Walden on Wheels

On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom

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Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 054402883X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 296

View: 2368

Inspired by Thoreau, Ilgunas set out on a Spartan path to pay off $32,000 in undergraduate student loans by scrubbing toilets and making beds in Coldfoot, Alaska. Determined to graduate debt-free after enrolling in graduate school, he lived in an Econoline van in a campus parking lot, saving—and learning—much about the cost of education today.

Trespassing Across America

One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland

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Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698198387

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 1945

Now that President Donald Trump has revived the Keystone XL pipeline that was rejected by former President Obama, Trespassing Across America is the book to help us understand the kaleidoscopic significance of the project. Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Ilgunas's story is both a fascinating account of one man’s remarkable journey along the pipeline's potential path and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves—both physically and mentally. It started as a far-fetched idea—to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. But in the months that followed, it grew into something more for Ken Ilgunas. It became an irresistible adventure—an opportunity not only to draw attention to global warming but also to explore his personal limits. So in September 2012, he strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles to the Alberta tar sands. Once there, he turned around and began his 1,700-mile trek to the XL’s endpoint on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey he would complete entirely on foot, walking almost exclusively across private property. Both a travel memoir and a reflection on climate change, Trespassing Across America is filled with colorful characters, harrowing physical trials, and strange encounters with the weather, terrain, and animals of America’s plains. A tribute to the Great Plains and the people who live there, Ilgunas’s memoir grapples with difficult questions about our place in the world: What is our personal responsibility as stewards of the land? As members of a rapidly warming planet? As mere individuals up against something as powerful as the fossil fuel industry? Ultimately, Trespassing Across America is a call to embrace the belief that a life lived not half wild is a life only half lived.

Two Wheels and a Map

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Author: Bob Neubauer

Publisher: Outdoor Action Publishing

ISBN: 0615120555

Category: Travel

Page: 204

View: 9897

Long before smart phones and GPS devices simplified bike touring, cyclists were crossing the roads of this country, equipped with little more than two wheels and a map. This is the tale of one such rider who tackled the East Coast in the early '90s. Leaving behind an unfulfilling job, he loaded up his bike and set off, meandering along rural back roads, meeting strangers, listening to their stories and enjoying their unexpected hospitality. Not everything went as planned, though. Unforeseen circumstances forced him in directions he hadn't anticipated; searing summer heat drained his energy; and he spent many a nervous night bedding down where he didn't belong. His trip touched the tip of failure-yet succeeded in ways he hadn't imagined. Through it all, the people who crossed his path, sometimes offering only a kind word, gave him the inspiration he needed to persevere. Two Wheels and a Map details Bob Neubauer's two-part solo bike journey from Bangor, Maine, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His often-amusing observations on the people and predicaments he encountered along the way give the book a lighthearted tone as it chronicles his life on the open road. Bob Neubauer is also the author of Alone in Austria: A Solo Bike Trip Across Austria. It chronicles his two-wheeled journey from Salzburg to Vienna, Austria, visiting quaint villages, castle ruins and ancient monasteries.

