Peter Jenkins (travel author)

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Peter Jenkins
Peter Jenkins

(1951-08-07) August 7, 1951 (age 69)
OccupationWriter, Travel writer

Peter Jenkins (born August 7, 1951) is an American travel author. He is known for walking from New York to Oregon while writing two books that describe his experiences over the nearly six years that he spent walking. He is a graduate of Alfred University, with a BFA in Sculpture/Ceramics (1973), as well as an honorary doctorate (2003).

Jenkins began his walk across America in Alfred, New York, in October 1973. He was accompanied by his dog, Cooper, a half Alaskan malamute that died in a tractor accident at The Farm in Tennessee. Upon reaching the end of his southward trek in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jenkins found a new companion, Barbara Jo Pennell, who would soon become his second wife and accompany him on his walk west. He finished the journey in Florence, Oregon, in January 1979.[1] His bestselling book of the 1970s describing the experience, A Walk Across America, was one of the first books to popularize adventure travel or travel as a way of life, although Richard Halliburton had greater success in the 1920s and 1930s.

National Geographic magazine became interested in his walk after Jenkins and Cooper stopped in at the magazine's offices while walking through Washington, D.C. Jenkins' walk experience was featured twice in the magazine: "Walk Across America" in April 1977, and "Walk Across America: Part II" in August 1979.[1] Jenkins currently resides in Spring Hill, Tennessee.[2] In 2012, Jenkins returned home from a 2-year drive across America in a '57 Chevy station wagon.[3]


  • A Walk Across America (1979)
  • The Walk West (1981)
  • Journey into China (1982)
  • The Tennessee Sampler (1985)
  • Across China (1986)
  • The Road Unseen (1987)
  • Close Friends (1989)
  • Along the Edge of America (1995)
  • The Untamed Coast (1995)
  • Looking for Alaska (2001)


  1. ^ a b MICHELLE YORK (February 13, 2005). "A Writer Treks Across America, Again". New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2008.
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