Trailblazing Thru Milestones 1921
by Claude C. Prowell

"I became a part of the country I was traveling thru and the country became a part of me."

In 1921, Prowell took a road trip out west on his Indian motorcycle, and in 1971 he wrote about the journey. He recounts the people he met along the way and the places he experienced while traveling from Nashville, Tennessee, west to California, and north to Canada. Showcasing self-reliance and curiosity, Prowell has unforgettable adventures and meaningful encounters across 10,000 miles of open land. Highlights include camping in Texas, working odd jobs in California, exchanging his motorcycle for a Ford Model T, and smuggling contraband whiskey across the Canadian border. As Prowell recalls his life-defining odyssey to "go west and see it all," he touches briefly on the lasting impact, acknowledging that his father worried he wouldn't be satisfied at home after traveling so far.

Prowell's travel memoir from 1921 is a valuable primary source that brings history to life with its description of America growing and changing with progress and growth. The power of one person's experience from the past to illuminate the distant past should not be underestimated. Prowell's riveting first-person perspective is a plainspoken, straightforward recollection that captures youth's timeless energy and vibrancy and the mythic American spirit of exploration and adventure. His memoir transports readers to California's beaches, iconic national parks, and farms dotted across the states. Emerging from this classic road trip is an America vastly different but also deeply familiar. The spartan dirt roads may be paved over today, but they still offer a gateway to a thriving West Coast that calls to the seekers and the nomads. Prowell's restless desire to see more of the world will resonate with readers who hear and respond to the call to "Go West, young man."

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