In the summer of 1879, the young writer Robert Louis Stevenson received a telegram from America. Fanny, a dear friend in California, was ill. Stevenson packed his bags and left his home in Scotland. When the steamer reached the east coast of America, his journey had just begun. Stevenson had little money, so he traveled across America the cheapest way: he went by train.
The trip from New York to Monterey, California, would take two exciting weeks. As the train chugged up mountains, through Indian territory, and over trestle bridges, Stevenson recorded his impressions of the rough, vast country and the people he met. Jim Murphy weaves a lively account of Stevenson’s journey with fascinating glimpses of the construction of the transcontinental railroad. It is a vivid introduction to one of the most important chapters in the history of the American West.