A Walk Across America


“As the lifetime-long days passed I began to notice a profound cleansing taking place in myself as we were inmersed in the peaceful Pennsylvania farm valleys. The streams and cotton-clean clouds washed my soul and I felt myself opening up to the world.”

― Peter Jenkins, A Walk Across America

Thrift shop gold made for a great read. Once, while on a road trip through several states, a stranger who I ended up staying with bragged about being family friends with the Jenkins. I nodded along, trying to hide the fact that I didn’t know who the Jenkins were, all while this man mentioned them in a way that suggested I should.

Years later, I was at a dinner party here in Oregon when Peter Jenkins again became the topic of discussion. Most of the crowd was a little bit older, and I soon realized that around the late 1970s and early 1980s, Peter Jenkins basically brought the travel writing genre back to life. He spent several years walking from upstate New York to the Oregon Coast, combatting his disillusionment of American culture and politics by getting to know its different people more intimately.

When I found this for a buck at a thrift shop, I had to go for it. Books about people on a quest, especially one that involves travel or backpacking, almost never disappoint me.

 

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