Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Trailer Park Tuesday: The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

Look at us. With our cars, our jet planes, and our bullet trains, we’ve turned landscape into a blur. The land is just a thing to get across, as quickly and as obliviously as possible. So few of us stop to look, to really look, at our surroundings anymore. Even I, living here in postcard-beautiful Montana, am often guilty of moving from Point A to Destination B at 80 mph. Somewhere, Rinker Buck is sadly shaking his head, looking at me with pity. Mr. Buck knows all about “Seeing America Slowly.” He’s observed a goodly swath of America’s heartland from the bed of a covered wagon as he and his brother re-traced the pioneers’ journey on The Oregon Trail. The trailer embedded above gives you a good sense of what the book is like, but for further convincing, I urge you to go the publisher’s website to read an excerpt, where Buck writes:
The trip was my idea, and I fell into it in my usual barmy way. A few summers ago, while taking an afternoon off from a story I was working on in the Flint Hills of Kansas, I stopped on the road near a stout granite monument that marked a set of wheel ruts disappearing northwest across the plains....Enchanted by the idea that I could step from a modern paved road onto the tracks of the nineteenth-century pioneers--not to mention walk all the way to Oregon--I paused just long enough to grab a water bottle and a brimmed hat from my car and set out along the ruts, heading west. It was a beautiful, breezy day, with sprays of yellow coreopsis blooming above the grasses and meadowlarks bobbing over the hills. The old ruts sloped over several gentle rises, past clumps of cottonwood trees and low shrubs at the watercourses, and handsome timber bridges that crossed two streams. The expansiveness of the landscape was hypnotic and physically exhilarating, and after the first mile I felt as if I were levitating on the plains.
May we all travel slowly and levitate on our odysseys.

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