Twenty-five years ago, a disillusioned young man set out on a walk across America. This is the book he wrote about that journey -- a classic account of the reawakening of his faith in himself and his country. "I started out searching for myself and my country," Peter Jenkins writes, "and found both." In this timeless classic, Jenkins describes how disillusionment with society in the 1970s drove him out onto the road on a walk across America. His experiences remain as sharp and telling today as they were twenty-five years ago -- from the timeless secrets of life, learned from a mountain-dwelling hermit, to the stir he caused by staying with a black family in North Carolina, to his hours of intense labor in Southern mills. Many, many miles later, he learned lessons about his country and himself that resonate to this day -- and will inspire a new generation to get out, hit the road and explore.
How to Walk Across America is the survival guide for the crazy, courageous few who want (or need) to chuck it all and walk from ocean to ocean. No nonsense. No marketing. Just lessons from the road, from people who have actually walked across America. This is the ultimate primer on mega-long distance hiking, practical advice to keep feet from failing, sanity from disintegrating, and bank accounts from disappearing, no matter how long the hike. Attorney, adventurer, and author Tyler Coulson walked across America in 2011 with his dog, Mabel. Contributor Nate Damm did it in 2011, and contributors John and Kait Seyal did it in 2012, with three therapy dogs. Coulson shares lessons that you can only learn on the road, from common sense to highway secrets. He writes with candor and humor, stripping away all the marketing and glamour of high-tech, high-dollar hiking. What's left is the ultimate first-level guide to the practice of chucking it all and walking out. It pulls no punches: it will scare you, inspire you, and leave you laughing. Tyler Coulson is also the author of BY MEN OR BY THE EARTH.
Beginning in New Orleans, Peter Jenkins continues his walk across America--with his bride Barbara. Lavishly illustrated with 48 pages of full-color and black-and-white photos, here is the story of the journey that captured a nation's heart, now available for the first time in trade paperback.
A memoir of one young man's coming of age on a journey across America--told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the way. Life is fast, and I've found it's easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I'm slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us. At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel headed out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read "Walking to Listen." He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't know how. So he decided to take a cross-country quest for guidance, one where everyone he met would be his guide. In the year that followed, he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered incredible kindness from strangers. Thousands shared their stories with him, sometimes confiding their prejudices, too. Often he didn't know how to respond. How to find unity in diversity? How to stay connected, even as fear works to tear us apart? He listened for answers to these questions, and to the existential questions every human must face, and began to find that the answer might be in listening itself. Ultimately, it's the stories of others living all along the roads of America that carry this journey and sing out in a hopeful, heartfelt book about how a life is made, and how our nation defines itself on the most human level.
In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant and mother of eight children named Helga Estby was behind on taxes and the mortgage when she learned that a mysterious sponsor would pay $10,000 to a woman who walked across America. Hoping to win the wager and save her family’s farm, Helga and her teenaged daughter Clara, armed with little more than a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and Clara’s curling iron, set out on foot from Eastern Washington. Their route would pass through 14 states, but they were not allowed to carry more than five dollars each. As they visited Indian reservations, Western boomtowns, remote ranches and local civic leaders, they confronted snowstorms, hunger, thieves and mountain lions with equal aplomb. Their treacherous and inspirational journey to New York challenged contemporary notions of femininity and captured the public imagination. But their trip had such devastating consequences that the Estby women's achievement was blanketed in silence until, nearly a century later, Linda Lawrence Hunt encountered their extraordinary story.
On his seventieth birthday in 1909, a slim man with a shock of white hair, a walrus mustache, and a spring in his step faced west from Park Row in Manhattan and started walking. By the time Edward Payson Weston was finished, he was in San Francisco, having trekked 3,895 miles in 104 days. Weston’s first epic walk across America transcended sport. He was “everyman” in a stirring battle against the elements and exhaustion, tramping along at the pace of someone decades younger. Having long been America’s greatest pedestrian, he was attempting the most ambitious and physically taxing walk of his career. He walked most of the way alone when the car that he hired to follow him kept breaking down, and he often had to rest without adequate food or shelter. That Weston made it is one of the truly great but forgotten sports feats of all time. Thanks in large part to his daily dispatches of his travails—from blizzards to intense heat, rutted roads, bad shoes, and illness—Weston’s trek became a wonder of the ages and attracted international headlines to the sport called “pedestrianism.” Aided by long-buried archival information, colorful biographical details, and Weston’s diary entries, Walk of Ages is more than a book about a man going for a walk. It is an epic tale of beating the odds and a penetrating look at a vanished time in America.
