About the Book
In 1974 a disenfranchised young man from a broken home set out to do the impossible. With a hundred dollars in his pocket, a beat up cavalry saddle, and a faraway look in his eye, John Egenes saddled his horse Gizmo and started down the trail on an adventure across the North American continent. Their seven month journey took them across 11 states from California to Virginia, ocean to ocean..
As they left the pressing confinement of the city behind them, the pair experienced the isolation and loneliness of the southwestern deserts, the vastness of the prairie, and the great landscapes that make up America. Across hundreds of miles of empty land they slept with coyotes and wild horses under the stars, and in urban areas they camped alone in graveyards and abandoned shacks. Along the way John and Gizmo were transformed from inexperienced horse and rider to veterans of the trail. With his young horse as his spiritual guide John slowly began to comprehend his own place in the world and to find peace within himself.
Full of heart and humor, Egenes serves up a tale that’s as big as the America he witnessed, an America that no longer exists. It was a journey that could only have been experienced step by step, mile by mile, from the view between a horse’s ears.
Enjoy an Excerpt
It felt good to have the chance to brag a bit to a beautiful woman. Not that I overplayed my hand, though. The fact was, I was more the “yup, nope” type and kept my boasting to a restrained minimum. I tended to talk about Gizmo a lot. I felt safe talking about him. I kept the conversation aimed away from me for the most part and asked Lu about herself.
“I’m from down near Cottonwood,” she told me. “I came up here last winter. I’m hoping to start college next year, so I’m just workin’ and tryin’ to save up some money.”
Merle Haggard’s new song “If We Make It Through December” came on with Roy Nichols playing the melody on a gut string guitar.
While we talked, a man came in and sat down at the other end of the counter.
When Lu went to the back with his order, he asked me, “I overheard what you were saying about riding your horse across America. Is that true? Are you actually doing that?” There was a pause as the jukebox reached for another record. It fired back up with Red Sovine’s “Giddyup Go.”
“Yep,” I replied.
“How many of you are there?” he asked.
“Just two,” I answered. “Me and my horse.”
“By yourself? You’re doing this all alone? Damn, that’s really fascinating,” he said.
“No, there’s two of us, like I said,” I replied. “It’s me and my horse.”
“Would you mind if I interviewed you for the local newspaper? I do some writing for it.”
“Yeah, sure,” I said. “That’d be okay.”
He moved to the stool next to me and pulled a small notebook from his coat pocket. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” came on the box. He asked most of the usual questions about when, where, and why. How many miles a day; does your horse get tired; do you carry extra feed and water; what happens when you get to a fence? He asked if he could take a picture of Gizmo and me, and we made arrangements to meet later out at the rodeo grounds.
“That is so great!” Lu exclaimed, when the reporter had left. “You’re gonna be in the paper!”
“Yeah, well … I did tell him that this place has the best jukebox and best waitress in town. So, maybe we’ll make the paper together, no?”
She blushed. “Aw, I don’t know …” She looked at me and grinned. “I’ve never been in the news before,” she whispered excitedly, as if sharing a secret.
“I’ll bet you have,” I replied. “You just don’t know it.”
She blushed deeper, as Floyd Cramer played “The Last Date.”
There must have been a cook somewhere back in the kitchen, but I never saw him. It was just a waitress and me in our own world, all alone there in that diner. A bottomless cup of coffee, endless conversation, and a continuous stream of the best country music anywhere. We talked until it was time to head back to my horse. I wanted to ask her out or walk her home, but I was Kaw-Liga and she was the Indian maid.
Unrequited love to the sound of a steel guitar.
Be sure to pick up the book today – it’s on sale for only $0.99!
John Egenes will be awarding 4 digital copies of Man & Horse: The Long Ride Across America to 4 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the entry form below and be sure to visit all the tour stops along the way!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The full list of tour stops and dates is availalbe here: Goddess Fish Promotion
About the Author
John Egenes has been a musician, a saddlemaker, a dog catcher, and a hobo, among other things. He only learns by making mistakes and he views his life through a windshield full of squashed bugs. He makes his home in New Zealand.
John Egenes Blog
John & Gizmo Blog
Live the adventure!