||February 23, 2010
A coming of age story of a 14 year old runaway in the 1970's. Dawn faces dangers and adventures as she hitch-hikes from Monterey to LA and back up to San Francisco.
Barnes & Noble.com
First Trip is set on the west coast of California. The adventure starts in 1969. At the age of 14 Dawn runs away from home to experiment with drugs and sex while trying to find herself. Along the way she meets cannibals, a stripper, a prostitute, warlocks, pimps and bikers.
Go on an adventure of a lifetime. For those who never took off without a plan or preparation, on a trip to parts unknown, you will live a vicarious life in the early 70's. For those of you who were adventurous during that time, it will bring back memories of a time gone by.
First Trip is based on the Monterey Peninsula, but Dawn has wanderlust and goes where the wind blows. She roams from Carmel to Los Angeles, from San Francisco to Hollister, always seeking adventure.
This wild ride will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole trip. Will she survive growing up in a world filled with drugs and dangers at every turn?
We turned off the highway onto Palo Colorado
Canyon Road, south of Carmel. I pretended to be
sleeping, but was completely aware of everything
going on around me, due to the copious amounts
of Benzedrine pumping through my blood. Tim
was chattering at me, but I ignored him.
About a mile or so up the road, he stopped the
car at an old shack surrounded by huge redwood
trees. I thought about jumping out of the car, but
then decided he could easily outrun me.
He came around to my side of the car and
opened the door, scooping me up effortlessly
and carrying me up the short flight of steps into
I kept my eyes closed, pretending to be
overcome by the drug that was in the joint he had
given me. I could hear other excited voices, but
did not even try to sneak a peak.
He answered them all with, “Hey guys, I
brought dinner home.”
A chill went up my spine. He wasn't carrying
anything but me. He couldn't be talking about me
being dinner, could he?
I thought to myself, “Now what the hell am I
going to do?” I had a real sick feeling in the pit of
my stomach. I'd never had this kind of trouble
before. Maybe a few late nights and the parents
to contend with, but nothing like this.
He took me into a back room and unceremoni-
ously dropped me down on a cot. He left the room
and shut the door. I heard the lock engaged.
I lay there wondering what my next move would
be. I could hear them moving about and discussing
something. I presumed it was a plan of how to do
me in. Maybe they were arguing on the way I was
to be prepared; I couldn't hear them well enough
to tell. Another shiver went up my spine.
I finally got up and quietly checked the door. It
was locked, just as I thought. I couldn't go out
that way anyway. I had to do something. I was
not going to just sit there and wait for my fate.
Next I checked the window, stuck shut. It was
either painted shut or nailed shut. Either way, it
What the hell was I going to do? If I broke the
glass, they would hear and be on to me. I was
small, weighing in at about 110 pounds. There
was no way I could fight them all off.
Quietly, I moved around the room looking for
something that could help me in this dilemma. I
found some old shoes and clothes in the closet,
but not much else. I turned to the dresser. In one
drawer I found an old pocketknife. That definitely
would be helpful.
I turned back to the window with the
newfound treasure and began prying at the pane.
It was old and loose and with a little work I
managed to pry out the small triangle shaped
metal pieces that were holding the pane in place.
I then pried at the pane itself, until it was loose,
and I laid it back toward me. I gently and quietly
eased the glass to the floor and slide it under the
bed. I stopped to listen, alert for any footsteps
near the door. I stuck my head out the window
looking for sentries, then nimbly jumped out the
portal, escaping into the forest.
I kept looking back at the cabin, fully
expecting to see someone in pursuit. Once out of
sight, I hit it at a trot toward the highway. I
wasn't out of the woods yet, but felt much better
on the move.
It took about 15 minutes to jog down to
Highway One. It was dark by then and traffic was
light, only about a car every few minutes. I hiked
up the road from the canyon's turn off before I
stuck out my thumb. This was just in case Tim
came looking for me. With this small head start I
would have a chance to run down to the beach
before he could see me.
I was impatient for a ride and felt the need to
get as much distance between me and that pack
of psychos as I could. The third passing car
slowed then stopped. My luck was holding. I
could see no lights coming from out of the
canyon. Time to celebrate. Maybe the driver had
a joint. One could only hope.
I never did tell the authorities about my
encounter. Who would've believed me? It was OK,
though. I later heard they were caught. I found out
about it a few days later during a radio news report.
A hit and run accident on Highway 1 led to the
capture of two of them, and that led to the rest
of them taken in and charged with murder.
The two in the accident were found with
human finger bones in their front shirt pockets.
They told the cops that they had been snacking
on the fingers. I was just relieved that it wasn't
my fingers they were snacking on.
A remarkable and fun coming of age story that shouldn't be missed
By Midwest Book Review
This review is from: First Trip: Sex, Drugz, and Rock & Roll in the 70'z (Paperback)
The allure of life away a home always can turn bad quick. "First Trip: Sex, Drugz, and Rock & Roll in the 70'z" is a novel telling of Dawn, as she embarks on life at the young age of 14 and finds that life has no shortage of surprises for her out on the road. From cannibals to bikers to the many brands of love, "First Trip" is a remarkable and fun coming of age story that shouldn't be missed.
Captivates From Cover to Cover-Highly Recommended!,
By Reader's Choice Book Reviews "RCBR"
This review is from: First Trip: Sex, Drugz, and Rock & Roll in the 70'z (Paperback)
A troubled fourteen-year-old girl runs away in 70's California and meets an outlandish assortment of individuals including cannibals, warlocks, and bikers as she settles into a world of drugs, promiscuity, and life on the street in First Trip by Cheryl Taylor.
Our heroine, Dawn, is a free spirit in every sense with her own unique way of managing diverse situations. Like runways from any generation, Dawn ran from a difficult home life. Her father left when she was a child and the relationship between her mother and step-father was tumultuous at best. Smoking and drinking become coping mechanisms as a preteen. With the seventies drug scene blooming around her it wasn't long before she indulged. She would sample everything from cannabis to cocaine, with acid being the choice drug for escaping home or from school where she also did not fit in. Stints in juvenile detention did little to discourage Dawn from skipping school or from not returning home at night.
After continued friction and some shocking abuse at the hands of her mom and step-father, Dawn runs away for good. She follows her heart and the music of the time. Attractive and young, she has no problem finding rides to take her on her journey. However, the author has a knack for placing her protagonist into trouble and each chapter finds Dawn in another life-and-death jam. Dawn moves from man to man and from party to party, never staying with either for long. Men help keep away loneliness and are a source of drugs and in return she gives her body. Finally in San Francisco she gets involved in intravenous drug use and petty crime.
Author Cheryl Taylor slowly reveals the pain that has driven Dawn to such a dangerous lifestyle. This wasn't a short book; however I was hooked from the opening pages and read it in one sitting. I couldn't wait to see how Dawn would handle or even survive her next quandary. This book is a time warp back to the seventies, however it is much more than a romp though that carefree decade. It is a coming-of-age tale of overcoming abuse and neglect that is both moving as well as entertaining. I would have liked a bit more descriptive narrative at times as I didn't always have a clear picture of secondary characters and some scenes. This was a minor problem as the author more than kept me intrigued with her quirky humor and fast pace. First Trip is listed as fiction by the publisher; however, it reads more like a memoir. Whether this story is entirely the author's imagination or is based on truth, it is a captivating book well worth reading.
Highly recommended by William Potter for Reader's Choice Book Reviews
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