A fun Summer read.

If you're anything like me, you have had your fill of loading up the car and driving long distances. It's an American tradition! It's actually been a tradition longer than we have had roads! I just finished Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip

This book is the companion to a PBS documentary from 2003 which profiled a drive one man made from San Francisco to NYC...100 years earlier. That's right, in 1903 a 31 year old Doctor named Horatio Jackson made a bet that he could drive across the country. Alcohol may have played a factor in his making the bet. Horatio and his wife had taken the train from their home in VT to CA in order to get driving lessons. He had never driven a car on his own and had somehow ended up betting $50 (about $1000 today) that he would do something most people thought was impossible with a car. But once he made it, he stuck with it. 4 days later he got a car. That's right he didn't have a car when he made the bet. Nor did the country have paved roads. Well that's a bit of an overstatement. The entire country had 150 miles of paved road. Most of which were in the northeast. He then convinced a mechanic to join him and they were off. Here's the route Horatio took. 

What follows in a 63 day escapade of calamities including one 3 day spell without any food, and one woman who sent them 100 miles in the wrong direction, so her family members could see a car! It's like National Lampoon Vacation on steroids. Horatio even picks up a pet pit-bull he names Bud a few weeks into his trip. 

 Bud the wonder dog

Bud the wonder dog

This book is a very fast read. If you get it as an audio book they knock it out in 3 hours. Which might be a great way to read the book. Listen to it in your climate controlled car with power breaks, steering, and windows. No not power windows, just windows, and a roof, as Horatio and pals made their trip completely exposed in a 20 horsepower beast he named The Vermont! No matter how bad your trip gets, Horatio will always make yours seem like cake. Enjoy!