I have to admit that I didn't know anything about Everett Ruess or of the mystery surrounding his disappearence in the Southwest in the 1930s. It wasn't until about two weeks ago, when the story broke that the mystery may have been solved, that I learned of who he was.
Everett Ruess was a 20-year old writer and artist who was noticed by such artists as Ansel Adams. But he rejected modern society and, at the age of 16, he left San Francisco to find another life in the Southwest. He wrote once that he doubted that he would ever be able to return to civilization. In 1934, he was last seen in Escalante, Utah, stocking up on supplies. He then took off into the wilderness with his two mules, never to be seen again.
The mystery of his disapperance has inspired books and at least one movie.
NPR radio ran a segment on the story this morning. To read the article and hear the segment, which I think is very good, go here. I understand that it is to be featured in National Geographic magazine's current issue.
Ruess has been called a modern-day Thoreau, an artist of nature, an early environmentalist in the style of Edward Abbey. Unfortunately, it appears that on one day in 1934 or 1935, he was just one very unlucky young man.