Wilderness Road Odyssey: A Cyclist’s Journey Through Present and Past by Fess Green


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Title: Wilderness Road Odyssey: A Cyclist’s Journey Through Present and Past;
Includes maps, photos, and historic attractions along the Wilderness Road

Author: Fess Green

From 1994 to 1998, Fess Green, a professor at Radford University in Virginia, used a week of vacation time each year to follow as closely as possible the originial route of the Wilderness Road described by John Filson in his book published in 1784, The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke. Moreover, he chose to bicycle the entire route, 850 miles of the earliest western migration route in American history, stopping and visiting whatever was to be found along the way. During most of the journey, he was accompanied by his wife, Millie, who drove the support van, and a cycling companion named Greg. The route he traveled extends from Philadelphia in the east to Louisville in the west, passing through six present-day states. Many historical sites, he learned, still exist or have been recreated to preserve much of the early pioneer history. By keeping a journal and researching the Wilderness Road of Colonial times, Dr. Green was able to weave significant events of the past into a contemporary journey. The result is this book — thirteen chapters that combine bicycling, pioneer history, story telling, adventure, and a degree of suspense. It pinpoints the places where settlements grew, battles were fought, treaties were signed, massacres occurred, and an endless stream of settlers pushed westward into ‘that faire land of Kentucke.’ The story of the Wilderness Road now awaits the reader’s perusal. It represents a slice of Americana that still survives and a record of nation building from more than two centuries ago.


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