Road Trip Romps "Two Lane Gems" Author Reading & Book Signing
Not only can you pick up your copies of Two Lane Gems Volumes 1 and 2, Theresa will also read excerpts from both books. You'll get a taste of what it's like to take a cross-country road trip as she shares some of her favorite experiences discovering America via the back roads.
ABOUT TWO LANE GEMS:
"Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1" is a road trip romp from the Chicago area to San Diego and back. Theresa L. Goodrich grabs her laptop, her camera, and her journal and makes (asks, she means, asks) her husband, Jim, to drive 6,479.5 miles through thirteen states.
Starting at the most important archaeological site in North America, their journey takes them through sand dunes, forests, plains, and mountains. They stayed in haunted hotels, a rustic cabin, charming bed and breakfasts, and the oldest motel in Arizona. They camped in canyons and deserts and were visited by deer and surrounded by turkeys (jerks). They met a World War II vet, learned how to grow a date, and had a beer in the lowest bar in the Western hemisphere with a bartender named Scheherazade.
- made a wish at the Center of the World
- toured an abandoned mountain lion zoo
- rode a vintage train with a singing engineer
- ate schnecks
- touched goblins
- did not get blown up by unexploded ordnance
- did not kill each other
Part travelogue and part travel memoir, this book will have you smiling, laughing, sometimes crying, and, at the end, planning your own American road trip.
"Two Lane Gems, Volume 2" is a love letter to the Great American Road Trip. Theresa L. Goodrich and her ever-so-patient husband, Jim, embark on a cross-country adventure through the northwest. Departing from the Chicago-area, the couple heads for the Oregon coast with a loosey-goosey itinerary and a bucket of trail mix.
Their journey began in front of a dumpster, but they quickly made their way to a UNESCO City of Literature. Over the next 35 days they camped in National Parks, State Parks, and RV Parks. They stayed in hotels, motels, a cabin on a lake, and a 1913 Gambrel cottage-style mansion. They followed scenic byways, highways, two-lane roads, the Outlaw Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the Lewis & Clark Trail, hitting the highlights – and the low-lights – of America’s westward expansion. With a thirst for knowledge and frosty treats, they searched for, and found, what makes this country beautiful and unique.
- drank in a mermaid bar in Montana
- slept with bison – and survived
- met a man named Lizard
- stepped on the center of the universe
- almost stepped on the center of the U.S.A.
- escaped a rattlesnake – twice
- chased an eagle
- did not degrade the surface
- did not kill each other
In this epic, eyes-wide-open love letter to America, little is planned, much is ventured, and everything is gained.
Reader Reactions to Two Lane Gems
“If John Steinbeck earned a Nobel Prize in Literature shortly after publishing Travels with Charley, then Theresa should start planning a trip to Oslo, Norway, because Two Lane Gems is every bit the book Travels with Charley was. And then some. While the news is full of stories of divisiveness, Theresa and Jim stories from their travels along America’s two lane highways feature real Americans, educate readers on the nation’s past (warts and all), and inspire all of us to lift each other up. I can’t wait to read the next installment!” ~ Kristin
“You’ll learn about fabulous scenic drives, great restaurants, huckleberry ice cream, mermaids and crystal clear waters. It’s like sitting down and sharing a bottle of wine while a friend tells you about her latest travel stories…Long before you turn the last page, you’ll be ready to share Theresa’s next adventure.” ~Pat McGrath Avery
“Reminiscent of Mark Twain's Roughing It, Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 (I have not read Vol. 1) is a very real-feeling tale of a couple on a 33-day road-trip in a rented Jeep full of camping gear, covering over 5,000 miles from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest and back again. Camping in various sites about 2/3 of their nights, many national and state parks, they encounter wildlife very close-up, and fantastic sights that can only be appreciated at a distance. And, there are a lot of fantastic people along the way with names like "Lizard." Theresa and Jim Goodrich are never in one place very long, and are not sure where their "home" will be when they return, but soak up all they can along the way and share it with the reader. Because Theresa is honest about the few less-than-pleasant events along the way, it is easy to believe her overall conclusion that America, as they saw it along the non-interstates, is full of good, kind, generous folks who love sharing the best of their world. Funniest moments seem to be when the travelers arrive at sites they'd chosen because they would be touring nearby, and find those places too touristy.” ~Bill McN.
"Quite frankly, I couldn't put this charming book down. I was constantly chuckling and nodding along as I read. I found myself making notes of places I need to add to my to-visit list and scribbling down names of people and places I wanted to read more about." -Olio in Iowa
“Like William Least-Heat Moon, who wrote deeply researched investigations of America through a lens of deep earth maps (Blue Highways, and PrairyErth), Goodrich takes the reader on a quiet and stately drive across America, threading a narrative from small town to small town, always focused on the hyper-local, on what is truly unique in each. ” ~ Family G
“More than a guidebook, Two Lane Gems is a vivid portrait of the American landscape. Slide behind the wheel to meet the characters who inhabit some of our country’s most interesting destinations. Along the way, you’ll also experience the quirkiness of these quintessential destinations and also meet a few fellow travelers along the way. It’s an adventure that I highly recommend.” ~ Paula Brandon
“Beautiful, thoughtful, wonderful, and exquisitely written! A honest-to-goodness treasure trove of hidden (2 lane!!) gems. Makes you want to immediately get in your car and discover them too. Theresa and Jim are perfect road trip companions. Can’t wait for Volume 2!” ~ Katie M.
“As someone who has traveled all 50 states and did a 3 week road trip from Chicago to the west coast and back during my senior year, I was finding myself reminiscing about some of the stops we made, but more often found myself feeling like I was with Theresa and Jim on their journey. It was such an easy read and I just kept wanting to go to the next chapter, but found myself missing the previous chapter as soon as I left it.” ~ Tim
“Two Lane Gems resides on my coffee table, always within easy reach whenever I’m ready for an escape. Following in the grand tradition of Twain, Kerouac and Steinbeck, the author finds America in unexpected places from the most unlikely of philosophers. 5 stars!” ~ Kelly
“Theresa’s writing is so real and personal, you feel as if you are on the (epic) road trip with her! She makes sure you check out all the amazing sites along the way, most of which people would never have known about. Her sense of humor is endearing and makes this book a real page-turner. I can’t wait for Part 2!” ~ Heidi Kohz