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9781466933835

Hitching the Highway

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781466933835

  • ISBN10:

    1466933836

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-25
  • Publisher: Textstream
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Summary

It is the Seventies. Ed Macale is thirty plus and soon to be divorced. He suddenly quits his secure job and home and escapes from the routine of suburban England to realise his long held dream of going to America. Ever since he was a kid he was inspired by seeing colourful images of that big country in the cinema. Now he is finally able to take a life-changing trip and on his own terms. With his personal possessions in a bag and only four contacts to stay with, he hitchhikes westward across the vast varied landscape on historic Route 66 to California. It is an exciting experience as he hitches rides, a couple of over thousands of miles, meets a diverse collection of fellow travellers and passes through the most spectacular countryside he has ever seen: it is the romance of the road. Immersing himself into the exciting and existential footloose culture of the road he recaptures the journeys of the thirties' migrants and the beat authors and hippies of the post war generation. This is Ed's story of the events and his feelings about them as he explores and experiences a different country for the first time.

Excerpts

Ed Macale, Ed to his friends, is a thirty plus recently separated suburban Englishman and is desperately itching to escape the now irksome daily routine of his life. To the surprise of his friends and colleagues he suddenly quits his secure job. He is now completely free to pursue a long held youthful dream. As a kid he was fascinated and seduced by colourful images of America in his local cinema and always wanted to visit that country. Now he is opting out to seek a life-changing adventure: to experience the romance of the American highway. With his personal possessions in a bag and only four contacts to stay with, he hitchhikes westward across the vast varied landscape on historic Route 66 to the ultimate destination, the magnet of California. It is an exciting experience, a complete contrast to his life back in England, as he hitches rides, a couple of over thousands of miles, meets a diverse collection of fellow travellers and passes through the most spectacular countryside he has ever seen and visits key places on the way. Immersing himself into the exciting and existential footloose culture of the road he recaptures the journeys of the thirties' migrants and the beat authors and hippies of the post war generation. This is his story of the events and his feelings about them as he explores and experiences a different country for the first time. 'This stretch of old 66 is as romantic as Ed imagined it long before. They pass Winslow, as in the Eagles' song: "I'm standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona ..." He could have been standing there as well but for Ben picking him up back in Oklahoma, over a thousand miles away and culturally a different world. He is amazed to be at and passing through these places previously only real in movies or songs but now actually real. It's as if he did not believe they existed at all.' 'As expected from films and TV, The City is lodged in a picturesque way surrounded by an array of undulating roller coaster hills. It is not too obviously an American city, like the others seen but surprisingly small with an intimate feel with brightly painted wooden houses from the Victorian era with a distinctively European ambience. All the while in his peripheral vision are the two imposing bridges: the Golden Gate and the Oakland-Bay.' 'The whole scene is like a Vista Vision stereo nature film, the big country. Above all though, it is the massive Columbia River itself winding its way on their left along the border that commands his attention. Unfolding his large map with some difficulty in the ramped cab, he notes the Grand Coulee Dam of Woody Guthrie fame is further along the route near Spokane. He is utterly overwhelmed by the immensity and the beauty of this whole green hilly landscape.'

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