Sometimes the road to mid-life self-discovery takes you a long, long way. This is what journalist David Lamb finds out in his book Over The Hills as he cycles his way from his home in Alexandria, VA west to the Santa Monica pier near Los Angeles, CA. On his cross country bicycle journey, he finds the strength of body and mind needed to complete the trip, as well as the miracle of ibuprophen. He made his trek while reporting his progress on NPR and to his paper, The Los Angeles Times, and found admirers pulling for him along the way. He even had a friend from Texas join up and bike for a few days with him.
He talks about the loneliness of the open road (missing his wife) and the sense of solitude despite traversing the country with motorists, truckers and even an occasional fellow biker or two. The scenery is spectacular on the trans-American odyssey when not viewed through a car window. As a former war correspondent he is accustomed to dealing with rough conditions so he complains very little while staying in shabby motels and eatting greasy if not hearty roadside fare to maintain the energy needed to fuel his body.
One cannot help but to root for Mr. Lamb to successfully complete his 3,000 mile journey as the book progresses. It is an unenviable undertaking yet it's purpose and significance hold a curious appeal to the adventurer in all of us.
This report prepared by David Fletcher