When we imagine the interior of the United States I would guess that many of us think of wide open spaces where we can roam free on the range with what is left of the playing deer and antelope. Watching this longer installment from our long-time blog friend Owen Martel which covers the first part of his Walking the West – shore to shore across the USA – you realise that the US is not always walker friendly country.
For a place that values freedom there are an awful lot of No Trespassing signs, but it makes for interesting viewing. If you wish to watch more of Owen’s videos please visit his You Tube page.
Owen tells us
This one covers the whole stretch from the east side of the Cascades across the Columbia Plateau to the Oregon border. In retrospect, it was a shakedown, Murphy’s-law kind of episode, early enough in the trip that I was still getting into the swing of things. I was glad to revisit the happier interludes, and happy to work out a new perspective on the trickier parts.
Apologies in advance to Francis Fermor for another post not directly related to his relative.
You may remember in 2012 I posted a video of Owen Martell walking “the wrong way” across Europe from Istanbul to Edinburgh. It was quite an epic journey.
This last year or so Owen walked across the United States from Seattle to New Orleans pushing and sometimes dragging his load in a trolley contraption through snow and desert, encountering some very strange Americans, and just good normal people on his way. There were times when he had some close shaves, suffering from noxious gases in oil production fields, and getting caught up in “security situations” in an America that can sometimes be hostile to the wandering traveller as it fights the war against its unseen, and perhaps imagined, enemies.
I hope that you enjoy watching Owen’s journey in his wonderful You Tube video accompanied as ever by the delightful music of the very talented folk group Darlingside.
It is envy time again. I was recently contacted by Owen Martel who made a long walk across Europe last year. His was a slightly different journey to Paddy’s and to our current venturer, Nick Hunt, but nevertheless it must have been exciting. Unfortunately Owen did not hear about Paddy until he was half-way through his journey, and he only read ATOG and BTWW upon completion of his walk.
From March to December 2011, I was on foot from Istanbul to Edinburgh; and at one point, while I was laid up with badly damaged feet at a mountain hut in Austria, a fellow traveler showed me the book she was reading and urged me to find it in the original English when my journey was over. Upon settling for three months in Glasgow this past winter, I accordingly tracked down at the public library and read “A Time of Gifts” and “Between the Woods and the Water,” alternately laughing and shaking my head in bewilderment at the all-too-familiar and bafflingly different experiences Patrick Leigh Fermor recounts. While my own route was quite different from his – certainly nothing like the retracing that, I have just learned from your site, Nick Hunt embarked upon almost exactly as I was finishing my own odyssey – the spirit of the thing was highly in keeping, and if you have any interest in this latter-day echo, I’ve posted various aspects of the trip on my blog at Walk Across Europe.
Thank you for running the Patrick Leigh Fermor blog, and for helping to keep this particular sense of possibility alive and well.