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One Man Caravan

Robert Edison Fulton, Jr.

The undeeded tongue may lead to tortuous trails! Had I given heed to some such proverb, a number of things might not have happened. For one, this record. At the dinner in London I was looked upon my by host, hostess, and five other guests as a young American university graduate, just finished with a year's study at the University of Vienna's school of architecture and visiting in England on my way home. The dinner table talk had been revolving around the architectural nuances of America when the young lady with the toffee-colored hair spoke up. "Are you planning on sailing for home soon? I envy you. I think New York simply devastating." "Oh, no," I replied. "I'm going around the world on a motorcycle!"

This is one of my favorite travelogues, for many reasons. First, Fulton's writing style is really interesting -- he writes like a well-educated, kind, older gentleman. This is, of course, because that's what he was when he wrote it (and in fact, probably still is!), but it's really interesting to me that this tone comes across so clearly in his writing. Secondly, the book is full of black-and-white pictures of his bike, his surroundings, and the people he meets on his journeys (all clearly captioned). It really adds a nice dimension to the writing. Also, although his journey went through 22 different countries, the book really focuses on just a few of those -- mainly the middle east. It's an area of the world that I'm personally interested in, so it's really exciting to hear about a motorcycle journey through through that area in 1932, and compare it to what I know about the area almost 70 years later. Robert Fulton Jr. is a fascinating man in and of himself -- he went on to invent countless things for the military, including the US Air Force's Skyhook air-sea rescue system, which is still used today.

Buy it from Whitehorse Press