Written in 1912 by Julius Birge, The Awakening of the Desert describes an 1866 wagon train trip taken during “the bloody years on the plains.” Recounting the risks of traveling the area surrounding the Oregon Trail, the author faithfully depicts the virgin environment, Native American tribes and abundant wildlife in words that now seem more timely than ever. From Red Cloud going on the warpath, to Mormon services where Brigham Young preached, to the legendary Buffalo Bill, Birge happened upon events, places and people whose significance was revealed with time. Late in his life, understanding the importance of what he had witnessed, he wrote The Awakening of the Desert. An introduction by the author’s great-granddaughter sets the stage and makes it easy for the reader to track the arduous journey and understand its purpose. It also provides details of Birge’s life before and after the trip, bringing additional interest to his memoir, which has been regarded as an important cultural work for more than a century. Lovers of nature, students of history and those traveling through the American West today will appreciate this vivid, lyrical and often humorous recollection.