Black Walden

Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts

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Author: Elise Lemire

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812204468

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 1587

Concord, Massachusetts, has long been heralded as the birthplace of American liberty and American letters. It was here that the first military engagement of the Revolutionary War was fought and here that Thoreau came to "live deliberately" on the shores of Walden Pond. Between the Revolution and the settlement of the little cabin with the bean rows, however, Walden Woods was home to several generations of freed slaves and their children. Living on the fringes of society, they attempted to pursue lives of freedom, promised by the rhetoric of the Revolution, and yet withheld by the practice of racism. Thoreau was all but alone in his attempt "to conjure up the former occupants of these woods." Other than the chapter he devoted to them in Walden, the history of slavery in Concord has been all but forgotten. In Black Walden: Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts, Elise Lemire brings to life the former slaves of Walden Woods and the men and women who held them in bondage during the eighteenth century. After charting the rise of Concord slaveholder John Cuming, Black Walden follows the struggles of Cuming's slave, Brister, as he attempts to build a life for himself after thirty-five years of enslavement. Brister Freeman, as he came to call himself, and other of the town's slaves were able to leverage the political tensions that fueled the American Revolution and force their owners into relinquishing them. Once emancipated, however, the former slaves were permitted to squat on only the most remote and infertile places. Walden Woods was one of them. Here, Freeman and his neighbors farmed, spun linen, made baskets, told fortunes, and otherwise tried to survive in spite of poverty and harassment. Today Walden Woods is preserved as a place for visitors to commune with nature. Lemire, who grew up two miles from Walden Pond, reminds us that this was a black space before it was an internationally known green space. Black Walden preserves the legacy of the people who strove against all odds to overcome slavery and segregation.

Walking Towards Walden

A Pilgrimage in Search of Place

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Author: John Hanson Mitchell

Publisher: University Press of New England

ISBN: 1611687217

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 5885

Walking Towards Walden is an exploration of the sense of place, what it means, how it developed, and why it matters. Based on an eighteenth-century literary device in which a group of friends undertake a walking tour and discuss a certain subject, this wide-ranging story emerges from the author's fifteen-mile bushwhack through woods, backyards, and marshes - from a hilltop in Westford, Massachusetts, to the town of Concord, Massachusetts - trespassing all along the way. A mock epic, complete with encounters with armed mercenaries and vicious dogs, the book covers all the aspects of place - art, literature, myth, and even music.

This Land Is Our Land

How We Lost the Right to Roam and How to Take It Back

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Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735217858

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 1240

Private property is everywhere. Almost anywhere you walk in the United States, you will spot “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs on trees and fence posts. In America, there are more than a billion acres of grassland pasture, cropland, and forest, and miles and miles of coastlines that are mostly closed off to the public. Meanwhile, America’s public lands are threatened by extremist groups and right-wing think tanks who call for our public lands to be sold to the highest bidder and closed off to everyone else. If these groups get their way, public property may become private, precious green spaces may be developed, and the common good may be sacrificed for the benefit of the wealthy few. Ken Ilgunas, lifelong traveler, hitchhiker, and roamer, takes readers back to the nineteenth century, when Americans were allowed to journey undisturbed across the country. Today, though, America finds itself as an outlier in the Western world as a number of European countries have created sophisticated legal systems that protect landowners and give citizens generous roaming rights to their countries' green spaces. Inspired by the United States' history of roaming, and taking guidance from present-day Europe, Ilgunas calls into question our entrenched understanding of private property and provocatively proposes something unheard of: opening up American private property for public recreation. He imagines a future in which folks everywhere will have the right to walk safely, explore freely, and roam boldly—from California to the New York island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters.

On wandering wheels

through roadside camps from Maine to Georgia in an old sedan car

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Author: Cora Gordon

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Atlantic States

Page: 336

View: 1673

Walden and Other Writings

(A Modern Library E-Book)

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Author: Henry David Thoreau

Publisher: Modern Library

ISBN: 0679642021

Category: Fiction

Page: 784

View: 7127

Henry David Thoreau's vision of personal freedom is indelibly etched on the American consciousness. 'We need the tonic of wildness,' Thoreau wrote in Walden, and by turning his back on town amenities to build a house on Walden Pond in 1845, he helped shape our notions of the individual, subsistence, and a moral relation to nature. Raising white beans and potatoes that he sold to his Concord neighbors, he stayed for two years; his book records both the philosophy he developed while living alone and the facts of his everyday life. Included here with the complete text of Walden are selections from Thoreau's first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers; 'A Plea for Captain John Brown,' his eloquent defense of the American abolitionist's rebellion at Harper's Ferry, and such masterpieces as his famous essay 'Civil Disobedience,' in which he describes a night spent in prison for refusing to pay a poll tax to a government that condoned slavery.