One of the most inspirational “travel” books I’ve ever read is Peter Jenkins’ A Walk Across America (Harper Collins, 1979).
Disillusioned and cynical about society, newly minted college graduate Jenkins decides to hit the road with his faithful half Alaskan Malamute and “forever friend,” Cooper. (The book is even dedicated to Peter’s “forever friends: Cooper Half Malamute and Barbara Jo.”)
Together, Peter and Coop discover America. The resulting tome, A Walk Across America, is the compelling, uplifting account of the reawakening of Jenkins’ faith in himself and his country. It topped the New York Times Bestseller list for months and remains a beloved classic.
Weary of plowing through a mountain of mawkish drivel posing as “hiking memoir,” I recently decided to return to the Real Deal. The “Grand Daddy” of the genre and its trail-blazing author, Peter Jenkins.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.