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Old 02-03-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
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Blue Highways

by William Least-Heat Moon

I stumbled across this at the library a few weeks ago and it is proving to be a phenomenal read. It came out when I was 8 years old, in 1974, so some of you older gentlemen may remember it from years ago. Either way, it is a timeless adventure story. Not edge-of-your-seat, just a backroads look at America, the way I personally love to see it.

WARNING, spoiler alert! It is about an English professor, newly divorced, who loses his job due to downsizing. What does he do? What any of us would (love to) do! He buys an old van, converts it in to a one-man camper, takes his savings and gasoline cards and hits the road! His goal was to drive the blue highways (2 lane roads on the old atlases, when the interstates were red). He just wanted to see the world, talk to people, and take a break from life and go on a soul-searching adventure. I'm not through, so I can't spoil the ending, but to any of you interested in a little history (of virtually every place he visits), and who possess a spirit of adventure, you won't regret picking this book up!

Enjoy! I'm curious what anyone who has read it thought of it.

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Highways-...=blue+highways

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:15 PM   #2
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Blue Highways

I read it on a long trip to SE Asia. I loved it. I vaguely remember it making me a bit homesick as well as irritated since Oregon got a bad rap in it. I changed my traveling habits slightly because of it and sought out more obscure routes with interesting people to meet. A good read overall.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:25 PM   #3
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Blue Highways

Yes, the South gets slammed a bit in the book as well, for generally being close minded and racist. 2 qualities I still see everyday, 30 years later. But I understand completely where he's coming from.

Thanks
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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Re: Blue Highways

I read it back in the 70's.

My mom gave it to me because I always avoided the Interstates.

Still a great book and on my list to be re-read.

Mike
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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Re: Blue Highways

I think it's a must read for all SMB owners or anyone with the urge to travel.

If you liked that one, another must read is Going to Extremes by Joe McGinniss.
Its along the same lines as Blue Highway, only in Alaska about 30 years ago.

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Old 02-05-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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Re: Blue Highways

It's on my summer reading list. I've read two of his later books, PrairyErth and River-Horse, which make a trilogy of sorts. PrairyErth is a deep history, his words, of Chase County, Kansas where he does the opposite of Blue Highways and explores a single place through ancient time to the present. River-Horse is his tale of crossing the U.S. by boat. Both are great fun.

I love his Blue Highways quote: "Life doesn't happen on the interstate. It's against the law." In that vein, here's a website dedicated to blue highways: http://www.us-highways.com/
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:44 AM   #7
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Re: Blue Highways

I liked that quote too. There are several great quotes in this book!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Blue Highways

William Least Heat Moon postscript: He frequented the Flat Branch Brewery in Columbia, MO, according to my Jeff City friends. Don't know if he's still in the Columbia area but the Flat Branch is worth a visit if anyone is in the area. Here's the brewery link: http://www.flatbranch.com/home.asp
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:05 AM   #9
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Re: Blue Highways

I loved Blue Highways, and have read it a few times. I got through River Horse, but I've tried several times to finish Prairie Erth and it's just too dense and detailed for me (I own all three books).

If you liked Blue Highways, you have to read Steinbeck's classic "Travels with Charley" if you haven't already.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:58 PM   #10
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Re: Blue Highways

I picked this up & plan to read it on the plane on my trip to New York next week. Never heard of it before but I love good travel/adventure books. Wish there were some pictures of his van included but I didn't see any when I skimmed through.
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