We’re heading out on a road trip this morning – a lengthy road trip that will take almost a month and cover about a dozen states. Taking a road trip is a rite of passage for all kinds of travelers. There are those who camp, and those who don’t. There are those who take the interstate and those who travel the Blue Highways (which we reviewed in one of last year’s newsletters). This is an experience that can be repeated again and again, and will always be blissfully different, even by the same route. Because the difference between an epic road trip and a road trip from hell can be very slight, depending upon the circumstances, a key road trip resource can be the difference between disaster and divine!
We’ll be posting to PassingThru from the road, but in the meantime, here are some fun books that might get you in the mood to go on a road trip of your own! Happy trails!
At age 24 in 1953, Nicolas Bouvier set off from Geneva in an old Fiat Topolino, going vaguely East with an artist friend for 47,000 miles through Belgrade, Istanbul, Tabriz Kabul and beyond. They wanted to make it to the Khyber Pass, but as in so many road trips, the journey was the more important part of the destination. In 18 months of extremely budget travel, Bouvier and his friend encountered an insightful melange of experiences and acquaintances in a format that is closer to a collection of short stories. Bouvier went on to travel all over the world, became a household name resource who inspired a generation of travelers during a golden age of mobility. Just prior to his death in 1998, Bouvier wrote the following:
Henceforth it is in another elsewhere
that reveals not its name
in other whispers and other plains
that you must
lighter than thistle
disappear in silence
returning thus to the winds of the road.
The author maps out the littler-known and downright obscure with all kinds of roadside attractions for the taking in! This is a comprehensive resource that allows for hundreds of route combinations and itineraries. Containing over 140 maps, survival guides for a couple dozen cities, recommendations for eating and staying, Road Trip USA covers over a quarter million miles of uniquely American blacktop.
Readers Digest Books
Organized by state and friendly to the budget – less popular destinations usually have lower prices – this book is a Reader’s Digest best seller, and there’s a great reason. This is a book with which to daydream over coffee at home as well as to take along the way. Loaded with information in digestible format: thumbnails, lists, calendars and maps. The “Did You Know?” feature in each chapter is anecdotal magic and will inspire even greater levels of wanderlust! A must have resource!
Phil and Carol White
Who doesn’t love a road trip? Whether your odyssey takes a week or a year, the irresistible appeal comes to fruition with commitment, proper planning, and researching for tools and resources. This book is a practical how-to resource written by renowned authors Phil and Carol White, who recognize that inertia and fear play an equal part when dreams are deferred. Worried about what to do with the house, pets and other responsibilities while you’re gone? Wondering about how much to pack and which vehicle to choose? It’s all in here and more!
Jane and Michael Stern
You can’t think road trip without thinking of road trip food – well at least we can’t! The American landscape is a treasure trove of awesome alternatives to tiresome chain and franchise eating, and Jane and Michael Stern are foodies extraordinaire who know just where to send you. Detailed maps and reviews are organized here on a regional basis – all the better to take an intentional detour! If you like eating in casual places with real home cookin’, this is the road trip reference for you!
Anyone planning a road trip this summer? Care to share your most memorable road trip?