“Move about. Look around. Pick a place.
Tread softly. Stay open.
Dream small. Feel big.”
Finding Our Place in Space -- Meadowlark, California, May 1976
In February 1976, two friends set out on a six-month hostelling, and hitchhiking road adventure beginning in Canada’s West Coast, and continuing down the Pacific Coast of the United States. While living at the YWCA in Vancouver, Ontario teens Jill and Jan found short-term employment as chambermaids, enabling them to travel south of the border through Washington and Oregon, to California, where they spent several months before returning home across Western Canada.
Derived from journals faithfully depicting the girls’ daily experiences and encounters between February and August 1976, brought to life is an enriched narrative characterized by an assorted cast including hippies, outlaws, New Age visionaries, sages, witches, mystics, medicine men, Vietnam Vets, lonely hearts, and more.
Set against the matchless beauty of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, California’s majestic coastline, its exotic desert landscape and the diversity of its three major cities, in the spirit of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Tapes from California: Teenage Road Tripping, 1976 offers a personal and refreshing portrait that treads a delicate path between vulnerability and courage experienced during the unfettered, less restrictive 1970s era.
“Journeys have many shapes and forms in this life. The one that Jill Nelson takes us on in Tapes From California is poetic, spiritual, intense and most importantly of all, real. Engaging from word one, Tapes is a coming-of-age tale that is like a sweet song you heard in your childhood that wrapped itself around your brain and heart and never ever let go.” — Heather Drain, Film writer, mondoheather.com
“Jill C. Nelson has crafted an evocative and poignant written journey through the past that is equal parts touching, witty, and finally, extremely haunting. Tapes From California: Teenage Road Tripping, 1976 is an extraordinary book that takes us back to a more adventurous and liberated time.” — Jeremy Richey, Art Decades magazine
Endeavoring to reconnect with her experiences as a teenager on the precipice of adulthood in the mid-late 1970s, author Jill Nelson was inspired to chronicle adventures shared with a girlfriend while travelling to the West, and eventually the East Coasts of Canada and Western United States, beginning in winter 1976.
Tapes from California, Teenage Road Tripping, 1976 is Jill C. Nelson’s third book.