Compelling spring reading; Jenkinses head west again The Walk West: A Walk Across America 2, by Peter and Barbara Jenkins. New York: Fawcett Crest/Ballantine. 431 pp. $3.95.

''The Walk West,'' a continuation of ''A Walk Across America'' (William Morrow & Co., 1979), finds peter and Barbara Jenkins walking out of New Orleans in the wee hours of the morning, after the US Bicentennial Celebration, July 4, 1976.

The Jenkinses walk together from New Orleans to the Oregon coast, see beautiful sunsets, and make friends with the local wildlife, but on the flip side are clouds of mosquitoes so thick they clog the nose, rattlesnakes, practitioners of voodoo, numbing extremes of heat and cold, near-disastrous slides down a mountain, and automobile accidents.

Most memorable, however, are not the incidents of the road, but the people whose lives the Jenkinses share for amounts of time varying from just a few moments to many months. These people make the walk the revelation it was for the Jenkinses and to a degree for us.

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