As I have mentioned more than once on this blog, among my favorite opening lines in all of literature is Hunter Thompson’s in his bizarre road trip tale, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. (You can read that amazing sentence at the end of my post entitled “The Magical Lure of the Intimate Voice.”)
Thompson’s vivid account of a drug-infused weekend road trip has earned its place in American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken. The only trip that comes close in weirdness is “Kubla Khan,” the opium-induced road-trip-to-Xanadu poem by Samuel Coleridge. But that was a trip to a fantasy world while Thompson’s was a trip to, well, the semi-fantasy world of Las Vegas
Fans of road trip novels–and there a many of you out there–can debate for hours which one deserves the crown as the Great American Road Trip novel. And while you could try to include sub-genres, such as “road trips” on water (Huckleberry Finn) and “road trips” on hiking trails (Bill Bryce’s A Walk in the Woods), there is something uniquely American about the great road trip story.
My short list of nominees, in addition to Fear and Loathing, would include Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Thus imagine my delight when I discovered another American road trip fan out there whose tastes not only matched my own but who has created a beautiful and captivating set of “travel guide” maps for the routes of some of the the most famous road trips in American literature, including the Fear and Loathing map displayed at the top of this post.
The concept for these enchanting maps can be traced back to Keilah Keiser. By day, Keilah is a Content Marketing Specialist based in San Diego. In her free time, she focuses on curating travel content. As she told me:
“Growing up as a bookworm I’ve always had a passion for literature. Pair that with my love for travel and the open road, and it made sense to create a guide to literary road trips across the country.”
Keilah worked on this concept with CarRentals, who mapped out their guide to literary road trips across America so that the rest of us could set off on an adventure of our own that follows a narrative arc.
“Pick from six legendary routes,” Keilah explained. “You can recreate that author’s experience and, along the way, write your own story”
So if you share my love of American road trip novels, get ready to experience a true delight and then click here. Have fun!! And thanks for sharing, Keilah.