Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Trespassing Across America is both a fascinating account of one man's remarkable journey along the Keystone XL pipeline and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves - both physically and mentally.
It started as a far-fetched idea - to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. But in the months that followed, it grew into something more for Ken Ilgunas.
It became an irresistible adventure - an opportunity not only to draw attention to global warming but to explore his personal limits. So in September 2012, he strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, Colorado, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles to the Alberta tar sands. Once there, he turned around and began his 1,900-mile trek to the XL's endpoint on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey he would complete entirely on foot, almost exclusively walking across private property.
Both a travel memoir and a reflection on climate change, Trespassing Across America is filled with colorful characters, harrowing physical trials, and strange encounters with the weather, terrain, and animals of America's plains. A tribute to the Great Plains and the people who live there, Ilgunas' memoir grapples with difficult questions about our place in the world: What is our personal responsibility as stewards of the land? As members of a rapidly warming planet? As mere individuals up against something as powerful as the fossil fuel industry? Ultimately, Trespassing Across America is a call to embrace the belief that a life lived not half wild is a life only half lived.
©2016 Ken Ilgunas (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I thought this would be an inspiring tale of man, personal limits, nature's beauty, and a call to really think about how our habits and oil consumption affect our fellow man and the earth. Instead it's a diatribe by a man who 1) calls attention to how cattle ranches/cattle contribute to global warming (true), but who downs cheeseburgers like there's no tomorrow; 2) Is anti-oil, but glosses over how it's kind of necessary if you're receiving care packages via air through the mail, and if your clothes are made from petroleum-based fabrics; 3) Rails about what we've done to the buffalo, but chaws and chews on buffalo jerky; 4) Is really peeved that there are so many "No Trespassing" signs to keep strangers off land, but who goes to great lengths to put distance between himself and strangers he (admittedly) knee-jerk distrusts.
There is some seriously good stuff here: Ken's relationship to cows is pathologically funny. They're referred to as "gangs of cows," and he's ultra-paranoid, though he's been told: "You DO know they're herbivores, right?" And the few bits of nature and creatures are well-written. Andrew Eiden's narration is decent, but it neither detracts nor adds to anything.
I get it; really, I do, Ken. Changes need to be made (although, in the last 20 mins. you kinda sorta question that... ?!? What was the book about then?), and I honestly respect your trek. But I really would've liked a bit more on the beauty, the life we'd like to preserve. And respect for our fellow man. Please stop calling people idiots; it doesn't serve the movement well. Especially not when so many people helped you.
Enjoyed for the environmental views, the adventure, the hiking journey, the idea of crossing the country on foot, the people you'd meet... some gems of writing now and then but not a masterpiece... story intrigued me... brings up compelling questions along the way (most I have asked myself before but still enjoyed hearing)... I like the honesty in his self discoveries.. the fear of cows made me laugh (being a country girl from Texas who has never considered a cow to scary, maybe a mean bull but not pasture cows, lol)... loved the instances of kindness and generosity shown... I will be looking up his blog and most likely checking out other books he has published.
Mr Ilguna does an excellent job of not only writing about his journey and the people, and dogs (!!) he encounters! He also adds great information and history!
Tho I am completely against the pipelines he brought up things that I had to cringe with guilt. The global problem belongs to all of us and we do need to learn to live more efficiently and with less while it is still a choice and not a stark "have to"
Mr Eidens narration is excellent!!
what a great adventure.
I learned alot about the author but wish he would of been more of a activist for climate change
This author first inspired me with "Walden on Wheels" and it truly was a book that changed my life in so many positive ways.
This one is great and totally inspiring. Love his authentic point of view and how he writes from the heart. Can't wait for the next adventure and book!
Did not read the print version
An eye opening experience that is even better when you are driving through the plains states listening to this book of travels. This book highlights the importance of having an open mind and also tells the many varying opinions people have that live in different parts of the country. A must read for all, even if you don't like hiking or aren't interested in the topic of oil pipelines.
An authentic account of the author's adventure through the Great Plains and a thoughtful examination of the impact of the pipeline. Such great detail I could practically smell his weary hiker stink (in a good way)! Ilgunas includes various POVs of colorful landowners and discusses his own hypocrisy as a consumer in the petroleum era (reminded me a bit of Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire in that regard). He leaves the listener with the hope that the next generation will put a stop to the debate of global warming, accept it as fact and take action to undo the environmental harm of past generations. Fantastic book! So many great thoughts! A true book of adventure.
I enjoyed both the story and the narration. The conclusion that the author eventually reaches I deeply agree and I'm grateful for his willingness to share his raw experience.
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