Dear Mountain Mama,
I devoured the last book you suggested – Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island.
I’m leaving on my last beach trip of the summer and I was hoping you could recommend a good read.
Anywhere you go will be better with a copy of Brian Benson’s travel memoir, Going Somewhere, in your backpack. He writes about what happens when he and Rachel, a love-struck couple in their twenties, head off on a bike trip from Wisconsin to Oregon. From their first night ride to the mountain climbs, his ability to describe his experience in the saddle made the journey so real, I found myself vicariously sore and indulging in my own candy eating sprees. Brian writes about nature so well that the lakes shimmered on the page. As eager as I was to find out what happened next, I was equally reluctant to let go of the landscapes his words created in my mind.
Going Somewhere transcends the tale of an epic bike ride – it’s also a love story. Brian’s tells about the ups and downs of relating to the opposite sex from behind handlebars. His introspective and self-deprecating voice strikes the perfect chord, of being deep, relatable, and laugh-out-loud funny. So many times I folded the corner of a page thinking, yes, I’ve felt this exactly.
The most inspiring part of Going Somewhere was the reminder of the kindness of strangers that awaits us when we travel, and the uncanny way that someone appears just at the right moment to offer assistance. Most of the time we’re too busy muttering under our breath about how screwed we are to look up and take notice, but when we do, we find that everything we need is right in front of us. Perhaps there’s no better encouragement for tackling our biggest dreams than realizing that for every difficulty we encounter, we’ll meet people able to help.
If you’ve ever dreamed of a bike journey, Going Somewhere will leave you considering panniers and jerseys. But even if you’ve never owned a bicycle, the travel anecdotes and bigger love story make this book one you’ll hate to put down.
And if you want more about Brian Benson, he’s currently blogging about his bike and book touring from Northern Wisconsin to Chicago at brianbensonwrites.com.
Safe Travels & Happy Reading,