A WALK ACROSS AMERICA 2 by Peter & Barbara Jenkins Jenkins

A WALK ACROSS AMERICA 2

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first half of Peter Jenkins' bubbling account of his Atlantic-to-Pacific trek, A Walk Across America (1979), took him from New York State to New Orleans; for the rest of the way, he has a companion in new-wife Barbara--a New Orleans seminary student until deflected by a sermon titled ""Will You Go With This Man?""--who intermittently sets forth their adventures ""in my own words."" During the course of their two-year journey, Peter will toil in a restaurant, take a job as a tool dresser in Texas, help with an Idaho roundup, go shrimping, shoot gators, and trap coyote (shots of the corpses are included among the color photos). They'll be fed and housed by hospitable, salt-of-the-earth ranchers, farmers, and hunters. But much of the time they camp out--and much of their story tells of the hazards they faced: punishing walks in cutting wind and blazing heat; a confrontation with murderous thugs in Colorado; an accident in Utah when Peter's sister is with them--and they walk, for the first time, with their backs to traffic. But the scenery along the way is often magnificent; at the first sight of the Rockies, Peter exults: ""The intense joy started at my feet and went to my head and back and forth and back and forth."" (Barbara shouts simply: ""Thank you, Lord, hallelujah!"") Helped to cross the Cascades by a solicitous church group bringing food and cheer, the pair at last reach the Oregon coast and wade into the sea: ""There was no land left to walk. What [it] meant would take a lifetime to understand."" You won't find much in the way of perception here: vigor and praise of pioneer virtues are more the Jenkins' style. But the many who responded to Peter's solo start will doubtless take pleasure in following the pair to the happy end.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1981
Publisher: Morrow