In 1913, Los Angeles unleashed its Aqueduct, an engineering marvel that carried water from the Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra Nevada south to the young city. Indeed, the city grew and thrived, and the investors, including self-taught engineer William Mulholland and former mayor Fred Eaton, became rich and powerful.But what about the people at the thirsty upper end of the aqueduct? In this novel, three generations of the Richardson family and their town of Pinyon Creek, high in the Eastern Sierra, encounter challenges from nature, outsiders, and the forces of history. Spence and Molly Richardson share humor, curiosity, and kindness. They also share courage: this is a tough, unforgiving land of spiking mountains, continuous sun, wind in the summer, floods in spring and fall, and blizzards in the winter. It's the land whose winter devastated the Donner Party and whose summer killed pioneers who got lost traversing Death Valley. Most of all, the Richardsons and their neighbors are intensely practical: if the gold has been mined out, learn how to find rocks rich in silver, tungsten and antimony; if your lakes have no fish, breed trout hatchlings and then carry them in water-filled vessels by mule train to those very waters, dump them in and see how they thrive.
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January 14, 2012
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