Ramble: A Field Guide to the U.S.A., by Eric Peterson
The best writing in the book is the "Author's Epilogue," and I suggest reading this excellent piece first. This masterful essay captures why many of us take road trips and why the magnetic pull of the open road never completely leaves us. The color photography, the road trip maps and cartoon graphics found on virtually every page are excellent, and the colors and images are rich and compelling. Even if you were unable to read English, this book would still grab and hold your attention to the very last page.
Six rather interesting road trips told in Peterson's unorthodox narrative style provide lots of chuckles and even made me laugh out loud. He searches for Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest, looks for aliens in the Rockies, and uncovers human oddities in the Northeast. His commentaries on the rest of the country are similarly quirky and very engaging.
What makes this book a stand-out among road trip guides is Peterson's selection of attractions from across the country. He divides the U.S.A. into seven regions: California, the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies & the Southwest, Texas, the Midwest, New England, and the South. For each of these seven regions he provides vivid details about the best places for grub, lodging, road art, dead people, vice, and people who qualify for his "Ramble RoadTrip Hall of Fame." Again, his selections provide lots of laughs and delightful incentive to get out there and see these things in person.
Interestingly, a sentence that Peterson
wrote in the introduction is what ultimately led me to give
this book a "thumbs up." He writes, "In the
end, the best the writer can hope for is to spark the reader's
curiosity to such an extent that he or she actually goes and
visits the area described and experiences a similar sense
" Ramble: A Field Guide to the U.S.A.
succeeds superbly as an inspiration and will enrich any roadtripper's
adventures, whether they're traveling by armchair or actual
wheels on the back roads of America.