In 1974 a disenfranchised young man from a broken home set out to do the impossible. With a hundred dollars in his pocket, a beat up cavalry saddle, and a faraway look in his eye, John Egenes saddled his horse Gizmo and started down the trail on an adventure across the North American continent. Their seven month journey took them across 11 states from California to Virginia, ocean to ocean.. As they left the pressing confinement of the city behind them, the pair experienced the isolation and loneliness of the southwestern deserts, the vastness of the prairie, and the great landscapes that make up America. Across hundreds of miles of empty land they slept with coyotes and wild horses under the stars, and in urban areas they camped alone in graveyards and abandoned shacks. Along the way John and Gizmo were transformed from inexperienced horse and rider to veterans of the trail. With his young horse as his spiritual guide John slowly began to comprehend his own place in the world and to find peace within himself. Full of heart and humor, Egenes serves up a tale that’s as big as the America he witnessed, an America that no longer exists. It was a journey that could only have been experienced step by step, mile by mile, from the view between a horse’s ears.
Available on Amazon
“Very nice book. As a school librarian”
Five Star Review on Amazon by Erin Elizabeth Deibert
Very nice book. As a school librarian, I am always looking to find books that will interest young adult male readers and this is one that I will recommend going forward. In an age of constant connectedness and devices, this book does a great job of helping readers envision a time when the world was simpler and what it would be like to exist for long periods of time without human contact. Luckily the bond between the main character and his horse, Gizmo, is well written and helps the reader understand how both characters guided each other through this journey.
About the Author
John Egenes has been a musician, a saddlemaker, a dog catcher, and a hobo, among other things. He only learns by making mistakes and he views his life through a windshield full of squashed bugs. He makes his home in New Zealand.
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