And More...

You'd suspect, for example, there's not much point in a similar exercise once you've ridden a bicycle along abandoned railroad tracks. While there are probably plenty of other abandoned railroad tracks out there you'd encounter issues if you wanted to cycle down a lot of them.

Having sailed down the Intracoastal Waterway from Maryland to Florida once, you're probably not going to be doing it again. There seems to be an extension of the Waterway that'd take you from Florida to Texas, but still…

Still, on the basis of Blue Highways and Roads to Quoz, if there are enough chance encounters and idiosyncratic individuals in the United States to form the basis of a third, similar volume, William Least Heat-Moon would be the man to track them down.

He did, after all, parlay a county with an area a tad over two thousand square kilometres and a population (at last count) of less than three thousand into a six hundred page book.

As the man himself puts it, If you leave a journey exactly who you were before you departed, the trip has been much wasted, even if it's just to the Quickee-Mart. That's probably as good a description as you're going to get of the modus operandi of a man who's less interested in where he's going than how he gets there and who he meets along the way. 

Heat-Moon's probably an acquired taste, but for those who have an interest in his territory (a mixture of literature, wordplay, homespun philosophy, history, geography, travelogue and memoir) it's a taste worth acquiring. 

© Ian Hughes 2012