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Eustace Conway (born Eustace Robinson Conway IV in 1961 in South Carolina) is an American naturalist and the subject of the book The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert and the subject of an early episode of the weekly radio show This American Life. He is the owner of 1000-acre Turtle Island Preserve near Boone, North Carolina.

At the age of 12, Conway lived in the woods for a week. At 17 he moved out of his parents' home entirely so that he could live in a tipi in the woods. He has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and claims to have set the world record for crossing the United States on horseback from the Atlantic to the Pacific. However, according to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times of the day, as well as the book, Bud & Me, the record for crossing the North American continent on horseback was actually done in 62 days. This journey was made by Bud and Temple Abernathy, aged 11 and 7, who rode 3,619 miles from New York to San Francisco on an equestrian journey, which started in August, 1911.[1][2][3][4]

The weekly radio show "This American Life" reported on Conway's cross country journey in the episode "Adventures in the Simple Life", which aired on September 11, 1998. The show uses recordings that were taped on a hand-held recorder by Conway and his party. Producers of the show still list it as one of their favorite episodes.[5]

A 2003 documentary film on Conway's life, Full Circle: A Life Story of Eustace Conway, was directed by Jack Bibbo.

Conway has three siblings: Walton, Judson, and Martha.


  1. ^ " book summary". Retrieved 2007-02-23.  
  2. ^ "The Long Riders Guild records". Retrieved 2007-02-23.  
  3. ^ Abernathy, Alta (1998). Bud & Me. Dove Creek Press. p. 150.  
  4. ^ "Los Angeles Times". October 29, 1911.  
  5. ^ This American Life

Gilbert, Elizabeth (2002). The Last American Man. Viking.  

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