These Are the Great American Literary Road Trips That Must Be Done

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
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these are the great american literary road trips that must be done

Atlas Obscura has a fine, fine collection of the literary road trips that every allegiance-pledging, rights-billing, literate American should know by heart.

Of course, “On The Road” is in there (Go Denver!), but how well do you know “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” route? “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” is required reading for any father — or son, but I never realized “Walk Across America” falls a little short of its intended goal.

Basically, what I’m saying is “Travels With Charley” just became my fall break road map.

The interactive map plots points across the country with points of interest and excerpts from the books.

Including the books mentioned earlier, 12 books are detailed on the map from Mark Twain’s “Roughing It” to Cheryl Stayed’s “Wild.” According to the author, books like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “The Grapes of Wrath” were left off the map because those tomes are more about depravity and deprivation, respectively, than the road.

The writer, Richard Kreitner, and map maker, Steven Melendez, should win medals for their efforts in meticulously detailing the books that shape our view of America, its roads and its characters.

[Source: The Verge]

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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6 of 17 comments
  • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on Jul 22, 2015

    "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is my favorite road trip story in spite of or perhaps due to the depravity. Sometimes I really miss the 70's/

    • See 1 previous
    • NeilM NeilM on Jul 23, 2015

      @JR42 Glad to see another Blue Highways fan. Terrific book!

  • Geekcarlover Geekcarlover on Jul 23, 2015

    Or for the less literary minded,retrace the path of Buz and Tod from Route 66. 25 states and Canada.

  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Jul 23, 2015

    Being that the routes feature locations mentioned in particular literary works, they've managed to completely avoid my adopted state of Arkansas, parts of which features beautiful, scenic vistas and twisting, challenging mountain roads. Which is okay. It makes for less vehicles to dodge and pass on the straightaways... ;)

  • 7402 7402 on Jul 23, 2015

    Then there's this guy: Somehow this seems to me like a bigger accomplishment than getting coast to coast in under 30 hours.