Nebraska Center for Writers

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About Daryl Farmer


Bicycling Beyond the Divide
Copyright © 2007
by Daryl Farmer
U of Nebraska P
How to Buy

On a journey begun twenty years earlier, Daryl Farmer, a twenty-year-old two-time college dropout, did what lost men have so often done in this country: he headed west. Twenty years later and seventy pounds heavier, with the yellowing journals from that transformative five-thousand-mile bicycle trek in his pack, Farmer set out to retrace his path. This is his story of pursuing that distant summer and that distant dream of home, where home is endless space, a roof of big sky, and a bed of dry earth. Just as the years altered the man, so, too, have they altered the West, and Farmer’s second journey affords a unique perspective on these changes—as well as on what lasts. Whether caught in a Colorado snowstorm or braving a Yellowstone herd of bison, kayaking with orcas in Puget Sound, trading Ninja moves with a homeless man in San Francisco, or getting the lowdown on aliens on Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway, Farmer charts a moving landscape of people and places. This is the West where the natural world and personal character are inextricably linked, and where one man’s ride into the past and present takes us to the heart of that ever-evolving connection. — from the publisher

Bicycling Beyond the Divide did what all great books do: it told me about me. In its tale of a journey made by two different men — both of them Daryl Farmer — this book offers us not only moving vistas and meaningful people, but also hope, that rarest of literary commodities these days. I didn't want this to end. — Bret Lott, author of Jewel

In this wise and funny book about biking our American West, Daryl Farmer journeys across miles and through memory to self-discovery, and it's our good fortune to come along — without expending nearly so many calories. — Gregory Martin, author of Mountain City

Daryl Farmer writes with tenderness, humor, and profound insight, not only about the wonders of the western landscape, but about the troubled terrain of the human heart. Losing himself out there on the endless seam of two-lane blacktop, Daryl Farmer found himself — the 20-something who first took the trip and the forty-something man he would become. Bicycling Beyond the Divide is a transformative book about the hunger for the road and for self-understanding. Somewhere Edward Abbey is smiling. — Brent Spencer, author of Are We Not Men?

Reading Bicycling beyond the Divide was the best vacation I took all year — in a year I traveled to Mexico, France and Italy. Even if you have never ridden a bike or set foot in the West, this book will make both a part of your life as vivid as any trip you have taken. Daryl Farmer's journey — into the heart of a land, of a time, into the very nature of memory and experience — is one I will never forget. — Jesse Lee Kercheval, author of Space

Daryl Farmer lyrically meshes his traveling experiences of 1985 with 2005 in his book. . . . With writing that compares favorably to Paul Theroux, William Least Heat Moon, and John Steinbeck, Farmer assures us that the American spirit hasn't been completely deflated. — Lee Gooden, ForeWord

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