Eight Great Road Trip Stories

Lists: To mark World Hum's eighth anniversary, we've collected from our archives eight favorite travel stories that heed the call of the open road

04.29.09 | 10:21 AM ET

Photo by Nicholas_T, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

We can’t resist the call of the open road. Give us a blue highway or an interstate, the autobahn or a muddy path to who-knows-where. We don’t really care where we’re going. We don’t really need a why, either. Road trips can, as Bill Belleville writes in “The Distance Between Then and Now,” sometimes descended on us like a religious vision. And sometimes, as for Mark Edward Hornish in “Kissing E with the Hair Band,” they’re just about seeing what’s happens when you’ve got no gas left in the tank. Here are eight road trip favorites from our archives.

How to Road Trip Like Kerouac (and Stay out of Trouble)
If you want to hit the road like Jack Kerouac and live to tell about it, you’ll want to choose your inspiration from “On the Road” carefully. Jim Benning offers tips.

Kissing E with the Hair Band
When Mark Edward Hornish hit the road to see America, he hoped for adventure. But the last thing he expected was help from a Rock Group on Tour.

The Back of the Bus
Laurie Gough reflects on a classic travel experience: The bus ride through a developing country. Cue the bumps, flat tires and Lionel Richie tunes in the jungles of Sumatra.

The Truck Ride
A muddy Bolivian road snagged the old Chevy, leaving Amberly Polidor stuck in the middle of the Amazon. Out there, amid the mosquitoes and the molten glass air, rescue took on new meaning.

Oprah Winfrey, Amanda Congdon and the New Golden Age of the Cross-Country Road Trip
The coast-to-coast drive hasn’t been this hot in 50 years. Michael Yessis explores why it’s back—and how travelers just might produce the next “On the Road” on the Internet.

Derelicts in the Sinai
Israeli fighter planes flew over his kibbutz and suicide bombers blew up buses on the lines he traveled, but Porter Shreve still felt untouchable. Then he found himself aboard an ill-fated tour bus rolling through the Egyptian desert.

The Distance Between Then and Now
How far can you go without extinguishing the thrill of a moment? On the 50th Anniversary of “On the Road,” Bill Belleville reflects on a pivotal road trip of his own.

From Wilt to Woodstock: A Pop Culture Road Trip
Chris Epting has written numerous books on roadside attractions. Here, he reveals 10 favorite offbeat landmarks.

1 Comment for Eight Great Road Trip Stories

TaraTravels 05.01.09 | 9:31 AM ET

Great bunch of articles on road tripping! Let’s face it - hitting the road is back and bigger than ever thanks to:
1) The handy-dandy low price of gas right now
2) Don’t have to deal with the fiasco that is air-travel today
3) Online resources like this pointing out the possibilities, great sites with reviews about attractions, hotels, etc. so you can more easily plan an awesome road trip.

My favorite of the articles above was about cross-country road trips. If you’re planning one, check out my recent find online about all that goes into a major trip like that: http://www.planning-fun-road-trips.com/plan-a-road-trip.html - it’s got a lot of good pointers.

Can’t wait for our road trip in June up the coast from NC to CT!

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