Author Nathan Pettijohn has just broken up with his girlfriend. He rents an RV and takes to the road with his dog, Hafa, to explore the Pacific Northwest for the month of October.
He describes the people he meets and the places he stays beautifully. He also shares his views on many aspects of life in America, up to and including their reaction to the current pandemic and the tragic murder of George Floyd.
As a fellow motorhomer (as we call RVs in the UK) I read this book with great interest. It is wonderfully written and evokes the excitement and anticipation of going to a different place every day and staying in a different campsite every night. I’ve always found that a very addictive thing to do and clearly, so does the author. I feel that I now want to go to the US and explore the same area that he did, especially as, due to the pandemic, I haven’t had any trips in my motorhome this year and I’m getting very itchy feet.
Like the author, I wouldn’t dream of going on a road trip without at least one dog. He brilliantly evokes the camaraderie that occurs when dog people meet and talk dog talk. His descriptions of the places he visits are excellent and I could empathise with some of the issues he faced in getting used to his RV.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book, very well written and extremely readable. Highly recommended.
Susan Wallace, A LoveReading Ambassador
On the heels of a breakup, author Nathan Pettijohn rents an RV and takes off on the road with his dog to explore the Pacific Northwest for the month of October. Along their journey, Pettijohn and his dog Raphael, or “Hafa,” meet with locals in small towns and stay at sites ranging from national parks, trailer parks, and campgrounds, to parking lots and open spaces. While going to a number of iconic bucket-list road trip stops, Pettijohn shares his views on everything from dog training to dating apps, in a modern exploration of life on the road today in America for adventurers, vagabonds, and dog lovers.
|Publication date:||15th September 2020|
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
In 'Travels with Hafa', Nathan Pettijohn gives us, on the face of it, an uplifting account of a month long road trip he took last October in a hired RV with his dog, Raphael, Hafa for short, a nine-month old Alsatian.
In 'Travels with Hafa', Nathan Pettijohn gives us, on the face of it, an uplifting account of a month long road trip he took last October in a hired RV with his dog, Raphael, Hafa for short, a nine-month old Alsatian. Leaving from his house in L.A, by driving vast distances at a time, he managed to see something of Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon, before returning to his home state of California. Not bad going in a month.
Much of this side of the book resonated completely with me. I have travelled extensively around Europe, with a dog, and could totally relate to what he says about driving a sizeable rig in high winds, heavy rain and snow, what can go wrong with the rig going wrong, the pitfalls of campsite regulations and etiquette, even finding the site in the first place. Also, like most of us, he treats his dog as another human being, talking to it and ascribing it human emotions. Although on his own for most of the trip, the author does meet up with friends and family along the way and it is in these encounters that we learn most about him.
Most writing of this kind tells the reader more about the author than about the National Parks, off the beaten track towns and beauty spots that he visits. From his music and film choices, his relationship with his brother, his inability to talk on record about his father, his seeming incapability of maintaining a long-term relationship with someone of the opposite sex and his willingness to take a much younger girl he has only just met along 'for the ride' for a few days, we end up caring more about him than the scenery he drives through.
In the epilogue to the book, written during lockdown, the author states quite categorically what he believes to be wrong with America and Americans, especially Californians, at the moment. This account, which starts out so positive and optimistic, ends up as almost the opposite, like the Ugly Duckling story in reverse. I'm convinced that there are many amazing places to visit in the States but, even if I could travel there, I would not want to be going right now. However, in his parting words, he resets the tone somewhat with his philosophy for life borrowed from Osho, the Indian mystic...live each day as if it were your last but also as if you will live forever.