorful. While Raven Graphics maps are handsome and accurate, they render the West in lunar grays and browns. Perry, a hardrock geologist, has come up with a palette that gives the feel of a living landscape. The lithographic detail is also so precise that I can locate individual canyons - even a narrow one in the Bear River Range where I lived for seven years.

A topographic purist, Perry resisted putting state boundaries, towns, highways and such on his previous maps. This one shows state boundaries for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of Wyoming, Nevada and California, plus major roads and key towns: just enough for easy reference. Yet the ruler lines and typography are discreet, and if you step back 10 feet they disappear, and you see America's finest landscape, naked and marvelous.

Chalk Butte Inc., 137 Steele Lane, Boulder, WY 82923 (307/537-5261). $25 postpaid. - C.L. Rawlins

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