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The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness: Background information when reading Claiming Ground

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Claiming Ground

by Laura Bell

Claiming Ground
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2011, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

Location is integral to Laura Bell's memoir; not only does the land around her serve as a subtle metaphor for her emotions, but it also gives her a complex and compelling backdrop for her narrative. Though Bell's memoir stretches across the state of Wyoming, the majority of her story is concentrated in and around the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in northern Wyoming, adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.

The Beartooth and Absaroka mountain ranges are often thought of as similar in appearance, but both ranges have a distinct aesthetic that Bell explores in Claiming Ground. The Beartooths, which are slightly higher in elevation than the Absarokas and contain Montana's highest peak, are dominated by craggy granite cliffs, lakes, and small glaciers. The Absarokas, named for the Crow Indian tribes, are comprised of volcanic and metamorphic rock, lush vegetation, and a rich alpine ecosystem. Both ranges are marked by very unpredictable weather, expansive views, and abundant quantities ...

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