I have just gotten a hold of other “The Cactus Eaters” book, published 61 years ago. There are quite a few eerie similarities. For example, both books have two protagonists. In both books, the two of them leave their jobs and set off to a wild area in search of grand adventures. In the case of that first book, the explorers are two frustrated coffee growers (instead of frustrated journalists) who set off to explore the remote Goajira peninsula of northern Colombia and meet the Goajira people (instead of exploring the western states and meeting mile-bagging backpackers). The author is Julian Weston. Apparently, the book is recommended by the “Society for the History of Discoveries.” Out of print and rare, the book includes monochrome photos and maps. I now have a copy, and am about a quarter finished with reading it.