Take a Look at a Book

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The Transportation Library has acquired Onramps and Overpasses: A cultural History of Interstate Travel, by Dianne Perrier. Here is a description of the book from the publisher's Web site:

Designed as a defense and commercial network to link Washington, D.C., with state capitals, the interstate highway system carries more traffic than anyone could have imagined fifty years ago. Lost today in the rush to get from point A to point B--with restaurants, hotels, and gas stations along the way more or less interchangeable from exit to exit--is the fact that these roads were laid down along ancient routes.

The red trace of tail lights we see in heavy nighttime traffic mirrors the ancient footpaths and traces used by Native Americans and early settlers.
Route numbers have replaced colorful descriptors, such that the Oregon Trail is now I-80, and travelers tracing portions of the Santa Fe Trail do so along I-25.

In Onramps and Overpasses Dianne Perrier seeks to remind us of what we have lost and that this history is often as close as the next exit. She tells stories of Davey Crockett, Horace Greely, and Charles Dickens, of women in hoop skirts, the search for eighteenth-century fast food, and nineteenth-century "truckers."

Reminding us that the journey is just as important as the destination, Perrier restores the beauty and history of the American landscape we all too often ignore at 65 miles per hour.