For two months in 2016, Larry Campbell conducted an epic solo road trip, following the Missouri River from Montana down through the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. And in this gorgeous coffee table book, you can follow along, as he recounts the places and faces he met along the way.
Campbell is a fun, friendly guide, and the resulting travelogue is an engaging, conversational, quick read. It has several sections and, as he notes in the introduction, can be read in any order. I personally decided to read it in order, which worked well. The first section is a chronological overview of his itinerary. From there, the book also includes special sections devoted to miscellaneous anecdotes, profiles of interesting places and people, and a guide to Lewis and Clark’s trip along the river.
The photographs are, as befits a coffee table book, stunning. However, my favorite aspect of the book was the people he met and the places he visited. Campbell clearly had a ball on his trip, and his enthusiasm for everything from the river to historical sites associated with the Wild West through the Great Depression to quirky out-of-the-way places shines through. Likewise, his genuine pleasure in making the acquaintance of a range of folks, from local guides to a ferry operator to a man who specializes in building reproductions of Lewis and Clark boats, is also palpable and contagious.
If you’re making travel plans of your own for this summer, Rollin’ Down the River will give you ample ideas and suggestions for a memorable time. If circumstances or finances are keeping you home for the summer, Rollin’ Down The River will still take you away from home for a couple of hours.
Author Larry Campbell is a local author — he lives in nearby Branson — and he will be visiting the Berryville Library this summer to discuss the book and the trip that inspired it.
He will be at our library on Tuesday, June 19 at 5:30 p.m. Be sure to read the book before he stops by and join us for his talk!
In the meantime, you can also visit his author website to learn more about him and see some photographs from his trip.
You can also visit our online library catalog for more information on his book.
Have you ever seen the Missouri River? What’s been your biggest adventure? Do you have travel plans for the summer? Tell us in the comments!