Man & Horse: The Long Ride Across America by John Egenes
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.
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“I love stories of long journeys”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Lindsey Shields
A must read! I love stories of long journeys, and this one works for me. It’s a tale of adventure and a kind of coming of age that could maybe only happen in 1974 – and perhaps only be written now. The world has moved on and we have changed. The author looks back on this rich journey across his native America with the perspective of time, exploring his early life, from learning to be alone to the growing impetus to to take on such a momentous ride and beyond. As he relates his tale, with anecdotes that sometimes put you in mind of listening to a cowboy by the campfire, Egenes flicks easily between times in the past. Populated by myriad characters and other living creatures (not always friendly) in the changing landscape, his account is interspersed with personal philosophy and hung on the backbone of his relationship with the wonderful Gizmo.
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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