By Julia Lupine
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hitchhike across the U.S. with only a backpack, a notebook and a friend? Julia said yes to the adventure before she really thought it out, and her extensive notes about the people she met and the pla...
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hitchhike across the U.S. with only a backpack, a notebook and a friend? Julia said yes to the adventure before she really thought it out, and her extensive notes about the people she met and the places she saw became Road Dogs: A Conversation with 2012 America.
With their destination the Rainbow Gathering in Tennessee, Julia and Jarvis stick out their thumbs on the River Road of their hometown (Moab, Utah) and solicit rides that take them from the desert to the top of Rocky Mountains in a few days. Their journey takes some dark turns while trying to thumb out of Aurora, Colorado (two weeks before the June 2012 theater shootings), and while hitting a wall of frustration and fear in Memphis. Even the Rainbow Gathering is a disappointment, as Julia contracts food poisoning and spends much of that week getting sick in the woods.
But throughout the entire journey, Julia and Jarvis ask the rides that pick them up deep questions about the United States of America - its culture, challenges, addictions, weaknesses and strengths. The answers are sometimes hilarious, enlightening, shocking and even reassuring.
The pair bonds as their trek unfolds, and they become trusted "road dogs," questioning America's definition of safety and security; and loving its ironies, characters, regional differences and overall generosity.
"The road stretches out before us, beckoning with promises of endless possibility."