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Travels with Maggie: A Six-Month Journey with a Wondering Wanderer Paperback – July 24, 2017
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My particular favorite stop was Chesterton, Indiana, and the Indian Dunes. I spent many a youthful summer there and still treasure memories of Lake Michigan, especially when roiled by a storm, the woods, the swamp (okay marsh, but we called it a swamp).
Birding is a big part of this travel book, and I, not a birder, learned a lot as Pat listed the birds she’d seen. I’d have liked to see more about Maggie the dog, but it comforted me to know she was there.
Writing a book about her experience is another act of bravery. Our travel literature is full of the adventures of men—Paul Theroux, John Steinbeck, Bill Bryson, William Least Heat Moon, Charles Kurault. Joining that all-male club didn’t faze Pat Bean for one second.
Let’s hear it for adventuresome women and their dogs!
While Pat’s thrill was bird watching, I grew most excited about her stop not far from where I live. When she wrote that Point Pelee, Canada’s southernmost spot, is best known for the thousands of monarch butterflies that briefly gather there in the fall before they fly across Lake Erie on their way to Mexico, I immediately added this spot to my bucket list.
Each chapter begins with a map of her travels for that day that includes a quote. Because I appreciated the self-reflective comments Bean makes, my favorite was from Carol Pearson. “Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.” In my eyes, Bean is a courageous hero to embark on such a trip, deal worn brake pads, get lost and find her way again with only her canine companion, Maggie, by her side.
This beautiful book takes us along on the 6 month adventure. We get to climb into the front seat with Pat and Maggie navigating backroads and blue highways. We trek across mountains, throu gh forests, along rivereways and into an occasional swamp. Tiny towns teach us their history and the people tell us their stories.
Each chapter begins with a map of that portion of the journey, and a quote from another famous traveler. Each chapte ends with a list of the birds that she courted and observed. This book is perfect a cold winter day when our own adventures our limited by the weather. It speaks to the soul of each of us who wonders what the next stage of life could possibly hold, and challenges us to embrace our own journey.