Man and Horse, the Long Ride Across America By John Egenes

Four Stars

In 1974, John Egenes and his horse quarter-horse Gizmo set off from Ventura, California, for Virginia Beach, Virginia. Like the title says, this is his story of their trip. Yet, it’s much more than that. It’s his life story of how he got to that point. As a small child whose father deserted them, he was led or forced to the path of independence by his mother. She drifted through life looking for its meaning dragging her four children with her. He talks about the beginnings of his wandering by hitchhiking and train-jumping throughout the western United States. It seems that his path in life was leading to his trek.

The author’s descriptive writing puts you in the heat of the desert, the cold streams, and the loneliness of the trail. It’s a trip that, I don’t think, could be made today. Many people walk, run, or ride bicycles across country today, but I suspect the prairie is closed to wanderers, no matter how focused they are.

For the adventure-minded, I recommend John’s story. My only reason for not giving him five stars is that he has a tendency to repeat himself.