I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning. The wind, even at sixty miles an hour, is warm and humid. When it’s this hot and muggy at eight-thirty, I’m wondering what it’s going to be like in the afternoon. […] In the wind are pungent odors from the marshes by the road. We are in an area of the Central Plains filled with thousands of duck hunting sloughs, heading northwest from Minneapolis toward the Dakotas. […] I’m happy to be riding back into this country. It is a kind of nowhere, famous for nothing at all and has an appeal because of just that. Tensions disappear along old roads like this.
The opening of Robert Robert Pirsig’s cult, philosophy classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values from 1974.
The book has sold more than 5 million copies. It is the story of a road trip from Minnesota to California, and his personal quest to reconcile Eastern and Western philosophical philosophical traditions. It may be the only philosophy some people have ever read - or enjoyed.