Walk Two Moons Summary: Chapters 41-44

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

Sal finally reaches Lewiston, Idaho, and comes face-to-face with the truth about the disappearance of her mother. This lesson will focus on the summary of Chapters 41-44 of ''Walk Two Moons''.


Salamanca Tree Hiddle, also known as Sal, and her grandparents Gram and Gramps have been travelling from Euclid, Ohio to Lewiston, Idaho to see Sal's mother Momma, who left Sal and her father more than a year ago. The whole trip, Sal has been pushing to get there by August 20th, which is Momma's birthday. To keep her mind off the end of the journey, Sal tells her grandparents the story of her friend Phoebe Winterbottom.

As Sal tells Phoebe's story, she uncovers her own. And now Phoebe's story is finished: Mrs. Winterbottom has come home, Sal and Ben Finney are a couple, and Sal has made her peace with her father's relationship with Margaret Cadaver. But Sal hasn't quite made it to Lewiston yet. As they cross into Idaho, Gram gets sick and they need to find a hospital, fast!

Chapter 41: The Overlook

As soon as Gramps gets into Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, he drives to the hospital. Gram is slumped over in her seat. The doctors tell Gramps that Gram has had a stroke, and that he should leave the room. Gramps tells them that he is holding Gram's hand, and that if they want him to leave, they should cut his hand off. So Sal heads to the waiting room, and Gramps stays in the room.

As Sal waits, a man comes in with a dog, but the person at the desk won't let him in. Sal offers to watch his dog while he goes to visit someone. The dog is a beagle and reminds Sal of her old dog. Sal waits until midnight when she can finally see Gram. She is still unconscious and is connected to machines. Gramps tells Sal they are going to be in the hospital for a while. He hands Sal some money and the car keys and tells her to do what she has to.

Sal takes the keys and the money and goes to the car. Though she's far below the driving age, Gramps taught her to drive back in Kentucky. She looks at the map and then drives around the parking lot, getting the feel for the car. She decides make the four hour drive to Lewiston on her own.

At the top of Lewiston Hill, she pulls into an overlook. Far below, hidden by darkness, is the Snake River. The road there is full of turns and cliffs. Sal steels herself and then drives down into the valley, terrified the entire way.

When there is another overlook, Sal pulls in. A man steps out of a car nearby and asks where Sal's family is. Sal replies 'around'. The man points through the trees, where there is something made of metal, gleaming in the moonlight. He tells her a bus went off the cliff more than a year ago, and that only one person survived the crash.

Sal knows.

The Snake River in Lewiston, Idaho
The Snake River in Lewiston, Idaho

Chapter 42: The Bus and the Willow

Sal climbs down to the bus. It is a twisted-up confusion of wheels and metal and holes. Sal looks in but knows she cannot get inside. She walks around the scene for a while and then climbs back up to her car.

When she gets there, two police officers are standing beside her car. They tell her she shouldn't be climbing near the accident scene and ask her where her family is. Sal tells them her grandparents are back in Coeur d'Alene. When the cops ask who drove her there, Sal admits that she did. They tell her to get in the car, and Sal is sure she's heading for jail.

Instead, the police officers drive her to a cemetery and lead her to a gravestone overlooking the Snake River. The grave says 'Chanhassen 'Sugar' Pickford Hiddle'.

Sal finally accepts that her mother is not coming back. As she stands at her mother's grave, Sal hears a bird singing from a willow tree nearby. Sal walks to the tree, kisses it, and whispers 'Happy birthday'. Then she walks back to the police officers and tells them she's ready to go to jail.

Chapter 43: Our Gooseberry

Instead of taking Sal to jail, the police officers drive her to the hospital in Coeur d'Alene. One of the officers lectures Sal about driving on her own, and she asks him about the bus crash. He admits that he was there that night, but he doesn't want to talk about it. He tells Sal he remembers her father and Margaret Cadaver.

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