In January 1931, Everett Ruess, a young Los Angeles artist, left his comfortable home, hitchhiked to Arizona and walked into the wild desert canyons alone. Ruess planned to paint a collection of pictures for exhibition. Three years later, he no longer cared about fame. In a final letter home Ruess wrote: "As to when I will revisit civilization, it will not be soon, I think...I prefer the deep peace of the wilderness to the discontent bred by cities." Ruess scratched the name "NEMO" (no one) on a high cliff, led his burros into a deep crack in the earth called Davis Gulch and vanished.