Two sisters. Two bikes. The Pacific Coast.
South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels is a travel memoir, a road story, and an homage to the tales of adventure—from The Hobbit to her father and grandmother’s true-to-life bedtime stories—that inspired Meaghan Marie Hackinen's youth. The travel takes place during the fall of 2009, when, alongside her sister and former childhood rival, she sets out to pedal the Pacific Coast. With much enthusiasm but little cycling experience, the sisters face the dangers and hardships of the road, from rough weather to perilous highway, learning from their missteps and seeking out minimalist pleasures along the way.
South Away follows Meaghan Marie Hackinen and her sister in the adventure of a lifetime: bicycling from Terrace, BC down the West Coast to (almost) the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Along the way Hackinen battles with the elements in Vancouver Island’s dense northern forests and frigid Mexican deserts; encounters strange men, suicidal highways and monster trucks; and makes some emergency repairs as tires and spokes succumb to the ravages of the journey. Luckily, the pair meet some good people along the way and glean some insight about the kindness of strangers.
A rare road-trip story with two female leads, this travel memoir also chronicles an inner journey, as the author begins to better understand her relationship with her adventurous (and not-so-adventurous) family. South Away tells an engaging and personable tale, with imaginative and memorable depictions of land and sea along the ever-winding coast.
“Everyone says ‘Be careful,’ but Meaghan Marie Hackinen wants to live large. South Away will fill your lungs with the fresh air of adventure and restore your faith in human goodness. An exhilarating debut.”
~ Candace Savage, author of A Geography of Blood and Strangers in the House
“Hackinen’s journey is the quest of her dreams. Her sharp images of life on the road reveal that the world is more complex than she thought—and that sometimes people will let you camp on their front lawn.”
~ Nicole Haldoupis, editor of Grain Magazine and untethered
“In this empowering memoir, Hackinen, an avid cyclist, recounts her first touring-bike journey…. Teens will be particularly fascinated by how the author found post-grad direction and confidence using the strength of her own two legs.”