A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz

By Tony Horwitz

"What occurred in North the United States among Columbus's sail in 1492 and the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620?

On a trip to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz realizes he does not have a clue, nor do so much americans. So he units off around the continent to rediscover the wild period while Europeans first roamed the hot international looking for gold, glory, converts, and everlasting early life. Horwitz tells the tale of those courageous and sometimes crazed explorers whereas retracing their steps on his personal epic trek--an odyssey that takes him inside of an Indian sweat inn in subarctic Canada, down the Mississippi in a canoe, on a street journey fueled through buffalo meat, and into sixty kilos of armor as a conquistador reenactor in Florida.

A Voyage lengthy and weird is a wealthy mixture of scholarship and modern day event that brings the forgotten first bankruptcy of America's historical past vividly to life." (Google Books)

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A Saami followed, talking about reindeer tongue. Then Swedish radio gave way to Czech radio and then the BBC, carrying me through to the breakfast hour. Finally reaching a sliver of civilization, I slowed beside a small restaurant and store. The sign in front of it read: Live Worms Soft-serve Cod Tongues Like moose being kosher, cods having tongues wasn’t something I’d ever considered. Opting for coffee, I drove on, past another warning sign, recording the alarming toll of “Moose/Vehicle Accidents” over the past year.

That is Bjorn, my master. ” At this, a burly man appeared, with wild, shoulder-length locks and almost as much hair sprouting from his face. He wore a gray tunic over woolen trousers and goat-skin boots. ” he growled, peering into the cauldron. ” Bjorn turned and glared at me, gesturing at my pad and pen. “A true skald needs no such tools,” he said. Then he recited from a poem called the “Hávamál,” or “Sayings of the High One,” which offered homilies about proper behavior for Vikings. “Cattle die, kinsmen die, and you yourself must likewise die,” he boomed.

Nor did any of these claims withstand close scrutiny by scholars and archaeologists. The Newport tower turned out to be a seventeenth-century windmill, and Longfellow’s “Viking old” a Wampanoag Indian, buried with a colonial English kettle. The Kensington Stone was exposed as an elaborate fake, carved by the Swedish stonemason who “found” it on his farm in 1898. Other runes were determined to be Indian petroglyphs, glacial scratches, or marks left by farm tools. It was, therefore, with considerable skepticism that scholars greeted news in 1961 of yet another discovery of Norse remains, this time by a Norwegian.

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