In Search of Dominguez & Escalante.
Photographing the 1776 Spanish Expedition Through the Southwest.
By Greg Mac Gregor and Siegfried Halus.
University Of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2011. 232 pp., Illustrated throughout, 9¼x11¼".
More than two hundred years later Greg Mac Gregor and Siegfried Halus have created a remarkable visual record of the expedition. Using Escalante’s journal as their guide, the photographers followed the expeditionary route, circling through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, and documenting the frontier as first witnessed by the Spanish explorers on horseback. The expedition passed what today are major national parks and landforms: Zion Canyon; Dinosaur Monument; and the Grand Canyon. The photographs show many areas virtually unchanged over centuries; other images reveal the passage of time in pictures of dammed rivers, power lines, and towns where once stood virgin forests.
Quoting widely from Escalante’s journal, the authors present first hand accounts of the expedition alongside their photographic narrative. Essays by the photographers discuss their methodology and experiences as modern day explorers retracing the steps of the friars. In his historical essay, Joseph P. Sánchez writes about the lasting legacy of the Spanish expeditions.