The White Heart of the Mojave recounts a 1920’s adventure “in the wind and sun and big spaces” of Death Valley by two independent minded women, Edna Brush Perkins and Charlotte Hannahs Jordan. Both women were early feminists, Edna as chairwoman of the greater Cleveland Woman’s Suffrage Party (1916-18). At the end of the Great War, the two friends wanted nothing more than to escape “to the solitariness of some wild and lonely place far from city halls, smokestacks, national organizations, and streets of little houses all alike.”
Their vacation started as a long motor drive through the backwoods of California (Charlotte’s husband, Ned, owned the Jordan Motor Car Company). It ended with a month long trek through Death Valley in an old milk wagon drawn by a horse and a mule. Edna’s descriptions of the desert are superb and from the heart–the dunes “were very beautiful, with knife-edged tops ridged in pure, clean lines from which fringes of fine sand blew up like the wind tossed manes of white horses.” This is a great listen for anyone who likes first-hand accounts of adventure in the Great Outdoors.
If you have enjoyed The White Heart of Mojave, you might like
The Land of Little Rain, by Mary Hunter Austin