In the tradition of Jack Kerouac's On the Road and set during the intersection of the radical '60s and the mellow '70s, ride along with a recent UVA grad as he hitchhikes cross-country and back with only $20 in his pocket and meets colorful characters from Kansas City to Haight-Ashbury, with detours including a harrowing escape from a Tijuana jail. With the Vietnam War raging and the race riots waning, young Preston took off to travel the country to prove to himself and the world that he could make it in a world that was still not at peace with itself. The risk of being mistaken as a draft dodger or hippie and mistreated as in Easy Rider loomed in the back of his mind even though he not only did not look the part but was totally opposed to their ideas. This added political risk to the usual dangers of thugs and criminals that hound anyone traveling alone and in unsavory places due to lack of funds to pay for safer accommodations. This story is about a twenty-one-year-old college graduate who had dreamed since childhood about one day seeing the USA. During his years at UVA, his interest was piqued after hearing stories from two older fraternity brothers. They had apparently driven to California, found work, and returned home at the end of the summer. They were rich by his standards since they had saved four times the amount of money that he could even make for the same work in Virginia. After much thought, he decided that hitchhiking would be the only way to accomplish the mission. He looked for two years for a friend that would go with him but without success. Finally he realized that, if he were to go at all, he would have to go alone. Much soul-searching went into making the decision, but finally he decided that he could actually do it alone. Now his whole perspective changed. The trip would no longer be just about making money and sightseeing. It would be about sightseeing, adventure, challenge, and survival! To ensure that it would be what he wanted, he placed two restrictions upon himself. The first was to accept every ride offered to him. If he let the looks of the driver or the type or condition of the vehicle keep him from taking that ride, he might miss the greatest adventure of his life. That would completely defeat the purpose. In order to guarantee that he would have to be resourceful, he would limit the amount of money that he took with him to $20. As he moved about the country, he faced many challenges, including unsavory people, lack of money, and lack of safe overnight accommodations. In every instance, he adjusted to the situation, adapted, and overcame the particular problem. He returned home fifty-six days later with $14, having traveled ten thousand miles just in time to begin dental school. He is now a changed person. He firmly believes there is nothing he can't do. Accounts of particular problems he faced and the solutions he rendered represent the bulk of the text. This is a true account of some of the events of his life. The maps within the text are copies of the original maps that he used in 1969.
- | Author: G. Preston Burns Jr.
- | Publisher: Covenant Books
- | Publication Date: Mar 09, 2023
- | Number of Pages: 166 pages
- | Language: English
- | Binding: Hardcover
- | ISBN-10: 1685266622
- | ISBN-13: 9781685266622