Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways, by Jamie Jensen
One of my criticisms of the earlier editions, the occasional harsh treatment of certain towns and areas, has all but disappeared from this edition. The author has traveled nearly 400,000 miles in search of the "perfect stretch of two-lane blacktop." Along the way his perceptions about the people he has met and the places he has explored over these last few years seem to have mellowed and deepened his appreciation for this land. This book creates a tapestry of great American roadtrip experiences. It's a guide book that belongs in every roadtripper's personal library.
Two delightful features of this book are the extensive use of reproduced U.S. postage stamps to introduce the different states and the remarkable collection of business and special attraction logos and banners found on nearly every page. The "Road Trip Resources" section provides an excellent list of travel organizations and an interesting selection of travelogues. Jensen's attention to detail is excellent, and he provides plenty of inspiration to discover even more hidden treasures that exist along the path of every road trip. All the routes feature detailed maps, anecdotes about remarkable people who lived in the area, and photographs that whet the appetite for further exploration.
The page layout and design
of this new edition is appealing and increases the fun of
"random paging". My favorite articles include the
description of the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys and
the hobbit-like dwelling created by the British sculptor Sir
Henry Kitson in Tyringam, Massachusetts. The real genius of
the book continues to be the description of the places found
along the eleven routes that Jensen profiles. US-2, the nation's
longest transcontinental highway, runs from Seattle, Washington,
to Acadia National Park in Maine. RoadTrip USA can
guide you every inch of the way, but it's also a valuable
companion for those who have time only for shorter odysseys,
like one of our favorites, a scenic stretch of the Great River
Road in Louisiana.