“My main purpose was to be where I was.”
Peter Jenkins is a man I can admire. I may not be able to walk across America but I dream of it and this book allowed me a bit of insight, albeit a few decades before my time. An individual attempting this task today would face different obstacles and, I fear, a different America. Peter takes us through his training, his daily journeys, where he traveled, who he stayed with and how he was able to fund this venture. After a failed marriage and a lack of love for his country, Peter and his dog Cooper begin training for their walk from Alfred, NY across the country. Along the way he stays with a true Mountain Man, an African American family, who takes him to church bringing him to life, a commune, which made him question why others would stay, as well as countless friends and campsites. He visits a revival on a whim and settles in a seminary to write this book only to find his future wife. Jenkins reveals his true feelings and emotions throughout the book and provides great detail on everything he saw. My only disappointment is this book doesn’t cover the entire American trip. Jenkins sets out on the second half of his journey with his wife after he meets her in New Orleans. I’m left in anticipation of the second half of the journey.
After reading this, I did some research and found that Peter Jenkins and his son still travel and share their adventures. I would urge anyone interested to go check out their pictures. It’s a lovely break from the day to day grind. Also, I found a really great documentary called “Mile/Mile and a Half” about hiking the John Muir Trail that was very entertaining. This book obviously had some impact as I now want to hike, walk, crawl my way anywhere I can.