As you may have heard through the grapevine, our buddy Horace did not get to fulfill his dream of climbing the mountains at Yosemite. As a matter of fact, neither did Gnomeplaya or Gnomecow. Apparently, the weather conditions at Yosemite were most unpleasant and the wimpy guide company cancelled their climb. How DARE a guide company put the safety of its paying customers first!? However will they make a profit???
Needless to say, Horace has been pretty bummed out this past week. He has refused to even strap on his harness or lace up his climbing shoes. It seems that he has given up on the sport entirely. I’ve known the ole’ chap for years, and I’ve never seen him inspired by something in the way he has been about rock climbing. This single adverse event has turned him away from the one and only passion he has ever discovered! I just don’t understand him sometimes. He makes up excuses about his forearms being too stiff or his callouses being too sore whenever I try to encourage him to get back on the rock.
So I am bribing him with literature and wine! Classy, I know right? That’s just how i operate. Generally speaking, I am morally opposed to the consumption of alcohol, but drastic times call for drastic measures.
Last week, I got Horace to agree to read a book with me! It’s called A Walk Across America, by Peter Jenkins. It’s not a book about climbing specifically, but it is a book about outdoor adventures and random travels. I thought it might help to inspire and rejuvenate him.
He seems like kind of a slow reader, so who knows if/when he’ll ever finish the book. However, it seems that he’s already finished all of the bottles of wine that I picked up, so perhaps that has something to do with it. But as a certified speed reader, card-carrying nerd, and anti-alcohol activist, I already finished the book today and feel compelled to make a brief commentary.
So this guy, Peter Jenkins, has grown up in a pretentious Connecticut suburb and has done what’s expected of him all his life. After graduating college, a failed marriage, and no real direction in his life, he sets out on a walking journey with only his dog Cooper by his side to discover if this whole country as awful as he thinks it is.
The story is begins sometime in 1973. Peter gets cold, tired, injured…blah, blah, blah. Some people he meets are awesome and others try to kill him. Some terrible human being accidental kills his dog and only friend with a truck. Peter stops in random towns and gets manual labor jobs to make enough money to keep walking along. He discovers racism, religion, cults, and unexpected characters with every step from DC to Virginia to West Virginia to Tennessee to Alabama to Mississippi and finally to New Orleans. The story ends when he meets some random broad named Barbara, falls in love, and gets a sign from God in a weird church that she should join his walk to the Pacific coast…which she does.
But that’s where the story ends! Is there a sequel?! It was hard enough to find an outdoor inspirational book in this makeshift library in The Gnome Abode!
I don’t know if I really even want to read the sequel anyway. It was an interesting enough story, but it just didn’t flow well. There would be 100 pages about Peter working at a saw mill and then just 2 pages of him meeting, falling in love, and marrying his soul mate. But I don’t want to reveal any more and ruin it for poor slow-reading and wine-drunk Horace so I’ll save the rest of my rants for another day.
Here’s to hoping Horace sobers up so I can actually have an intelligent gnome-to-gnome conversation and convince myself that I have a friend around here,
Phillip The Gnome