Bicycling Beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West

Series: Outdoor Lives

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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.