There are authors who connect with different phases of one’s life. When I first started working in technology, I liked to read William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. When I was in art school, it was Alan Watts and Kant.
Now it’s Edward Abbey, the outsider, the peaceful anarchist, the visionary of the southwest.
His books are vivid descriptions of living outside in the desert, with little more than a backpack and canteen. Finding spring water sources, exploring canyons, and being away from populated civilization for weeks at a time- these are the stories he tells, both in fiction and memoir. Try Desert Solitaire, as an entree, and if you like the style, move on to the fiction works.
The first time I saw the southwest was about 10 years ago, on a work trip which took me near Joshua Tree, California. I drove around in a rental car, practically agape at the incredible and strange beauty.
Now, despite being born and having lived most of my life in the soggy and cold northeast, the desert feels like a second home, like a place I should be.