Two Lane Traveling, by Donnie "Dobro" Scott with commentary by Barbara Bamberger Scott, is packed with more historical facts than a textbook but is, often unlike school, fascinating.
Scott weaves well-known and esoteric facts into his biography of his and his wife’s travels across the back roads of this country. Two Lane Traveling reaches across genres in a simple and engaging read about his time on the blue roads. Readers looking to travel on the old bypassed highways, or the "blue roads," can use this book as guide. Readers looking for a different type of read while on vacation will find here the perfect travel autobiography. History buffs and even homeschooling parents can access a goldmine of facts at their fingertips. This unique approach to life, history and travel will keep all but the hardest to please amused and informed.
This travel biography arose from emails sent out to family and friends. Encouraged by many to publish his experiences in book form, Scott’s finished product is an encyclopedia of his extensive knowledge and a guide to traveling the original roads of America. Recollecting travels on back roads, cheap and comfy motels, (with the occasional, sometimes hilarious exception), bargain thrift store stops, and historical trivia, this travelogue stands alone in the genre.
An example of the odd historical fact is when the Scotts drive through Pennsylvania and arrive at the Shoe House. Scott writes how to get there, what it look likes, and a bit of its history: it really is shaped like a shoe, and two stories high, but if you want to know more, you’ll need to read the travelogue. Another destination and piece of travel history surrounds the town of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. According to Scott, the town used to be called "Hot Springs." When the game show Truth or Consequences appeared on television and the host offered the declining tourist town money to change the name and bring in tourists, they promptly did. Later during this same journey, the Scotts drive through a mud storm, something Donnie disbelieved until that day standing in line at the car wash with dozens of other cars covered in thick mud.
Traveling along the blue roads with his wife by his side, "Dobro" engages the senses, painting a mural of place and time, past and present, as he winds his car alongside rivers and mine shafts, trees and deserts. During their many trips, his wife, Barbara, whips up tasty meals and strong coffee out of a bag in some of America's least expensive yet comfortable motels.
Barbara is also a bargain store aficionado, an occasional advisor, and adds to her husband’s travelogue by relating points from official guidebooks of many of the states they travel through, sometimes highlighting occasional points made by her husband to add more history or clarify obscure facts. The guide books she reads from were written in the early 1940s during the days of theWPA. These books have become collector items and a valuable source of lost historical information about our states, cities and towns, here serving to add to the knowledge of her husband about our country. At one point Donnie makes an aside to readers: "Let me at this time say something about my relationship with Barbara. She is the best travel companion one could wish to find. Frankly, I would be lost without her."
The facts are thick but never crowd out the landscape beyond the roads. The adventures are always different; there is rarely any definite plan other than staying on the back highways and byways. The two travelers’ well-informed, slightly quirky tone makes this a perfect blend of adventure, travelogue, history, and just plain fun.