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Trespassing across America by Ken Ilgunas
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Trespassing across America

One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike across the Heartland

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Andrew Eiden
Length 7 hours 44 minutes
Language English
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Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Trespassing across America is both a fascinating account of one man’s remarkable journey along the Keystone XL pipeline and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves—both physically and mentally.

It started as a far-fetched idea—to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. But in the months that followed, it grew into something more for Ken Ilgunas. It became an irresistible adventure—an opportunity to not only draw attention to global warming but to explore his personal limits. So in September 2012, he strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles to the Alberta tar sands. Once there, he turned around and began his 1,900-mile trek to the XL’s endpoint on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey which he would complete entirely on foot, almost exclusively walking across private property.

Both a travel memoir and a reflection on climate change, Trespassing across America is filled with colorful characters, harrowing physical trials, and strange encounters with the weather, terrain, and animals of America’s plains. A tribute to the Great Plains and the people who live there, Ilgunas’ memoir grapples with difficult questions about our place in the world: What is our personal responsibility as stewards of the land? As members of a rapidly warming planet? As mere individuals up against something as powerful as the fossil-fuel industry? Ultimately, Trespassing across America is a call to embrace the belief that a life lived not half-wild is a life only half-lived.

Ken Ilgunas is an award-winning author, journalist, and backcountry ranger in Alaska. He has hitchhiked ten thousand miles across North America, paddled one thousand miles across Ontario in a birchbark canoe, and walked 1,700 miles across the Great Plains, following the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. He earned a BA degree from SUNY Buffalo in history and English and an MA in liberal studies from Duke University. He is the author of travel memoirs Walden on Wheels and Trespassing across America.

Andrew Eiden is an actor and winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for narration. He has been acting since the age of four, working at regional theaters, in national commercials, and on numerous television shows.

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Reviews

“A timely and riveting book…The book mirrors its young author: impulsive, tenacious, reflective and amazingly, cautious…a welcome message of resistance and hope.”

“A combination of Thoreau, John Steinbeck, and Ian Frazier…an unforgettable read.”

“Fascinating and breezy…[Ilgunas] does a masterful job weaving the details of his daily travels into a work of prose that is difficult to put down…a very good book.”

“The narrative is Ilgunas’ quest to learn how people in the path of Keystone XL understand its environmental significance, but, as the author makes clear, he is also a young man jonesing for a sense of freedom and adventure…Best, however, is that Ilgunas has not been robbed of his optimism, no matter how much degradation—human, environmental, spiritual—he experiences on his journey.”

“A rich, perceptive book…at times funny and at other times philosophical and even poetic.”

“Ilgunas is something of an heir to Bill Bryson in his ability to find humor and irony in random encounters on the road…[with a] talent for placing big-picture environmental issues into an accessible narrative that’s both entertaining and perceptive…funny, self-knowing, and often moving.”

“Ilgunas’ time on the road would test his endurance and challenge his assumptions about the Great Plains and their inhabitants…An engaging travelogue about the perils of his trek, make up the backbone of the book…inviting us to consider the landscape before moving to change it.”

“Narrator Andrew Eiden has a strong, clear voice and does an excellent job of conveying the author’s unique worldview. Ilgunas is slightly mysterious, never quite sure why he does what he does. Eiden does an excellent job of communicating Ilgunas’ observations and wit without destroying the mystery. A great listen for anyone interested in the fate of North America’s Great Plains.”

“An exhilarating adventure.”

Trespassing across America is a delight. In the end, walking across the country turns out not to be about you but about the country and all the land and people that make it one.”

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