Friday, December 10, 2010

Southern Pacific -- By Motorcycle

Hi Jamie --

My husband and I are taking another cross country trip on our Harley. We used your book when planning a few other trips on Hwy 93, US-20, US -50 and Route 66. We’re thinking of taking US-80 with a stop in New Orleans in May/June next year. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Also, are there plans to publish your book as an eBook anytime soon?



hi again Jeanne -- and sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I had a great family road trip down the California coast -- but completely lost track of my email.

Apologies! (Also, sorry to say we still haven't yet figured out how to publish the Road Trip material as an eBook -- I did help put together a Android smartphone app for Route 66, so I'm trying, but basically it's all pretty overwhelming -- so if you have any ideas, I'm all ears!)

About your trip: May / June is great time to do the "Old Spanish Trail" along US-80, especially if you add in a detour south to New Orleans (though you will miss the end of JazzFest -- which happens the first week in May...)

About the changes since your edition of the book, there have been a lot -- big, small and in between. Most of the changes between 2001 and the current one are to do with restaurants and hotels -- some changed owners, or changed names or phone numbers, some closed and some have opened.

The biggest loss along old US80, to my mind, was Len Berg's fantastic little diner in downtown Macon GA -- it closed in ~ 2005, after 97 years in business...

The main new "attractions" are a number of high-style art museums in Dallas and Fort Worth area, a Eudora Welty museum in her longtime Jackson MS home, and a nifty new bridge carrying US-93 over the Colorado River, near Hoover Dam -- which looks amazing, but I haven't seen it.

On the downside, all over the Southwest you have to factor in the pretty scary, drug-related violence that has been flaring up, esp in El Paso / Juarez area. All this makes me think twice before crossing the border (I used to love the drive / ride down from near Tucson to Puerto Penasco on the Sea of Cortez, but don't know if I would do it these days).

Finally, don't know if Kartchner Caverns was open when your edition came out -- located near Benson Arizona, this is a wonderful place to see.

Anyway, those are a few of the biggest changes -- hope it helps you have a great trip.

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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