In an earlier post, I referenced an article about road trips and literature. Inspired by that article myself, I decided to start reading some of the books on the list that I haven’t read before. My first is Cross Country: Fifteen Years and 90,000 Miles on the Roads and Interstates of America with Lewis and Clark, a Lot of Bad Motels, a Moving Van, Emily Post, Jack Kerouac, My Wife, My Mother-in-Law, Two Kids, and Enough Coffee to Kill an Elephant by Robert Sullivan. The title of this book may be longer than this post.
Sullivan’s writing style is conversational, even while presenting some American, history along the way. The reader follows him and his family as they take one of their annual trips Oregon to New York. The road trip is interesting enough, but what I find most engaging are the stories he tells along the way: experiences that he and his family have had at various stops on earlier trips; and history of the peoples who have lived there or stopped there in the past. He seems to discover something new every time.
While reading this book, I was reminded of a couple of my favorite cross country trips. Actually, they are semi-cross country, since one was from Washington State to Minnesota, and the other was from Minnesota to Maryland and back.
The trip from Minnesota to Maryland was the first one that I wrote about in this blog in August, 2013. My first post was titled “On the Road With Ed and Paul,” and it was intended to let other family members follow this trip with my father, Ed, and brother, Paul. It segued into a travelogue with over 120 posts to date.
The trip from Washington State to Minnesota was with my son, Sean, in October, 2002, which I will write about in my next post.