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With tips for Fido-friendly travel, road trips on a budget, and much more, PlanYourRoadTrip.com is our favorite new trip-planning website.
|AT Bookshelf: The Great American Road Trip|
|Written by Carmen Madrid|
|Wednesday, 10 February 2010 06:27|
From the Museum of Pez Dispensers to Yosemite Falls, one author's take on what makes America great
My copy of Eric Peterson's book sits on the coffee table for guests to flip through while sipping pre-dinner cocktails. A fun conversation starter, it's also a quirky bedside read for a guestroom. Though Peterson intended this square brick of a book as road-trip inspiration, it's easy enough to enjoy the "ride" without leaving your house. This self-contained hardcover adventure of kitschy proportions distinguishes itself from similar titles in that it's not just a paperback guidebook. Destinations range from the marginally well-known (CarHenge in Alliance, Nebraska) to the deservedly obscure (Old Rip, the horned toad who once met President Calvin Coolidge and is now embalmed in the Eastland, Texas, courthouse).
Peterson's research into the attractions, events, and characters chronicled in the 300-plus pages is handy. It could use more route maps, however. Without an address or website for the Museum of Bad Art (Dedham, Massachusetts), home to "tasteless works...many of which were salvaged from trash cans," road trippers just have to follow their noses.
A smattering of lists throughout the book provides fodder for trivia buffs (First Motel: Milestone Motel, San Luis Obispo, California, 1925). And, some of the oversized structures featured do have their uses. I can attest that Hood's 50,000-gallon milk bottle makes an easy meeting spot near the Boston Children's Museum. How likely are you to be misdirected by a stranger on the street to the wrong gigantic moo-juice container?