Author/adventurer visits Edwards bookstore Friday | VailDaily.com
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Author/adventurer visits Edwards bookstore Friday

Author and adventurers David Roberts has been writing books for 50 years. "The Lost World of the Old Ones" is his latest. He's appearing Friday at the Bookworm in the Edwards Riverwalk.
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If You Go ...

What: Author event with David Roberts.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards.

When: 6 p.m. Friday.

Cost: $10, includes appetizers.

More information: David Roberts’ book, “The Lost World of the Old Ones: Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest,” is his latest in a career that has spanned 50 years as an adventurer and author. The book is available at The Bookworm. Call 970-926-READ.

EDWARDS — Adventurer and author David Roberts scaled a sheer rock wall in eastern Utah along with two of his colleagues, searching for knowledge and wisdom, or at least a little information about the Fremont people who used to live there.

That’s the thing about information: Sometimes what you learn puts you right back where you started.

Roberts is the author of “The Lost World of the Old Ones: Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest.”

Along with being an author, he also spins a delightful yarn about his adventures and will be at The Bookworm of Edwards Friday at 6 p.m.

When you see him today, ask him about how that climb, and others like it, put him “back at square one in our ignorance.”

Funny, informative

“The Lost World of the Old Ones” weaves the personalities of the Anasazi and Fremont people, with the pace of a who-dunnit thriller. Along the way Roberts answers the question, “Who done what to whom?”

It’s funny, witty and highly personal, and it engages the casual reader while providing enough new information for experts.

Colorado kid

First and foremost, Roberts is a mountaineer who grew up in Boulder. He has been writing books for 50 years, beginning with “The Mountain of My Fear” about mountain climbing in Alaska.

In “The Lost World of the Old Ones,” Roberts reveals archaeological breakthroughs, along with two decades of far-flung exploits in search of spectacular prehistoric ruins and rock-art panels known to very few modern travelers. Mostly, they’re unknown because Roberts keeps them that way.

In one of his early books, he described an archaeological find and left so many clues about how to get to it that Mr. Magoo could find it.

About 20 years ago, Roberts and his wife discovered a prehistoric woven basket on a Utah mesa. Roberts says he embraces the idea of an outdoor museum. They left it so others could enjoy the thrill of discovery.

In 2012, they returned to the spot and found the basket still there, and still intact.

“To take the basket out of its hiding place would in all likelihood have damaged it,” he writes in “The Lost World of the Old Ones.”

Occasionally bemused

Roberts is a former literature professor and designed Harvard’s Mountaineering Club. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Denver.

He’s curious and more than a little skeptical about “revolutionary” findings by “experts.”

Like the time a rancher came across a skeleton. He preserved it by covering it with a stone basin used for grinding corn. A few years later, a bunch of graduate students found it and proclaimed that the ancients had covered their dead with corn grinders.

Roberts will tell you all about that, and dozens of other tales on Friday.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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