The Letters of Steve Hoyt
Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder . . .
I first met Steve Hoyt in the early sixties when we were in Junior High, and by our senior year of high school we were hopping freight trains together, searching for adventure to offset the boredom of school.
In the mid 1960s however, most guys either went to college or joined the military but Steve decided to ride a bicycle across Europe to a small village in Norway, where he spent the winter working on a fishing boat on the North Sea. After being called back to the States by Uncle Sam, he reluctantly enrolled in college -- the alternative at that time for healthy young men was to be shipped to Vietnam for combat. While in college, inspired by the literature of writers such as Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder, he yearned to be on the road again. Between terms he was able to escape what he termed "four walls education" to experience the education of the open road: hitch hiking and riding freight trains across America, fishing in Alaska, working on local farms, climbing mountains in Washington's rugged North Cascades, and sailing the waters of Puget Sound. By the early '70s he had dropped out of college, began building wooden boats, and was one of the founders of Bellingham's co-op gardens. As he was developing a deeper awareness of his ecological relationship to the Pacific Northwest, his life was cut short just before his 25th birthday.
This is Steve's story, as well as a personal history of a pivotal period in America, as told through his letters, and the memories of his friends. Additional sources drawn upon in this first hand account of the tumultous 1960s include periodicals of the time, photographs, and the travel journals of author/editor Daniel Leen.
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Ecodesigns Northwest
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