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In 2017, professional runner Rickey Gates ran 3,700 miles across the continental United States with just a small backpack and an anthropologist's curiosity to discover the divided America in which we live.
In the book Cross Country, Gates documents this epic experience from South Carolina to San Francisco, sharing first-person essays, interviews, and over 200 photographs of the ordinary and extraordinary people and places he saw along the way.
While Gates delivers unparalleled insight into the extreme athletic and mental challenge of this transcontinental run, running is not the core focus of Cross Country—it is a story of the remarkable people across the United States who we would otherwise never meet.
• A photographic travelogue that follows along Rickey Gates's run across the country, and the individuals who live in it
• Filled with portraits, landscapes, and collages of towns and communities that most people have never seen
• From South Carolina to San Francisco, the five-month-long run covers 3,700 miles of hiking trails, rivers, and roads.
Gates slept in the rain, carried meager possessions on his back, ran through the night, endured mental and physical challenges, and survived on a staple of gas station hot dogs and Pop Tarts.
Delivering a patchwork portrait of America, Gates's captivating story captures the spirit of our country—that grit, determination, and compassion are qualities that can unite us all.
• Perfect gift for runners, hikers, and lovers of the outdoors, as well as fans of travelogues, photography, and photo-journalism
• A great pick for those who loved Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck, and A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson.
• A unique perspective of the United States
About the Author
Rickey Gates is a professional runner. He has run races on all seven continents and has traveled to nearly 40 countries. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife Liz and a motorcycle dubbed the Freedom Machine.
"Rickey Gates is the rambling poet of the running world"-Outside
"What strikes me most is Rickey's profound empathy for people. His curiosity about the world. His poetic lens on the human condition. And his multi-disciplinarian vision for a better more unified world."-Rich Roll
"An unusual and personal work that should appeal to armchair travelers and runners."-Library Journal
"For anyone who wants to see and experience the country on foot, it will certainly inspire you to start mapping out a route."
"Part travelogue, part photo diary, and, in the age of polished Instagram profiles, refreshing for its honesty...Think Blue Highways, but in running shoes."