Late one June night in 2011, a large animal collided with an SUV cruising down a Connecticut parkway. The creature appeared as something out of New England's forgotten past. Beside the road lay a 140-pound mountain lion. Speculations ran wild, the wildest of which figured him a ghostly survivor from a bygone century when lions last roamed the eastern United States. But a more fantastic scenario of facts soon unfolded. The lion was three years old, with a DNA trail embarking from the Black Hills of South Dakota on a cross-country odyssey eventually passing within thirty miles of New York City. It was the farthest landbound trek ever recorded for a wild animal in America, by a barely weaned teenager venturing solo through hostile terrain. William Stolzenburg retraces his two-year journey--from his embattled birthplace in the Black Hills, across the Great Plains and the Mississippi River, through Midwest metropolises and remote northern forests, to his tragic finale upon Connecticut's Gold Coast. Along the way, the lion traverses lands with people gunning for his kind, as well as those championing his cause. Heart of a Lion is a story of one heroic creature pitting instinct against towering odds, coming home to a society deeply divided over his return. It is a testament to the resilience of nature, and a test of humanity's willingness to live again beside the ultimate symbol of wildness.
More than twenty years ago, a disillusioned college graduate named Peter Jenkins set out with his dog Cooper to look for himself and his nation. His memoir of what he found, A Walk Across America, captured the hearts of millions of Americans. Now, Peter is a bit older, married with a family, and his journeys are different than they were. Perhaps he is looking for adventure, perhaps inspiration, perhaps new communities, perhaps unspoiled land. Certainly, he found all of this and more in Alaska, America's last wilderness. Looking for Alaska is Peter's account of eighteen months spent traveling over twenty thousand miles in tiny bush planes, on snow machines and snowshoes, in fishing boats and kayaks, on the Alaska Marine Highway and the Haul Road, searching for what defines Alaska. Hearing the amazing stories of many real Alaskans--from Barrow to Craig, Seward to Deering, and everywhere in between--Peter gets to know this place in the way that only he can. His resulting portrait is a rare and unforgettable depiction of a dangerous and beautiful land and all the people that call it home. He also took his wife and eight-year-old daughter with him, settling into a "home base" in Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, coming and going from there, and hosting the rest of their family for extended visits. The way his family lived, how they made Alaska their home and even participated in Peter's explorations, is as much a part of this story as Peter's own travels. All in all, Jenkins delivers a warm, funny, awe-inspiring, and memorable diary of discovery-both of this place that captures all of our imaginations, and of himself, all over again.
Brian Bouldrey traveled to the island of Corsica, with its wine-dark Mediterranean waters, powdered-sugar beach sand, sumptuous cuisine, and fine wine. And then he walked away from all of them. Bouldrey strapped on a backpack and walked across Napoleon's native land with the same spirit many choose to dance or drink: to celebrate, to mourn, to think, to avoid thinking, to recall, to ignore, to escape, and to arrive. This wonderfully textured account of a two-week ramble along a famous Corsican hiking trail with his German friend Petra (she was good at the downhills while he was better at the uphills) offers readers a journal that is a launching point for reflection: thoughts on cultural differences, friendship, physical challenge, personal challenge, and getting very, very lost. Part travelogue, part memoir, and part lampoon, this book offers readers an impressionistic view of a little talked about yet stunningly beautiful landscape. Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians and the Public Library Association Runner-up, Best Travel Book, National Association of Travel Journalists
My faith commands me to take care of those in need, particularly the children. Then in 2008, our nation faced a serious financial crisis. During that crisis, funding for mental health became disrupted, and children suffered. The crushing need to help our children led me to walk across America to tell everyone who would listen about the needs of children with emotional issues, behavioral issues, and developmental disabilities. Little did I know at the outset of my walk that it would become a walk of life’s lessons learned about the beautiful, decent, caring people in our nation. During my walk, my cynicism was replaced with hope, with gratitude, and with renewed faith in mankind. I was renewed spiritually and emotionally by the people I met along my journey. My walk started as a spiritual journey. It was a walk of atonement and a walk of gratitude. I always told people that I came from a very poor family. My mom struggled. Years later, after seeing what many of the children at Good Shepherd have gone through, I realized that I was not poor at all. In fact, I came from an extremely wealthy family who just happened to not have any money. I never once doubted that my mom and my brothers and sisters and family loved me. The children of Good Shepherd and the sisters have taught me to be grateful for the wonderful gifts that I have been granted caretaker of. The walk of atonement was a time to reflect and ask those people that I have hurt in my life to forgive me, those people in my life whom I have disappointed to pray for me, and those people in my life that I have helped that they would help another. I realized later in life that I learned much more from my mistakes than I had from my successes. The walk was an opportunity to write about, pray about, and seek forgiveness for. Atonement goes well beyond being forgiven. As a Catholic, I know that my Savior forgives my sins, but that does not alleviate my responsibility to atone for what I have done or what I have failed to do. When atonement is sought, behaviors change. The cycle of forgiveness is then complete, and true family healing can occur. I was hoping that during my walk, the Holy Spirit would guide me and give me the wisdom that I would need to develop a program to help children in need. Little did I know that the lessons I had hoped to learn were overwhelmed by the life’s lessons learned while I walked across America. Join me in reliving the amazing stories of my walk across America for children. It’s all good!