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The Tecate Journals: Seventy Days on the Rio Grande
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The Tecate Journals: Seventy Days on the Rio Grande

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Journalist Bowden writes of his journey to become the first person to travel the entire length of the Rio Grande as it forms the border between America and Mexico, in this elegant, gritty, and contemporary look at the culture and people he encountered.
Paperback, 291 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Mountaineers Books
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Certainly was a unique trip that I doubt would be possible to duplicate. I couldn't put my finger exactly on why I didn't like the book more, deciding it was his style of ingratiating himself with Hispanics he met as "such a cool Anglo" (which he had the honesty to report actually backfired on him at least once).

The first part is rather slow going with backstory of his life, finally getting in the water at El Paso, and then canoeing down to Laredo, where the author lives. A couple of friends jo
Jul 25, 2008 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone, especially those into politics
Recommended to Mike by: Everyone
This is one helluva book, and one a lot of people elsewhere should read. It flows faster than the river ever did.
I finished the second half of the book's 291 pages all in one day when classes were cancelled due to Hurricane Dolly. It had a habit of leaping back up into my hands: much like a friendly puppy. The difficulties Keith faced on his journey down the Rio Grande weren't always any friendly puppy, but I certainly don't regret giving the book to four people in various parts of the U.S. and
Carl Nelson
Inspired by a lifetime of living on the Rio Grande, Keith Bowden attempts to travel its full length from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico, using a combination of canoe, raft, and bicycle. The route is fraught with complications, ranging from low water to drug smugglers, whitewater rapids, those crossing the border illegally, high swells on lakes, winter weather, and pollution. The Tecate Journals: Seventy Days on the Rio Grande recounts his journey, telling of the people he met and what he experien ...more
The writing was satisfying, but not stellar. This is a straight memoir and I don't know that there's a greater thread running through here than to report what's going on on the river. In that way, it's a fascinating glimpse into Tex-Mex culture, and the wide variety of communities and cultures that mirror each other across the river. It cuts through a lot of the media hype about the border, the violence, the corruption, and porous-ness of our political and economical southern border.
Written about my Texas Mountain Trail region (and the Pecos Trail and Tropical Trail) from a perspective VERY few people have, from the Rio Grande itself. And that makes it quite interesting to me, anyway. Note: many of the river bridges he notes have been dismantled by the Border Patrol. I'm not sure his journey could even be possible today.
Jolene Knighton
If you enjoy reading about canoe travel / raft travel / traveling on a river - this book is perfect for you. Lots of descriptions of the challenges of traveling down a river. Descriptions of rapids and difficult water. I am not much of a river travel enthusiast so I skimmed a lot of those passages.
I loved this book, not because I like river running (which I've done only twice in my life), but because it was an adventure about traveling down the river as well as an eye-opener regarding the American-Mexican border.

I love reading stories, whether fiction or not, about the desert, especially the Southwest. I can easily picture myself with the writer, floating down the Rio Grande, watching the scenery and animals, and listening to the wind and water. I think it's beautiful.

I had never really
Impressive chronicle, great descriptions.
I took this with me to continue reading on a canoe trip on Utah's San Juan but someone else holed their canoe so haven't got more than 100 pages into it. He's a dark guy who definitely should cut back on the tecate but a good writer and I'm enjoying his depiction of the river, the border and the people he meets. I also have Nevada Barr's Borderline to read and that covers a fraction of his journey I believe, in a fictional version.

Finally finished it. Really enjoyed his writing. Beat the Nevada
This book comes highly recommended and has been passed around by everyone at the co-op for the last year. Now its my turn. Just started and its already great. I am looking forward to learning about the place where we live now.

Finished it and really enjoyed it. So interesting. My only complaint was having to get through some long passages of canoeing action. My eyes would glaze over but you can kind of skip that stuff if you don't feel like reading about it.
Adventure story of the author travelling the Rio Grande from El Paso to the Gulf by bicycle, raft, and mostly by canoe. Very good perspective on the border, gang violence, and the friendliness of regular Mexicans and also the US Border Guard. It gets a little dull when so many rapids and campsites are described in detail. A very chronological story, maybe it would have been better if it were less chronological and more interaction inspired.
Jan 26, 2013 Greg rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: travel
Interesting account, and a trip I've often envisioned attempting, or at least portions of it. Bowden is an interesting character for sure, Pennsylvania raised teacher in Laredo who played and coaches baseball. Good writer, and I like his "debunking" of the certain death, at the hands of narcos and desperados predicted for him by the naysayers. Definitely an addition to the collection of Texana and contemporary literature of Texas I'm working on.
Clint Flatt
A great book of a river journey between two cultures and countries. I belive this jouney could not be made today. But it does prove that most people no matter their nationality or economic status are good people willing to help others. Can be classified upthere with "Goodbye to a River" by John Graves.
Keith Bowden travels the Rio Grande by canoe. Great book about adventure, culture, and US/Mexico relations. Highly recommended.
so far so good.a journey by bike and canoe,from el the coast.finished it the next day.thoroughly good read!!
May 27, 2008 Lizzy added it
this book is pretty fascinating so far. written by a fellow laredoan, I highly recommend it to my laredo peeps
OK - travel tales always interesting - still think this guy had a screw list to undertake this trip.
Shanna Covey
Interesting kayak adventure that takes place in the Rio Grande river along the Texas border.
Rarely do I reread a book. But damn, I love this one.
Michelle Meyers
I highly recommend this is absolutely wonderful!
Nice read about US and Mexico interaction on the Rio Grande
Roman Milner
Roman Milner marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2015
Will marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2015
Chris Black
Chris Black marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
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Tecate Journals: Seventy Days on the Rio Grande

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