Pick From 1,001 Routes In ‘The Road Trip Book’ Before Planning Your Next Automotive Adventure
If by the thousandth time of making the same commute you begin to feel a nagging pull to drive somewhere, anywhere, else, then here’s a hefty block of inspiration to get you started. Descriptively and aptly titled The Road Trip Book, this is more than just a collection of travel guides scanned into a single volume; it spans the remote reaches of Russia to recreations of Hollywood car chase routes, and clocking in at 1,001 drives as promised by the front cover, there’s a flavor for every taste. Created by seasoned travelers and bonafide driving enthusiasts Darryl Sleath and Charley Boorman, the book is equal parts reference material—we’ve marked a few of these roads for future films—and wanderlust generator.
It’s a heavy sucker with a thick spine, but each route outlined inside is the definition of digestible reading. The essential pieces of information are all present—start and finish points, total distance, what to expect from the road surface, where to stop for the prime scenery, alternate routes and detours, etc.—and the information for each road trip fits neatly on a single page. You won’t get the medieval backstory from when they were dirt trading routes, but you still get an adequate sense of what to expect should you find yourself at any the “Point A” for these drives. That’s not to say there isn’t any cultural or historical context offered in The Road Trip Book, but it’s certainly focused on the aspect of the drive itself.
To avoid a runaway travel guide sporting an overwhelmingly large table of contents and no organization to speak of, this book buckets the trips into three categories based on the function served by the drive: an outright adventure, a more relaxed cruise focused on the scenery, or what they label a cultural experience. Of course, there is going to be plenty of overlap in some cases—for instance, the book tells you how to lap the legendary Monaco GP circuit should you find yourself with a rental car in Monte Carlo, and to me that seems to be quite the mix of all three elements.
The ones labeled “Adventure” will have you skirting cliff sides and other roadways imbued with a bit of treachery, but that doesn’t mean they’re inherently dangerous. Some can simply involve a trek toward a secluded city, while others are more of the “Don’t look down” variety. Those that fall into the scenic camp are pretty self-explanatory, and along with the world’s iconic coastal highways from California to Australia, there are myriad lesser-known options to be found in between. This book seems to have found every road worth driving—or at least 1,001 of them—and while that’s all well and good the coolest group in my opinion are those drives in the “Culture” category. It’s a weighty word to throw around, and it casts a wide net of definition, but here they are referring to drives inspired by films, pop culture, books, people, etc.—routes like the driven by the doomed Miura in the original Italian Job, the map lines taken by Jack Kerouac as he wrote his famous road-trip novel, and Japan’s so-called “Romance Road.”
The point is that whatever kind of traveler or driver you are, there’s a place in the world that’s perfectly suited, and these guys have done all the legwork of looking. Flip to a random page and plan a trip, mark the ones you’ve done and find inspiration for the next, or just use a few bookmarks from the “maybe one day” stack.