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1 Burnside Americana- General

A Walk Across America

by

A Walk Across America Cover

ISBN13: 9780060959555
ISBN10: 006095955x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chapter OneTalkin' by a Wood Stove

“ Stop right there, son. You ain't goin' nowhere in this blizzard. Now sit down!” The huge man blocked the narrow door of the snow-covered country store. I had just thawed out from the heat of the wood stove and was ready to move on, but this outraged stranger was as round as the stove and as stout as an old oak, and the meanness in his face would have stopped a charging rhino. I didn't want to argue or create more of a scene than was already taking place, so I took off my backpack again, hoping he would calm down.Next to the white-haired man was a man in his early twenties, about my age. He had on an insulated army jacket, and his hair, long for this part of the country, was growing out from underneath his yellow-and-green John Deere baseball cap. The worn black boots with the army canvas on the side told me that he had recently returned from Vietnam. In the seat next to the Vietnam veteran was his young son, staring at my golden backpack.

The shouting man came over to our circle by the potbellied stove.“ What in the world do ya think yer a-doin' hikin' in this blizzard? Cain't ya see there's two feet o' snow on tha ground and no stoppin' in sight? What are ya, crazy?”

“ Now calm down, Tommy. Maybe this boy's got a good reason for bein' out in thisgod-awful weather, ” soothed the white-haired gentleman.

“ Doc, ” yelled Tommy, “ I could hardly feed ma cows this morning, it was so bad! Why the devil ya think I'm stranded here? This boy's got ta be crazy!” The doctor said, “ Tommy, why don't you hush up and I'll ask the boy himself.” Here it goes again, I said to myself. For the hundredth time I am going to answer someone's questions about why I'm walking across America. It wasn't that I minded talking about it or answering questions, it was just that I really didn't know why myself.

“ Well, sir, my name's Peter Jenkins.” I took a deep breath. “ I'm walking across America. I started in upper New York state in October and I'm heading down through the Deep South and then on over to the West Coast.” The doc looked as if he had just delivered quintuplets when he expected twins. He blurted out, “ Why in the name of God would you want to do a thing like that?”

“ To get to know the country.”

Doc stared at me. “ So how does everything look?” he asked.“ You know, doc, it's looking better and better all the time.” Tommy, the stranded farmer, had been pacing the floor. For once he was quiet, obviously thinking hard. He broke off a wad of tobacco and began to chew. “ Listen, Pete, why don't ya come over to my house fer the night? My wife will cook ya up a big batch of biscuits with some homegrown steak.”

He was still trying to keep me out of the storm, and he had just offered me a temptation I almost couldn't resist. I hated to turn down those hot biscuits, but I declined his kind invitation. This time Tommy didn't stand in myway when I walked over to my pack, which I had just crammed with a day's food supply. He reached over and with a groan lifted the sixty pounds onto my back.“ Shoot, boy, I can hardly lift it! Ya know, carry'n' this thang all day must be worse than throwin' bales of hay on a hot summer day.” He aimed a spit of tobacco in a nearby can. “ Pete, yer all right!” But now he was nowhere in sight. I whistled as loud as I could and yelled, “ Cooper! Come on, let's go!” Over to my left I saw an exploding mound of snow. Inside that explosion was smiling Cooper. He came crashing over and jumped up on me with so much power and excitement that he knocked me back five feet. I would have fallen if big ol' Tommy hadn't been standing behind me; instead I just bounced off him.

What happened next was one beautiful moment in our long walk. When Cooper jumped up on me and I bounced off Tommy, I was spun around and there were all the country store people standing in this freezing, blowing snow ready to say good-bye. First the little boy walked up to me and handed me a Hershey's chocolate bar his dad had bought him. Then the doc came over to size up Cooper and said, “ Yes, sirre-e-e, I guess with him taking care of you I don't have to worry so much about you.” He paused. “ Listen, son, what we were saying back there in the store, well, we were just concerned, that's all.” Another pause as he started to shiver.

Then out from the weatheredlittle store came the thin farmer with the antique overalls. He hadn't said a word, but now he walked over to me, grabbed my hand hard as a bear...

Synopsis:

In this classic account, Jenkins describes how his disillusionment with society in the 1970s drove him out onto the road on a walk across America, and shares the lessons he learned about his country and himself that resonate to this day.

Synopsis:

“ I started out searching for myself and my country, ” Peter Jenkins writes, “ and found both.” In this classic account, he 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 as they were 25 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. Five thousand miles and 35 pairs of shoes later, he learned lessons about his country and himself that resonate today.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Peter Jenkins is the author of The Walk West, Along the Edge of America, Across Chinaand Looking for Alaska.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

topgun39743, September 26, 2012 (view all comments by topgun39743)
This book is a really good read. The author debates and really thinks if he wants to walk across America.This book was written in the 1970s,so I doubt I would do what he did in today's society. But the book gives a glimpse into places around the United States.Some of the places he visited weren't big cities such as Dallas or Charlotte. He got to know the people of the small cities and towns.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Donzilla, May 27, 2008 (view all comments by Donzilla)
An awesome chronicle of one man and his super-hero dog hotfooting across the grand ole U S A. Amazing! He discovers this country's roots and soul!
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
Ruby_Reads, April 15, 2008 (view all comments by Ruby_Reads)
Ah! This book is amazingly great. Peter Jenkins is
surely some man. :} He inspires me... if you all see
me walking around, don't pick me up. !
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(13 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060959555
Author:
Jenkins, Peter
Publisher:
William Morrow Paperbacks
Author:
by Peter Jenkins
Author:
Peter
Author:
Jenkins
Location:
New York : Perennial
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Walking
Subject:
Reference - Guides (General)
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Television Personalities
Subject:
Travelers
Subject:
Alabama
Subject:
Mobile
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
United States Description and travel.
Subject:
Walking -- United States.
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Travel - U.S. - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Perennial ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
107-27
Publication Date:
September 2001
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.04 in 15.82 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
Travel » North America » United States » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

A Walk Across America Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060959555 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this classic account, Jenkins describes how his disillusionment with society in the 1970s drove him out onto the road on a walk across America, and shares the lessons he learned about his country and himself that resonate to this day.
"Synopsis" by , “ I started out searching for myself and my country, ” Peter Jenkins writes, “ and found both.” In this classic account, he 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 as they were 25 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. Five thousand miles and 35 pairs of shoes later, he learned lessons about his country and himself that resonate today.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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