Bicycling beyond the Divide

Bicycling beyond the Divide

Two Journeys into the West

Daryl Farmer

Outdoor Lives Series

331 pages
2 maps

Hardcover

March 2008

978-0-8032-2034-8

$26.95 Add to Cart
Paperback

December 2012

978-0-8032-4360-6

$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

On a journey begun twenty years earlier, Daryl Farmer, a twenty-year-old two-time college dropout, did what lost men have so often done in this country: he headed west. Twenty years later and seventy pounds heavier, with the yellowing journals from that transformative five-thousand-mile bicycle trek in his pack, Farmer set out to retrace his path. This is his story of pursuing that distant summer and that distant dream of home, where home is endless space, a roof of big sky, and a bed of dry earth.
 
Just as the years altered the man, so, too, have they altered the West, and Farmer’s second journey affords a unique perspective on these changes—as well as on what lasts. Whether caught in a Colorado snowstorm or braving a Yellowstone herd of bison, kayaking with orcas in Puget Sound, trading Ninja moves with a homeless man in San Francisco, or getting the lowdown on aliens on Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway, Farmer charts a moving landscape of people and places. This is the West where the natural world and personal character are inextricably linked, and where one man’s ride into the past and present takes us to the heart of that ever-evolving connection.

Author Bio

Daryl Farmer has published essays, short stories, poems, and reviews in several journals including South Dakota Review and Prairie Schooner.

Praise

“In this wise and funny book about biking our American West, Daryl Farmer journeys across miles and through memory to self-discovery, and it's our good fortune to come along—without expending nearly so many calories.”—Gregory Martin, author of Mountain City

Bicycling beyond the Divide did what all great books do: it told me about me. In its tale of a journey made by two different men—both of them Daryl Farmer—this book offers us not only moving vistas and meaningful people, but also hope, that rarest of literary commodities these days. I didn't want this to end.”—Bret Lott, author of Jewel

“Daryl Farmer lyrically meshes his traveling experiences of 1985 with 2005 in his book. . . . With writing that compares favorably to Paul Theroux, William Least Heat Moon, and John Steinbeck, Farmer assures us that the American spirit hasn't been completely deflated.”—Lee Gooden, ForeWord

“The book isn’t just bicycle talk. Much to Farmer’s credit—and the fact that he keeps journals—he gives us some historical background of the towns and places he visits. He also shares his personal life and his feelings, such as loneliness, anger and moments of happiness. All in all, it’s a good read for anyone contemplating a long-distance bicycle journey or some other adventure.”—Algis J. Laukaitis, Lincoln Journal Star

"Even if you have no interest in bicycling, if you haven't ridden one in years and have no intention of getting it out now that the weather is warmer, ride along with Daryl Farmer to learn more about living."—Duncan R. Jamieson, Sports Literature Association

"Farmer succeeds in finishing an epic adventure, and a fine book."—Don Scheese, Western American Literature

“Daryl Farmer writes with tenderness, humor, and profound insight, not only about the wonders of the western landscape, but about the troubled terrain of the human heart. Losing himself out there on the endless seam of two-lane blacktop, Daryl Farmer found himself, the 20-something who first took the trip and the forty-something man he would become. Bicycling Beyond the Divide is a transformative book about the hunger for the road and for self-understanding. Somewhere Edward Abbey is smiling.”—Brent Spencer, author of Rattlesnake Daddy

“Reading Bicycling beyond the Divide was the best vacation I took all year—in a year I traveled to Mexico, France, and Italy. Even if you have never ridden a bike or set foot in the West, this book will make both a part of your life as vivid as any trip you have taken. Daryl Farmer’s journey—into the heart of a land, of a time, into the very nature of memory and experience—is one I will never forget.”—Jesse Lee Kercheval, author of Space


Table of Contents

Prologue
Colorado
    Departure
    On How not to Begin
    Florissant to Fairplay
    Hoosier Summit
    Below Freezing
    A Colorado Cowpatch South of Baggs
    Wyoming
    Outlaws, Antelope, Prairie Dogs, and Sage
    Night at The Antelope Saloon
    To Jackson
    Elkfest
    Signal Mountain Lodge
    How to Bicycle through a Buffalo Herd
    Richard I
Montana
    Another Log on the Fire
    Paradise Valley to Ennis
    Virginia City to Opportunity
    Anaconda to Missoula
    Faceplanting on Highway 2
    Glacier National Park
     Kalispell Again
     Libby to Troy
Idaho
    Karaoke Night in Bonner's Ferry
Washington
    Fire Trucks and Rodeo Queens
    Okanagan to Friday Harbor
    The San Juan Islands
     Anacortes to Port Angeles
    A Side Trip to Victoria
    Port Angeles to Shoalwater Bay
    Winnefred
Oregon
    Astoria to Newport
    On a Sunday Morning
    A Coming to Peace
    At the North Bend Airport
    Intermission: San Francisco
    Like a Haggard Ghost
    City of Hills
    Return to Oregon
    North Bend to Gold Beach
California
    To Eureka
    From Modesto to Yosemite
    From Mammoth Lake to Mono Lake
Nevada
    Tonopah
    The Extraterrestrial Highway
Utah and Arizona
    Modena to Kanab
    At Jacob Lake
 

Awards

2008 Summer Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection
 

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