I have to get from LA to NYC in 6 days, can this be done? I'd like to stop (or go through) Chicago (relatives), but are there any other interesting sites along the way?

Also should I take the northern route that goes through Utah, Colorado, and so on, or should I go through Arizona, New Mexico and swing up through Missouri?

I'll be leaving LA in the middle of June, so I'm assuming it will be really really hot in the southern route, but I'd like to take the more interesting route (as far as I can determine, the south is more interesting...)

Can anyone also explain basic gear that I shouldn't without exception take? I'm planning on taking my laptop and cell phone (and a Belkin mobile power inverter). Do I need a CB radio (I'm not even sure what this is...?)