First Train Out of Denver

On a tenebrous winter morning in Denver, Colorado, Leo Jenkins felt the weight of the world crushing him. Leo has a decision to make—maintain a comfortable position in a career he’s no longer passionate about—or take a massive leap of faith. Giving up everything he’s ever known, Jenkins sells his business, purges every possession that won’t fit into a single backpack and sets off into the world in pursuit of answers. Equal parts social philosophy and travel adventure, First Train Out of Denver takes the reader on an around the world quest for meaning in a seamlessly senseless world. Along the way Leo accepts a challenge from another former Army Ranger to see how far they can travel together in three weeks with nothing but a backpack and one hundred dollars to raise awareness and funds for a veteran charity. By any means necessary, the two manage to traverse two continents and film an award-winning documentary along the way. In true nomadic hobo fashion, the pair stow away on coal trains, talk their way onto a boat, hitch rides, and walk their way over eight thousand miles in twenty-one days, raising nearly thirty-thousand dollars for their fellow veterans. Leo’s personal journey continues through Eastern Europe, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. Upon arrival in Alaska, Jenkins allots himself twenty-four hours to find and buy a vehicle to drive south, continuing his exploration of not just the world, but of the mind. As he seeks to finish a goal to drink a beer in every state, inadvertently, he embraces the “van life.” First Train Out of Denver brings the laugh-out-loud, gritty Ranger humor readers loved in his first book, Lest We Forget, and combines it with the raw, unrelenting introspection readers related to in his second book, On Assimilation.

 

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