Guide Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey

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“Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey” by William Least-Heat Moon – Everett Potter's Travel Report

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Book review: “Roads to Quoz”

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Her name provides the inspiration for the title, an invented word that signifies an inner quest for that quirky region occupied but not circumscribed by the letter Q. Quoz is the thinking person's Oz, and Heat-Moons adventures with Q Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote are a yellow brick road of happy happenstance to replace the blue of former highways. The book is not a mere travelogue, though it traverses the American landscape at a "moseying" pace.

It is also a long ramble of memory moving through time to real or imagined stories Heat-Moon has gathered over his career of riding, listening, and taking notes. Stories from the past include the moral fable of a man who found he had a special talent. Always having wanted to make something of himself, he lost something of himself when he was wounded in the Korean War. But he found that he had gained something back — he became a masterful physical therapist who treated the special problems of lonely widows.

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He wasn't in it for the money — all he wanted in return was to found a school for lost and troubled children. With the donations he garnered from his flock of grateful older women, he would establish "Kactus Kids" — an academy of folk arts and philosophy. His dream died when an ambitious woman scammed him, and he wound up feeling like a nobody again. A relatively simple concoction of magnets and skate wheels, the bicycle is designed to ride one rail while connected to the other for stability. It zooms along using pedal power, but is not recommended for people with a fear of heights because trestle riding, as Heat-Moon found out, is an art in itself.