Book Review: The Road Across Canada by Edward McCourt

Many people have driven across Canada, including several who did it long before Edward McCourt set out for his journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, B.C. But nobody has ever chronicled their trip in such a beautiful fashion as McCourt did in The Road Across Canada.

Full disclosure: this book was published in 1965, so it’s more than 50 years old and has been out of print for decades. But there’s still plenty of copies floating around. I found an ex-library copy for about $5 on AbeBooks.com.

McCourt made the trek with his wife in 1962, the same year the Trans-Canada Highway was officially opened, although it was far from being completed at that point. The book is broken down into chapters on each Canadian province that McCourt drove through. Along the way, he masterfully intertwines relevant tales of Canadian history to the regions he is passing through. Canadian history can be a bit dull, but McCourt finds a way to make the tales interesting and engaging. Having driven many of the same routes over the years, I am quite familiar with the towns and cities he visits. He paints each stop wonderfully and with great accuracy, which isn’t always flattering. Continue reading “Book Review: The Road Across Canada by Edward McCourt”

Book Review: Mongol Rally – Three Weeks into the Unknown

mongol-rally-book-review

By Dave S. Clark

Completing the Mongol Rally is a monumental task and because of the book Mongol Rally – Three Weeks into the Unknown, it’s now an experience that is written in permanent marker on my bucket list.

Anyone who participates in the event has to be slightly insane for a number of reasons. First off, it starts in London and ends in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, which can be anywhere from 13,000 KM to 16,000 KM. Needless to say, it would be a taxing drive. But as the book illustrates, it isn’t solely the distance, the brutal terrain and the terrible or non-existent roads that make it tough. It’s the countless border crossings and police checkpoints that make the race a challenge.

On top of that, it’s basically the Chump Car of long distance rally races, meaning you’re required to do it in a crap can of a vehicle. When the rally is over, you’re required to turn the vehicle over and have it auctioned for charity, so you don’t want to invest in it too heavily.  Continue reading “Book Review: Mongol Rally – Three Weeks into the Unknown”