Oh yeah, and he's also a bona fide author now. I can't go into detail without spoiling it. Suddenly, you want to quit your job and walk to Montana. Like countless people, freelance writer Dobson was feeling trapped. All of the reasons that those towns are out there are disappearing.
That's what happened to Patrick Dobson on an otherwise uneventful spring day in May 1994. I felt drawn to the idea of a journey, and I respect the author's courage to undertake it. Restrained storytelling and a string of charming, relatable characters make the prairie seem like much more than a flyover region. There is some self-reflection along the way but the overriding storyline is the literal plodding journey that Dobson leads his reader on that left me with a feeling of incompleteness at the end of the book. When I was a teen, I thought I was going to get out of Kansas City. Patrick Dobson yearns for something more than his dead-end job and static life. A year later, having saved up to pay the bills in his absence and gathered the necessary equipment, he left.
Author Patrick Dobson presents his travelogue Seldom Seen, a chronicle of his 10-week walking journey from Kansas City to Helena, Montana. The author handles very well the common themes of work, satisfaction in life, and trying to negotiate the tedium of daily life without losing faith in your self and others he finds in these people. They could just go wander around. Luckily, that doesn't diminish the warmth of the narrative. However, he did get numerous unsolicited offers of rides, and his gift for gab availed frequent invitations to stay overnight in various people's homes. Part of the author's motivation for this cross country trip was to serve as an emotional reset in his life.
. Against the majestic sweep of the open plains and endless horizon, his story is one of hope and desperation, richness and simplicity-a portrait of who we are in the heartland of America. Dobson offers visceral descriptions of his surroundings, which draw readers into his story at a sensory level. Some because of the danger they presented, but the majority because of their kind-hearted goodwill and open honesty about their lives. Against the majestic sweep of the open plains and endless horizon, his story is one of hope and desperation, richness and simplicity—a portrait of who we are in the heartland of America.
I am still learning to be an American in many ways. I also understand much of what drove the author to undertake such a journey. Over the next two and a half months he made his way to Helena, Montana, letting chance encounters guide him to a deeper sense of who he was and where he was going. Photo credit: University of Nebraska Press. As I got older and my job changed, and I started traveling to these big cities and started traveling around the world, and as I made more friends where I live, I began to appreciate home. There is som Dobson found himself stuck in a life rut.
His fond memories of Kansas sunsets from childhood instilled in him a longing for the calm, natural beauty and the unhurried life of the Great Plains, and he Some people buy flashy cars when they have midlife crises; some get divorced. This isn't a book about the author's personal musings on the road, but rather a chronicle of the folks that, despite a lack of virtually everything except endless space, have decided to live on the prairie. Some generalities I noticed about the people he met are that they are trusting and friendly at least to a white man of nonthreatening appearance , many of them smoke cigarettes, and many are religiously and politically conservative. Seldom Seeninspires the adventurer in me---as it should all of us---to go out and do something similar. I found myself pulling out the atlas to chart his course, happy that I wasn't walled in by the small-town snugness, yet coveting his umpteenth cup of coffee across from another fully-dimensioned and intriguingly flawed Midwesterner.
He has also written Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer, as well as a book of poetry. Ridden out of a hostile Kansas town, sniffed by bears, confronted by bison and recalcitrant moose, Dobson cannot help but see how land, sky, weather, and a world of circumstances influence people. Patrick Dobson — hitting his perhaps a little early at 31 — heard the call of the prairie and decided to travel to Helena, Mont. Their stories, some as violent and powerful as a Midwestern thunderstorm, others as calm as a breeze, create a captivating narrative, and Dobson finds the common humanity that keeps people struggling against their circumstances and striving to succeed, in whatever form that may take. Ridden out of a hostile Kansas town, sniffed by bears, confronted by bison and recalcitrant moose, Dobson cannot help but see how land, sky, weather, and a world of circumstances influence people. The Jims: Friend, Hastings, Hansen, Minden 7.
The plains, which I have always seen as plain and uninviting, become places of intensity, nuance, and character. But instead of diving into a revelatory travelogue, the reader sinks into overwrought sentiment and encounters a cast of characters that might confirm outsiders' disregard for the fly-over communities Dobson so desperately wants to romanticize. Sure, the characters he meets are salt-of-the-earth folk, but who wants to read about the lady who works at Quik Stop and thinks it's just dandy? Whether touching or discomfiting, these ordinary lives, like grace notes, make Dobson''s journey into the Great Plains unexpectedly luminous. For the next several months, Dobson experienced the Great Plains with the eye of a journalist and the spirit of an adventurer. While Dobson takes the trip to explore the possibilities of life outside the mundane trudge of parenting and paying bills, the trip becomes just as mind-numbing.