As a visual artist, Galen Rowell is a modern transcendentalist, in my opinion. The ideas articulated in the nineteenth century by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, and later embraced by John Muir, entered popular culture in the 1960s. In Galen's hometown of Berkeley during the 1960s and 1970s, bookshelves were loaded with the works of contemporary writers who expressed transcendentalist ideas: Loren Eiseley, Gary Snyder, Edward Abbey. Photography books also expressed the sublime in nature, as seen by Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, Philip Hyde, and others featured in the groundbreaking Sierra Club Exhibit Format series launched by David Brower. Galen was influenced by all of them. Their books lined his library shelves, and he cited them in his own work-and took their ideas as a personal call to action.