Perrottet explains where the American vacation originates from: the word, as he claims, is from the verb “to vacate” as that is what many did during the sweltering summer months in the cities when they traveled to the countryside… in this case the Adirondack mountains. As detailed by his illustrious retelling of America’s ‘gilded age’, Perrottet notes how one book started a chain reaction that led to a resurgence of the natural world within American culture. The juxtaposition between the untouched natural world and the harsh city environment incepted the want to travel within Americans. Though, this organic outdoor beauty was more of a work of fiction found within Murray’s Adirondack guidebook Adventures in the Wilderness than something travelers could experience themselves.
[before Murray’s guidebook] “most Americans considered the country’s primeval landscapes only as obstacles to be conquered”
“their work reached only a relatively small, elite group of readers. But Murray’s book, with its direct, straightforward “how-to” tips, mixed with a series of humorous short stories about wilderness camping, truly seized the public’s imagination.”
While there was backlash following the release of his novel because many believed his work to be nonrepresentational of the actual outdoors, the decades after still experienced an exponential increase in those wanting to escape to the wilderness. This led to the increased occupation of pristine lands and development of, mostly, a region left untouched since the first colonizers stumbled onto this continent’s shores. The contrast Perrottet makes between the American romantic poets and the layman Murray insinuates an all the more interesting concept about American travel writing itself. It seems as though, for Americans in this era, that a more down-to-earth approach garners greater public interest and in this case was enough to start an entirely new way of life for the American people. I find this almost the same as how people travel today in America. It seems as though people just want an escape from their everyday lives and to experience something new rather than the Roman way of travel Perrottet depicted in our previous reading from him.