I was so looking forward to reading this zine. It’s a travelogue printed on huge paper that you have to unfold like a map. Perfect, right? This issue of Motivist follows a spring cycling trip that Barbour and Evans took as they rode from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Tadoussac, Quebec. They followed the Saint John River over eight days and documented the journey through writing and photos.
You might be thinking now that this sounds endlessly fascinating and ought to be rife with anecdotes. Ought is the keyword. Unfortunately Evans and Barbour make the baffling decision to forego offering any real commentary or stories from the road. Instead the bulk of the zine reads like Mapquest directions as they meticulously list every road they travel and how many kilometers they traverse each day. Photos of large waterfalls and mountains looming over long highways are awe-inspiring, which makes the absence of any story here all the more frustrating. A piece discussing plants found along their journey is the most interesting content here.
If it comes down to it simply being a case that writing is not a strong suit for Barbour or Evans then I find it difficult to fault them for that. I have to register my astonishment, though, at how they were able to make such an amazing journey sound so dull. (Harley R. Pageot)
Travel Zine, Alan Barbour & Sarah Evans, volume 2, issue 1, 2649 Fuller Terrace, Halifax, NS, B3K 3V8