The Old Man and the Road
By Paul Reese with Joe Henderson
Nonfiction, 300 pages, 6" x 9" softcover
In this, his third book, author Paul Reese pens reflections while completing a crossing of all 50 states on foot at age 80. The joy of simply moving through the final states flows through the third book in Reese's country-crossing trilogy, The Old Man and the Road.
In this worthy successor to Go East Old Man, author and runner Paul Reese describes the third phase of his adventures that took him across the remaining 21 states east of the Mississippi, plus Alaska and Hawaii. Reese ran across the United States at age 73, the oldest person to do so. He wrote of that experience in Ten Million Steps – which ended with the line that his adventures didn't end here. He wrote, "One of the secrets of aging gracefully is always to have something to look forward to."
He looked next toward crossing the remaining states west of the Mississippi and writing a second book. The running occurred between ages 75 and 79, and the resulting book was titled Go East Old Man. Next on his continuing agenda: Celebrating his 80th birthday by crossing the rest of the states east of the Mississippi, plus Alaska and Hawaii to complete a tour of the country that no one of any age had accomplished before. The seven-year, 7,600-mile odyssey ended on a beach in Hawaii, walking to the finish with his longtime friend Dr. Ralph Paffenbarger.
"Each of us," writes Paul, "was just grateful to be alive, to be active, to be fully functional physically and mentally. I marveled at how such a simple act – doing this walking with a close friend – could overflow my day with joy."
Useful companion to this book: Go East Old Man