Sunday, April 17, 2011

Perusing Pennsylvania and Iowa US Route 6 Guidebooks

I spent the good part of this morning reading two US 6 State guidebooks; one, already published, titled Pennsylvania's Scenic Route 6 by John Hope and the other, unpublished (but should be published), The Long and Lonesome Highway, Iowa's Route 6 by David Darby. Both books are wonderful guides through two very different regions of the United States.  Pennsylvania, lush, hilly and rich in lumber and coal, offers Victorian charm, tidy downtowns and unparalleled river, mountain and valley views.  Iowa is flat and wide, a topography that couldn't be more different from that of the woodsy Eastern United States.  Yet, there are gems to be found in each little Iowa town; water towers, murals, soda shops, antique cars and the best darn Butterscotch Pie you'll ever find anywhere (why do I suddenly sound like a Twin Peaks character?).

Though US Route 6 was an integral shipping and transportation  route prior to the construction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950's, there is a paucity of printed material about this transcontinental highway.  Two guidebooks - two states out of 14! - and one isn't even published yet.

Pennsylvania and Iowa are important segments of US Route 6, but there's so much more to the Grand Army of the Republic Highway and I aim to fill in the blanks where I can.  Far be it for me to reinvent the wheel.  Hope and Darby have done most of the work in their respective states.  But my mission is to cover US 6 coast to coast.  I'll be heading out on May 20.  Sign up and follow me!

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