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July 03, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

CAMPING OUT IN YELLOWSTONE, 1882 by Mary Bradshaw Richards, edited by William W. Slaughter (University of Utah Press: $10.95; 108 pp., paperback original). Ten years after it became America's first National Park, Mary Richards recounted her impressions of Yellowstone in a series of letters to the Salem Observer. Her straightforward narrative, refreshingly free of 19th-Century propriety, is as much portrait of the author as the park. Richards clearly enjoyed roughing it, traveling by horse, wagon and foot to visit the geysers, hot springs, pools and other natural wonders. Slaughter's thorough notes clarify many of the references in the original text.

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