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Lost In Austin: A Nevada Memoir

"Lost in Austin: A Nevada Memoir is author Jim Andersen's memoir of leaving the congested hustle and bustle of California for Austin, Nevada - a tiny town of about 250 people situated on Highway 50, a.k.a. "the loneliest road in America". The little community had the hallmark of self-sufficiency on virtually every level - people ran their lives, their economy, and their local government their own way, sometimes in disdain of certain conventions. A treasury of wit, wisdom, insight, independence, and true small-town spirit, Lost in Austin is a delight to read from cover to cover. Highly recommended." -Midwest Book Review

“I found Jim Andersen’s Lost in Austin absolutely delightful. The book gives a whimsical account of life in rural Nevada as lived by a California transplant who flees the urban scene in the mid-1970s. Andersen’s anecdotes are charming, his details compelling and warm. Together, the self-deprecating tone and the obvious love for Austin and the author’s life there combine to portray a modern-day pioneer’s search to find a home in the West.” - Ann Ronald, author of Earthtones: A Nevada Album

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Published by the University of Nevada Press, 2009



     In this fascinating and hilarious memoir, paper-mill worker Jim Andersen enlists three buddies to join him on an adventure of a lifetime in 1974. To make a name for themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records, the four men hike 143 miles from the highest point in the contiguous United States to the lowest. This means they must trek through treacherous terrain starting at Mt. Whitney in California and ending in Death Valley.

     In preparing for the trip, which takes the better part of a year, they make one huge mistake. They do not train for the grueling seven-day expedition. Instead, they focus on gathering supplies and even creating a few contraptions to help make their journey easier.

     Jim and the others learn as they go, making plenty of mistakes along the way. Find out if they succeed in the end or fall short of their goal. Ultimately, they gain important life lessons that only a once-in-a-lifetime trip can teach.


     Outdoor enthusiasts—and novices—will appreciate this candid account of an incredible journey.

Sometimes a Great Notion...

         Isn't, so much.

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